Around 70 members and guests attended the Talk on a very warm evening given by Barry Gayton the well known East Anglian retired Head Gardener who shared his life long love of gardening with ‘bulbs, corms and tubers for all seasons’ accompanied by a colourful slide show.
Barry told us that when he was 7 years old he was asked by his parents what he wanted for Christmas. Most children of that age would have wanted a train set but Barry asked for a glass house! His parents duly obliged and that was the start of his life long love of gardening. From the age of 8 onwards he was able to start supplying his local nursery with plants!
Leaving school he went to horticultural college, cycling 25 miles each way each day.
Barry’s garden is set in an acre and a half on the Norfolk/Suffolk border and contains over 50,000 cacti and shrubs all grafted or from cuttings.
He demonstrated that bulbs have a single upward shoot, corms are solid with no scales and tubers like potatoes have several shoots from all angles.
This year has been the strangest since Barry can remember inasmuch as the very hot bursts of spring weather has caused many spring flowering bulbs to go over so quickly.
It is important to leave the stems for several weeks after flowering so all the energy can return to the bulb to guarantee flowering the following year. At this time it is very important to feed the plants. Dead heading too if you have the time!
Squirrels are very fond of breakfasting on bulbs especially crocuses so a good tip is to put a layer of wire mesh under the surface of the soil which will stop any interference. Also small plants like irises can be protected by a layer of small stones (not shingle) which will also protect them from sudden downpours.
Barry’s garden has evolved over 38 years and with his constant devotion and plant expertise provides year round colour a feat he can be justly proud.
..and lastly another top tip for the really keen gardener, the best time to remove the lily beetle is around 3.30 in the morning when they can be easily found and disposed of…..!