Meeting 12 March 2019

Patricia Fox of Aralia  Design based in Sawbridgeworth was our guest speaker this evening.

Her talk centred on small garden designs and what NOT to do!

Examples of her work using a selection of her recent innovative designs took us on a tour of a series of high end properties in London including Knightsbridge and Regents Park.  Chelsea Creek on the River Thames too!

The roof terrace gardens were quite stunning. Using an array of dramatic glass art, creative lighting, striking pergolas and bespoke garden furniture blending in to the space available. Unlikely the items could  be purcased in B&Q or Homebase!

With several ‘before and after’ shots , many small spaces were long and narrow but with careful design and judicious planting schemes and landscaping created a totally different and pleasing look.

In small spaces it is important to blur the edges to make the garden seem larger than it actually is. Fences must be hidden with  hedging, climbers or trees. It is important when using different materials like tiles, stones, planters or wooden frames to maintain the same colour palette throughout.

Bright flowers , reds/orange /yellow should be placed nearer to the house and less vibrant paler colours should be planted further away to create  spaciousness.

Aralia have won many awards for innovative and creative gardens from small urban gardens, modern contemporary gardens as well as traditional gardens in the country.

For further information (and you don’t have to own a penthouse with a roof terrace!) contact : info @aralia.org.uk or telephone 01279 721461

The next meeting of the Society is on the 9th of April when Graham Austin of Home Farm Plants will be talking about delphiniums. He will be bringing along plants for sale.

 

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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 : http://www.thedrurys.com

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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Meeting 4 December 2018

Our Guest Speaker this evening was Graham Spencer whose Talk was entitled ‘The Future Of Your Garden’.

His company (Plants For Europe Ltd) which he has been running for over 20 years links Breeders to Growers and has been responsible for the development and introduction of many new species, constantly striving to improve plant quality and increased variety for gardeners in the UK and Europe.

The company works with breeders across the globe from Newfoundland to Australia and is heavily involved in the marketing of new plants which are often launched to the gardening public at the well supported RHS Shows as at Chelsea, Malvern and the like.

Plant sales in the UK are becoming more popular via the big supermarkets. Waitrose in particular have made great strides in recent years. The biggest cost for growers is the cost of transport which is reflected in the retail price. Interestingly B&Q realised with their fleet of large lorries delivering daily from their depots to their stores  making  a detour to collect plants from their growers they could save the growers costs. Therefore reducing the cost to the B&Q customer. A ‘USP’ (unique selling point!) which has greatly increased sales.

A list of new plants featured in Graham’s talk from Arugas to Spireas will follow shortly. Further information can be found on http://www.plantsforeurope.com

New Plants – The Future For Your Garden – a talk by Graham Spencer

  • Ajuga Black Scallop BINBLASCA
  • Ajuga Sugar Plum BINSUGPLU
  • Brachyglottis Walberton’s® Silver Dormouse WALBRACH
  • Digitalis Walberton’s® Goldcrest WALDIGONE
  • Eryngium zabelii Neptune’s Gold – Best New Perennial at Grower Awards 2015
  • Erysimum Walberton’s® Fragrant Star WALFRASTAR
  • Erysimum Walberton’s® Fragrant Sunshine WALFRASUN
  • Euphorbia martinii Ascot Rainbow – RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Euphorbia characias Glacier Blue
  • Geum Totally Tangerine – a “Chelsea hero”
  • Helleborus Walberton’s® Ivory Prince WALHELIVOR
  • Helleborus Walberton’s® Rosemary WALHERO
  • Hibiscus Walberton’s® Rose Moon WALHIROSMO
  • Lavandula intermedia Heavenly Angel DOWPHANGEL
  • Lavandula intermedia Heavenly Night DOWPHNIGHT
  • Lavandula intermedia Heavenly Scent DOWPHSCNT
  • Lavandula pedunculata Fairy Wings® Blush
  • Lavandula pedunculata Fairy Wings® Pink
  • Lavandula pedunculata Fairy Wings® Purple
  • Nemesia Amelie FLEURAME
  • Nemesia Framboise FLEURFRAM
  • Nemesia Myrtille FLEURMYR
  • Nemesia Wisley Vanilla
  • Nemesia Berries and Cream FLEURBAC
  • Nemesia Berrie White FLEURBW
  • Nemesia Raspberries and Cream FLEURRAS
  • Nepeta grandiflora Summer Magic – winner ISU Plant Award 2016
  • Pennisetum advena Chelsea
  • Philadelphus Starbright
  • Pyracantha Golden Paradise
  • Rehmannia Walberton’s® Magic Dragon WALREMADRA
  • Ranunculus Rococo® series
  • Salvia Ember’s Wish SAL0101
  • Salvia Love and Wishes SERENDIP6 – many awards incl. Best New Bedding Plant, Grower Awards 2016
  • Salvia Wendy’s Wish
  • Salvia Kisses and Wishes
  • Spiraea Walberton’s® Magic Carpet WALBUMA – RHS Award of Garden Merit

