In the garden, we are now approaching the time of the year when we think about preparing the garden for the cooler shorter days of winter. Typical autumn jobs include end of season tidying of vegetable beds, weeding and netting of ponds, mulching around fruit bushes, and collecting and sowing seeds from hardy perennials like those growing in our meadow.

It is also time to give our wildlife pond some attention. We will do our regular removal of duck weed from the water’s surface, but alongside this, while the water is still warm we need to get into the pond and weed out some of the more invasive plants ensuring that there is enough growing space for the less vigorous plants like the water plantain, aquatic buttercup and water lilies.

Pond maintenance is a matter of balance. The pond has a number of different components that need to be kept in balance; water, aquatic plants (including some that remain below water level – oxygenators,) wildlife, algae and dead organic matter. We aim to keep the algae to a minimum as if we do not the water turns green and it can get rather smelly too. The most important way of keeping the pond water clear and not smelly is by keeping the amount of unwanted organic matter in the pond to a minimum, and this involves keeping out of the pond as many autumn trees leaves and plant leaves as possible. If a lot of organic matter does fall into the pond it will sink to the bottom and break down causing the water to become dark smelly water.

Very soon we will cover the pond with a net and leave it there until all the leaves are off the trees. However before netting the pond we will get into it to give it a weed!

At this time of year the rhubarb is dying back and their leaves are yellowing and withering. We will remove the yellowing leaves leaving only the crowns visible, and then we will carefully put a good layer of well rotted compost around all the plants.

In other BPCG news, the fourth regular monthly workshop in our annual series will be The Composters’ Year – a workshop where you can learn the secrets of good composting. This course will run on the second Sunday in the month starting in November and continuing until July 2022. Book here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/the-composters-year-4/

Are you a co-op member or would you like to become one? Between now and 5th October, when a person becomes a Co-op Member using the Co-op App or online between now and 5 October, they will automatically receive a digital offer for £5 off shopping when they spend £15 instore. So if you shop at the Co-op, please strongly consider becoming a Co-op member and selecting BPCG as your cause! Many Thanks!!!

In other news, Bankside Open Spaces Trust run a 14 week City & Guilds course in work-based horticulture to give students and introduction to gardening and support finding work at the end of the course in related industries. ‘We teach practical skills as well as names and details of common plants that we see all around us. We go on a number of visits to amazing gardens around London and have speakers come and deliver presentations about their work and experiences in the industry. We want to make gardening accessible to young people and career changers, and help people find a way into the industry who would otherwise struggle to find a way in or never consider it.’ If interested, please contact louisa@bost.org.uk or call 0207 403 3393

Froglife are hiring!  Join the Heritage Fund UK funded Come Forth for Wildlife team and kickstart your career in conservation! Froglife’s paid traineeship is ideal for anyone looking to bridge that gap between volunteering and paid conservation roles. The Come Forth for Wildlife project works throughout the Forth Valley (Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire) to develop connections to conserve and enhance the unique heritage the area offers. This is being achieved by creating inter-connected habitats for amphibians, reptiles and other wildlife. The project enables all sectors of the community to develop connections with the natural heritage of the Forth Valley region through the activities we are delivering. Work is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and a range of co-funders. To find out more and apply visit www.froglife.org/who-we-are/job-vacancies/