Dulwich and its neighbourhood is a green oasis bejewelled by its gardens - many magnificent, all inspirational, and all backed by astonishing depths of gardening knowledge.
Each Spring the Gardens sub-committee publishes a comprehensive “Dulwich Gardens open for charity” booklet, with details of the local gardens that are open to the public during the year.
The sub-committee also organises an annual garden talk and an annual coach tour to one or more gardens of national importance, as well as occasional local visits. Details of these events, which are open to all members of the Dulwich Society and their friends, are included in the Society’s quarterly Journal and its monthly eNewsletter.
We contribute articles to the Society’s Journal, and generally we support gardening and related activities in our area. The Dulwich Society is an affiliated society of the Royal Horticultural Society. The Gardens sub-committee normally meets four times a year. If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Jeremy Prescott.
Online Spring gardens talk - Fergus Garrett: “Succession planting for a long garden season”
7.30pm, Monday 4th April 2022
The Dulwich Society’s Spring garden talk this year will be by Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter and one of the UK’s most influential gardeners. In his illustrated talk, Fergus will use the magnificent Long Border at Great Dixter as an example of how to plan a long season border using structural plants, underplanting and interplanting with bulbs, use of self-sowers, pockets of bedding, masking with climbers and good maintenance. Fergus will explain how to choose the right plants that offer contrasting shapes, textures and foliage from different seasons to produce multi-layered long season communities. Fergus Garrett became head gardener at Great Dixter in 1992, working closely with Christopher Lloyd until Christopher’s death in 2006. Since then he has become Chief Executive of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust. Fergus works full-time, hands-on in the garden, as well as writing and lecturing extensively across the world. He was awarded the coveted Victoria Medal of Honour by the RHS in 2019. The talk is being given in association with Bell House Dulwich, with any surplus going towards garden activities at Bell House. Tickets £7 - book through www.bellhouse.co.uk/events or on EventBrite
Here are some of the gardening and wildlife organisations in and around Dulwich which would be pleased to hear from you if you would like to spend time helping them. Please check that the volunteering sessions are on the days and times shown before turning up with your wellies and gardening gloves, since they can change from time to time.
Bell House, a volunteer-led educational charity in the heart of Dulwich Village, is surrounded by beautiful and historic gardens. Volunteers are welcomed on Saturday and Thursday mornings from 9:30 - 11:30am, and Tuesday afternoon 2-4pm.
Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses
Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses (BPCG) is a community garden in the centre of Lambeth’s Brockwell Park. The large site includes an orchard, a series of demonstration gardens, a walled herb garden and two commercial-sized greenhouses.
Volunteer gardeners (no experience necessary) are welcome Thursday to Sunday 10am to 5pm (summer) 4pm (winter).
Centre for Wildlife Gardening, Peckham
Wildlife garden and award-winning visitor centre in a quiet residential street in Peckham, which is now working with Southwark Adult Learning Service as a delivery partner for family learning. Volunteer days are run on Wednesdays.
Dulwich Park Friends
The Friends run ‘Tend the Park’ volunteer sessions on the first Saturday of every month (subject to reasonable weather), from 10am-1pm. This may involve activities as varied as bulb planting, dead heading and care of the lake
Dulwich Upper Wood Local Nature Reserve
Conservation volunteers are very welcome at Dulwich Upper Wood – part of the ancient Great North Wood.
Dulwich Vegetable Garden
The DVG was established to encourage people to learn about growing their own fruit and vegetables. The produce from the garden is shared with volunteers when it is harvested. Everyone is welcome to look around or join the activities.
Dulwich Village Orchard
Established in 2019 on the site of the Old Grammar School playground, the orchard features heritage apple trees from the Brogdale National Collection in Kent, wildflower meadows and seating areas. Volunteers work with the London Wildlife Trust to maintain the orchard.
Great North Wood project (London Wildlife Trust)
The Great North Wood used to stretch between the Thames and Croydon. London Wildlife Trust is working in the areas that remain (including Sydenham Hill Wood and Dulwich Wood) to improve habitats for wildlife with well-organised volunteer workdays throughout the year.
Horniman Museum Gardens
The Horniman Museum Gardens comprise 16 acres of beautifully maintained formal and natural landscapes [already said this], including a new grasslands garden, a wildlife garden, a meadow field and the oldest nature trail in London. Volunteers support the gardens team, with vacancies posted on the website.
Link Age Southwark
Link Age Southwark connects volunteers with local older people, with gardening volunteers helping them with light gardening such as weeding and tidying, allowing older people to maintain safe and tidy gardens.
Old Dairy Health Centre, Croxted Road
The ODHC Gardening Group is a group of volunteers who develop and tend the gardens within the Practice complex.