Google+ Followers

Sunday, 4 October 2015

See what's happening in Penge this week....

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

 
 
  

Dear Penge Green Gym Supporters

 
 

Working hard on the woodland path


In the last couple of weeks the woodland path has come on a pace with the arrival of subbase and shingle.  This means lots of wheelbarrows to and from the gates where the bags have been dropped off.  The path now looks like a path and with the exception of a couple of metres it's almost there.  Well done to Barry and all his team for all their hard work!

 

 

More sad news for our greenhouse

  We never like reporting the vandalism that happens at Winsford Gardens but unfortunately it is a regular and upsetting occurance that doesn't seem to be getting any better.  This time the greenhouse has been burned in one corner making it irrepairable.  Many small cuttings and seedlings in the coldframes were also destroyed in this senseless act.  We are at a loss to understand why anyone would want to do this and will have to now rethink how we use the growing area if we are to continue to propogate our own cuttings and store other items.  




 

Better News...


The roses that we were bought with funds donated from the MPGA are beginning to bloom and look wonderful in our 3rd rose bed.  We now have plans to reinstate the old 4th rose bed and complete the original formal layout of the gardens.  The coppiced hazel tree has once again been coppiced to give us space to do this. 

 

We also recently had a visit from a moth enthusiast who wrote down a list of moths he found in the gardens.  Amongst them were the Gatekeeper, Small White, Common Blue, Speckled Woods and the Jersey Tiger Moth which he tells us is unusual in our area. 


 
 
Easyfundraising

 
You can still also use Easyfundraising is an easy and free way to support the Penge Green Gym.  When you buy items on the internet from well known shops such as John Lewis and Amazon, you can sign up to Easyfunding and they will donate a percentage to Penge Green Gym.  To sign up, go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/pengegreengym.  
 


.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Penge Green Gym: Love Parks "Seeing Is Believing" Tour of Penge Gre...

Penge Green Gym: Love Parks "Seeing Is Believing" Tour of Penge Gre...: The next Love Parks Seeing is Believing event will showcase the work of Penge Green Gym. This enthusiastic group of local volunteers run ...

Love Parks "Seeing Is Believing" Tour of Penge Green Gym

The next Love Parks Seeing is Believing event will showcase the work of Penge Green Gym. This enthusiastic group of local volunteers run a weekly practical gardening session in Winsford Gardens, Penge, South East London, with the aim of improving both the local environment and the health of volunteers just like you. If you’re interested in learning more about these popular activities, and how they could be developed to support your green space, why not come along at 11am – 2pm on 9 September to witness first hand Penge Green Gym in action at their weekly session. There’ll even be an opportunity for visitors to take part in warm-up exercises, tool talk and do some gardening with the team (not compulsory!) A lunch and refreshments will be provided with a chance to chat about this great initiative. Book your place today via Eventbrite

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Penge Green Gym Newsletter August 2015

Dear Penge Green Gym Supporters A very British summer BBQ! The volunteers of the Penge Green Gym weren't daunted by the wind and rain for our summer BBQ last Wednesday. There were times when the gazebo nearly took off but we had fun regardless of the challenging conditions! Representatives from Bromley council, the Landscape group, TCV and local Councillor Pete Fookes were there to help us celebrate another great year and all enjoyed the good food on offer. Winners with Cultivation Street and Green Flag Awards! We are excited to announce that we are winners of the Pollination Street award from Cultivation Street. These annual awards in conjunction with the Mirror help to encourage front gardens and community gardens. We have been mentioned in today's Mirror - www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/cultivation-street-garden-groups-doing-6348888, unfortunately the pictures have been mixed up so look for Cyril and the bug boxes and our bog garden! We will be receiving £500 in national garden gift vouchers which is very gratefully received. Many thanks to our volunteer Dave Fergusson for putting us forward for this award. Dave also put us forward for the Green Flag Awards. The Green Flag Award® Scheme recognises and rewards the best green spaces. In 2015, a record number of awards were made with 1582 parks and green spaces currently flying a Green Flag or Green Flag Community Award. Well done again Dave! Projects in the garden The woodland path is coming along at great speed and will soon be ready for lining and filling with gravel. As we move into autumn and winter we will be looking at new projects in the growing area such as new bays to hold deliveries of soil improver and wood chip. And also we can now move ahead with plans for our composting toilet! The bog garden and wildflower have been in full bloom although have now died down but have been a haven for wildlife of all kinds. Easyfundraising You can still also use Easyfundraising is an easy and free way to support the Penge Green Gym. When you buy items on the internet from well known shops such as John Lewis and Amazon, you can sign up to Easyfunding and they will donate a percentage to Penge Green Gym. To sign up, go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/pengegreengym.

