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-
We started our April meeting discussing offers to the group from Hartleys Garden Centre where the owner has agreed to take us on a guided tour. In addition our group are to have an exclusive guided visit to a beautiful garden in Birkdale which opens in Summer under the National Garden Scheme. This garden is described as ‘a walled garden surrounding a Victorian house with formal and informal planting mainly cottage garden style, accessed by bark and gravel paths.’ It is gorgeous.
We discussed what our gardens looked like after the recent bad weather. One of our members had taken photos of her gardens to show how bare it looks at the moment. She will do this every month so we can see the changes.
One of the group who is very successful with pots shared what are her favourite plants for pots are:
Pot 1- Put a cordaline in the middle, and put scarlet geraniums and deep blue lobelia around it.Pot 2. Pot full of deep blue headbourne lilies These plants do not like to be moved they like to be pot bound. Pot 3. Argyranthemum Molimba rose which is a gorgeous plant which flowers until the frost. Edged with petunias. Wheelbarrow -Scarlet geraniums, Purple nemesis, pink and white verbena, pink dassia, trailing ivy, trailing dark blue lobelia. Nita also suggests using blue pots to add to the impact. Continue reading
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