Saturday, 19 December 2015

Christmas Celebrations

Party Time
Friday Forum started celebrations with a Christmas Quiz with a seasonal theme set by Maggie and Kate.  There were mince pies plus a Christmas flower arrangement workshop; a selection of the finished products are shown below.
Display Table
Ann shared a Christmas card she had received from Doug Simpson, who introduced Red Kites into Yorkshire showing some of the items which have been found in their nests.  Read the back of the card for other extraordinary finds.  Incredible!

Gill brought a sprig of lonicera fragrantissima (winter-flowering honeysuckle) in flower
Gill also reminded us about the daffodil 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation which offers cheerful colour at this time of year. In milder winters, or in particularly sheltered gardens, this trumpet daffodil can be in bloom in late December or early January.  I have put a note in my diary for next year but some like the daffodil to herald the spring.  Any thoughts or personal preferences?
Next Meeting
Jan 15th       Presentation – Quetzals, Hoatzins and Incas by Peter and Barbara Murphy  
Please note that this is the only Friday Forum meeting in January.  For the full programme for 2016, please see the tab at the top of the blog.       

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Winter Warmer

Speaker:  Susie Hart MBE, Craft Aid International 

Susie began her presentation by singing a Tanzanian song in her amazing voice while signing in deaf language.  Susie told us how the whole family moved to Iringa, where she set up workshops to give sustainable skills to the disabled who were stigmatised and lived in undignified conditions.  Along with her husband, a vet, they set up social enterprises making paper from elephant dung and various handicrafts along with a cafe and guest house, providing employment and training opportunities for local people with disabilities.  A facility providing physiotherapy and disability aids was also set up.
This model has been adopted in Peru and Craft Aid International also runs craft sessions for adults with disabilities in the UK.
We were all touched by the difference Susie made to the lives of so many people across the globe. 

Display Table
Examples of flower arrangements were brought in to give ideas for next meeting
Gill’s wreaths
Judith’s arrangements in flower pots and Norma’s pink arrangement in a teacup
Also on the table:

Jenny’s creeping wire vine Muehlenbeckia axillaris (Australian Ivy) and Barbed wire plant Calocephalus brownii


Ann’s Miscanthus sinensis Cosmoplitan, Actea Cimicifuga , Restio quadrates and Restio Cannomois grandis (Bell Reed) which grow to over 7ft. 

Gill’s iris lazica and Iphion

Notice Board

Margaret D thanked those who provided refreshments and helped in the kitchen at what was the last Paxton Show for this year.  Despite the bad weather, the sales table was successful.

Next Meeting
18th December:  Quiz, festive flower arrangements and mince pies.  Members are requested to wear red and/or green!
Please keep your eyes open for the page giving the new programme for 2016 as the dates in January may be subject to change.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Winter approaches

Talk:  Winter Survival Kit by Don Witton

An exhilarating illustrated talk by Don was delivered with wit and humour which made us all feel more positive as we enter the winter season.  Not only did he suggest plants to brighten up the dark days but also proposed where to visit and tasks that can be done to extend the gardening year.  There were plenty of ideas to take away with us.
Display Table
This meeting’s exhibits included a remarkable assortment of plants which are still giving interest at the end of November.
 Bryan brought his Boulou chrysanthemums and Judith brought a heuchera to brighten the table

Graham brought his green chrysanthemums and a paler one called White Feeling.  The carnation gained a lot of attention too
 James’ Arundo Lomax is a native of South America and grows even taller than the 6ft specimen brought in.  Among its uses are biomass fuel and reeds for musical instruments.  The ancient Egyptians wrapped their dead in the leaves of this plant.
June’s pot contained a pink bonica tall rose, fuchsia Genii and Hawkshead

Ann’s pot contained Alstroemeria Selina and brasiliensis, the attractive Bomarea Caldasii, Salvia ember’s wish, Hesperantha Mrs Hegarty, Fuchsia autumnale, Amicia zygomeris, the stunning Stokesia laevis and clematis Lansdowne Gem.

Gill’s pot contained a hellebore, blue Salvia, Ivy, Viburnum Dawn, the hardy fuchsia Mrs. Popple and a wallflower
Judith’s foliage of Spotty Dotty, Geranium palmatum, Bergenia and Fatsia
 Peter has made a bookart hedgehog which can house your Christmas cards.  A novel way to use your Fifty Shades of Grey!  Peter is selling these with proceeds going to Paxton
Notice Board
Paxton late autumn open show will be held on Saturday 28th November 2 – 4.30pm.  Margaret D has requested help in the kitchen.
Annual subscriptions are now due.
Next Meeting
December 4th: Presentation by Susie Hart on Craft Aid International