Meeting 12 February 2019

The Society’s first meeting of the year got off to a spectacular and colourful start with our Guest Speaker, the Broadcaster Howard Drury.

Howard, a veteran of 611 episodes over 11 years of Central TV’s popular ‘Gardening Time’ programme as researcher and presenter held members and guests in awe with his masterful presentation and stunning slide show accompanied by music!

Howard’s talk encompassed a whole range of excellent gardening tips and advice honed over many years of gardening trial and error working with Nurseries and plant growers, often at variance with established RHS guidance! Gardening is not an exact science!

Too many of the hundreds of his gardening tips to list here but here are a few  worth recording for posterity!

When growing orchids it is important that roots can see daylight. In their natural habitat orchids are fertilised by parrot droppings which the rains then wash  around the plants. Given we have few parrots available in the UK, special orchid fertilisers mimic nature’s way!

To preserve and extend alstromerias flowering season stalks should be pulled out and never cut.

New species of dwarf buddlias are increasing in popularity as they are sterile and do not reproduce seedlings and they are very attractive to bees. As are all cone and single flowers as opposed to newer varieties of double flowers which make it difficult for bees to pollinate.

Composting around roses in the winter months helps to delay black spot reappearing on new leaf growth.

Howard never uses a rotavator as he believes it destroys the structure of the soil.

Looking to the future the rapid development in battery technology will mean petrol engines in gardening equipment will be redundant in 5 years time which will make life easier for all especially the more mature gardener!

A new moss treatment developed in Belgium will be launched later this year which Howard has already witnessed does actually kills moss within the hour!

Tomatoes are even now being  grown underground in the Middle East using LED lighting providing a pink glow 24/7. The futures bright, the futures pink but the tomatoes are still red when ripe!

To find out more of Howard’s gardening tips and ideas visit his website :

The next meeting of the Society is Tuesday March 12 when Garden Designer Patricia Fox will talk about creating drama and structure in the small garden (What NOT to do!)





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