Firstly, a plea for you to save and bring in to BPCG any spare carrier bags (plastic or strong paper ones) or small to medium sized cardboard boxes – preferably flat packed. We need them for people to take plants and produce home from the shop.  Thank you!

In the garden, last week we started to plant out the runner beans and the dwarf French beans we had been hardening off in the cold frames. This week there are more runner beans to plant out in the vegetable beds and we will have fun creating suitable plants supports for these. Wigwam designs are useful both to provide the climbing beans with a structure to climb up and they can also make an attractive feature that gives height to the vegetable beds, beautifully displaying the beans’ red and white flowers.

We will be enhancing the mud kitchen area by creating some wildlife friendly hedging to provide more screening from the park side path. A very simple way of creating this kind of hedging is to buy one year old trees called whips. There are a number of plant nurseries that grow this kind of bare-root hedging which consist of trees that have been field grown, lifted when ready during the winter season of dormancy and have had the soil shaken off them. They are available during their natural dormant season ( November – April) and are the most cost effective way of creating a hedge.

You can buy bird friendly native hedge mixes made up of species including hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), sloe ( Prunus spinosa), field maple, myrobalan plum, bird cherry, hazel, common alder, guelder rose, dogwood, elder and wild crabapple. This is a mixture of native species that will grow into a dense hedgerow encouraging birds and many other forms of wildlife to make their home in your garden. Hedges like this will provide flowers, catkins, nuts, berries and autumn colour, as well as providing shelter from the wind.

We will be planting hawthorn, sloe and wild crabapple in our hedge. The hedge will be easy to maintain and apart from needing good watering for its first year, will from then onwards only need to be trimmed once a year, ideally in winter, and can easily be kept to a height of a metre.

In the vegetable beds the beetroot and chard seedlings have germinated and were weeded last week. This week we will start to thin out some of the rows of seedlings. Thinning out is a process by which we reduce over crowding in the row by removing some of the smaller plants to give the larger plants more growing space. This enables us to grow healthier plants which have sufficient space to develop into sturdy plants that will give us better yields later in the season. However the thinned out plants do not need to go to waste as they can make tasty salad leaves when added to salads.

There are still volunteer spaces for the Cob Oven firing this Sunday. We’ll be making around 25 Pizzas for the morning volunteers and learning how to run our Pizza Days later in the year. You can also sign up to volunteer at one of those days. The sign up sheet is here:

In other BPCG news, don’t miss Yoga with Sally on the decking every Saturday (except the last Saturday of the month). 11am to 12.30 and 2 to 3.30pm. For more details go here

And we are so happy to have Jelena Oblutak back running her brilliant Fermentation workshops again.  Her first one is on Saturday May 29th 2.30 to 5pm.  For more details and to book, go here  If you can’t make this one, the next will be on Saturday 26th June 2.30 to 5pm.  Booking is here

In other news, there’s a cool plant based exhibition on at the very local San Mei Gallery 39a Loughborough Road until May 22nd.  Read more about Matthew Beach’s ‘The Herbarium Shadow’ here and go visit it Wednesday to Saturday 12 to 6pm.

Vauxhall City Farm are offering an interesting part time job for a Garden Project Officer. For more details go here

And the Bell House are hosting an interesting talk on Lyme Disease on 23rd June on Lyme Disease:  With more people walking in the countryside this is an important disease to be aware of.  The talk is free but any donations will be split between Lyme Disease UK and Bell House.