Penge Green Gym - Cultivation Street Special Category Winner 2015

Today the Winners of the special categories were announced in the national Cultivation Street competition and Penge Green Gym won the Pollination Street award. As well as receiving £500 of National Garden Centre Gift Vouchers, this award recognises Penge Green Gym as a gardening group making a real difference in their community. Cultivation Street is a campaign for front gardens and community gardening which aims to:
Bring back front gardens and revitalise our streets Promote and support community gardening projects Inspire people to take up gardening and grow their green skills Bring communities together through gardening activities
They have £20,000 of National Gardening Gift Vouchers to give away including the top prize of £10,000 of vouchers for the overall winner of Cultivation Street. New this year, the Pollination Street award was given to the best community gardening project that is creating a space for wildlife to flourish. That could be sowing wildflowers, building bug hotels or creating a full-blown wildlife sanctuary. The special category winners were announced in the Sunday People this morning:

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Penge Green Gym Newsletter Late June 2015

See what's happening in Penge this week....

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

  

Dear Penge Green Gym Supporters

 

Great day out at the Penge Green Gym Open Day


The sky may have been a little grey but the residents still turned out in force for our annual open day.

The gardens looked spectacular with many roses in full bloom and many people commented on how beautiful it looked.  The smaller residents enjoyed the treasure hunt and having their face painted whilst the parents and other locals enjoyed the plant stall and a cup of tea and a piece of cake.  It was lovely to see the gardens full of people and here their lovely feed back about the work that we are doing here.


Sadly, the night before our open day our greenhouse was vandalised once again with many panels kicked in and plants that we were selling that day scattered on the floor.  Luckily, many of the plants were salvageable and were snapped up by the locals.  The vandalism is an ongoing problem and we are liaising with the local police. 

 
 
AGM

We are sending out notification for our next AGM on Wednesday 29th July.
PENGE GREEN GYM COMMUNITY GROUP/ FRIENDS OF WINSFORD GARDENS
NOTICE OF THIRD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
WEDNESDAY 29th JULY, 2014, 2.15pm
at WINSFORD GARDENS, GARDEN ROAD, PENGE SE20 7XW
AGENDA
1. To receive the report from the Chair of the Penge Green Gym Community Group Management Committee for the period since the first Annual General Meeting on 30th July 2014.
2. To receive the report from the Treasurer of the Penge Green Gym Community Group Management Committee for the period since the first Annual General Meeting on 30th July 2014.
3. To elect Management Committee members, officers and leaders as prescribed by the Penge Green Gym Community Group’s constitution.
All current committee members are to resign at this AGM, but are eligible for re-election to the Community Group Management Committee
4. To discuss future programme and projects
5. Any other business
Apologies for absence or nominations for positions on the Management Committee should be submitted to the Secretary, Electra Thompson, prior to the meeting
Electra Thompson
Secretary, Penge Green Gym Community Group Management Committee
 
Easyfundraising

You can still also use Easyfundraising is an easy and free way to support the Penge Green Gym.  When you buy items on the internet from well known shops such as John Lewis and Amazon, you can sign up to Easyfunding and they will donate a percentage to Penge Green Gym.  To sign up, go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/pengegreengym.  

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Gardens of Petersonville: Five Petaled Roses

The Gardens of Petersonville: Five Petaled Roses:   The cool, damp, overcast days we have been having make me glad I have so many simple five petaled roses in the gardens.  I love the...

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Penge Green Gym Newsletter June 2015

See what's happening in Penge this week....

Penge Green Gym Newsletter

 
 
  

Dear Penge Green Gym Supporters

 
 

Come to our Open Day!


Yes, it's that time of year again when Penge Green Gym works extra hard to make Winsford Gardens look it's best for our annual open day in conjunction with the Open Gardens Squares Weekend and the Penge Festival.  This year it is on a Sunday and we will be having lots of activities for children including a treasure hunt and painting activities and they can even have face painted too!  Thanks to a good spring we also have a large stock of plants that we will be selling and to relax you there will be a taster Tai Chi session.  So come along, and bring your family and friends to enjoy a lovely day out.  The full poster is at the bottom of the newsletter.  We'd also like to thank the Landscape Group for helping us to get ready by mowing and strimming the lawns.  It is looking very smart!


 
CEB Global Impact Volunteering Day


We had a fantastic day when members of CEB came to help us repair our hazel fence that surrounds the wildflower meadows.  The enthusiastic team quickly repaired the woven fence and then carried on the good work by planting out the raised vegetable beds, clipped hedges and helped to dig our new woodland path.  Lots of fun was had by all and we thank you all for your hard work!




