Sunday, 17 February 2019

A short time to make a long border

Garden designer Mary Swan gave a fascinating entitled: A short time to make a long border in which she explained the highs and lows of preparing a show garden for RHS Chatsworth.
 Mary Swan
Mary studied garden design and horticulture and now lectures at Craven College as well as running her own garden design company.  After experiencing being part of a team who put together show gardens, Mary decided to go solo.  She decided to attend a seminar run by the RHS to find out more and discovered the Long Border category at Chatsworth was still open to entries and so she applied for this – with just two months to prepare.
Mary then took us through the hairy process of making the garden with the theme given as Movement.  She used the idea of the wind and the transition from spring to summer to complete the raised bed.  We heard how she drew up the plans, sourced the plants plus a steel screen while following the criteria and contending with the weather.  The list of plants used and details about workshops on design can be found here
One of the useful tips she gave for our own gardens is to take a colour card to the nursery with you to ascertain which plants matched well with others.
The outcome?  A gold medal!
Display Table
Janella’s Hamamelis x intermedia Pallida which she intends to place in her garden near a shrub which shows colour at this time of year.  The plant is commonly known as Witch hazel as the branches were used as divining rods
 Kate’s vase includes Epimedium, Snowdrops including S. Arnott, Ipheion  Alberto Castillo, Cyclamen coum, Hellebores, Iris, Sarcococca, Viburnum bodnantense dawn
Trevor’s Iris recticulata Cantab 

 Ann’s spring display:  Iris Palm Springs, George, Pauline and Sheila Ann Germany, Primulas and Geranium

A bargain, yet to be identified, from The Arium
 Gill’s basket contains spring flowers including the Daffodil Jet Fire
From her garden Gill brought Coronilla, Snowdrops, the scented Daphne retusa, Primrose and Hellebore, which last longer in a vase when a slit is made along the length of the stem.
Jill J’s pot of Crocus Cream Beauty

Margaret M’s Helleborus Gold Collection Joker

Notice Board
Early notice about Paxton Spring Show and Plant Sale on 30th March.  Dorothy has made a request for plants. 

 Next Meeting
1st March – Forum meeting:  John Freer will be giving a short talk and demonstrating how to stage entries for our Mini Show (or the Paxton Spring Show).  We will also be discussing shade loving plants so we would like examples from your own gardens.


Sunday, 3 February 2019

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides - W E Johns

This meeting was entitled Friday Forum AGM but after the formal part of the meeting, we reviewed 2018 and reminded ourselves of the wonderful speakers, visits and parties which makes the group so enjoyable.
A friend of Jenny had lent her a book on illustrations by botanical artist  Annika Silander-Hökerberg which includes some plants named after Solander  including climbers from Mexico and West Indies.  Jenny also added some very interesting material to what we know about Linnaeus and Solander from the talk we heard from Friday Forum’s Dr Carl Denton.

Ann demonstrated how to make plant pots from newspaper.  We tried constructing these biodegradable containers and sowed Sweet Pea seeds.  Watch this space.
Display Table
 Judith’s Hellebore foetidus
 Another of Judith’s bargain plants from Morrisons is labelled Christmas Rose but is surely a Helleborus lividus
Norma’s Sweet Peas
 Kate’s Iris was a thoughtful birthday gift
Gardening Matters

Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream.
-  Barbara Winkler
Notice Board
A heads up about the meeting on 1st March.  John Freer will give a short talk on staging exhibits for our Mini Show on 5th April.  

Next Meeting
15th February:  Presentation - A short time to make a long border: RHS Chatsworth Flower Show by Mary Swan

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Daniel Charles Solander a very neglected horticulturalist

Presentation:  by Dr Carl Denton - "Daniel Charles Solander - a very neglected horticulturalist"

 Friday Forum member Carl gave a most entertaining and educational talk on the little known but important horticulturist Daniel Charles Solander.  Solander originally went to Uppsala University in Sweden to study medicine but was soon persuaded to change to botany by Professor Linnaeus with whom he lodged.
Seeds and plants were arriving in Europe by the Dutch East India Company.  When Solander learnt that Joseph Banks together with his secretary, couple of artist and four manservants were to sail on the Endeavour with Captain Cook bound for Tahiti to observe a rare occurrence, the transit of the planet Venus across the face of the sun, he jumped at the chance although the voyage would be dangerous.
The perilous journey would take three years and it was on this voyage that Cooke discovered Australia.  The ship returned laden with 30,000 new plant speciemens.  On their return, Banks was elevated to the presidency of the Royal Society and Solander was given a doctorate and made Keeper of the British Museum to continue his work on the classification of plants.
Display Table:
There was some snowdrop rivalry amongst members to ascertain whose were first to flower, but there was no evidence presented.
Phyllis brought a Hydrangea grown from a cutting off a sickly specimen she inherited with the house.
 Ann showed off her bargain which comes from the Himalyas/Northern India (via Gordon Riggs) so should be hardy
Judith’s spring display which graces her back doorstep.  The plants are kept in their pots and placed in a container so can be easily changed as the season progresses
 Judith’s bargain was £3 from Morrisons (plants from other supermarkets are available) and contains Polyanthus, Hyacinth and Daffodils
 Carol still has plenty of interest in her garden:  Morina longifolia, Hesperantha, Skimmia, Jasmine, Daphne and also found a crocus in flower
 This stunning Cyclamen was brought in by Norma
Gardening Matters
There are many places to visit where you can see snowdrops en masse.  Here is a link to Burton Agnes in East Yorkshire

Notice Board
If you haven’t already done so, please could you pay the annual subscription for 2019.  The fee is £12.00; cheques should be made out to Paxton Horticultural Society or cash (correct amount if possible) should be in a named envelope.

Next Meeting
18th January:  A presentation on Patagonia by Peter and Barbara Murphy.  Barbara usually sells greeting cards produced from her wonderful wildlife photography in aid of Rodley Nature Reserve.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Friday Forum Christmas Party

It wouldn’t be a Friday Forum Christmas Party without a testing quiz compiled by James, free raffle, charades, mince pies, festive hats  and entertaining readings by Norma, Sue G, Margaret H and Trevor.  Well, we had those in spadefuls plus seasonal flower arrangements. 
Thank you to the committee and for all your hard work this year on our behalf.



Notice Board
Please note that annual subscriptions will be collected by Caroline on the first and second meetings in the new year.  The fee is £12.00, cheques should be made out to Paxton Horticultural Society or cash (correct amount if possible) should be in a named envelope.
Next Meeting
4th January:   Talk by Dr Carl Denton  - "Daniel Charles Solander - a very neglected horticulturalist"