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

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Seasons of mist ....

Talk:  Muck and Magic by Sally Smith
We heard about the background to the organic movement and all learnt some tips on how to make and use compost from an expert in this field.   Sally Smith is now an organic gardening consultant and a teacher of basketry and willow weaving, having previously worked for organic organisations and as a researcher for the BBC.  A lively Q & A session followed the talk. 
It will be interesting to check at a later date whether our compost making skills have improved.
Display Table
Gill showed us, using two containers, plants from her garden which are typically out at this time of year and those which are not expected to still be flowering.
 Typically out:  Viburnum Dawn, Viburnum Tinus, Mahonia midwinter sun, saxifrage fortuna, malus Red
Sentinel, calicarpa with its purple berries, Bowles mauve and Abelia

not expected to be out:includes  hydrangea, Plectranthus (usually grown as an indoor plant)
Ann brought a selection of Nerines which she says are hardy as long as the bulbs are planted in gritty compost leaving their necks out of the soil.  
Nerine Bowdenii  like Stephanie and Nerine crispa.
Nerines come in colours ranging from white to red.
Look for the  clematis head of Freckles
James brought Verbena bonariensis and informed us that there are over 250 species and they should not be cut back at the end of the season.  Also showing are a red salvia, Horsetail Grass Equisetum hymale, Hesperantha, the orangey-red Alonsoa, Rudbeckia, Anemone, Astrantia and chrysanthemum Suffolk Pink
Brian brought in his Balou chrysanthemum acquired from Graham and who has since bought and taken cuttings of very many of these flowers.
Carol brought a variety of fuchsias, one of which she couldn’t name.  Members helped identify it as 'Lottie Hobby'

Trevor brought his cheerful cyclamen, which reminded me that I purchased a half price outdoor cyclamen in a pot for £2 in Tesco.

Notice Board
Norma put out a request for surplus gardening tools which could be used by the gardening club at a Horsforth primary school.
Friday Forum Bring and Buy brought in a good sum, as have the Paxton plant sales throughout the year.  The shows were successful and Paxton’s patrons raised much needed funds.
Graham asked if anyone would be willing to help on the Friday evening before shows.
Thanks to those who helped in the Paxton Blitz, which was most effective.
James advised that the charity collection of plastic bottle tops will finish after the next meeting, so bring in any you have saved on 20th November.
Next Meeting
November 20th:  Presentation by Don Witton entitled Winter Survival Kit.