The East London Garden Society

The Voice ‐ July 2017

Comment by Geoff

Having endured hard work to get our gardens the way we want, whether that be to produce a floral display or for food growing, we’re now able to ease off a little and enjoy the fruits of our labour; hopefully it was worth it.

I believe we all have gardening abilities within us. It may be for a window box, a community garden, an allotment or maybe just a few plants in our residence. Whatever the situation, now is the time to reflect and enjoy.


Burdock is a flowering plant that has been a major part of various cultures for over hundreds of years. Fully grown, burdock can reach a height of one to two metres and produces purple flowers that extend away from its bracts that bloom between June and October.

Did you know that Burdock was the catalyst for the invention of Velcro? See here for the full article. Back to top

Responsible Gardening

It is always irksome when gardening is not the problem but instead it’s the operators who are supposedly in the know but cause further problems. Previous articles have been written about the vagaries of municipal gardening and how well our forefathers throughout the Victorian era achieved great feats in producing parks and gardens worthy of the name.

Some of the most famous horticulturists and garden designers were British, such as Capability Brown who offered some of the most lavish and beautiful landscapes in our history. Maybe it is finance driving council maintenance in our once most prestigious parks and gardens. An example, is the efforts of Tower Hamlets Homes wishing to improve the local environment for their residents by spraying glyphosate to rid a rose bed of weeds. Not only is the product extremely controversial, but some of the roses are now no longer able to produce a blooming Summer for the residents. Back to top

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew thrives when foliage is dry and the weather is warm; wind then spreads the spores to other plants. The mildew spores can’t germinate or grow when foliage is wet, so overhead watering is sometimes recommended as a preventative on highly susceptible crops. The spores overwinter on perennial crops such as grapes, raspberries, strawberries and fruit trees, or in plant debris left from last year.

When conditions are just right, this year’s growth can be affected and the disease spreads quickly. The optimum situation for the development of the disease is cool, humid nights followed by hot, dry days. If left unchecked, powdery mildew will cause leaves to turn yellow, die and fall off. See here for the full article. Back to top


Whilst walking in and around London by yourself it is the perfect time to view nature and how it maintains itself in our environment. They say that urban foxes are on the rise and squirrels certainly love living in Shoreditch. But, as you walk around, look at what others are achieving in their gardens.

It is always interesting to see what nature throws at us and it’s said that nature will forever find its own way of survival. For example, whilst walking in the London Borough of Brent recently, the plants shown in this photograph had not been planted yet they found a space to survive. Although the local authority may soon authorise their extinction, they provide a very pleasant sight on the kerbside. Back to top

Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Pineapple Salad

Ingredients for a perfect summer salad:

8 cups of iceberg or other crisp lettuce
2 cups of fresh pineapple chunks
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup of extra‐virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of white vinegar
1/3 cup of fresh orange juice
1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 medium avocados, sliced
Fresh lime wedges

Toss the lettuce, pineapple chunks and the red onion together in a large bowl. Whisk the white vinegar, orange juice, sugar, salt and pepper with the olive oil. Pour the desired amount of dressing over the salad mixture and toss well. Spoon the salad onto individual plates and arrange avocado slices over each portion before serving immediately with lime wedges.
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