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. Continue reading
On 4th April the Practical Gardening group happily took up Bill and Margaret (Ashton’s) kind offer to revisit their beautiful garden in Blundellsands. As always we were made very very welcome and all enjoyed seeing the garden in the Spring and comparing this to last Summer when we previoulsy visited. The garden is beautifully planted and maintained – we all marvelled at Bill’s lawn edges (and lots of other things) which are all sharp and ‘clean.’ The photos speak for themselves – but in the flesh the garden is even more gorgeous than the pictures suggest. Thank you Bill and Margaret again from us all.
We started our Feb meeting – our first of 2019, by sharing what had done particularly well in our gardens over the winter months, with one member having Marigolds in flower right through the winter and another sharing that his Camelia Donation (right) was already blooming and was beautiful., Pinks, daphne, white currants, camellias, snowdrops, crocus, daffodils and other bulbs were in flower already and doing well in many members gardens (chicken wire can be used to keep birds off bulbs if needed). One member had brought a very effective flower arrangement made up from her garden with witch hazel, rhododendron, heather, red cornus stems, Japanese anemone heads and winter flowering jasmine to further demonstrate the range garden flowers and colour available already. Continue reading
At our September meeting we widely discussed the impact of this year’s hot weather on our gardens with many of the group having lost plants etc and/or the lawn being badly affected. It was agreed that watering the garden had had little impact and most had found buckets of water to be far more effective in soaking the soil around plants. Buried upside down plastic bottles full of water with ‘drip holes’ had been found useful in getting the water deep to the roots of plants in pots as had ‘weeping’ hose pipes which feature lines of regular holes to slowly water the area. Plants variously affected /lost to the weather had been hebe’s, sweet peas and roses in particular. One member had a rose which had totally changed from its’ usual’ colour of white to orange which was felt to be a possible kickback to its hybridisation. Members had however had great success this summer with runner beans, Continue reading
We met twice in July and took advantage of the beautiful weather to visit two local gardens by prior arrangement, with a view to learning from what we saw there. The first, in Windsor Road, Southport, like the garden in Saxon Road we had visited the previous month, opens under the NGS scheme for charity. It was a cottage garden full of Continue reading
We started our May meeting discussing what we are currently enjoying in our gardens. This included Azaleas, Camellias – ‘Donation’ variety reported to be gorgeous but were just finishing, Tulips, Iris, Magnolias Soulangeana and Stellata, Welsh Poppies, Geums, Centaura, Scabious, Skimmia plus many more. A Chilean Firebush Embothrium coccineum ( -photo right) was much desired by one member. Apple trees and any number of veg varieties are also being grown by some members
Based on a past recommendation within the group, another member has purchased a waspinator-
At our February meeting we started by sharing what we are enjoying flowering in the garden at the moment. Witch hazel, snowdrops, heathers (excellent in Kings Park Southport at the mo), daffodils , crocuses and all spring bulbs and hellebores were amongst those which have been at their best.
We discussed how the geranium cuttings taken at the end of last year had fared. There had clearly been some successes with an important criteria being ensuring the cuttings were not kept too wet – we looked forward to seeing the end results in Summer.
We agreed we needed to try out the practice of starting cuttings such as fuschia in water first which has been found to be successful by many of the group. We will try Continue reading
We started our November meeting planning forward to next year. Some of the group had moved plants which were in the wrong places, one had had a stepping stone path laid across the lawn which had proved very successful and all had essentially been clearing out and tidying up.
We found that during Summer Cosmos had proven very popular with many planning to grow it again from seed.
Having practiced taking geranium cuttings at the last meeting we reviewed successes and failures – there had been both
At our October meeting we took stock, with everyone agreeing they have greatly enjoyed our group and discussions over the past gardening year. A common theme was that we have all benefited from learning from others in activities, discussions and demonstrations. Sharing plants and cuttings etc. has increased our garden stocks and Summer meetings in group members’ gardens plus Ness Gardens with Gardeners Question Time visit mid September were hugely enjoyed by all.
Examples of those things we agreed to do more of this coming year include Continue reading
Over the Summer months’ relaxed get togethers in different members’ gardens have been hugely enjoyed by all the group. These visits have given us the chance to see three gardens and hear some of the trials, tribulations and joys of getting these gardens to their excellent and lovely current states. Tea and cakes also helped the flow of enthusiasm and sharing of ideas. Many thanks to Brenda, Debbie and Barbara our hosts.
On 16th September 10 members of the group visited Ness Botanic Gardens Continue reading