OPG diary – October 2021

A rainy start to October! Autumnal tones everywhere now. The bees are still out in force though.

Our Halloween Spooky Spiders Trail went down well with Charlton House Explorers this half term. There were 10 spooks to find around the garden, and it kept them all busy after their Ghosts and Gargoyles session in the Long Gallery. We had 140 children through the gardens over the two days, phew.  Great fun, although we didn’t do much gardening this week!

OPG diary – October 2020

13 October
Heroic (and very wet) volunteers in the garden today. A lot of the plants from our shopping trip to Provender Nurseries are now in place. We really appreciated extra help from students from the University of Greenwich, who sportingly also got very wet. Donations of cinnamon buns from Charlton Bakehouse went down well. Thank you everyone. The picture below will be used as a ‘Before’ picture – so looking forward to taking some ‘After’ pictures next year!

CABAHS volunteers in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, October 2020

20 October
Another glorious Autumn day! Lots of volunteers and a bit of sun, what more do you want? We discovered the friendly Greenwich Carers café in the Stables next door. Bring your own cup/mug.

CABAHS volunteers in the Old Pond Garden, Charlton House, October 2020
CABAHS volunteers, Charlton House gardens, October 2020

22 October
Our Oak-leaved Hydrangea is turning a lovely colour. Look what has taken up residence in it – a crab spider. Apparently they camouflage themselves but it takes a few days to change colour – this one must have been in a white flower recently!

Crab spider on Hydrangea quercifolia, Charlton House gardens, October 2020

The second week in October

Before I turn to the second week in October, I should explain that the first week in October saw me, by and large, cowering indoors, hoping to avoid the rain.  I felt shamed into turning my attention to several ‘projects’ that I had earmarked for myself when lockdown began, err, just over six months ago. 

One of these projects was to put some order into several piles of books that I have been accumulating and I saved that one till last, as a sort of reward to myself.  It’s possible to do a fair amount of sitting down and indulge in a little light reading to help the project along.  When I was almost done I unearthed (no pun intended) a great little collection of old and new books about gardening that a friend had presented to me when I took on my allotment. 

One was a charming reprint of a book containing sensible advice for the novice WWII allotment-holder, including how to dig efficiently without straining your back – why didn’t I pay more attention?! – and a list of necessary tools to see you through:

Adam the Gardener, a Sunday Express publication from around 1954, presents the gardener’s year, what to do and when, with illustrations of Adam in action.  He never looks very happy and I fear he hadn’t got the advice about digging techniques.  I thought I would see what Adam had to say about jobs to be done in the garden in the second week in October.  Here’s what I found! 

Melanie