Wildlife in your garden
Malcolm Brownsword from Didcot came along to share his love of his garden and the numerous animals and birds he encourages. He delighted the gardeners with his super photographs taken through double glazing. He has sited his bird feeders close to the window and has achieved spectacular results. His talk covered all manner of beasts from wood mouse to sparrow hawk. Malcolm concluded his talk with a couple of short videos one was about wildlife on the sustrans track from Dicot to Southampton which had featured on the local BBC news that night. And the other of bluetits from a nestbox camera which he and his wife find far more entertaining than main channel viewing! The nestbox is from www.spycameracctv.com called ‘Green feathers 1080’.
Wonder of Bees - Richard Rickitt
Pots of gardening
The Lechlade Gardening Club held its AGM and kept the tradition of keeping it short and sweet. Chair Peter Payne gave a lightening outline of the many and varied events including the highly successful Flower and Produce Show in September. Peter is retiring from being the Lock Keeper at St John’s and is leaving the area so leaving the Gardening Club. He and his wife Liz were thanked for all their work and presented with a small gift. They assured the club that they wold be back and true to word, Liz returned in January to give a talk about her new allotment in Somerset.
|10/2/2016||Tim Miles, head gardener at the Cotswold Wildlife Park came along with an entertaining presentation. There was a touch of nostalgia as he used colour slides with a projector but the supporting images were super and gave insight to his words of wisdom. He had tales of bartering for unusual plats with rhino dung and was able to add variety to his talk with information about the animals which Tim joked, give a great backdrop to his gardens! The park does not grow a great deal specifically for the animals but they are able to harvest bamboo for the red pandas and the kiwi fruit and bananas are appreciated by a variety of animals too. Joan Kirk gave a vote of thanks and said how the park is well worth a visit for the splendid gardens. (There are web cams on the CWP web site showing the penguins and meerkats too!)|
was a touch of magic in the air. The Clark Pierce Room was unusually quiet
for once during the club's monthly meeting. Norah Kennedy captivated her
audience with a demonstration of willow weaving and produced the most beautiful
willow basket using 'Dicky Willow', 'Black Maul' and the red 'Dogwood'.
She donated the basket to the raffle which was won by....
again, John Mason of Highfield Garden World, Whitminster came only to speak
to the Gardening Club. He thoroughly entertained the packed Clark Pierce
room with sane, common sense approach to dealing with shrubs, climbers,
roses, ornamental grasses and more. He demonstrated severe chopping with
shears, careful selective pruning where flowering does not take place on
new growth such as forsythia, and advised potting up and replenishing nitrate
fertiliser to encourage lush new growth. John donated a raffle prize as
well as some penstemon 'prunings' which are apparently a cinch to propagate.
He also answered a lot of questions and in addition showed some excellent
tools for the job. He hopes to welcome members to his Garden Centre and
asks that we introduce ourselves - he can be found in the plant information
shed! The Garden Centre has a great restaurant (endorsed by Liz Payne who
admired the fantastic view along the Severn Valley) and other 'Outlet' stores,
just and hour away and perhaps worth a visit?
'Well John said to prune hard! - green bin is full - just another three or four weeks to go!'
Gardening Made Easy
|This was a highly entertaining evening with irreverent banter and audience participation. Alan is a very experienced gardener and shared many stories to illustrate ways in which to save strained muscles and time. He advised against digging as it promotes dormant weeds to germinate, he explained the correct way to use a spade and which type of hoe to use. Bent secateurs are best thrown away and he did not think that it is worth having a garden fork! Some members of gardening club had different views but it was certainly food for thought. One useful tip was to make sure then soil was warm enough and on the rise for the germination of seeds. He also said that planting a succession of for example lettuce did not necessarily give a succession of plants for the eating! If you have any helpful tips - send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and they can be shared on the Gardening Club web site.|
|2014 Annual Flower and Produce Show||
There was a huge variety of flowers, fruit and vegetables, some excellent photography and all manner of home crafts demonstrating huge industry and talent in the town. This is just a snapshot of the day.
Flower and Produce Show cup winners were:
14 November 2013
AGM of any organisation is a necessity but possibly not a highlight of the
year. However the Gardening Club set itself a small challenge - to see how
short this could be to then get on with the lighter side of the evening
- the quiz!
The AGM was over in a flash, 13 minutes to be precise but what fun and laughter. There was a magnificent turn out of members who all contributed to the jolly, lively and slightly irreverent atmosphere. Peter Payne signed off the minutes from last year's meeting and began to read his annual report. After the opening sentence he pointed out to those reading from the hand-outs that they had last year's report. There was a roar of laughter with comments of 'but it's the same 'Peter went on to flag the club's successes such as the annual show and then the treasurer, Alan Garnell gave his report and managed to raise some more laughter.
The following quiz devised and delivered by Stephen Funnel was also the cause of great amusement and kept everyone thoroughly entertained but the levity did not stop some serious competitive spirit!
If you have an interest in growing stuff - or you are a keen horticulturalist or just would like some great company - this is a friendly club where you will be assured of a warm welcome and some interesting evenings.
|Bugs and Pests in the Garden: Roger Umpelby||On
Wednesday 9th October Lechlade Gardening Club had a fascinating evening
with professional entomologist and horticulturalist Roger Umpleby at the
Memorial Hall, Lechlade. In his talk on "Bugs - the good, the bad,
and the ugly" - he shared his expert knowledge and displayed his skill
as a wildlife photographer, showing insects and invertebrates in incredible
He informed those present that our native ladybirds are known to eat each other and in this respect are not very different from the invading Harlequin that, in hot summers, bees can turn into robbers taking nectar from runner bean flowers rather than pollinating them, thus destroying the crop.
