We are really lucky to have a number of automated watering systems in the vegetable beds and the greenhouses. But there are other areas of the gardens which do not have this, such as the wildflower meadow, the herb garden, the woodland fruit bushes, the planters, large potted plants and potted plants in the cold frames. All of these areas we manually water using hoses with various end attachments. We use sprinklers to water larger areas like the wild flower meadow, and watering lances for more targeted watering such as the plants in the cold frames.

Our hoses use a system of plastic hose connector, most of which simply click on to make a connection. The system enables us to get water from the tap to the part of the garden where we need the water.  Except when they leak and malfunction (!) This is usually due to people abusing the connectors (!)….To guard against this, Dafydd and Josh produced an excellent useful little film in 2019 on how to use (and not use) hose connections and fittings. You can watch it here  https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/hose-basics-with-dafydd/

You can also see a diagram of the standard connections here The tap connectors (figure 1) connect the tap into the first point of the system. Hose Connectors allow a simple and quick further connection to all the accessories. There are two types of Hose Connectors:- hose end connectors (figure 2), which work best at the tap end of the system and aquastop connectors (figure 3) that work best at the accessory end of the system. The Aquastop Connector stops water from coming out of the hose when no accessory is attached. This means that water is not wasted when changing accessories and you don’t get wet.

The next part of the system is the hose itself and with long hoses these are usually mounted on a hose cart to help with ease of use around the garden. A hose cart comes complete with the hose and various fittings. On the outside centre of the hose cart is a handle which is used to wind and unwind the hose. On the opposite side, in the centre is a fixed connector to which a further short piece of hose is attached in order to join the longer hose up with the garden tap.

At the end of any hose, you will need to attach an accessory that fits your watering needs. This could be a sprinkler, (which are used to spread water over a large area) or a nozzle to concentrate water at one point, or a watering lance that provides extended reach and has various settings to adjust your water flow (e.g. shower, mist, jet)

After use, always carefully roll the hose back onto the hose cart. In order to preserve hoses this needs to be done carefully so ensure that the hose pipe itself is not flattened or folded in any places.

As a general rule, it’s really best NOT to take apart the hose attachments that have been set up around the BPCG garden. If you are not sure which attachment goes where just ask Cat and she will explain!

Elsewhere in the garden, our potatoes are growing well but they are not on an irrigation system so we will need to water them with a sprinkler and also give the area a weed.

Last Sunday we planted out our squash bed. We are growing a summer squash: Patty Pan, and the other plants are winter squashes: Turks Turban, Bambino, and Crown Prince. Last year we had problems with squirrels trying to dig up the squash plants. If our furry friends start to take an interest in plants we will cover them with wire cages.

In other BPCG news, this year, we are a Co-op Local Cause.  Money raised goes towards supporting our free gardening, art and music workshops.  The way it works is that when a Co-op member buys selected Co-op branded products and services, 1p from every pound you spend supports our cause if you select us.   Co-op also have a deal on membership right now which is that when a new Member joins the Co-op using the Co-op App beforeTuesday 15 June they will receive £5 off their shopping as a welcome*.  It only costs £1 to become a member. You can read about our Co-op Local Cause and also join up as a member from a laptop/computer here https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/55216

Now that restrictions have eased the BPCG greenwood group is excited to welcome new members! Steve has 3 vacancies for a spoon carving class on Friday 18 June from 12 – 4pm. Sarah and Raydo have 5 vacancies on Sunday 20 June 20 from 12 – 4pm. No experience required. You will be inducted into safe tool use and on completion are welcome to drop in to our group sessions on Friday or Sunday afternoons. Please wear outdoor clothes and shoes or trainers for safety, no sandals. £15 for first session unless booked pre-pandemic, £5 thereafter.  Book here

Richard of 5Rhythms ‘Simply Being’ is putting on lovely garden dance sessions at BPCG throughout June from 6.45 to 9pm.  ‘These garden sessions are an invitation to align ourselves with the creative and healing forces of nature; co-creating together in movement as we dance through the seasons. By dancing the 5Rhythms in this way we can discover a renewed sense of vitality and a oneness with our natural environment.’  If you would like to volunteer to help set up at 6pm and be happy to stay on until 9.30pm, you can take up one of three free spaces reserved for BPCG volunteers. Please let Kate know kate@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk if you are interested.

In other news, Incredible Edible Lambeth is screening an abridged version of Kiss The Ground, the groundbreaking documentary about regenerating our exhausted soil with the spin off of helping the climate crisis.  It’s happening on Wednesday the 30th of June.  For more info and to book ,go here https://www.incredibleediblelambeth.org/event/kiss-the-ground-the-shortened-version/