Useful websites:

CIOPORA (organisation for breeders of ornamental plants) – http://www.ciopora.org

 

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Meeting 13th November 2018 ‘Pin me to the wall and do what you want with me!)

Following the Society’s AGM our Speaker Andrew Mikolajski delighted over 75 members and guests with a delightful presentation delivered with great panache, wit,style  but above all his in depth horticultural knowledge . His talk was  accompanied by a stunning slide show highlighting a huge range of well known and not so well known garden plants.

Andrew an RHS Consultant and author of over 30 gardening books focussed on wall climbers and roses for the smaller garden.

He demonstrated the variety of plants that can be used successfully to cover walls and fences whether they are warmer south/west facing  or cooler north/east situations.

Andrew tends not to favour using  horizontal wire as too often branches climb behind the wire and chafe causing bruising and make it difficult for pruning. His favourite methods include ‘pig wire’ a heavier gauge metal tying plants in with raffia.

To encourage fuller flowering of wall climbers it is best to train the branches horizontally rather than letting them continually climb vertically.

Surprisingly he believes November is a good time to plant climbers. (sweet peas too!) Bare rooted roses are best as November still has warmth in the soil (especially after this wonderful summer) which offers good  root growth surge providing good soil adhesion. Most pot plants purchased from garden centres are grown in peat compost which dries out too quickly. Often before you get the plants home! It helps to trim these roots to stimulate faster root growth.

The RHS has recently changed the rating system for the hardiness of plants. Instead of the ‘snowflake’ system plants are now numbered 1-7. The hardiest being 7. So for north/east facing situations plants numbered 5/6/7 are best.

A full list of Andrew’s recommended plants featured in his talk last night below:

Shrubs for informal training

Warm walls (south- or west-facing)

Ceanothus

Blue flowers in spring/summer; deciduous forms hardier than evergreen

Fremontodendron californicum

Bright yellow flowers in summer; stems covered in a skin-irritant powder

Itea ilicifolia

Long racemes of pale apple green, scented flowers in summer

Cestrum parqui

South American; night-scented flowers reliably produced only in hot conditions

Lagerstroemia indica

Panicles of bright pink flowers in late summer/early autumn

Jasminum humile

Upright, with glassy stems and scented yellow flowers in summer

Myrtus communis

Myrtle; aromatic leaves and white flowers in late summer

Fig

Prune in summer only lightly to expose fruits

Shady wall

Garry elliptica

Winter flowering; useful as a support for late-flowering clematis

Shrubs for formal training

Malus (apple)

Can be espaliered; can fruit if flowering spurs are developed

Pyracantha

Can be espaliered – at the expense of flowering and fruiting

Cedrus atlantica f. glauca ‘Pendula’

Weeping form of Blue Atlas cedar; flexible stems are easily trained

Climbing plants (shade tolerant unless otherwise indicated)

Clematis ‘Alba Luxurians’

White flowers touched with green from mid- to late summer; late flowers pure white

Clematis ‘Josephine’

Large, double, rich pink flowers in mid-spring followed by a later crop of single flowers; best in sun

Clematis ‘Fireworks’

Large, luminous violet flowers in mid- to late spring – essential!

Clematis ‘Mme Julia Correvon’

Dark magenta-pink flowers over several weeks in summer

Clematis ‘Arabella’

Flopping stems carry a succession of blue flowers throughout summer; best allowed to wander through low-growing shrubs

Passiflora ‘Silly Cow’

For a warm wall; large, luminous violet flowers in summer – essential!

