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.

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