Category Archives: Gardening

Planting Day

We are organizing a planting day on Saturday 29th March from 10-1pm at the Lammas Enclosure, between Walpole and Lammas Parks (near Will to Win Tennis)

With the kind support of the Walpole ward we will be planting fruit trees and bushes adjacent to the petanque playing area. This is the first wave of planting for what will, in time, become a forest garden – a food-growing space based on the structure of a young forest.

We will also be weeding and re-mulching fruit trees in the orchard, dead-hedging with recently-felled brush wood, and taming the brambles.

Orchard PlantingDo join us to get some fresh air, get your hands dirty, give the kids a run-around and help create a unique growing space. All welcome: no gardening experience necessary.

Please bring gloves and tools, branch cutters, secateurs etc if you have them

Rose Hip Project

rose hipsRose hips contain 20 times more vitamin C than oranges. A nutritious syrup can be extracted from the hips by a simple process rather like jam making. Rose hip syrup is an excellent immune system booster and can be taken by the spoonful (like a medicine) or drizzled over cereals, cakes, bread, etc., or added to fruit juice. If we grow the roses ourselves, we have an enduring source of free, local, high quality vitamin C

What type of plant?

There are many varieties of roses that can be used for this, but research indicates that a variety of Rugosa (“Frau Dagmar Hastrup”) has a combination of properties that make it ideal for our purpose  –  disease resistant, large number of hips, high vitamin C content, attractive to bees and birds.  The variety “Scabrosa” has fewer but larger hips and can be a good alternative.

When to plant?

November through March for bare root plants, which can provide a crop this autumn

Where to get the plants?

There is a grower in Norfolk (Peter Beals Roses) that currently has about 70 Scabrosa in stock. The regular price is £12.45 each, but we can get a discount for a larger order. Enquiries are also in progress with Cultivate London about sourcing them locally.

Where to plant them?

Gardens, allotments, community orchards, waste ground, etc. These roses can cope with clay soil and partial shade.

How much space do they take?

The varieties mentioned above grow to about 1.5m high and about 1.5m diameter in clay soil.

How to make rose hip syrup?

There are lots of suggestions on the web, but we could create our own recipe sheet and/or hold communal brewing sessions in the autumn.