Saturday, 3 July 2021

Finally Friday Forum members are able to meet face-to-face

Some Friday Forum members visited Norma’s successful plant sale, which made £208.60 for Alzheimer’s Research, and took the opportunity to look around the garden.

There was a good turnout for Margaret Mallot’s delightful garden too, where there were unexpected vistas at every turn.  It was lovely to meet up again with Friday Forum members after many, many months.

An innovative use of a pallet to display plants 

 Donations and proceeds from the plant sales went to St. Gemma's Hospice.

Saturday, 8 May 2021

Final virtual meeting for Friday Forum

 It was a bitter-sweet moment for Friday Forum as we had our final Zoom meeting, we hope.  It hasn’t been the same as face to face, not being able to smell the flowers and no cup of tea, but it has kept us going for over a year.

This meeting was spent discussing what works well and what we are planting up in our summer pots.

Linda was a fan of Begonias which perform well in wet or dry conditions and pots up perennials which are better at looking after themselves than bedding plants.

Kate saw an article by Sarah Raven in the RHS magazine which recommended that a pot should contain a thriller (the wow factor) a filler (for the gaps) and a spiller (to trail over the edge).

Liz likes Cosmos and had just planted up vertical planter pouches with trailers such as bidens, petunias, fuchsias and bacopa. 

Maggie prefers flowers of the same colour in her containers.  She uses Heuchera with perennials with ivy to soften the edges or dense plantings of geraniums.

Norma is planting a bee friendly hanging basket as she did successfully last year with mini trailing petunias, bacopa, fuchsias Heidi Anne and Auntie Jinks and Peach Melba.

Sue had lost some plants to the bad weather but will try again with Salvias, Hostas, tubs of small vegetables, Argyranthemums and Fuchsia Tom West.

Amanda usually buys plug plants on-line but found stocks were low this year.  Nevertheless, she is planting up in the greenhouse nine colour co-ordinated pots in white, blue and purple with various scented plants with a purple bean as a central focus point.

Judith, our Queen of Pots, has chosen a colour scheme of Silver, White and Blue and includes various bedding plants, Salvia farinacea, Argyranthemum and the Coleus, which won her a Gold at Harrogate.

Norma sent a photo of a lovely little Tulip ‘Tyke’

Dorothy sent some pictures of her garden


Apple trees growing on my arch left side Lord Lambourne right side Fiesta

Doronicum, tulips and heuchera in the kitchen garden

Avery showing it’s Spring colours
Notice Board

If you have been missing visiting gardens and plant sales, just look at the opportunities available in our area.

Sale of perennial plants in the car park of Paxton Hall, 186 Kirkstall Lane, Leeds LS5 2AB on Saturday 22nd May, 10-11.30am.  Outdoors (come rain or shine!)  

Make a day of it!  Later on Saturday 22nd May, 12noon-5pm is Peter Williams’ Open Garden at Weathervane House, Seaton Ross, YO42 4NE, again

This garden and a number of other Open Garden throughout the summer are in aid of the Yorkshire Arboretum and details can be found on the arboretum website

Carol Abbot’s award-winning garden will be open Sunday 23rd May 12pm - 5pm at 4A Blackwood Rise Cookridge LS16 7BG. Admission £3.50, children free. Refreshments available plant and bric-a-brac for sale cover for inclement weather.  Proceeds to the National Garden Scheme. DRIVERS PLEASE PARK ON TINSHILL LANE

The date for Roundhay Open Gardens is Sunday 4 July. Start at any point on the map, which will be made available.  Most gardens are in easy walking distance.

Here is the link to a presentation given to HardyPlants by Tracy Foster on garden design.  It may only be available for another week

Next meeting

4th June: Garden visit. Sue Gray’s garden,Ilkley, from 1.30pm, refreshments available.  Members have received the full address by email.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Virtual Friday Forum on Good Friday 2021

Another Friday Forum catch-up allowing us to find out what is looking good just now in the gardens of our members plus Easter decorations for the house.

We had beautiful examples of a wide range of spring flowers and shrubs from pastel shades to vibrant colours.  Here are a few:

In Dorothy's garden

White flowering currant



In Kate's garden

Trillium chloropetalum ‘Album’ ?

Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ with Millium effusum ‘Aureum’ and ‘Brazen Hussy’

Camellia ‘Silver Wedding’

Ipheion ‘Alberto Castillo’

The heron keeping an eye on the tadpoles!

A vase of spring flowers from Linda's garden

Flowering Blackcurrant, Polyanthus, Marsh Marigold, Muscari, Bergenia, Bowles Mauve and Daffies Talia and Minnow.

If you are interested in Erythroniums, this link takes you to a talk with Keith Wiley and Carol Klein.

(82) Keith Wiley's Erythronium - YouTube

… and finally, I thought this poem by Robert Frost sums up  the weather in April.

"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
-  Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 



Saturday, 6 March 2021

Virtual Friday Forum meeting March 2021

 So we’ve reached meteorological Spring after a very strange year.  It’s almost soothing to see the normal stuff like snowdrops appearing.

Here are pictures of what is happening in the gardens of some of our members:

Derek and Olwen

Snowdrops in front and back gardens

Iris reticulata


An impressive collection of Spring plants

In addition to the snowdrops and crocuses

 Third Age: Six on Saturday: Signs of Spring (


An elegant arrangement of Galanthus ‘Magnet’, Narcissus ‘Snow Baby’ and Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’


Judith's signature basket

Other plants include Polyanthus Blue Denim, Hellebores, Crocus and Corydalis

First bloom of my Camellia ‘Silver wedding’

Tete a tete daffodils

Edgeworthia chrysantha flowers are just coming out. They have an amazing scent.

I like this corner of the garden when the Skimmia flowers and the Fastsia ‘Spiders Web’ is showing new leaves.
Gill J
Crocus ‘Cream Beauty’ which were sent last autumn in place of the ones you all told me last spring were NOT ! They just need some sun to show off their beauty!
 Two contrasting snowdrops, possibly S.Arnot, and galanthus nivalis

Narcissus Spring Dawn, been out about 3 weeks now.

Jenny showed us a Fieldgate snowdrop she has had for over 30 years and tiny narcissus, both of which are kept in the greenhouse.  Sue showed us her Anemone blanda, Erythroniums, Leucojums and Snowdrops.  Sef has snowdrops which have self-seeded into his garden and Norma showed a bowl of Iris Harmony.

In true GQT style, member Dorothy sent in this question:

My friend is wanting to plant small evergreen shrubs/trees not Box or Azalea type. Can Friday Forum suggest anything please?


The shrubs that everyone suggested are: 

Euonymus Jean Hughes
Ilex crenata ( good substitute for box )
Hebe varieties
Pittosporum 'Tom Thumb’
Pittosporum 'Golf Ball’
Amelachier lamarkii (not evergreen)
Mahonia aquifolium  ‘Apollo'

For very small shrubs contact the Alpine society.

Kate recommended this book by Andy McIndoe called Shrubs! It’s part of the Hillier Gardener’s Guides.

I hope these ideas prove useful and we hear of the outcome.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Virtual Friday Forum; First Meeting of 2021


The theme of this meeting was to be what can be seen in your garden ……. best laid plans.

We did have quite a few members telling us what has been doing well at the moment and delighting them at this bleak time.  We also heard how the snow had damaged various trees and shrubs, sometimes quite badly.

Lizzie B

This Camellia has been out since early December.  Does anyone know its name?

Tête-à-tête trying to push through the snow


A bit of colour (taken before the snow)
Variegated Vinca, Bowles Mauve, a descendant of the original plant given to me by Margaret H, Winter Jasmine land Viburnum tinus.


Norma sent this lovely photo of her flower arrangement suggested by a flower arranger to the Queen.

You need a pretty tray, I used a jam jar, a vinegar bottle, two wine glasses and two pieces from a dressing table set. Spring flowers are lovely. I used Tulips, Freesia, Forsythia twigs and Garrya elliptical.  

If you have time on your hands or perhaps starting a new garden, check out this link

Free fast-track garden design classes online (

Her blog and the rest of the website also looks interesting.

Looking forward to the gardening year ahead ....

Photo: courtesy Ann from the Feb 2020 display table