 
 

In Other News


Some of the members of the Penge Green Gym went to our sister gym at Bromley to help them celebrate their first day as an independent group.  Members of TCV and Bromley council were there to offer their support and welcome the new group.  We were given a guided tour around the park at College Green and the volunteers supplied a wonderful buffet.  We wish Bromley the best of luck for the future.



Meanwhile in Winsford Gardens, we are on the cusp of summer and the park is looking beautiful.  Many of the roses are now blooming and our work planting perenials during the autumn and winter are now really thriving.

Our greenhouse is also full of plants that will be sold on our Open Day, and any not sold will be planted out.





 
 
Easyfundraising

 
You can still also use Easyfundraising is an easy and free way to support the Penge Green Gym.  When you buy items on the internet from well known shops such as John Lewis and Amazon, you can sign up to Easyfunding and they will donate a percentage to Penge Green Gym.  To sign up, go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/pengegreengym.  You can also help by downloading the easfundraising christmas pack and print of posters and flyers and add our name.





 




 
 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Winsford Gardens Open Day Sun 14th June 2015

Penge Green Gym will be holding our fourth Open Garden Squares day on Sunday 14th June 2014 from 11am to 4pm in Winsford Gardens, SE20 7RN.

The Open Garden Squares Weekend is a prestigious event in the gardener’s calendar where gardens all over London open their doors to the public. Over 200 gardens are involved in the weekend event, (including 10 Downing Street!) Other gardens range from historical private squares to contemporary roof gardens, in places as diverse as museums, prisons, barges and shipping containers.

Winsford Gardens is managed by Penge Green Gym, a group of volunteers set up in May 2011 by The Conservation Volunteers (formally BTCV). The volunteers have been working to transform Winsford Gardens into a vibrant community and wildlife garden for almost four years now. At this event we will be proud to show off all the hard work we have undertaken. Projects include constructing a growing area complete with greenhouse and nursery beds; seeding wildflower meadows; planting up the ornamental beds; building compost bins, seating, and a children’s playground, planting an orchard, hedgerows and a bog garden… the list goes on!

This year the open day is part of the larger Penge Festival chedule of events.

We will have our very popular children’s activities, plant sale and refreshment stall, and the Tai Chi is back too!

It will be a good chance to see for yourself how Winsford Gardens continue to change.

Winsford Gardens is on Garden Road, off Croydon Road, situated between Aldi and Travelodge. The nearest Bus routes are: 358, 75, 197, 356.

More information on the Open Garden Squares weekend at http://www.OpenSquares.org
More information on the Penge Festival at http://www.pengepartners.co.uk/penge-festival/4582027977
Visit us at http://www.PengeGreenGym.org.uk
Follow Penge Green Gym on Twitter @GreenGymPenge & Facebook





Monday, 4 May 2015

Tales from Duck Island Cottage: Cafés and Catalpas

Tales from Duck Island Cottage: Cafés and Catalpas: Bonnington Square Community Gardens sit in dramatic contrast to the traffic-dominated world around them.  Leaving Vauxhall station, you pass...

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Green Fertiliser



Using Green Manure in #WinsfordGardens a #CTWW weekly challenge

As an alternative to chemical fertilisers, green manure can be used to improve and protect the soil. It is therefore, a staple of organic gardening and sustainable agriculture. In Winsford Gardens in Penge, we tried this last year in the two new flower beds we created where our willow arch had stood before it was vandalised. If I recall correctly, we used Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum.) Fenugreek is a legume (Fabaceae family) and other legumes are the most commonly used green fertilisers because most of them have symbiotic Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules, and because Nitrogen is the most limiting nutrient in the soil. However, a number of late-flowering non-leguminous plants can also be used. The Fenugreek was allowed to grow for a period, and then before it reached full maturity and flowered, it was ploughed back under the soil by hoeing. In a similar process to composting, heterotrophic bacteria break down the organic material. The Nitrogen becomes available to other plants, but the weak acids also react with insoluble soil minerals to release Phosphates. We have just planted up the two beds so we’ll let you know if it worked.


A couple of years ago we also planted Comfrey in Winsford Gardens and used the leaves to make a green fertiliser. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a perennial herb (Boraginaceae family) with black, turnip-like roots and large, hairy broad leaves that bears small bell-shaped flowers in a variety of colours. It is a fast growing plant and Nitrogen hungry, and the leaves can be harvested up to five times in a single year, after which the plant will rapidly regrow. The leaves and stems are covered in fine hairs that irritate the skin, so they must be cut wearing gloves. ‘Comfrey Tea’ can be made when the leaves are soaked in rainwater for four to five weeks, where they quickly break down into a thick black liquid. Alternatively, they can be used sparingly in the compost heap as a compost activator. In addition to the Nitrogen, the leaves are an excellent source of Potassium (up to three times more than animal manure) which the plant takes from deep in the subsoil, unavailable to other plants. The Comfrey Tea is very strong and must be diluted before use on beds.