Solanum laxum ‘Album’

For a warm wall; endless clusters of white flowers until well into autumn

Trachelospermum jasminoides

An evergreen for a warm wall; sweetly scented white flowers in summer

Lonicera x tellmanniana

Unscented, trumpet-like yellow flowers in summer; tolerant of deep shade

Hydrangea petiolaris

Large heads of white flowers in early summer; tolerant of deep shade but very slow to establish

Rosa ‘Fortune’s Double Yellow’

Loosely double yellow and pink flowers in late spring; needs a warm wall and minimal pruning; connoisseur’s plant

Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’

Clusters of duckling yellow, unscented flowers in late spring; prone to mildew and a rampant monster once it gets going

Rosa ‘Etoile de Hollande’

A good red rose for a warm wall; flowers tend to droop, so best when trained above eye level

Rosa ‘Malvern Hills’

A yellow, repeat-flowering rambler, with flowers in clusters

Rosa ‘Albrighton Rambler’

A repeat-flowering rambler like ‘Malvern Hills’ but pink; flowers small but perfectly formed

Rosa ‘Mermaid’

A great plant for a stately home; tough, thorny stems carry large, single, yellow flowers over a long period

Rosa ‘Warm Welcome’

Dainty miniature climber with clusters of vermilion-orange flowers over a long period; a must-have, and good in a container

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Meeting October 9th 2018

It was a pleasure to meet up with Johnnie Amos again since the Society’s tour of his very attractive HGS garden at The Old Bakery in Northamptonshire last year.

His interest in gardening was sown when he first went to school at 5 years of age where each child had their own small piece of land to grow  vegetables and flowers. This year alone he has attended 25 schools in England that have introduced gardens for pupils to get involved in gardening.

Johnnie who has a wealth of experience and knowledge across the gardening and horticultural spectrum with his work across the globe and for the BBC hosted a very entertaining and informative evening of questions and answers. Fortunately he was answering the questions many of which were formulated by members and guests beforehand.

So many questions, so little time ,60 minutes flew by! From coffee grounds, do they keep  slugs and snails at bay? to how to keep in check a large willow tree in a small garden (constant pruning spring and autumn).  Removing suckers? (do not cut but twist and pull to damage the roots) Interestingly coffee grounds are good for acid loving plants like camelias and rhodedendrons . Pine needles too.

Johnnie kindly donated several packs of  nematodes (keep them refrigerated before deployment), ideal for use in the autumn to defend hostas  and many other tasty plants  from slugs and snails whose eggs will be hatching ready to devour roots over the winter months!

 

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Meeting September 11 2018

The first in our series of Autumn Talks drew a large number of members and guests to listen to the popular plantsman Bob Brown of Cotswold Garden Flowers based in Evesham , Worcestershire.

In his nursery Bob has grown over 17,000 plants, currently over 8,000 in stock. Good old fashioned ones, newly introduced ones bred for colour and form but for vigour as well.

Many of which were on sale which caused a stampede as members started buying before the talk even started!

His talk concentrated on ‘Plants for Autumn’ illustrated by a beautiful and colourful slide show, accompanied by his amusing ,colourful and forthright views on some plants he does not like! Red Hot pokers to name but a few!

He praised the Hertfordshire plantswoman Judy Barker who took it upon herself to convince the very elderly committee of gentleman in the Chrysanthemum Society that many chrysanthemums were hardy and can flower in winter months.

Many of the slides were shot in the last few days to show a range of plants still blooming in full colour and will be doing so for the next few months.

Asters are a particular favourite. However in the USA they are known as symphyotrichums and cannot be bred with the European varieties more commonly known as michaelmas daisies so called because of their late flowering around Michaelmas day , September 29.

The slides covered a whole range of plants giving good Autumn colour from anemones , cyclamens, euphorbias, alliums (only some are hardy), saxifrage, phlox, nerines (Bob conducted a recent trial) and some varieties of golden rod!

The audience were taken aback by Bob’s insistence that wasps were good for the garden as they devoured caterpillars and aphids.  Also ivy was good for climbing up your house as it sealed up cracks and added an extra layer of warmth in winter!

