Roehampton Garden Society

At the Garden Museum this Summer

The Garden Museum’s summer exhibition will celebrate Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved classic children’s book The Secret Garden. Explore how different artists’ illustrations from the past hundred years bring the story to life, embrace the healing power of gardens, and discover the true story of Burnett’s real ‘secret garden’ which inspired the book.

An exhibition suitable for all ages, with interactive games and trails for children to learn about the plants, animals and stories found in The Secret Garden and to inspire young visitors to try their hand at gardening.

From 6th July to 4th September – Adults £14 (seniors £11 and other concessions) Under 16’s Free with adult. More information and booking

and an accompanying workshop for children…

Family Cooking Workshop | Secret Garden Focaccia

£5 per child – but accompanying adult free. Find out more here

Growing tomatoes

Most of us try to grow tomatoes in the summer time, but it’s not always as straightforward as it looks.

Is your tomato plant growing like a triffid this year? Is it a cordon type or a bush type? What’s the difference?

There’s some good advice from the RHS about the different varieties and how to treat them here

and – the less well known Mr-Tomato-King (!) here

Cordon tomatoes
Remove side shoots on cordon tomatoes

Two news items about greening outdoor spaces..

These two news items show the growing interest in what happens to our outdoor spaces and how to make them greener

The first is about a campaign for the right to grow in unused spaces – an interesting idea you might like to know more about…
People should be given the right to turn road verges, sterile lawns around hospitals and underused public spaces into vegetable gardens and orchards, say ‘Incredible Edible’, campaigners for a “right to grow” law.

Read more from the Guardian here

The Guardian May 2022

The second is about those huge areas of asphalt that schools sometimes call a ‘playing field’. Rising temperatures make these difficult to use – so imaginative designs come into play – with some lovely pictures of what is possible……

Out with asphalt: US schoolyards transformed into green oases – in pictures

With thanks to Greg Willcox

London Square Gardens Open Weekend 11-12 June

Feed your curiosity and explore London’s private, secret and little-known gardens across the city over one very special weekend.  There are charges to enter – to support the maintenance of the gardens. A weekend ticket is available.

Gardens range from the historic and  traditional to the new and experimental, and include private gardens, roof gardens, community allotments, gardens belonging to historic buildings, institutions, cafes, schools and shops. 

All about this weekend available here

Garden opening times and days may vary. Some gardens may not be able to open at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances.

Bruce May

We are sorry to hear of the death of longstanding member and plotholder and Bruce May.

I am sorry to have to announce the death of Bruce May who was a long standing plot holder of plot 102B. His plot was always a delight particularly as it charmingly had a heart shaped narrow grass path at its centre. He was an excellent gardener so, when it became vacant, he was offered plot 103B as additional land. The plot had been horribly neglected but he quickly managed to tame it and made it very productive.
Bruce was always a pleasant, calm influence on site 3. He helped with plot inspections on several occasions representing the non-committee member of the inspection team. Sadly he was very ill for a couple of years prior to his final demise but his family were able to continue to cultivate his plot and bring produce from the plot for Bruce to enjoy.
He will be missed.

Helen Finch

Wandsworth Heritage Festival – some local events to try:

The Heritage Festival is half way through – but with many interesting events remain to join in.

Below are one or two that may be of interest.

The whole programme is available here and if online events are of interest, they can be found here

Walks, talks and exhibitions next week:

Walk: Crossing the River – a Putney and Fulham Heritage Walk
Organised by Chris Van Hayden Tourist Guide
In this fascinating walk Blue Badge Tour Guide Chris Van Hayden will share the rich history of these two villages. The tour’s main themes are rowing, the English Civil Wars, Mary
Wollstonecraft, sewers, the two churches, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Bishops’ palace.
• Wednesday 8th June, 1pm
• £10
• Meet on the corner of Festing Road/Putney Embankment SW15 1LB
• Booking required – contact 

Walk: Industrial Heritage of the River Wandle
Organised by the Wandle Industrial Museum
John Sheridan will lead this walk along the River Wandle from Earlsfield to the Thames.
Similar to his walk last year (a virtual version of which is on the Wandle Industrial Museum YouTube channel), but containing new material reflecting this year’s theme.
• Wednesday 8th June, 2pm
• Meet at Earlsfield Station entrance, Garratt Lane SW18 3DL
• Booking required – contact

Talk: Wandsworth’s Lost Fishing Village
Organised by the Wandsworth Historical Society
From the seventeenth century to the nineteenth, an area dominated by fishermen and
watermen flourished near Wandsworth Bridge. Dorian Gerhold tells the story of this
remarkable settlement and the families who lived and worked there.
• Wednesday 8th June, 6.30pm
• Wandsworth Town Library, 11 Garratt Lane SW18 4AQ
• Booking advised – contact Wandsworth Town Library on 020 8877 1742

Talk: Stories from the post mortem casebooks of St George’s Hospital, 1841-1946
Organised by Archives and Special Collections, St George’s Hospital
Archivist Dr Juulia Ahvensalmi and Curator of the Museum of Human Diseases Dr Carol
Shiels delve into the historical post mortem casebooks of St George’s Hospital with stories about the patients and diseases in the casebooks, from smallpox to murder cases.
• Thursday 9th June, 1pm
• Library, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace SW17 0RE
• Book via Eventbrite:

Talk: A Brief History of Rowing in Putney
Organised jointly by the Putney Society and the Wandsworth Society
Local historian Philip Evison charts the development of rowing in Putney and the people and events which became part of its history along the way.
• Thursday 9th June, 8pm
• West Side Church Hall, corner of Melody Road/Allfarthing Lane SW18 2QQ
• Booking not required, but any queries can be sent to 

Exhibition: Wandsworth Prison Museum open weekend
Organised by the Wandsworth Prison Museum
The prison history in over 450 photos and objects. Stories of staff, prisoners, escapes, and hangings. Featuring Oscar Wilde, acid bath murderer John Haigh, traitor William Joyce
(Lord Haw Haw), and great train robber Ronnie Biggs.
• Saturday 11th June and Sunday 12th June, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm
• Wandsworth Prison Museum, North Gate Car Park, Heathfield Road SW18 3HR
• Booking not required

Time to stop using Glyphosate: weedkiller damages wild bee colonies, study reveals.

We’ve suspected for a long time that the most widely used weedkiller in history might be harming our bees – and now we know its true…….the most widely used weedkiller in history harms a critical ability of bumblebees to regulate nest temperature, making it harder for them to survive.

Many of us will have a small amount of glyphosate on our plots – possibly for the dreaded bindweed. This tells us that we shouldn’t be using it. At all costs keep it away from insects. It’s our responsibility not to damage wildlife.

It will take years to determine whether using glyphosate, even under controlled circumstances, also affects the insect food chain and therefore other useful creatures. The statistics for beneficial insect decline are horrific – let’s not take chances. Don’t use weedkillers.

“Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in history, intended to kill only plants. The harm to bumblebees – vital pollinators – was not identified in regulatory risk assessments, which only test whether a pesticide rapidly kills healthy, individual bees. However, the collective failure to regulate colony temperature could have a massive impact on its ability to produce the next generation, the scientists said.”

The Guardian, June 2022

Read the full article in the Guardian here