Saturday, 16 January 2021

Virtual Friday Forum; First Meeting of 2021


The theme of this meeting was to be what can be seen in your garden ……. best laid plans.

We did have quite a few members telling us what has been doing well at the moment and delighting them at this bleak time.  We also heard how the snow had damaged various trees and shrubs, sometimes quite badly.

Lizzie B

This Camellia has been out since early December.  Does anyone know its name?

Tête-à-tête trying to push through the snow


A bit of colour (taken before the snow)
Variegated Vinca, Bowles Mauve, a descendant of the original plant given to me by Margaret H, Winter Jasmine land Viburnum tinus.


Norma sent this lovely photo of her flower arrangement suggested by a flower arranger to the Queen.

You need a pretty tray, I used a jam jar, a vinegar bottle, two wine glasses and two pieces from a dressing table set. Spring flowers are lovely. I used Tulips, Freesia, Forsythia twigs and Garrya elliptical.  

If you have time on your hands or perhaps starting a new garden, check out this link

Free fast-track garden design classes online (

Her blog and the rest of the website also looks interesting.

Looking forward to the gardening year ahead ....

Photo: courtesy Ann from the Feb 2020 display table

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Virtual Friday Forum Christmas Party

Friday Forum members started the virtual party season early.  Guests dressed for the occasion and had a festive drink and snack on hand.

Everyone contributed a Christmas-themed joke or two to get us in the party mood followed by a quiz, set by Kate and won by Judith, which was both eclectic and challenging.

Some members made beautiful wreaths.  This is Judith's:

Liz still has colour from these flowers in the garden:

Liz says:  I took this pic of Astrantia Bo Ann on Dec 1st. I bought it from Jimi Blake’s garden in Dublin last year. He said it is the longest flowering plant in his garden, and it has certainly proved to be the same in mine.

Wishing our members and readers a merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.


Saturday, 7 November 2020

Virtual Friday Forum 15



There was a good attendance for what is now our 15th virtual meeting and we were happy to welcome a new member to the room.  It will never replace our meetings at Paxton where we were able to touch, smell and buy the plants as well as have a cup of tea and a chat, but hopefully these virtual meetings and our Friday Forum blog will keep us going until normal service resumes.

Gremlins were at work again and Jenny couldn’t make herself heard, so her contributions turned into a sort of name-this-plant quiz which Sue G won by a country mile.

Carol still has plenty of interest and colour in her garden:

 Leyesteria Formula (Autumn berries)

Mahonia   (just coming into flower)

 Morina Longifolia

Standard Flower Carpet Pink tree 

Acer  Palmatum Seiryu

Abutilon megapotamicum 


 Nerine bowdenii

 Arbutus (strawberry tree)

Maggie M couldn’t join us this month but sent in a photo of her late bumper tomato crop


Judith introduced us to the idea of leaving seasonal plants in their pots and arranging in a basket meaning, as the season changes, new plants can be easily substituted.  Since learning about this, I have copied this idea and have an ever-changing basket by my front doorstep.


 (WIP) An autumn/winter wreath using pine cones, ivy flowers tinted gold, holly and rose hips

Sue Gray and her Autumn pinks:

 Nerine bowdenii

 Bergenia ‘Tubby Andrews’

Sorbus ‘Pink Pagoda’ 


  Dolly tub planted with heathers, pansies, ivies and Heuchura ‘Bronze Beauty’ +  Bulbs waiting to appear in the spring
Persicaria from the Friday Forum plant stall.   Unknown 

Autumn colours from my garden, including
Ceratostigma Willmottianum and Plumbaginoides -  bronze foliage and blue flowers
Hesperantha (unknown)
Japanese anemones
Sedum and Ivy 
Toaster unknown 


Parrotia persica leaves  


 From left to right Persicaria campanulata
Pelargonium capitatum
Anisodontea ‘El Royo’
Hebe ‘Donna’
  Panicum ‘Purple Haze’
Thelma showed us her vase of grasses and Chinese lanterns and Norma showed us her birthday bouquet from Friday Forum.

There was also some discussion on Heuchera Autumn Bride and Rue.  

Martin Fish is moving house as he wants to develop an open woodland garden.  Anyone fancy moving to a well maintained garden in Rainton? 

We had some tasty, hearty soup recipes for the colder weather which can be found on the Recipes page.

A potential nursery to explore in Harrogate click on where you can find more details and opening hours. Nursery Lane East, off Harlow Moor Road in Harrogate  (Postcode HG2 0FH in your satnav).

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Virtual Friday Forum 14

We may be into October, but Friday Forum members still have plenty of colour and interest in their gardens. 


*Actea simplex - from Margaret Denton years ago!

*Anemone japonica 'Honorine Jobert'

*Aster - lovely blue, name unknown

*Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' - from Kate *Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie - 2nd lot of flowers

*Hylotelephium spectabile (i.e.Sedum!) 'Herbstfreude'

*Perovskia 'Blue Spire'

*Persecaria amplexicaulis 'Firetail' - also from Kate! Thank you kind friend!

*Phlox - strong cherry pink, name unknown

*Potentilla fruticosa 'Katherine Dykes' - lovely lemon yellow

*Nerine bowdenii

*Salvia microphylla 'Pink Lips'


ERSICARIA with a lovely yellowy/green leaf which came from Judith via the Friday Forum plant table. 

ROSE ‘Pink Perpetue’. Third flush.  Lovely scent
ASTER ‘Lady in Blue’ 
CERATOSTIGMA PLUMBAGINOIDES.  Beautiful bright blue flowers with leaves turning to shades of autumn
JAPANESE ANEMONE. Don’t know which one.


Amanda's favourite salvia, note the small leaves.  Anyone know the name? 

White colchicum


Greensleeves apples before l picked them with flower ?!


Cotinus, Artemesia, Persicaria, Abelia, Sedum Autumn Joy

Many mentions were made of Asters/ Symphyotrichum novae angliae but the favourite seemed to be the tall Aster calliope for its flower and also its glossy green leaves on dark, almost black, stems.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Virtual Friday Forum 13

September has arrived too soon for some and not soon enough for others.  Although the astronomical equinox will not peak this year until September 22, 2020, at 2.30pm BST, meteorologists divide the seasons into three calendar months so, using this method,  autumn started on September 1 and will end on December 1, the start of winter.  Spring will then begin on March 1.  Let us hope we can be back to meetings at Paxton Hall before then.

Judith showed us the dark red foliage of her Bergenia ciliata 'Dumbo' and Heuchera  'Red Lightning'

Herbaceous Clematis
Sinacalia Tangutica
Persicaria Amplexicaulis Alba
Persicaria Amplexicaulis Rosa
Prostanthera (Mint Bush)

Other members brought Asters, Heleniums and other  flowers which extend the season and we discussed the Berberis sawfly, for which we would appreciate to find a  solution.

Next Virtual Meeting will be on October 2nd