Roehampton Garden Society

Winter Goldfinches

December 2022

Today, the 20th of December, finally got a hour or two to myself.  Being a glorious morning, donned boots and a cap and headed to my plot.

Well the reward was tremendous. Digging up some leeks, I was surrounded by a flock of goldfinches. The proper term for a flock of goldfinches is – a Charm of Goldfinch.  What a expression for sheer joy that is!  I counted eleven, but could well be guilty of miscounting.
Just enjoy these magnificent little birds, in sharing – what our allotments are all about – the fruit and vegetables, birds, mammals and all nature.

with thanks to Bill Young

The Peregrine Falcon

October 2022
This Tuesday at 12.45 hrs. I saw a peregrine falcon over the allotments. It was soaring beautifully on a thermal. Recognisable by pointed wing tips and what I can best describe as a straight tail.

A solitary large crow was desperately flapping trying to reach it, with the obvious intention of mobbing it. The peregrine obliged and dropped down to the same level of the crow, who courageously tried a clumsy pecking and foot up attack on it. The peregrine then demonstrated how it’s done, turning in a blink of an eye and, in milliseconds, knocking feathers off said brave crow. It (crow) wisely then dropped a couple of hundred feet, but still followed the peregrine, escorting it off the premises of Dover House Road air space. 

The peregrine may have been one of the pair that nested atop Charing Cross Hospital this last couple of years..

with thanks to Bill Young Site 3

Here’s a website dedicated to the peregrines nesting on Charing Cross Hospital

What not to feed your hedgehog

You may, as I do, have childhood memories of leaving out a saucer of bread and milk for the hedgehogs and watching them visit in the early twilight.

We now know differently – bread and dairy products are very bad for them.

So – here’s the latest advice from SW Hedgehogs – who suggest dog or cat food – dry varieties are fine. Even commercial hedgehog food can contain some poor ingredients – so check carefully.

Fresh water is important for them – but make sure the dish isn’t too deep or easy to tip over- you can add stones to make things easier.

Hedgehogs are now considered endangered – so let’s try to help them…….

Dragonflies and Damselflies

August 2021

Brown Dragonfly
Azure Damselfly

For those lucky enough to be near a pond….

A young lady, very interested in dragonflies and damselflies, asked me how do you know the difference between the two. For a five year old they are undoubtedly, beautiful fascinating creatures.

Dragonflies rest with their wings spread out, they are bigger than damselflies, their eyes meet on their heads, the males patrol a territory over water, a case in point is Albert’s pond.  The females fly and roam around the allotments, you may find yourself quietly looking at your superb dock or dandelion, to find your being checked out by a inquisitive dragonfly, calmly flying around you. They are curious creatures and will investigate things that grab their attention.  On Albert’s pond there are what I think is a Brown Hawker – brown in colour it chases the other dragonflies.

Also on Albert’s pond is an Azure Damselfly – identified by the bow tie at its tail end.  Smaller than a dragonfly, resting with folded wings, distinct separate eyes of a reddish tinge, it too is patrolling the pond, chasing rivals off this prime location.  Expect a Winkworth and Rightmove sign to go up over the pond, exclusively for our dragonflies and damselflies. 

Last night there was a beautiful flight of Gatekeeper on our allotments – enjoy!

submitted by Bill Young
gatekeeper moth

September 2018 Bulletin

Download and read our September 2018 Bulletin

  • Annual visit to Wisley
  • Rhubarb cake and tomato tart
  • Encourage those predators and beneficial insects
  • Anything out there for the Autumn show?

…and, thinking ahead, the store will soon have tulips, narcissi and allium bulbs for planting. Still time to sow some seeds – try rocket, kale and more…