Saturday, 21 May 2016

Fascinating Facts about daffodils

James entertained us with some interesting tales about the daffodil.
·         Often given on a 10th wedding anniversary but James discovered that daffodils shouldn’t be mixed in a bouquet with other flowers when he bought flowers for his young lady, who then became his wife.
·         Goats can chomp through most things without coming to harm, but can’t eat daffodils.
·         Many Chinese people living in the Bristol area were hospitalised for mistakenly eating daffodil bulbs for what they believed to be giant chives.
·         Hollywood screen star Sir Anthony Hopkins has donated £1m towards buying Snowdon.  When the land first became for sale, the National Trust launched its Save Snowdon Campaign, asking the public appeal to help buy the land which was put up for sale for £3min order to save it from being commercialised.  Sir Anthony, president of the trust's Snowdonia Appeal since its launch in 1990, said: "Snowdonia is one of the most beautiful places in the world and Snowdon is the jewel that lies at its heart. It must be cherished and protected.  The daffodils which grow in the may soon yield a cost effective drug, galantamine, for use in the treatment of the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. 
Display Table

Elizabeth put on a real show of what’s in bloom in her garden; can’t wait to visit it next month!  Small tulips; the red humilis Lilliput and  yellow Marjoletti.  Solomon’s Seal and Smilacena racemosa, from the same family but like chalk and cheese, Iris, Rose Banksia, and clematis Guernsey Cream, Wada’s Primrose,  Freda and Markham’s Pink.  
 Clematis Moonbeam

 Daphne Redusa, Honesty, Bluebells, Aqualegia,  Allium, Polyanthus, variegated Rosemary and Rhododendron Pink Pearl
Magnolia Susan, camellias: a white one and the pink Donation
Azeleas in pink, yellow, red, orange and the small dark pink Mother’s Day

Jenny brought white Stock which is highly perfumed and has been grown in a cold greenhouse.   The lanky plant gives out these lovely blooms.
Kate brought a Canna  tuerckheimii which she grew from one of a selection of seeds which was distributed by Graham who acquired it from a keen collector, now deceased.  Other members have raised plants from these seeds; a fitting legacy.
Judith ‘s Nemesia Wisley Vanilla, which she bought from the Laskett Gardens in Herefordshire.  The gardens were created by Sir Roy Strong and his late wife Julia Trevelyan Oman and well worth a visit or even a virtual visit to read a very touching story.

Gill almost covered the alphabet with the shrubs and flowers which are out in her garden.
Gill’s shrubs:  Azara, Tree Peony with yellow, globe-shaped flowers, Viburnum, Rubus, Choisya, Kerria, Ceonothus, Pieris, Teucrium fruticans, Sorbraria, Solanum glasnevin, Sambucus nigra
Gill’s flowers:  Valeriana, Lily of the Valley, Bugle, Daphne, Aqualegia, Corydalis, Dicentra, Epimedium, Geum Bell Bank, Pulmonaria opal, perennial Lunaria, Allium triquetrum, Stylophorum and Smyrnium.
Judith’s Salvia Amistad
Ann’s trough contains Wall Pennywort umbilicus rupestris which grows in dry crevices in rocks and walls

 In the plant pot is Marsh Pennywort hydrocotyle vulgaris which likes a wet habitat

Ann’s arrangement contains Soldanella villosa, Paris polyphilla, Smilacena racemosa, the aptly named little mouse plant Asarum proboscideum, a blueClematis alpine and the deeper blue alpine Helsingborg and clematis macropetala Octopus

James brought the smelly Lysichiton americanus, the American Skunk Cabbage – the slugs don’t seem to mind it
Notice Board
Next Meeting:  Friday 3rd June – Garden visit to Whixley (see tab Garden Visits for details).  Some members are meeting at Paxton at 1.00 pm to travel together.  If you have any issues, please contact Judith.
As we have garden visits for the next two meetings, 3rd and 17th June, please note the details of the next meeting at Paxton which will be the mini show.  I defy anyone to say that they can’t find a suitable entry in their garden!
Friday Forum Mini Show:  Friday 1st July 2016
Class 1  One Bloom HT Rose
Class 2  One Stem Floribunda Roase
Class 3  One Stem any other Rose
Class 4  One vase Sweet Peas
Class 5  One vase Pinks
Class 6  One vase cut flowers, judged for frontal effect
Class 7  One pot plant
Capability Brown:  Kate told us about an exhibition to celebrate the tercentenary of Capability Brown’s birth.  It is at the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate between 25th June and 11th September and entry is free.  For more information, go to

Sunday, 8 May 2016

“Sweet May hath come to love us, Flowers, trees, their blossoms don; And through the blue heavens above us The very clouds move on.” -- Heinrich Heine

Presentation by Pat Hutchinson

This Friday, we had a wonderful talk:  'In Search of the World's Largest Flower'.  Pat Hutchinson took us on a virtual tour of Borneo in search of the Rafflesia arnoldii, a rare plant whose flowers are up to 1 metre across and only last five days.  Also known as the corpse plant because of its smell of rotting flesh, this parasitic plant is named after the expedition facilitated by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and the scientist Dr Joseph Arnold who discovered it.   The plant, which is pollinated by insects and whose seeds are dispersed by ground squirrels, is an endangered species and the government imposes jail sentences for anyone who might do harm to the plants. 
On Pat’s first trip to Borneo, she was not able to see the flower, but she did share her amazing adventures with us and showed us wonderful photographs of animals, birds and insects.  However, she did succeed in seeing it on her second trip. 
Display Table
Margaret’s colourful arrangement of Tulips Gavota and purple anemone blanda is set off by the matching purple trug
 Kate brought in her Wulfenia carinthiaca and what we think is a Lithodora??
 Margaret H brought a pot of Daffodil Thalia and a pot of tulip Angelique
 In Judith’s bottle of daffodils, one is Salome, but we weren’t sure of the other two
Gill’s collection just goes to show the wide range of flowers that are out at the moment.  She also recommends that we don’t dismiss plants that are, in her words, “as common as muck” as they can complement other plants to give an attractive display.
Gill’s jug contained Euphorbia chameleon, Kerria double and single varieties, Tellima, Bugle Bowles gold, daffodil Thalia, Lamium, Allium bisceptrum, Honesty, Osmanthus, Brunnera, Pachyfragma, Cardamine, Aqualegia, Anemone blanda, Rubus coreanus, Teucrium, Pulmoneria opal and Magnolia stellata

Notice Board
Next meeting:  20th May is a forum and not a garden visit, so this is your chance if you have anything to share with the group.
Instead of the day trip on June 3rd, we have the opportunity to visit to The Old Vicarage, Whixley, home of Bridget Marshall who is a county organiser for the Yellow Booklet.  Guests are welcome and if you have transport problems, please have a word with a committee member.  See full details on the visits page.  Details of other visits remain the same.