Tuesday 21 April 2020

BCM keeps going

Like everyone else, the workers at BCM are affected by the lockdown. But as you view this today (Wednesday 21 April) Wes Erpen together with a colleague will be at the Resource Centre so that food parcels are made available to those in need. This relief is possible because of pre-emptive action on the part of the Mission. Last December they put out an appeal for food items that could be banked. The response was good and because of this reserve food is now available at just the time it is needed. At this juncture donating food is not possible but making a but monetary donation is: see www.give.net/BCM

Garden Codger has been pleased to hear from readers. Bobbie Schipper, a long-standing BCM volunteer, informed us about food relief above - thanks for that tip-off, Bobbie. Another reader (a former Sandwell colleague) reminded me I was giving plants away 20 years ago – something I had forgotten. I tend to think of myself as a more recent gardener, probably because a greenhouse is a fairly recent acquisition – a story in itself which I'll save for another day

Of course, you’re never too old to learn – nor too young to start. The great thing is: have a go.  Every gardener learns by doing. So, here are three border plants that are easy to grow. They flower at different times of the year – a useful feature. So, in order of flowering, they are:

Hellebore (Christmas Rose / Lenten Rose)
I find Hellebores both useful and easy although some authorities disagree. They need some shade and some organic matter dug in. Once established they self-seed and multiply (useful again). They start flowering around Christmas / New Year. Mine are still going strong in April. You usually get a range of shades from white to mauve. Nurseries like Ashwood’s will a supply range of colours, but these can come expensive. Mine aren’t – but I don’t have the costs of breeding them!

Aquilegia (Granny’s Nightcap)
Aquilegia are very tolerant plants and flower in the Spring – just coming into flower now, in fact. Like the hellebores they multiply easily on their own. If you get too many just yank then out – great for the compost heap. (More on that topic another time.) We have available both common and named varieties

Michaelmas Daisy
This traditional cottage garden plant does best in good soil in a sunny spot. In these conditions it will thrive and can be divided after flowering. A good reliable plant that will look after itself. Nothing more to add other than it flowers in the autumn. So, taken together, these three will help cover a long flowering period

If you are interested in obtaining any of the six plants covered so far (there were three on Monday) just drop me an email. To do this, simply go top-right and click on the ‘About me’ area. This will take you to the Garden Codger’s profile page. Look on the left and click ‘email’ and you’ll be away!

Tomorrow, we’ll be running a special offer – see you then …

Best wishes from the Garden Codger

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