Roehampton Garden Society

Fantastic Mr Fox?

Most of us are accustomed to seeing the odd fox in daylight hours – they are part of site wildlife, and seem amazingly unworried by humans.

Photo by Kate Pugh

This lovely photo, taken by Kate Pugh on site 2, shows how relaxed they can be! Certainly, most of us with a greenhouse have experienced the pleasure of a fox visitor enjoying the warmth and sunshine.

We do need to avoid crop damage and other problems that occur if too many foxes live on the sites. They are wild creatures that can give much pleasure. They do love digging under sheds, however!
There is excellent information and advice about living with foxes from the RSPCA – including how to find out if an earth (den) is occupied before you fill it in. Please do read it.

The RGS Constitution November 2023

The Constitution has been revised – please read the new version here. For comparison, the existing constitution can be read here.

The main differences are:

  • There are different voting rights for all RGS members as opposed to Plot Holders, Plot Holder Partners and Plot Holder Assistants.
  • The roles listed reflect how the Committee is currently structured.
  • Responsibilities for the Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer are more explicit especially regarding access to the RGS bank account and authority to enter into contracts with utility providers.
  • Quorum requirements added for General Meetings, both the AGM and EGM. 
  • A disclaimer has been added at the end.

At the AGM there will be an opportunity to ask questions about the new Constitution. The Chair will request that the membership approve the document and thus have it ratified as our new Constitution.

Plot Inspections – what you need to know

Twice a year all the allotment plots are inspected by the Site Secretaries.

The purpose of these inspections is to ensure plots are being cultivated to a reasonable standard. At this time of year the team would expect your plot to:

• have plenty of crops which are being harvested
• at least 60% of the plot under cultivation
• have weeds under control, especially bindweed
• have no excessive amount of rubbish
• have the grass cut on the paths between plots (please do not use weed killer on paths)

If there is a problem with your plot, you will be contacted after the inspection. With many people on our waiting list we must ensure that allotment plots are not being wasted, but we understand that there may be temporary circumstances which are preventing your being able to cultivate your plot.

if you are having difficulty please contact your site secretary or email

Jubilee Room Centenary Event

RGS members at the House of Commons

At our AGM last November when Fleur Anderson heard this year would be the RGS’s centenary year, she invited us to have an event at the House of Commons Jubilee Room as part of our centenary celebrations. Numbers had to be very restricted, so only members who have made a contribution to the running of RGS activities were invited. All costs were covered by those who attended the event.

It was a very special evening to remember in such an auspicious place. Fleur made it clear in her speech that she is very committed to preserving and supporting allotments and that environmental issues in general are very important to her. We are very fortunate to have Fleur as our President and MP who is so passionate about these important issues that are so in line with the values of RGS.

Fleur and her team made the evening run very smoothly and were very supportive in organising the event at our end too. The event was very enjoyable as a result – many thanks to Fleur and her team.

Helen Finch

RHS top 10 tips for caring for your garden in hot dry weather

With the recent wave of hot, dry weather across the UK you might have noticed your garden starting to wither. RHS Chief Horticulturist, Guy Barter, has some top tips for caring for your garden at a time when water is at a premium. Read more about making your garden more drought resistant

  1. Trees may shed leaves indicating stress but it is seldom fatal. Established shrubs, roses and climbers don’t usually need watering either.
  2. Consider re-using water from your home. Wastewater from the kitchen, baths, basins and showers is suitable to water plants and containers.
  3. Water newly planted trees and shrubs as a priority. Ensure the root ball is wet, checking with a trowel if necessary.
  4. Where planting is essential and can’t be delayed; puddle plants in, fill the planting hole with water (or better, ¼ strength liquid fertiliser) and allow to drain several times before setting out plants.
  5. A good soak, to wet the root zone, every 10 days in July and 14 days in August is best. Watering little and often is generally more work, less effective and wasteful of water. However, a ‘good soak’ can mean the equivalent of four 9L / 2gallon watering cans per square metre / yard.
  6. Move small pots and hanging baskets into the shade. Suspend hanging baskets over a potted plant so run-off water gets used.
  7. Lawns may brown, but although the leaves die the grass remains alive, ready to regrow once the rain returns. So watering them is not essential.
  8. Greenhouses, conservatories and polythene tunnels easily overheat. So boost shading and even remove some panes of glass to reduce temperatures.
  9. Target water where it is most needed. Camellia and rhododendrons lay down buds in late summer, so a good soak every so often then will help.
  10. Warmth will speed up composting so there should be plenty of excellent compost this winter. Add some water, however if the mix looks dry.