This week the summer houseplants, Calla Lilies and Sunflowers are on sale at the BPCG online shop. We are releasing these as they come into bud so there will be just ten this week, with more over the next few weeks. Flowers for your garden include: Chrysanthemums, Wood Aster, Brugmansia and Clary Sage.  Edibles are: Dwarf Beans, Loganberry, Raspberry and Boysenberry. We also have herbs: Rosemary, Mint, Basil and Parsley.  There’s lots of Honey, some Fruit Jams and Elderflower Cordial too. Visit our online shop here and then come collect at BPCG at your pre-booked time Thurs/Fri/Sat.

This week in the garden, black flies are attacking our broad beans! But we will win this ‘frontline battle’ by spraying the critters with a very dilute soapy water mix….We can also use this on any orange and green aphids in the greenhouse and pick up off the annoying critters manually.

The grape vine in the upper greenhouse has been growing well and it is time to prune back to just beyond the second flower truss. 

Last week we gave all our dried staychys and sedum to Diane to experiment with dyeing them with natural dyes: Weld, Madder, Woad and Red Cabbage.  We grow these natural dye plants at BPCG and the stachys and sedum plants grew at BPCG and in the Walled Garden (thank you FoBP) next door.  Diane got these fantastic results in her first experiments and is doing more over the coming weeks to develop dried bouquets for sale.

If you are intrigued by natural plant dyeing, do look at this interesting little film showing Mette Lindahl Wise dyeing silk mohair yarn using Mahonia berries grown at BPCG.

With the dried flowers gone, it’s time for us to give the back room of the greenhouse a really good sweep and tidy.

We will be sowing more squash seeds of Sunburst a yellow ‘patty pans’ squash, Honey Bear a dark green mini squash, and Butternut Sweetmax a cream coloured squash. 

We will plant out the runner beans in the Kitchen garden bed and also plant out the cucamelons. 

We are fine for now for boxes and bags so please don’t bring any more in just yet!  We will let you know when we need more!

Catch up on other Garden news at our Zoom BPCG Gardeners Question Time this Saturday at 2pm to 3pm. Join here.  This Saturday, Fabrice Boltho Community Gardener at Myatts Park Greenhouses is our guest. Fabrice was instrumental in establishing BPCG and is a fund of horticultural knowledge. He also knows loads about mushrooms.  This Saturday is a great chance for you to ask Fabrice questions and to find out more about BPCG’s history too.  If you can’t make this Sat, have a look at all our episodes on Youtube here.  Any questions you’d like to put to the panel, reply to this email by Friday night, or put your question direct to the panel on the day.

And to join Emma’s online singing group or take part in Sally’s online yoga classes, find out more details here

In other news: if you’ve not yet done so, join the campaign to get Lambeth streets pesticide-free today by going HERE and adding your name to the pesticide pledge. Deadline is this Wednesday 27th May, so please pledge today!

Groundwork has brought out excellent resources for outdoor learning activities for KS3 children.  More details here.  Some of the themes covered are: Urban Nature: Map your local neighbourhood; Peace and Quiet: Wellbeing and Mindfulness; Natural Treasures: Find and ID local flora and fauna; Grow Your Own: Food growing at home; Rivers and Rhymes: Nature based poetry; Ancient Trees: Living history timeline. All the sessions have been reviewed by teachers.  If you’d like to get hold of these resources either for your school, or for home schooling contact Tilly,  Tilly.cook@groundwork.org.uk