Sunday, 19 March 2017

"Where flowers bloom so does hope." - Lady Bird Johnson

Talk:  Wild India 
Barbara and Peter Murphy returned to Friday Forum to entertain us with a presentation on India, based on several visits they have made.
It was just what was needed to cheer us up on a grey day, as Peter told us about the wildlife, culture and horticulture beautifully illustrated by Barbara’s photography.  Amongst other things we learnt that all hens originated from the Red Jungle Fowl from thousands of years ago and Assam tea has been grown there since 1834 and comes from the Camellia family.
Barbara brought with her some greeting cards in aid of the Rodley Nature Reserve with her photographs of local birds and scenery.
Display Table
As the season continues, there is currently plenty of interest and colour in the gardens of our members as illustrated by today’s table.
 Kate’s arrangement of Hellebores, Pulmonaria including the Blue Ensign, Viburnum Dawn, Ribes White Icicle, Jetfire and Jumbly daffodils, Anisodontea and the stunning Camellia Simply Rouge

Gill brought Allium Normale, Pachyfragma, Epimedium, which gives good ground cover in shade, Corydaylis Beth Evans, Pulmonaria and the fragrant winter honeysuckle

 James brought a Snowflake (Leucojum vernum), which is much larger and longer stemmed than the more popular snowdrop.  As usual, James regaled us with its history
Judith showed us her book The Gardener’s Companion edited by Vicky Bamforth
She says she likes to dip into it when she has time, which probably isn’t very often!  The article A Gardener’s Raincheck looks helpful.
 From Ann’s garden came Group 10 Narcissi originating from Spain and Portugal: Narcissus cyclamineus and Narcissus Spoirot, Pulsatilla rubra, Ipheon uniflorum album and Ipheon uniflorum Charlotte Bishop
Notice Board

There are still a few places available on our garden trip to Lincolnshire.

Mini Show:  Next meeting is Friday Forum’s Spring Show.  I’m sure everyone has something to enter.  It’s the taking part that matters!

Unfortunately Wakefield Paxton Society established in 1877 is closing.
Next Meeting

April 7th:    Spring Mini Show – Judge and speaker – John Freer

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes. The wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year.” – Ogden .

Talk:  York Gate Garden by Stephen Carr

Stephen is a volunteer at the garden and his enthusiasm shone through as he told us about the history of the garden right up to the present day.  A former farm which was bought by the Spencer family in 1950, much is known about the garden as Sybil Spencer wrote copious notes and made scrap books and her son, Robin Spencer, kept diaries which were later published in the gardening journal Hortus.  Sybil was the plantswoman, her husband, Fred, was a surveyor and he produced the designs and Robin decorated the garden with artefacts from old buildings.
The garden was first opened to the public in 1968.  There is a lovely film of Sybil talking about her garden here:
When Sybil, the last surviving member of the Spencer family, passed away in 1994, she bequeathed the house, garden and funds to the Gardeners' Benevolent Institution, now Perennial. 
Stephen showed us pictures of some of the 14 gardens which make up York Gate and explained how these had changed over time and are still changing.  

Display Table
Carl brought in this shrub.  He was unsure whether it was a Viburnum or a Ribes but it was identified as Ribes laurifolium
 This is Jenny’s dark purple Iris Pixie
Many of us can’t get our Irises to flower in the garden.  Ann plants hers at the base of a shrub and Norma puts gravel at the bottom of planting hole.
Gill’s iris es, crocuses, polyanthus and daffodils
 Gill’s floating hellebore flowers include Tutu and Patty Pink
 Gill’s pot includes Snowdrops, Pulmonaria, Chrysosplenium macrophyllum, Polyanthus, Allium paradoxum normale, Snowflake, Corydalis Beth Evans, primrose, wallflower and Omphalodes verna
 Ann was thrilled to show us that her Mandragora (Mandrake) had flowered
The Mandrake is an interesting plant with a flowering period from Autumn to Spring which has much folklore attached to it.   It’s worth looking it up!
Ann's vibrant crocus:  Orange Monarch, Judith’s hellebores and Peter’s Cyclamen coum
Judith warned us about the latest garden pests from New Zealand

There are still places available on the Friday Forum Garden visit, so if you or your friends are interested, Janella has all the details.
Paxton committee’s next meeting is on 21st March (we are looking for a new representative for Friday Forum) and Paxton AGM is on 25th April at 8:00 pm.
Paxton Plant and Bric a Brac sale is on Saturday 18th March, so any items you could bring to the next meeting will be appreciated.
Next Meeting

17th March:  We welcome back Peter and Barbara Murphy who are giving a presentation entitled Wild India.
Don’t forget your plants and bric a brac for the Paxton Sale on 18th March.