Never say ‘Never’

A few years ago I cleared out my greenhouse following the losses of the winter and dumped in my compost the remains of pelargoniums and other dead items. It’s always a little sad to lose much loved plants which have given you their best. I then had some fun ordering new plants to replace the old ones (and some others!). A couple of weeks later, I found several of my ‘dead’ pelargoniums lying in the compost and sprouting new shoots from the roots. Of course, I swiftly took them out and potted them up to achieve lovely healthy plants. I am now a little less impatient to discard anything that looks dead.

Continue reading Never say ‘Never’

Preparing for our Plant Sale and Community Day 2023

Sunday May 21st from 11 am – date for your diary!

Our annual plant sale takes place on the back lawn at Charlton House on Sunday May 21st and this year it promises to be our biggest (and best?) yet. We are being joined by Blackheath & Greenwich WI as usual, with their scrumptious cakes and savouries. The following groups will be there, and perhaps a few more!

The Charlton Society, Charlton Community Gardens, Charlton Toy Library, Blackheath Flower Arranging Club, Friends of Charlton Park, Friends of Greenwich Park, St George’s Garrison Church Woolwich, Charlton Central Residents Association and Neighbourhood Watch, Charlton Neighbourhood Forum, Repurpose Silvertown Tunnel and Charlton House Beekeepers

On top of this, stalls from the Producers Market will be there, with face painting and hot food, Frilly’s cafe will be open and you can view the brand new “Ottoman Journeys” exhibition in Charlton House.

St Luke’s Church will be open, you can climb the tower to see the panoramic views and the wonderful Millenium tapestry will be on display too. You can download the poster here, please share it widely.

Continue reading Preparing for our Plant Sale and Community Day 2023

OPG Diary – May/June

It’s been a while since there was an update on the walled gardens, it’s been busy! The Volunteers are going strong, and the Old Pond Garden is looking particularly wonderful.

Old Pond Garden 26 May
Old Pond Garden 26 May 2022

The Long Border started to run away with us, but is getting under control and looking incredibly full and interesting, even if it doesn’t quite have that “designer” look yet! We are waiting for the quote for works to the vandalised iron gates and hoping to create step-free access to the gardens.

We are continuing to point out a “Star Plant” each week. The latest is Silene armeria ‘Electra’, or Garden Catchfly. The Catchfly group of plants exude a sticky brown substance on their stems, just below the flowerhead, where insects get stuck. Have a closer look next time you pass by!

Silene armeria Electra
Silene armeria ‘Electra’

New ideas: we have started a “What’s in Flower” display in Frilly’s café, to entice visitors to come into the garden and see the flowers in situ. Also an Information table in the gardens (when we are there) showing a bit of the background and pointing out the plants coming into flower that week. Looking for more volunteers to do this, if anyone is interested? It’s a sitting-down job!

What's in Flower - display
What’s in Flower? Examples from the garden.

Kathy was very pleased to be awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Volunteer Centre Greenwich/ RBG, although she considers that the recognition is for all the volunteers, not just her! Terry accepted the award on her behalf from the Mayor of Greenwich. Thank you to the Trust for nominating us, we do feel appreciated.

And here are some more recent photos from the gardens this month:

Plant Sale and Community Day at Charlton House on Sunday May 22nd

Thank you to everyone who came to our Plant Sale and Community Day at Charlton House on Sunday May 22nd, what a fabulous day, sunny and successful!  Plants were either donated by members or grown on by the Volunteers in the Old Pond Garden. We were slightly staggered by how popular our plants were, and we had pretty well sold out by 1pm, which was amazing. Everyone was very generous, either buying plants or donating for our home made lavender bags, or the Discovery Trail.

Our Community event was shared with Charlton Community Garden, who ran the “Pot up a plant” stall, Blackheath Flower Arranging club, Friends of Greenwich Park, The Charlton Society, Montessori Moments, Greenwich Music School and the Charlton Toy Library. And of course the Greenwich & Blackheath WI cake stall.

