September – Autumn is Coming

Autumn term is just about to start and it looks like the trees are telling us its autumn too with some leaf drop already.  You can tell the London plane trees by the piles of bark beneath them.  They have been shedding this furiously as they grow but also its their way of getting rid of airborne pollutants and insect pests.  Take a moment to look up the plane trees bark, it’s quite beautiful.  As well as inspiring artists the bark has also provided patterns for the design of military camouflage.

Fancy a spot of gardening/clearing – Sunday 10th September?

Would you like to get stuck in and help start a communal garden in the Convent?  We are going to clear the area around the garage to make it more of an amenity for us and for wildlife and hopefully plant a hedge and one or two fruit trees too.  I’m  coordinating a voluntary work party on Sunday to make a start on the clearing, so we can see what’s there. All tools and gloves supplied.  Meet at the garage, by West Hill entrance for a 10am start (come well covered up) and stay for as short or long a time as you can.  Any questions do contact me, Jane on 0777 3509852.

September jobs

There are jobs in the garden or balcony that need doing now.  It’s time to plant daffodil bulbs for the Spring (tulips are later).  Carry on deadheading flowers and they should continue blooming for a month or two.  If you grow the herb basil then remove any flowers that grow, it stops the leaves from tasting bitter.  Over the next few weeks its also time to split up any plants which have got too big and to replant/repot them.

Planning for next year

The Royal Horticultural Society, have been doing some trials at their Wisley base with 14 different flowering species from the UK and overseas and monitored these over two years to see which insects moved in.  The experiment showed that insects such as worms, butterflies and bees were three times as likely to choose plots with native British plants than exotic species.  They suggest attractive native plants to boost wildlife are foxgloves, honeysuckle and heather.  In contrast by avoiding plants such as dahlias and fuchsias, we can help both our native insects and soil fertility, which in turn will create better soil and therefore growing conditions