Not everyone agreed!

For further information go to the website: cgf.net or telephone 01386 833849 to book one of Bob’s monthly talks at his nursery, cost £7.00 including home made cake!

PLANTS FOR AUTUMN

EXCLUDE FLOWERS THAT STARTED TO PERFORM IN OTHER SEASONS AND CARRY ON INTO AUTUMN.
Include:

HEPTACODIUM, KNIPHOFIAS, ALLIUM, SOLIDAGO,

SAXIFRAGA FORTUNEI, FERNS, SCHIZOSTYLIS, GRASSES, HEDERA, CYCLAMEN, (CORONILLA, GREVILLEA, CORREA), ACONITUM CARMICHAELII, ZAUSCHNERIA, PHLOX LATE, ARUM ITALICUM, CERATOSTIGMA,

 

CHRYSANTHEMUM ‘RUBY MOUND’

CHRYSANTHEMUM ‘RUBY RAYNOR’

CHRYSANTHEMUM ‘CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN’

CHRYSANTHEMUM ‘ROSETTA’

CHRYSANTHEMUM ‘BRETFORTAN ROAD’

ASTER TRIFOLIATUS subsp.AGERATOIDES ‘EZO MURASAKI’

SYMPHYOTRICHUM NOVAE-ANGLIAE ‘LACHSGLUT’

SYMPHYOTRICHUM ‘LITTLE CARLOW’

SYMPHYOTRICHUM ERICOIDES ‘VIMMER’S DELIGHT’

SYMPHYOTRICHUM COLESBOURNE 2008/A

ANEMONE x HYBRIDA ‘LORELEY’

ANEMONE x HYBRIDA ‘ANDREA ATKINSON’

ANEMONE x HYBRIDA ‘MARGARETE’

ANEMONE HUPEHENSIS ‘ROTKÄPPCHEN’

CYCLAMEN HEDERIFOLIUM

CYCLAMEN HEDERIFOLIUM  f.ALBIFLORUM

GOOD CYCLAMEN FOLIAGE GROWS AFTER FLOWERING AND PERSISTYS TILL JUNE
CYCLAMEN HEDERIFOLIUM f.HEDERIFOLIUM ‘SILVER CLOUD’

CERATOSTIGMA PLUMBAGINOIDES

HEDERA HELIX ‘FARLOW’

HEDERA HELIX

CUTTINGS OF IVY GROWTH TRULY MAKE A BUSH

HEDERA COLCHICA ‘ARBORESCENS’

HEDERA HELIX arboreal ‘CAVENDISHII LATINA’

HEDERA HELIX f.POETARUM ‘POETICA ARBOREA’

EUPHORBIA GRIFFITHII ‘DIXTER’

EUPHORBIA PALUSTRIS ‘WOODCHIPPINGS’

EUPHORBIA CYPARISSIAS

CHLOROPHYTUM KROOKIANUM

CHLOROPHYTUM KROOKIANUM

ALLIUM THUNBERGII ‘OZAWA’

ALLIUM ‘JUDITH’

ALLIUM ‘JUDITH’S FINDLING’

HEPTACODIUM MICONIOIDES

HEPTACODIUM MICONIOIDES

GREVILLEA ‘POORINDA CONSTANCE’

ACONITUM CARMICHAELII ‘RIVER NENE’

PHLOX PANICULATA ‘HERBSTWALZER’

PHLOX x ARENDSII ‘AUTUMN’S PINK EXPLOSION’

SCHIZOSTYLIS COCCINEA ‘MAJOR’

SAXIFRAGA FORTUNEI ‘SHIRAGIKU’

 SAXIFRAGA
‘SILVER VELVET’

SAXIFRAGA FORTUNEI ‘BLACK RUBY’

KNIPHOFIA ROOPERI

KNIPHOFIA ‘FRANCES VICTORIA’

KNIPHOFIA ‘YELLOW CHEER’

OPHIOPOGON JABURAN ‘VITTATUS’

COLCHICUM ‘WATERLILY’

SOLIDAGO RUGOSA

SOLIDAGO ‘HIDDIGEIGEI’

NERINE BOWDENII

NERINE BOWDENII ‘ALBA’

