Timothy Walker the well known Botanist and of late the Director of the Oxford Botanical Garden returned to us once again to deliver a hugely entertaining and informative talk on ‘how to be a successful 21st Gardener’ !
Soil….the UK has the best …..you can improve it but not change it! Starting afresh on a new garden, 3 spits deep is the way to get rid of all weeds to ensure a sterile plot. Best to shred compost so it degrades equally and keep wet to improve the soil. On a winters morning when you see the compost steaming you know you have done your job well!
Plants…..there are 70,000 in the UK to choose from. If you are unsuccessful growing a particular plant give up as it for some reason does not work in your garden!
British native plants….honeysuckle, hawthorns, viburnums ..all good for encouraging British native wildlife.
Raise new plants in loam based compost. From next year peat will no longer be available.
New plants should be watered (rain water not tap water) in thoroughly . This will ensure the roots grow downwards where the soil is always moist. Once planted Timothy never ever waters plants again even in the driest of conditions.
Given the changing climate and weather conditions many species are blooming earlier. Snowdrops are flowering 21 days earlier than in 2004.
It is now even more important that children become the new gardeners in the 21st century considering the changes taking place. They are ideally suited given they are the right height to trim lavender hedges and plant flowers and vegetables!
The next meeting after the Summer break will be on 10 September when our guest speaker is Paul Barney from Edulis Nursery who will be discussing ‘unusual edibles’ and will be bringing plants for sale.