Saturday, 20 September 2014

Golden Acre Park and plants to extend interest in the garden

Talk:  Martin Walker gave us a fascinating presentation on the past and present of Golden Acre Park.  Although it is a local park, we all learnt something new about this popular area.
 Martin:  self confessed obsessive gardenr
By 1932 Golden Acre was a theme park run by the Thompson family, which boasted a dance hall, miniature railway, swimming pool, boating lake and hotel.  It was a popular resort for day trippers and Martin showed us photographs of crowds of people making their way there.  In the middle of the lake a tower blasted out music and the dance hall, where many a match was made, had walls which could be removed in the summer.

By 1939, the park was not very lucrative and the site was requisitioned by the military for training purposes.

In 1946 Golden Acre became the property of Leeds City Council.  Martin, who worked in the park while still a teenager, gave us an insight into the successes and problems of managing such a huge park.  He told us how a salvaged wrought iron gate from the former Blenheim School now graces the Blenheim Courtyard.  There have been many different planting trends over the years and recently mixed annuals have been sown to appear like wildflower meadows.   Golden Acre Park houses national collections of various species, rhododendrons from Parceval Hall in the Dales, cherry orchards and very old beech trees.  Some of the trees were lost in the great storm of 1962 which flooded the area.
Build and they will come 
Janella reminded us about Wildlife Week and how we can attract wildlife into our gardens.  Bug hotels are easy to make using a plastic bottle or piece of old pipe for a shell and filling in with hollow stems, paper and such like.  Other ideas were bat boxes and plants which encourage wildlife.  Wild about gardens  Why not have a go and let us know the outcome?
Display Table
Janella’s variegated Lobelia which had been squashed and reverted to green has been revitalised by cutting back hard.

 Margaret brought some grass and bulbs; both good multipliers
 This Chilli plant was brought for members to help themselves to the harvest
Gill and Ann demonstrated how our gardens can still contain plenty of interest at this time of the year.


Kirengeshoma with the yellow bells, phlox maculate, hydrangea, japanese anemone, the whirlwind double white and a pink one, two purple clematis polish spirit with its hanging habit and etoile violette.  Also included are a begonia, the late flowering campanula ossetica, salvia Amistad, the dark red potentilla monarch’s velvet, helenium, lysimachia which is good for front of a border,a couple of fuchsia and corydalis.  There is a plume of a heuchera, the arching grass molinia transparent and an Autumn marlis.


Abies pine cone


Actea, aconitum, an orange hesperantha and even an attractive plant which seemingly came from the birdseed.

Paxton Early Autumn Show and Plant Sale

Saturday 27th September See full details of the various classes, prizes and times are on the Paxton site.


Chris Cox of Taylor’s Nursery, who is giving a talk on the 3rd October, has kindly offered to bring any orders placed beforehand thus saving delivery costs. 
Next meeting:  
3rd October: Clematis through the seasons
Friends of Paxton meet regularly on the first Monday of the month from Midday.  An hour or two or your time to help maintain the premises are always welcome.  If another date is more suitable for you, please let us know.  
Friday Forum meetings are 1.30pm on 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month at Paxton Hall, Paxton Horticultural Society, 186 Kirkstall Lane, Leeds LS5 2AB.   Meetings may be hands-on sessions, guest speakers or garden visits. Regular features are the Display Table where members can bring their plants for discussion and advice and the Sales Table where members sell their plants, cuttings and produce to help the club funds.  For further information log on to


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