NERINE ‘KINN McINTOSH’ (DEC-JAN)

Quote from the RHS website 25/7/2017:
Nerine bowdenii
Bowden lily

© RHS 1990
55 suppliers RHS Plant Shop from £3.99
Jointhe RHS todayand get 12 months for the price of 9
Join now
Other common names Bowden lily
FamilyAmaryllidaceae
Genus Nerine are summer-dormant, perennial bulbs with erect leafless stems each bearing a terminal umbel of funnel-shaped flowers in autumn, and strap-shaped or linear leaves appearing after the flowers
Details N. bowdenii is a bulbous perennial to 50cm, with strap-shaped rich green leaves preceded by erect stems bearing umbels of lily-like pink flowers 6-8cm in width, with wavy, recurved segments
Plant range South Africa

The Telegraph

Alun Rees
12:01AM GMT 12 Nov 2013
How to grow: Nerine bowdenii

Nerine bowdenii is a breathtaking plant, especially on a dull autumn day.
With its tall scapes, terminated by a loose umbel of five to 10 trumpet-shaped, shocking-pink flowers, it must surely be the most exotic autumn-flowering bulb. Each flower has six narrow perianths with flamboyant wavy edges, which in certain lights appear to have been sprinkled with gold. And their faint musky scent carries on the autumn breeze.
Grown as a block or a thick row, Nerine bowdenii is a lively addition to an autumn border.
It flowers outdoors from September to early November, depending on temperature and site, with stems 30cm-50cm (12in-20in) tall. The flowers are long-lasting in the garden and keep going when cut for indoor decoration. The strap-like leaves emerge after flowering and survive the winter undamaged.

…….  Bulbs should be planted in autumn or early winter, spaced 7-10cm apart. Give them a good mulch to protect from frost in the first year until they are fully established.

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Talk,Tour & Tea @ Luton Hoo Walled Garden

On a glorious sunny afternoon our group enjoyed a very interesting and informative colourful slide presentation on the history of the Estate of Luton Hoo through the ages until the present day. Originally designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in 1763 as a unique 5 acre octagonal walled garden for the then owner the 3rd Earl of Bute.

The Estate then passed through 2 more family groups, the Leighs in the 19th century  and the Wehners and Philips in the 20th century. Sadly the walled garden fell into decline from the 1980’s but is now going through a great restoration aided by around 150 dedicated local volunteers.

Many areas within the garden are undergoing continuous maintenance with plots being weeded and brought back to life with vegetable crops (pumpkins,sweetcorn, beans, courgettes) sown together with many shrubs and plants of yesteryear discovered from old plans through diligent research by a dedicated team of volunteers.

Several propagation greenhouses have been renovated and now  growing melons (in netting) courgettes and cucumbers. The long conservatory has a series of grape vines on one side and a wall of figs along the wall. Behind the wall are a series of rooms for tool cleaning and storage, a room for mushroom growing and washing of vegetables ready for service in the mansion’s kitchens. Cut flowers were also supplied to the house each day, the responsibility of the head gardener who was also responsible for the arrangements too!

15 to 17 under gardeners were employed and all lived together in a house on the estate overlooked by the head gardener’s own house who kept an eye on them for any misbehaviour! Especially as the dairy maids lived close by in a another house. The under gardeners were responsible for the upkeep of their own standard apparel. Boots highly polished were inspected by the head gardener every morning before work commenced at 7.00am. Training at Luton Hoo was a very prestigious posting as it was regarded as second only to Kew which would greatly enhance their future careers.

Our group were also able to view inside the dairy which is under restoration. The large marble slab in the centre of the room was recently used as a morgue in the recent film, Bleak House!

The Walled Garden is open to the public every Wednesday throughout the summer until 26 September between 10.30am-4.00pm. There is a £5.00 entry fee. Current produce grown in the garden is on sale, also honey and honeycomb from the Estate’s own bee hives.

For those who have never visited it really is a worthwhile outing. Those that have not visited  in recent times will be amazed by the progress that has been made over the last few years.  Click to see photos

To complete all the renovations a sum of 8 million pounds is thought to be the amount needed!  Lottery winners are very welcome to apply here!

For further information visit: http://www.lutonhooestate.co.uk

…and Volunteers always welcome!

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