Not all red beetles are bad - shiny red lily beetles can only be seen on or near lilies or fritillaries, less shiny red beetles found elsewhere are the gardeners friend, and much to our surprise - the Black slug is not always black but can also be brown or orange!
The next meeting of the Lechlade Gardening Club is on the second Wednesday in November at the Memorial Hall, Lechlade at 7.30pm. Full details of the programme and other information about the club can be found on their website www.lechladegardeningclub.org.uk
|Visit to Buscot House Park and Gardens||
Three ladies regularly come from their home in Stow on the Wold to Lechlade Gardening Club and they were not disappointed with July's meeting which was a tour of the Buscot House grounds. Head gardener, Peter Auger, guided the group on a perfect summer evening. It was hot and still and Peter explained that due to the cold late spring the garden had never looked as good as the April/May flowers were still in bloom along with the summer roses delphiniums and more. Peter explained that the grounds had been divided into themed gardens, a water garden the Egyptian garden a four seasons walled garden and any more and he encouraged the group to pay special attention to how plants had been grouped to achieve the design elements in each garden. The large greenhouse has the second oldest grape vine in the country. It was a cutting from the vine in Hampton Court in 1789 and had am impressive crop of grapes which will be harvested in the late summer. The present Lord Faringdon has installed many interesting and creative features including a stainless steel waterfall and a replica Chinese terracotta army. It was an inspirational and exciting event.
|Moths In the Garden||
In February 2013 the Lechlade Gardening Club were treated to a fascinating talk by Bob Smith from Stroud on the life of the British Moth. These insects are as important to the cross pollination of our plants as are bees and butterflies but, unlike bees and butterflies, because of the nature of the moth being both nocturnal and operating in daylight hours, they are constantly helping us in our gardens. Butterflies are usually seen as the most prevalent because of their bright colours but in fact only number some 120+ types. On the other hand the understated Moth number over 1500+ in types. The beauty of the individual moths were shown to us by spectacular photography, in detail, on moths which had been caught by John in his own garden and greenhouse using a special moth trap full of egg boxes on which the moth alighted. When photographed in daylight they posed quietly for the camera. Bob collects moths for study by others and to give talks to schools and clubs like ours.
In December 2012 Laura Thornton from "The Bloom Room" florists in Lechlade showed how to make Christmas wreaths. Laura was interesting and informative as well as making the evening great fun. She provided good ideas as to how the basic festive wreath may be adapted for other purposes, for example a lavender wreath as a summer present, or a wreath made from fresh herbs. Laura supplies many of the raw materials at her shop in Lechlade.
One made later...
John Mason of Highfield Garden World, Whitminster, has previously spoken to the club on the subject of Fruit Growing and came along to share his tips on lawn care. He made the whole process of nurturing and maintaining a beautiful lawn sound simple and kept club members entertained for over an hour. He brought along samples of the products he uses and recommends as well as a superb selection of shrubs which he sold at giveaway prices at the end of the session. He answered questions and also donated some raffle prizes.
John answering questions from Liz Benson after the talk
Chris Wells from Cotswold Bees at Mickleton came along
to give his highly entertaining talk about bee keeping. Chris spoke with
great enthusiasm and passion about his hobby which has now grown into a
business. He has become a Master Beekeeper and is keen to encourage people
to keep bees. He explained that all native wild bees are extinct and the
honey bees you see in the garden belong to a bee keeper. They are incredibly
important in that they are a pollinator and vital to most plant reproduction.
He exploded myths, (such as you don't have to be a man with a beard and
over sixty to be a bee keeper) informed and kept his audience entertained
with amusing anecdotes and fascinating facts about the life of the honey
bee. Members were able to taste a wide range of different honeys and learned
that the taste is totally dependent on which flowers the honey bee has been
using to gather pollen. The bee keeper can determine which flowers have
been used by the colour of the honey. The honey not only tastes wildly different
but also ranges from the palest hint of yellow (borage) to the darkest brown
(heathers). Most of the club members left - clutching jars of honey and
wondering if they could cope with bee keeping.
|Climbers and Clematis||In August Flloyds (based on A350 between Chippenham and Laycock at Showell Nurseries) gave a talk on the cultivation and care of clematis.|
|Caring for Conifers||The
front of the Clark Pierce room was transformed into a mini forest. Andrew
Pedrick arrived with about 50 conifers of all different shapes and sizes.
His enthusiasm for, and knowledge of these plants was very evident in his
very amusing and informative talk. How many of us remember or even think
to give our conifers a feed? We learned that conifers respond very well
to a liquid seaweed feed. Snails love to climb conifers to eat the young
top shoots but do not like to be watered with a crushed garlic clove stirred
into a can of water! His plants were available for sale and a number of
members took this opportunity to buy the more unusual specimens.
Save your loo rolls or make some tubes out of 3 sheets of paper stapled top and bottom. Cut a 2 ltr milk carton in half and use the bottom bit to then contain several of the rolls in which to sow deep rooted veg such as beans etc. When grown in this way they can then be planted direct into the soil from the container and not disturb the roots. The plastic container can be used again and again.
Cut a 1 litre clear water bottle in half. Remove the top cap from the top half and cut some holes in the bottom half ,thereby allowing areation when you place these over 3" pots as cloches.