Roehampton Garden Society

Thrive is looking for Gardening Volunteers

The gardening-for-health charity Thrive is looking for local volunteers.

Thrive’s London hub is based in Battersea Park and throughout the pandemic has continued to help locals – either virtually or in-person, when restrictions have allowed – use gardening for health and well-being. Their plants are often found on sale in their outdoor garden centre.

They are looking for Garden Support Volunteers to “assist the client gardeners and horticultural therapists”. You will need to commit to one day a week, from 9.45am-3.15pm, for at least six months. Volunteers need to be patient and understanding, whilst respecting professional boundaries, and be prepared to work outdoors in all weathers.

If you could consider taking on this worthwhile opportunity, read more here

Watch out for: Hibernating Wildlife

November 2021

It’s the season – our wildlife is busy for preparing for the winter. Bonfires and avid autumn gardening with power tools can pose major threats to garden wildlife.
It’s not just hedgehogs – bats and amphibians: frogs, toads, newts.. need protection from the winter weather.

If you come across a ball of leaves you’ve possibly found a hedgehog’s winter nest, so put the nest and some of the material back to safety and think about how many slugs your prickly friend will eat in the spring!

Frogs, toads and newts go into a state of torpor when it’s cold, dropping their body temperature, breathing and heart rate. They can withstand winter better than others, but will creep under rocks or logs or lay buried at the bottom of ponds when the temperature really drops.
You may not be aware of the frogs and toads in the undergrowth who are looking for a safe place in which to await the spring. Undisturbed areas of long grass, damp vegetation and logs are perfect shelters so be gentle with your digging.

If you pull up a stone and find a frog or a newt, please be aware that the heat of your hand can bring them out of torpor. Moving them is tricky. Replacing the stone as gently as possible may be your best option. Take a look at this interesting article on hibernating creatures from the Woodland Trust.

With thanks to Bill Young

Something completely different?

A new exhibition at the design Museum comes highly recomended by one of our members.

Lively and colourful, the exhibition hopes to promote living without waste and tries to imagine a more resourceful world for generations to come…

Waste-Age – what can design do?

is at the Design museum until February 22nd, 2022.

Read about it here

With thanks to Jeannette Sweetland

Now is the time for Root Cuttings

Root cuttings can be used to propagate a range of herbaceous perennials in late autumn or early winter when the plants are dormant. It is a particularly successful method for increasing stocks of oriental poppies and Verbascum.

Also suitable for Herbaceous plants, such as Acanthus, and Phlox

Why it’s a good idea to try:

  • Root cuttings require no special aftercare
  • Large numbers of new plants can be generated from each parent plant
  • The plants derived from root cuttings are relatively large and vigorous, especially when new growth is produced.
  • Root cuttings are taken in the quiet season in winter when gardeners’ hands are not as full as in summer
  • Plants from root cuttings are free of foliar pests and pathogens that might affect their parents, such as stem and leaf nematodes.

And here’s exactly how to do it- from the RHS… Read More

Planet Friendly Gardening

The RHS have launched a Sustainability Policy to help gardeners make a contribution to tackling our climate crisis.

What we all do on a small scale can make a difference. The RHS say….

We all have a responsibility to help mitigate the climate and biodiversity crisis. As gardeners, we’re perfectly placed to support our environment through sustainable growing. Many of us are already planet-friendly gardeners, but there’s always more we can do or help to spread the word across our communities.
To coincide with our new Sustainability Strategy, we’ve put together ten easy tasks that all gardeners can complete to support their local environment. From watering the way nature intended, to making your own compost or growing your own flowers for bouquets – each and every one of us can make a difference in the climate crisis.

RHS Communities

Many of these suggestions are already in evidence on our allotments, but here’s one you may be interested in and could encourage others to do…

Here’s an inspiring set of ideas for Front Gardens….Read Now

And here are all the 10 suggestions ….Read Now

Allotments have never been so popular..

Freedom of information requests to more than 300 local councils have shown that allotment waiting lists are at a high point. Lockdown seems to have sharpened interest in allotmenteering, but with Camden heading the waiting times at about 17 years, it may be quite a stretch before people can start growing things. The record waiting time was recorded in Camden at 18 years and 3 months (6,690 days)!

Terry Dickinson, London representative for the National Allotment Society, said that, given the huge benefits of cultivating an allotment, including to mental health, it was vital that more space be made available for new plots in the capital. Richmond and Wandsworth councils confirmed that there had been a large rise in applications for an allotment since lockdown began.

At least 40 allotments have been closed in London in the last 8 months.

The waiting time in Richmond and Wandsworth is currently about 11 years. We allotmenteers are a fortunate bunch….

Taken from a press article submitted by Maria Penchard

Store News for November

📚 The store is well stocked with a lovely selection of Kings seeds – all with a 10% discount.

