Tonight, we enjoyed a visit from Bob Sanderson, the husband of Cath, at Cath's Garden Plants at Heaves Hotel, Kendal. Having said that, the hotel is currently closed and seeking a new owner, and the garden centre is to move. It is not yet known where.
The intriguing title of Bob's talk was "Thirty Plants you didn't know you needed  until now" so it was sure to be an interesting evening.
The following is a list of those plants:
1.   Lonicera 'Winter Beauty'
2.  Corydalis solida 'Beth Evens'
3.   Iris lazica
4.   Uvularia grandiflora
5.   Hepatica nobilis
6.   Erythronium dens canis
7.   Prunus serrula
8.   Corydalis 'Pere David'
9.   Geranium Rosanne
10.  Erodium manascavii
11.  Diascia vigilis
12.  Dierama dracomontanum
13.  Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer'
14.  Clematis 'Cassandra'  
15.  Agapanthus 'Torbay'
16.  Lonicera 'Graham Thomas'
17.  Watsonia pillansii
18.  Gladiolus papilio 'Ruby'
19.  Kirengeshoma
20.  Chrysanthemum 'Mary Stoker'
21.  Aruncus aethusifolius
22. Tricyrtis 'Toad Lily'
23.  Aster latiflorus 'Horizontalis'
24.  Boltonia asteroids
25.  Calamagrostis (Grass species)
26.  Cornus 'Midwinter Fire'
27.  Hydrangea paniculata 'Phantom'
28.  Oxalis semiloba
29.  Euonymus alatus compactus
30.  Aconitum fischeri

Those should keep you going for a while!!

Another first on this day, in the form of vis
iting speaker, Sue Jefferies, a trained and qualified Horticulturist and Teacher, whose living is earned via Courses and Workshops, including in schools.
On this occasion she spoke about plant propagation and plant division.
Sue attracted our largest audience for some time, 54, of which 5 were visitors. It was a good choice of talk for a first-time visitor, although there was the additional attraction of it being the night of our Spring Daffodil Show.
Sue Jefferies talks about her preferences in potting composts, and her methods employed
when sowing a smaller number of seeds of an assortment of varieties of plants.


The meeting on the 15th November saw the first visit to the Society of Ian and Sheila Lowe of High Park Nurseries, Southport. The title for the evening was "A Fun Christmas with Ian", so we suspected we may see a few wreaths and other Christmas decorations.
We thought Ian had arrived a little over-dressed, until the bow-tie began flashing.

What we did get, in addition to a demonstration of how to make your own wreath and table decoration, was the better part of 80 minutes of off-the-cuff humour from both the speaker and the floor.
Like a rabbit out of the hat....voila! The finished article from moss base to final 'pick'.
Ian's second demonstration was for a table decoration, from plastic bowl and oasis insert, using many of the same conifer embellishments that were used in the wreath. The finishing touches were made by adding fresh flowers (possibly a last minute addition), and standing the whole on top of a glass bowl.

However, this wasn't any old bowl! With a strong resemblance to a goldfish bowl, it was first filled with Quality Street toffees (other brands are, of course, available), and a coiled up, battery-powered set of fairy-lights.
And there you have it, folks!
The finished wreath (the orange slices were dried in a slightly heated oven for 6 hours.
Well, that's one way to keep the children's fingers out of the sweetie bowl. On the other hand...........................

A visit by Radio Lancashire celebrity gardener, Bill Blackledge, recently awarded the M.B.E. in recognition of his services to Britain in Bloom, is always eagerly anticipated, and the above date was one of those occasions.

The talk was titled "Winter and Spring Bulbs", but Bill extended his talk by including several other plants that can be used in conjunction with bulbs to create a display. Even newly planted daffodil bulbs planted in September can be overplanted with Pansies or Violas, with the bulbs finding their way through to succeeed them in early spring.
Bill Blackledge with a completed pot or hanging basket. This container
could be used as either with the addition of plastic or chain suspensions.
There's no reason why this arrangement can't be under-planted with,
for example, Tete-a-Tete dwarf daffodils.

Image result for Gaultheria
One plant used in the hanging basket / pot, was a Gaultheria, a member of the Ericacea
family with flowers that are reminiscent of heath. The flowers are succeeded by 
berries in a variety of hues, and altogether make a very useful and attractive small shrub.
To avoid the not uncommon problem of differing sizes of Hyacinths in
a pot, Bill suggested planting bulbs singly, and then selecting those with equal growth,
removing them carefully from the pot, and replanting in a larger pot along
with others.
Flowers which later begin to lean and flop, can be assisted by the insertion of a very thin piece
of stiff wire through the tip of the flower, down the stem, and into the bulb. 
Bill did warn that there may be a bit of squealing heard, but to take no notice of it!!

Pre-treated bulbs will be in flower within 9 weeks, therefore, planted mid to late September, they should be in flower for Christmas.
Next month, it will be the A.G.M., hopefully a brief affair, followed by Chairman Steve Halliwell's 
presentaion of "From the Hornbeam to the Handkerchief Tree". This is a celebration of
some of the trees to be seen in the countryside and elsewhere, and includes a hope that
we should all look at trees in a different way.
If only they could talk!