We were very pleased to be part of the Trusts “Sustainability Sunday”, it was certainly lively and great to see so much going on. The Producers Market was on the Front Lawn, there were tours of the House, talks about Heritage and garden tours with our very own Head Gardener, Jason Sylvan. Frilly’s café was open and the Old Library had items from the Greenwich Archive on display as well as installations by local artists Fiona Veacock and CraftA, and other childrens activities.

Funds raised from plant sales will go to the Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, our Speaker programme and the Walled Gardens revival. Thank you all!


Plant Sale and Community Day

We are very pleased to be running our Plant Sale and Community Day again, on Sunday May 22nd from 11 am. This year, we will be part of the Charlton House event Sustainability Sunday, so lots of other exciting things will be going on too. Put it in your diary now! More details to come, but as well as plants and cakes for sale there will be lots of children’s activities including our popular Discovery Trail around the grounds and crafts to make. As well as the Horticultural Society, you can find out what lots of other local groups are up to. Look forward to seeing you there!

Advert for Plant Sale and Community Day

OPG diary – May 2021

Early May
The rainiest May for years, wet volunteers still working away. (They come for the Lotus biscuits at half time…). The gravel garden looks rather good in the rain actually. But for heaven’s sake when is that Alianthus (Tree of Heaven) going to come into leaf? It’s almost as slow as the Mulberry.

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Bird bath being used, and our lovely Cotinus (Smoke Bush) is coming out.

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Sunday 30 May
Our Plant Sale and Community Day was a great success – all those pleas were answered and the sun did come out. Thank you so much to everyone who donated plants or gave their time on the day to help. This was the biggest plant sale CABAHS has ever held, and has raised over £950 for the Hospice, plus more funds to continue the garden revival.

Members’ gardens, May 2020

Rosa ‘Bonica’ finally getting into its stride up the obelisk in Kathy’s garden:

Val & Harry’s garden has a colourful combination of Californian poppies, Asphodelus microcarpus (tall spikes of white flowers), Euphorbia mellifera and, in the background, a rambling white rose in full bloom:

VW Cal Poppies

And just look at this fabulous Abutilon vitifolium, Val says it is from a self-sown seedling fifteen years ago, and now fifteen feet high!

VW Abutilon

Sharon sent in this picture of the peaceful, shady woodland area of her garden. She has written an article explaining how this part of her garden came about: A Neglected Patch

SC Garden 5

Nicolas has sent in three pictures of his garden – first, a Dwarf Chestnut:

NB Dwarf chestnut

This is his spectacular Chilean Lantern Tree (Crinodendron hookerianum) in full flower:

NB Crinodendron

And a lovely view of the border, with the little Mexican Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus) on either side of a Silverbush (Convolvulus cneorum), and the two roses are Mme Isaac Pereire (dark pink) and The Generous Gardener (pale pink).

NB Generous Gardener
JF Bird Feeder

Juli has sent in a follow-up on her April lockdown project of a new bird feeding table. She says “The wood pigeons created havoc and upset the dog.  So, I have now put this fine fellow up there in the hope that there is no longer room for them, so the Great Tit and his fledglings will now get a look-in. The wood pigeons will not miss out as they can return to their previous excellent job of clearing the path and pots of the feeder cast off seeds!” Good luck with that, Juli!

Juli also sent in this picture – it might look like a common Nasturtium, but this is a granddaddy of nasturtiums, it’s 2 years old! Pretty darn good for an annual plant and shows how mild it has been.

JF Nasturtium

No Mow May – Every Flower Counts

Plantlife are running their No Mow May campaign again this year. Don’t mow, then between 23 and 30 May, count the flowers in a random 1m square of lawn. Send in the results to Plantlife and they will calculate a National Nectar index to show how our lawns are helping pollinators.

Wildflower meadow