Sunday, 26 April 2015

Mulches and Mulching

Mulches and Mulching

in #WinsfordGardens a #CTWW Weekly Challenge


Mulching doesn't only give a garden a neat and attractive appearance but it also improves the soil around plants, and it helps conserve water in the Summer and to keep down some of the weeds. Any way to reduce watering and weeding certainly works for me! Mulches will also protect roots of plants from frost damage during the Winter.

We use mulched wood chip where it is especially effective - around the Roses in our Rose Garden and around the Fruit trees in our Urban Orchard. It is excellent for our fruit trees - apples, pears, gage, quince and cherries. We mulch in the Autumn and in the early to late Spring, when soil is moist and warm.

Winsford Gardens Rose GardenWe use the compost and the leaf mould that we make ourselves in Winsford Gardens as a biodegradable organic mulch on the flower beds and vegetable beds. It is then drawn down into the surface layer by earthworms and improves the soil structure and fertility. We also use soil improver made by the London Borough of Bromley from local residents recycled household garden waste. Other options are to use seaweed, well rotted manure, spent hops or spent mushroom compost.

For our Rose Garden and the Urban Orchard, we have the wood chip delivered from local tree surgeons working in the area. Fresh wood chip needs to be seasoned before use as it takes longer to biodegrade and can actually take Nitrogen out of the soil. This reduction in available Nitrogen can last for several months to several years, depending on the species of wood. We must also be careful not to lay mulched wood chip in direct contact with tree stems it can cause them to soften, making them vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections. Certain trees such as Larch, Ash, Maple and Red Fir have been blamed for inhibiting nitrate formation by soil micro-organisms so we try to avoid those.

We try our best not to use any peat because its use leads to further depletion of the peat bogs in countries such as Ireland Winsford Gardens Urban Orchardand the Baltic states, which supply most of the peat used in the UK. Another alternative is to use coir, made from coconut shells or tree bark. Bark isn't as useful as wood chip as it tends to come in strips and doesn't give good coverage.

You can also use shingle, pebbles, gravel, and other decorative aggregates around trees. These inorganic, non-biodegrade mulches do not improve the fertility or structure of the soil, but they do suppress weeds and conserve moisture.  Permeable woven landscape fabrics can also be used that allow rain and irrigation water to reach the roots. Stone chips have the disadvantage that they can damage lawn mowers when they migrate onto lawns.


Once you have added a mulch to the soil you will initially need to apply extra water to reach the roots of the plants beneath. If you want to apply fertilisers there is no need to remove mulches. Fertilisers spread over mulches in late winter are washed down to plant roots by rain more slowly with less loss of Nitrogen by runoff or volatilisation.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Penge Green Gym Newsletter April 2015


Penge Green Gym Newsletter

 
 
  

Dear Penge Green Gym Supporters

 
 

Lots to do now spring is here!


As the bulbs come into their own and the days are getting longer (if not any warmer!) all hands are on deck to start the process of getting the park ready for summer and especially our open day on Sunday June 14th.  Many of the hedges and larger bushes have been given a good hair cut which makes the park look very neat and tidy and the park is already full of colour.






Sadly, we have had some very serious vandalism over the last month with the fence to the growing area being knocked down and many of the panels of the greenhouse being kicked in.  And along with the damage, once again, to the fence around the wildflower meadow it has been a very disheartening time.  We have however, (with the help of the council in providing funds to replace some fence posts) now repaired the fence and put the greenhouse back together.  We can only hope that the vandals don't return.  And we hope to engage the local people to help us to keep an eye on the park.



Now that the greenhouse is repaired we have sown hundreds of seeds and are very quickly seeing them poke their heads up through the compost!  It is a joy to see new growth where there was once destruction.

We have also been busy building new cold frames and shelves which will be needed as the plants mature and get ready to be planted out.  A special thank you to Barry for all his hard work.


 

2nd Birthday


On 1st April Penge Green Gym celebrated its 2nd birthday as an independent group.  We celebrated in our favourite way with some cakes (thank you Tom and Electra) and a nice cup of tea!

 

 
Easyfundraising

 
You can still also use Easyfundraising is an easy and free way to support the Penge Green Gym.  When you buy items on the internet from well known shops such as John Lewis and Amazon, you can sign up to Easyfunding and they will donate a percentage to Penge Green Gym.  To sign up, go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/pengegreengym.  You can also help by downloading the easfundraising christmas pack and print of posters and flyers and add our name.