Programme 2019

Monthly Programme 2019


5th February 2019
Helping to protect solitary bees
Alison Benjamin, co-author of the forthcoming book: The Good Bee: a celebration of bees and how to save them.


Tuesday 5th March 2019
AGM and talk:
Otters in Haggerston?
The Regent’s Canal as a green corridor linking the Lea Valley into the heart of London.

Gideon Corby is a community gardener living by the Regent’s Canal. Having adopted a stretch of the waterway, he and other local residents are ‘greening the grey’ and encouraging wildlife. He will talk about the different methods of planting they use, how the Wildlife Gardeners of Haggerston project started and the aims of the group in Haggerston and De Beauvoir to transform the Regent’s Canal into a blue and green corridor that links our parks and green spaces together as part of the London National Park City vision.

Tuesday 2nd April 2019
Growing Herbs in Urban Spaces

Natalie Mady is a Hackney-based community gardener and permaculturist. She runs local social enterprise Hackney Herbal which promotes wellbeing through herbs. The talk will be focused around growing herbs in urban spaces including windowsills, balconies and small gardens. It will cover an overview of the herb growing calendar, propagation and top tips for growing herbs in pots. You’ll get to sow some seeds to take home. The talk is suitable both for beginners and those who already have some gardening or growing experience. (Please bring a pot).

Wednesday 8th May 2019
Visit to Middle Temple Garden*
off Fleet Street, London EC4 9BT
Open to members of De Beauvoir and Islington Gardeners only

The Temple complex is ancient and historic. It remains peaceful and secluded although in a busy spot on the river and straddling the borders of the Cities of London and Westminster. There has been a garden here of considerable size probably since the early middle ages.

Middle Temple is on the West side of the Temple, and separate from Inner Temple, to the East. We will be looking at the main Middle Temple garden (picture of the main terrace taken on my mobile yesterday) and the other rather different sites in Fountain Court, Elm Court and Church Court – the last of which is a fruit and vegetable garden behind the 11th century church.

Kate Jenrick, who will guide us, has been the Head Gardener for 10 years.  She has introduced or overseen a number of eco-friendly innovations and changes to use and planting. Kate will give her talk and show photographs indoors (next to the garden) if the weather prevents a full tour.

*We shall meet at 6. 30pm by the fountain in Fountain Court. Buses 76 and 341 stop at Chancery Lane bus stop near the top of Middle Temple Lane.  There are a number of entrances but this is the best to use from the North. There are maps displayed throughout the complex inside. Walk down Middle Temple Lane and about half way down is the Middle Temple Hall (a large Elizabethan building) on the right hand side. Turn right into Fountain Court alongside the North façade of the Hall – you will see the fountain ahead.

There are other ways of getting there including by tube, this map gives full directions.

SUNDAY 12th May 2019
Annual DBG Plant Sale
Buy locally grown plants at bargain prices. Across the road from St Peter’s Church 11am–1pm.

WEDNESDAY 5th June 2019
Evening visit to Camden Centre Garden from 6pm.
Buy, browse and socialise. Organised by Islington Gardeners, details to follow.

THURSDAY 13th June 2019
Garden Walkabout from 6.30 to about 8.30pm.

We shall meet at Karin Bamburgh’s delightful open garden at 1 Ufton Grove. This lovely wide space is dominated by a central giant sycamore which is so tall and well pruned that it manages to let plenty of light in as well as providing some welcome  shade. Underneath are a range of perennials, shrubs and bulbs.  

A short walk takes us to Ufton Road where Barbara Barnett has “curated” her own and several of her neighbours’ front gardens, each with its own style and character.  

Moving over to the canal we shall look at the de Beauvoir Estate allotments now in their third year and expanding impressively. Fruit trees, a wild flower meadow and pallet planters are some of  this year’s additions. Here we shall be joined by Gideon Corby of The Wildlife Gardeners of Haggerston.

Gideon will lead us down the canal to Kingsland Basin pointing out his canalside plantings which are encouraging more wildlife on the canal. Terrapins and cormorants are frequently sighted and if we are there at twilight, there is every chance that we may see a bat or three. In the Basin, we shall also look around the allotment barge complete with duck house in the prow. 

From there it’s a short trek across Downham Road  to Stephen and Jane King’s very pretty garden in Mortimer Road for a glass of something nice. NB this garden has no wheelchair access but plenty of willing helpers to lend a hand with the stairs if necessary.

SATURDAY 22nd June 2019
Islington Gardener’s summer party at Olden Gardens
3–5pm, Midsummer tea party for members and friends.

TUESDAY 2nd July 2019
DBG Summer Picnic

This year the summer picnic will be at St Mary’s Secret Garden, Pearson Street, E2 (behind Geffrye Museum). A chance to revisit this community garden which focusses on gardening for special needs. There will be propagated plants for sale. Bring a dish to share.

TUESDAY 3rd September 2019
Spring Bulbs

Anne and Jack Barnard of award -winning Rose Cottage Plants nursery near Epping specialise in bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers. I first came across at a Plant Heritage plant fair. They have introduced me to some lovely varieties which have all done very well.

On 3 September Anne will talk to us about spring bulbs: with illustrations; and with particular reference to London gardens (species and cultivars); establishing plantings for spring as perennials, and squirrel and other pest control. She will take questions both during and at the end of the talk.

The website at now has the summer collection but the autumn catalogue will be on line by the September meeting. Anne will bring with her a limited number of bulbs for sale. However she will bring any pre-orders made on the website to save on postage and packing. Simply indicate in the delivery box instructions that you will collect your order from the De Beauvoir meeting.

De Beauvoir Gardeners Flower & Produce Show 2019

SUNDAY 15th September 2019
Annual Flower & Produce & Dog Show

This year’s show is themed: Growing a Greener Planet. We aim to make this an example of best practise for the environment with a plastic free and recycle and reuse policies. For full details CLICK HERE.

TUESDAY 1st October 2019
Swifts in de Beauvoir

Many of you will know Mike and be aware of the project to support swifts: indeed some of you have nest boxes. He will talk about the lifecycle of the swift, how it has adapted to the urban environment, why it is
threatened, and what more we can do to conserve this vulnerable species.
He will also talk about other bird species, and bats, in North London and how their populations are faring.

TUESDAY 5th November 2019
Insects and invertebrates

Fransisca Sconce of the Royal Entomological Society will be talking to us about the science of insects. In particular the insects and other invertebrates that live in and around soil.  She knows a lot about slugs, both good and bad(!)

TUESDAY 3rd December 2019
Cordwainers Grow 

Debbie and Kate from Cordwainers Grow gave us an inspirational talk about community gardening and the impact that it can have on people’s wellbeing and mental health.