Practical Gardening

At the start of June we were warmly welcomed back to Brenda (McKenzie’s) and then Maureen’s (Ward’s) great gardens. Brenda’s garden always looks good and her borders were full of colour with some new planting having taken place. Maureens’ a real plant womans’ garden; we greatly enjoyed Maureen sharing some of her extensive horticultural knowledge  and saw the (literal) fruits of her labours throughout the garden and vegetable growing areas.

On 1st July we were delighted to be invited to visit our President, Bill Howarths’ new courtyard garden. This was absolutely lovely as you will see from the photographs  below. Bill moved into his brand new house about 3 years ago and at that time the ‘garden’  was just a roughly planted (by the builders) lawn with no other plants.

Bill  was asked what his best piece of gardening advice was. This absolute pearl was  – ‘don’t plant anything until over a period of time you have looked and watched and planned everything on paper.’ Bill had spent about a year doing this after moving in, watching, drawing and capturing such things as how the garden was affected by the seasons, it’s orientation and impacts – sun / light / shade / shelter etc throughout the day, hot/cold parts of the garden, soil types, desirable seating area etc plus anything else which he wanted to feature, would be an impact and/or was important in the future garden. Everything was captured in the initial ground plan. (We were advised to apply this process equally to an  (see below)


established garden or to a new one.  Bill then included plants he wanted on his plan plus those to attract wildlife and birds and bees which BIll advised ‘will all come if you have the right stuff” – certain birds visit Bills garden every few days. He spoke of the value of manure, used mushroom compost and coffee grounds and digs these into his soil regularly,

The garden now is a lovely peaceful haven, full of colourful and varied plants which all look happy where they are. We all learnt loads and massively enjoyed our morning. We were very grateful to Bill for sharing his gorgeous garden with us for the morning and for making us all so welcome.

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