Saturday, 21 February 2015

Bradford Parks

Illustrated Talk on Bradford Parks by David Elcock

We were treated to an extremely interesting and informative presentation by David on some of the 36 parks maintained by Bradford, including their history and future plans.
The origin of the park came from the monasteries where the monks grew plants for food and herbs for medicines.  Over time, they disappeared and private parks were built by the landed gentry which later were gifted to the public by philanthropists or bought by local councils for recreational use for the people.
One of the parks described by David is Lister (or Manningham) Park, one of Bradford’s largest parks, originally owned by the mill-owning Lister family.   The park has seen extensive renovations with money from the heritage lottery and in 2006 it was awarded   Britain’s Best Park. Its features include a man-made boating lake, Mughal Water gardens, botanical gardens and Cartwright Hall, a purpose built Art Gallery.
Another park we learnt about was Saltaire (or Robert’s) Park by the model village built by Sir Titus Salt.  This too has benefited from heritage lottery funding.
The Llamas, Statue of Titus Salt and the river

 The renovated bandstand, the park in spring and the boathouse cafe

Other parks mentioned were Cliff Castle, soon to be given a face lift, and Oakworth Hall with its man-made stone tunnels – both in Keighley, Bradford’s first municipal park, Peel Park, Haworth Central Park and the latest park, in Bradford City Centre, the Mirror Pool which is illuminated at night.
Display Table
Margaret’s cyclamen coum
Gill brought a small pot of examples of plants in flower in her garden this week, including rosemary, iris lazica, the snowflake Leucojum, pulmonaria, snowdrop,  Ipheion 'Wisley Blue' and Hepatica nobilis Rubra.  

Gill also brought an attractive basket of spring flowers comprising : cyclamen coum, iris, euphorbia Tasmanian Tiger, variegated wallflower and tête à tête daffodils.

Dates for your Diary
Next Meeting: 6th March – Greatest gardening disasters/Plants I wish I had never grown plus a plant-related Quiz. See previous post about displaying a slide of the plant(s) you wish to discuss.
Plant Sale, for which members are asked to pot up and bring in any plants they have spare, and the Spring Show (full details on the Paxton main website

Notice Board
The plight of the Watford Allotments which the council wishes to build on was brought to our attention and if you wish to add your name to the petition please click here
More locally, Inkwell allotment in Chapel Allerton which is a resource for people with mental health issues is under threat of purchase by a private buyer for the building of private housing.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Plants for Shady Spots

Display Table
Gill’s  Narcissus 'Rijnveld's Early Sensation' is a classic yellow trumpet-type daffodil and one of the earliest blooming

Floating Hellebores plus 
Mary’s Aeonium which has  flowered again this year
Carol’s Daphne bholua forms an upright growing evergreen shrub with leathery mid-green oval leaves. 'Jaqueline Postill'  and viburnum Dawn
Jenny’s Daphne has lost her leaves and would welcome possible causes and solutions
Janella's S. Arnott snowdrops in a pot

Gill read from Christopher Lloyd’s book where he derides the plant passion that's become known as Galanthomania and says he likes snowdrops to be straight.  Andy Byfield wrote in an article that although Lloyd mused lovingly about some of the snowdrop varieties that flourished at Dixter, but I am also sure that it was he who coined the phrase Galanthobore, disdainful of those gardening folk who come out of hibernation around this time of year, and do nothing else other than eat, drink and sleep snowdrops until February draws to a close.

Discussion on plants for shady conditions
A couple of members brought Beth Chatto’s catalogues which gives recommendations and a list can be found here:
Some other ideas given for dry shade were:
geranium nodosum
choisya sundance
Brunnera Jack Frost
Stylophorum diphyllum
Leycesteria formosa 'Golden Lanterns'

Advice given in the RHS magazine Garden included improving the soil and irrigation.
Ideas put forward for damp shade included meconopsis, primulas, astrantia, persicaria, and gunnera (which Carol manages to grow in a pot). 
 Jenny uses ivies in her shady spots including Paddy's Pride (a non-climber whose colours change according to the amount of sunlight) and Melanie for dry shade
 Peter displayed his beautiful, handmade decoupage cards and posters

*** NEW initiative ***
It was suggested that illustrations of the plants being discussed would be beneficial and Graham proposed the following.  Members should send Graham (by note or email ) the name or even a picture of the plant they wish to discuss at the 6th March meeting “Greatest gardening disasters/Plants I wish I had never grown” before that date and preferably at the 20th February meeting.  We will also try using mobile wifi to display plants on RHS Plantfinder.
No one can accuse Friday Forum of not having a go!
Next Meeting:  20th February - a presentation on Bradford Parks by David Elcock