Thanks must go to all the lovely volunteers who turned up for our BIG TIDY UP DAY last month. Luckily the weather held out so lots of jobs were tackled and the whole site looks much better for it. The memorial garden is looking particularly resplendent now so a special thank you to Mike Popejoy who has also planted up the hanging baskets outside the canteen. Mike has requested if anyone would like to donate plants for this project please leave them by the garden. An extra thank you must go Portuguese Maria and friends who cooked a splendid buffet which was thoroughly enjoyed, I understand that there was even freshly baked bread – what a treat.

As it looks that we might be getting an old-fashioned British summer this year it might be worth hoping for some decent weather in the autumn months. Many crops can still be sown or planted this month and can be harvested until the first frosts. Personally, I will be hedging my bets and sowing directly in the ground but also sowing some at home just in case of failures.

Here are a few suggestions: Swiss Chard is an attractive and versatile vegetable. The tender baby leaves will brighten up salads, whilst larger ones can be cooked like spinach and their crisp leafstalks are a colourful addition to stir fries.

Peas and mangetout/sugar snap peas will grow well in wet summers (if we have some rainy spells) try varieties such as ‘Cavalier’, ‘Kelvedon Wonder’.

Runner beans and quick growing dwarf French beans are also ideal for harvesting sometimes as late as October; increase your yield by top-dressing with a granular fertilizer such as Growmore, 70g per sq. m. (2oz per sq.yd.)

Swede and turnip, both like a firm bed. These can be harvested early when they are golf ball size as they are at their most tender then. Rows can be protected by cloche's when the frosts threaten.