🔮 It’s never too early to think about Christmas gifts for a gardener in your life – perhaps gloves, small hand tools and a pretty packet of seeds? Or plant labels, kneeler and a new watering can? The store has it all!

Please Note: The store will be closed after Sunday 5th December.

All our stock is very competitively priced – check the price list here.


Remember to sow your over-wintering Sweet Peas, Broad Beans, Peas, shallots and garlic before the cold weather hits.


Looking ahead to January 2022 make sure you have your seeds of tomato, pepper, celeriac, celery and aubergines ready to start off on the kitchen windowsill! We have several varieties of tomato seed in stock including some blight resistant ones (Crokini, Mountain Magic and the Organic Koralik). Some people swear by starting their sweet peas in January too.

You will find helpful advice on our website and can plan your whole year using our Planting Calendar here

DIARY DATE: Last date for the store opening is Sunday 5th December

A Forest Garden project begins..

The latest project from Putney Community Gardeners is a year long plan to establish a forest garden on a new site located at the corner of Carslake road and Hayward road. A consultation event is planned for those living locally, near the site, as the design will influence their local environment, access, lighting, play spaces etc. If you consider yourself to be local, or are interested in longer term care for the site, then pencil in November 28th (note change of date!) in your diary and look out for more details soon!

They say:

We are currently looking to put together a core team who are able to dedicate about 2-4 hours per week to see this project to fruition. If you’re interested in finding out more, we will be having a zoom call from 6-7:30pm on Tuesday the 19th of Feb where you can find out more about the project and decide if you’d like to join the core team. If you’re interested in attending this call please email and we’ll send you a link. 

Putney Community Gardeners have so many interesting growing spaces now – you might like to check them out on this interactive map: here

How to grow currant bushes – a workshop

Become an expert on growing all types of currant bushes, at a full day workshop at Carshalton Community Allotments in the New Year. They say:

Currants (including blackcurrants, gooseberries, redcurrants and jostaberries) may be small, but they pack a real nutrition punch. Growing currants gives excellent yields of fruit over many years. Bushes can grow large, but most currants can be trained to grow in smaller spaces and fit into a tiny garden.

The ‘hands on’ workshop is led by Sarah Foss, RHS qualified fruit grower and tutor.

–       Learn about types of currants, planting, training and pruning

–       Practical experience in winter pruning a variety of currant bushes

–       Common pests & diseases and how to reduce damage without resorting to chemical sprays




Saturday 29th January 2022 10.30-3.30pm

Carshalton Community Allotment SM5 2PW


Advance booking recommended. Visit to book or find out more.

💦Wandsworth Together in Climate Change

Monday 8th to Saturday 13th November.

Find information and events all over Wandsworth and online.

See the whole program here

A festival week of events and courses to help us focus on what we each can do about climate change.

Some events to do with energy consumption – others focused on re-cycling or up-cycling, or just consuming less. Biodiversity walks, events for children and families, energy advice, and information for all culminating in the main event at Battersea Arts Centre on Saturday 13th November. This is a free but ticketed event – book using this link

Don’t miss The Climate Change Information Stall at Putney Library on Thursday 11th November from 9.30 – 12.30

  • Electric vehicle webinar
  • Home composting event
  • Refill Wandsworth
  • Stepping out of the family car – webinar
  • Upcycling workshop – Roehampton
  • Biodiversity walk and talk – Battersea power station
  • Impact of air pollution – action plan
  • River Wandle Walk
  • Toy swap – Roehampton

Tour the newly opened RHS Hilltop Science Centre

With the opening of the Hilltop Science Centre at Wisley, the RHS deepens its studies into the most critical issues facing gardeners today.

Around 70 scientists and students will be based at RHS Hilltop, with research set to focus on helping gardeners adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and pest and disease threats, and the growing understanding of the role gardens and plants play in supporting health and wellbeing.

Hilltop is a state-of-the-art home to unparalleled collections including 25,000 entomology specimens, 90,000 dried plants in the Herbarium, and a library of more than 28,000 books, artworks and items of horticultural literature dating back 500 years.

The RHS is offering free tours of the newly opened Hilltop science centre at Wisley.

Tours are every Wednesday at 10.45 a.m. and 1.15 p.m. The tour is free, but normal garden admission applies, so you may have to pay to enter the gardens. No reservations needed for garden entry, but Tour tickets must be pre-booked.
Find out more here

How to dry Apples

If you have apples to store, and enjoy dried apple rings or chips, try oven drying.

Your oven will need a slow setting (less than 150C, (300F) is ideal). Wash and dry the apples carefully, then core and slice thinly. Dip in dilute lemon juice to prevent browning in the air, and cook very slowly on a parchment covered baking tray. Turn after 1 hour – but the final drying time could be anywhere between 2-8 hours. Leave to cool in the oven.

Dried apple slices or apple chips will keep for months in an airtight bag.

Here’s some help and lots of detail from the website WikiHow