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Researchers looking for participants for study on urban gardening

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on March 13, 2012 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Nina Ebbesen and her team from Roskilde University in Denmark is looking for people engaged in all sorts of community gardening projects to help inform their research, from guerrilla gardeners to spontaneous community initiatives to city-planned and sponsored gardens.

Find her message below:

Dear gardeners in the London area,

I am appealing to you as part of a student research team at Roskilde University, Denmark. We are doing a study on community gardening experiences.

We are looking for participants to help us gain insight into experiences of community gardening. We are looking for people engaged in projects with a wide range of cooperation with authorities and organizations, from guerrilla gardeners to spontaneous community initiatives to city-planned and sponsored gardens.

Participation will take the form of an interview of approximate 60-90 minute duration about yourself and your experiences with gardening. Furthermore, we would like your help in answering a survey and possibly distribute it within your garden community.

We are unable to provide any financial compensation but promise you a pleasant and intriguing conversation with snacks and beverages provided. We would very much appreciate your help.

Interviews will take place between April 18th and April 25th 2012. If you are interested in participating please contact me with your preferred time. We can either do it at a quiet place of your choosing or we can provide a location in the London area.

Sincerely looking forward to hearing from you, on behalf of the research team

Nina Ebbesen, 

Email: [email protected]

Introduction to Forest Gardening

Posted by Alan on March 5, 2012 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Introduction to Forest Gardening- 24th-25th March 2012 at Hackney City Farm

An interactive course guiding you through the design of a food forest

using permaculture tools; learn to work with nature to create abundance.

The weekend will be led by Claire White & Kevin Mascarenhas.

For information email:          


Bookings: [email protected]

What to do in the garden now

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on February 24, 2012 at 4:55 AM Comments comments (1)

 Flowers garden job checklist

27 - 4 March 2012

It's time to...

■ Prune out old stems of elder (Sambucus) to promote new growth from the base

■ Cut back last year's buddleia stems to ground level

■ Hard prune trees that respond to pollarding, such as willows, the foxglove tree (Paulownia) and Eucalyptus gunnii, to promote new growth

■ Lift and divide large clumps of hosta. Video content: How to divide hostas

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■ Trim winter-flowering jasmine and tie in new shoots to supports

■ Sprinkle granular fertiliser around clumps of spring bulbs

■ Finish pruning roses as soon as possible

■ Cut down all previous year's growth on Clematis tangutica. New shoots will develop from the base, which will flower later in summer

Fruit and veg job checklist

 27 - 4 March 2012

 It's time to...

 ■ Plant onion sets in modular trays of compost, raising plants under cover to plant out later

 ■ Repair netting on fruit cages

■ Continue forcing sea kale and chicory

■ Sow seeds of the following crops outside or under cloches: carrots, beetroot, broad beans, salad onions, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, leeks, lettuce, rocket, coriander, mixed salad or stir fry leaves, radish, turnip, peas, lettuce and Swiss chard

■ Buy herbs to plant up in containers that you can position near the house

■ Plant out shallots

■ Sow a green manure crop, such as crimson clover, fenugreek or field lupins, which can be dug into the soil later in the season to improve it

Greenhouse job checklist

27 - 4 March 2012

It's time to...

■ Plant strawberry runners in hanging baskets, which you can grow in the greenhouse to produce an early summer crop

■ Order seedlings and bedding plants from mail-order suppliers

■ Sow dwarf French beans in a large pot for an early crop in June

■ Plant lily bulbs in pots either to use in the border or to add elegance to a patio display

■ Repot established agapanthus into slightly larger containers using a loam-based compost

■ Plant begonia and gloxinia tubers in pots

■ Take cuttings from dahlias planted last month to raise new plants

Around the garden job checklist

27 - 4 March 2012

It's time to...

■ Mow lawns then trim new edges with a half-moon edging tool

■ Dig compost into borders to improve water retention

■ Add copper rings to pots to protect plants from slugs and snails

■ Hoe bare areas of soil on dry days to remove weed seedlings

■ Replenish gravel and stone mulches on alpine gardens and scree beds

■ Buy summer-flowering bulbs to plant in spring, such as gladioli, tigridia, galtonia, eucomis, anemone, lily and acidanthera

What to do in the garden now- March

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on Comments comments (0)

Advice from

Flowers garden job checklist 

26 - 1 April 2012 

It's time to...

■ Fill gaps in flower beds with primulas and polyanthus

■ Prune forsythia and flowering currants as soon as flowers have faded

■ Leave daffodil foliage intact for at least six weeks after flowering to regenerate bulbs, so they'll bloom again next year

■ Plant out groups of gladioli in borders

■ Sow sweet peas directly outside at the base of obelisks or supports

Around the garden job checklist

It's time to...

■ Sow seeds of dwarf and climbing beans in deep pots or cardboard toilet roll tubes filled with compost

■ Plant new asparagus beds

■ Continue planting potatoes, shallots and onion sets

■ Feed spring cabbage with a high-nitrogen fertiliser

■ Remove forcing jars from rhubarb plants and let them grow uncovered

Around the garden job checklist 

It's time to...

■ Protect pots of seedlings from the cold by making mini-cloches from empty plastic bottles

■ Prick out seedlings once they have developed their first true leaves

■ Open doors and greenhouse vents on warm days to improve ventilation

■ Sow herbs into pots or trays, including basil, chives, parsley, fennel and coriander

■ Plant up pots with the summer-flowering bulbs tiger flower (Tigridia), gloriosa and eucomis

■ Start feeding houseplants weekly with a liquid feed

■ Pinch out shoot tips on fuchsias to encourage bushier plants

■ Pot up canna tubers in multi-purpose compost in a warm greenhouse

Around the garden job checklist

It's time to...

■ Spread a compost mulch around border plants to suppress weeds

■ Put pond pumps and fountains back into pools, thoroughly cleaning filters first

■ Lay turf or sow new lawns from seed

■ Clean out bird baths and top up with fresh water

■ Check tree ties are not too tight or cutting into bark, and loosen if necessary

■ Cut back any overgrown ivy

SYDENHAM: Introduction to Permaculture Course (2 days)

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on Comments comments (0)

Posted on behalf of Ruth Robinson (

(Image: ©


Where: This two-day course will take place in the inspiring and lovely setting of Grow Mayow Community Garden located in Mayow Park, Mayow Road, London SE26 4JA


Date: Saturday 14th April & Sunday 15th April 2012 - 10am to 5pm


Teachers: Claire White, Ruth Robinson and Suriya Pieris


Course Details: An introduction to the basics of permaculture design. You will have opportunities to actively learn about the ethics and principles of permaculture and how this approach can be applied to individual circumstances in order to facilitate a move towards sustainability. Over the weekend we will cover:


▪ Origins of Permaculture


▪ Ethics and Principles


▪ Design methods


▪ Examples of permaculture in practice


▪ Observation


▪ Practical exercise including forest garden work.


▪ An overview of the permaculture network and how to find out more.


Permaculture uses whole system thinking to consciously create productive environments that work with the diversity, stability and resilience of natural systems. The course is a stand-alone course or gives you access onto various Full Design Courses (72hr+)


Maximum 15 participants


Cost: Sliding scale applies:


£120 sponsored/organisation rate £120 income over £20k/yr


£80 income under £20k/yr £55 income under £13k/yr


5 Places available @ £45 for people on benefits


To book a place / for further information please email: [email protected]