Heyford Gardening Club – July 2019

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

Our June meeting featured a fascinating talk by Steve Brown on bonsai; a form of gardening which verges on an art form. I always think of it as extreme topiary.

Rose Show

Despite the tempestuous weather there was a good showing for the rose show with 57 entries.

Pauline Guglielmi won the single flowered class, Brian Jackson came second with John Dunkley and Tony Clewett in joint third place.

In the cluster flowered class Jill Langrish came first, Pauline Guglielmi was second
and Val Jackson, Rosemary Dunkley and Anne Haynes all tied for third place.

The perils of perlite

Following advice in the RHS magazine I have over the last few years added vermiculite to multi purpose compost for sowing seeds and taking cuttings. This proved extremely successful producing plants with vigorous root systems which established very quickly. Last year however instead of vermiculite I used perlite which, I assumed, would do the same thing. However I experienced a lot of difficulty; seedlings germinated quickly enough but then failed to develop properly and cuttings just didn’t root.

I can’t be sure that this was entirely due to the perlite, but having gone back to using vermiculite again, the results have improved significantly. This illustrates the principle that in gardening apparently small variations in conditions can make the difference between success and failure.

Weird Weather-again!

Following a baking Easter, a freezing May, and no rain for months suddenly the
heavens have opened and given us the whole summers rain in a few days. It’s a
wonder that we can grow anything!

Some Things to do in July

1. Dead head roses, bedding plants and perennials to get more flowers.
2. Pick courgette’s before they turn into marrows (unless you like marrows)
3. Water and feed plants in containers

Mark Newstead

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www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

Heyford Gardening Club – June 2019

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

At our May meeting we had the pleasure of a talk by Teresa Wedderburn of Branch
Out MK, a not for profit company which provides gardening therapy for people with
learning difficulties and autism. They are based at York House in Stony Stratford
and anyone passing that area is welcome to call in and see their work for
themselves. They also have a range of goods for sale including cut flowers, herbal
teas and pot pourri’s.

Spring Flower Show
Due to an administrative mix up a number of members arrived with entries for a
spring flower competition which should have been cancelled, so we went ahead
anyway with an impromptu show which was won by Anne Haynes’ lush display,
closely followed by Maureen Wright’s elegant pink flowered lily of the valley.
Our June 10th meeting will feature a talk on bonsai by Steve Brown and we
definitely will have our annual rose show, which has two classes; single flowered
varieties and cluster flowered varieties, in the first case a single bloom is required; in the second a single spray.

New Arrivals
Recently we spotted in our garden an unusual looking bumble bee. This turned out
to be a tree bumble bee, a recently arrived species from the continent which has
been spreading rapidly through the country mainly because it doesn’t have the
natural enemies of our native bees (which are mainly a race of parasitic bumble
bees called cuckoo bees). These tree bumble bees, as the name suggests, like to
nest in holes high in trees and sometimes use empty bird boxes. Rather less
welcome, we found on our allotment some brightly coloured beetles with a black and white cross pattern on their backs and red heads and legs. These are asparagus
beetles, so if you grow asparagus look out for this pest as they can cause a lot of
damage.

Weather
The warmest Easter on record has been followed by the coldest May bank holiday.
Britain has four seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter, but not necessarily in
that order! However this year despite the weather all the carrots I have sowed have
germinated and grown well, unlike the previous year when I managed to produce
the magnificent total of two carrots.

Some Things to do in June
1. Start to take soft wood cuttings of shrubs and perennials
2. It’s now safe to put out tender bedding plants and vegetables
3. Prune spring flowering shrubs.

Mark Newstead

www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

Heyford Gardening Club – May 2019

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

At our April meeting we expected to welcome the return of Patsy Rayner, but unfortunately due to a family illness she was unable to attend so Mike Langrish and Tom Dodd put together a presentation on the Community Orchard and the improvements that have been made (and are still being made) to Heyford’s allotments.

The evening also featured our annual tulip bench show. For once the weather has been good for us and there were plenty of entries with some impressive blooms on show.

The large flowered section was won by Pauline Guglielmi, John Dunkley came second and John Wilson came third.

The Small flowered section was won jointly by John Dunkley and Val Jackson, and Jill Langrish got third place.

Our next meeting will be on 13th May when someone from Branch Out MK will talk to us about “Helping People to Grow Through Gardening”.

April is the cruellest month…
At time of writing we’ve just experienced an odd week of weather. After the unseasonable warmth in February the last few days have featured nightly frosts and sunny periods with cold air. These sort of conditions can be very challenging for gardeners damaging fruit blossom and early flowers; it has even pinched shoots of ivy and box. If you like me are growing plants in an unheated greenhouse it is important to keep one eye on the weather all the time as failing to close the house up at night can risk losing tender plants to cold while not opening them during sunny spells can cause the temperature inside to soar to damaging levels despite the chilliness outside. Apparently next week will be much warmer; perhaps I will be able to start sowing the tender crops for the summer after all.

Some Things to do in May
1 Repot cacti, succulents and house plants.
2 Divide and replant spring flowering bulbs
3 Keep a watch for lily beetles and viburnum beetles

Mark Newstead

www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

Heyford Gardening Club – April 2019

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

At our March meeting we were entertained by Liz Taylor who described the work being done by the Woodland Trust to try and repair the damage being done to our woodlands by development and pests and disease. Apparently they need to plant 2000 trees each just to keep numbers as they are. Working with trees needs a longer time scale; some of their projects have a timetable of 100 years!

The evening also featured our annual daffodil bench show which which this year coincided nicely with the flowers in our gardens, as was illustrated by the 54 entries. This made judging difficult as all the blooms were of such excellent quality.

The single colour section was won jointly by Anne Haynes and Margaret Ridgewell Brian Haynes came second and John Dunkley and Janet Forth came joint third.

The Small flowered section was won by Val Jackson, Tom Wallis came second and Avril Minchin got third place.

The bi-colour flower section was won by Jenny Wilshire, Jean Spokes was second and Lynn Ashbee and Rosemary Dunkley shared third place.

Our next meeting will be on 8th April when we definitely will welcome the return of Patsy Rayner who will tell us about plants and literature. (My apologies for mistakenly trailing this talk last month). Aprils meeting will also have our annual Tulip show, let’s hope for as much success as with the daffodils.

This winter has been generally mild and I have noticed signs of aphids on our roses in sheltered spots. This might seem a bit ominous, but on the positive side there are a lot of ladybirds hidden around the garden and all through the winter we have been finding lacewings in the house. With any luck these predators will help to control the greenfly numbers before they get out of hand.

Some Things to do in April
April is a busy month in the garden when we can start sowing and planting in earnest, but be vigilant for late frosts, particularly if you are planting out tender bedding plants. It’s also a good time to start feeding shrubs and roses.

Mark Newstead

www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

Heyford Gardening Club – Events 2019

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments 

Programme of Events for 2019:

March 11th: Liz Taylor from Woodland Trust; Mini Show – Daffodils

April 8th: Patsy Raynor – Plants in Literature: Origins & Anecdotes; Mini Show – Tulips

May 13th: Branch Out MK –Helping People to Grow Through Gardening; Seed Swap; Mini Show – Spring Flowers

June 8th: Village Fete

June 10th: Steve Brown, Bonsai Trees or Graham Pavey, Vertical Gardens; Mini Show – Roses

July: Summer Party

August: No Meeting

September 9th: Autumn Show

October 14th: Malcolm Dickson Hooksgreen Herbs

November 11th: Caroline Tait – Fellow of Longwood Gardens, Philadelphia, A Year at Longwood

December 9th: Christmas Tree Festival; Snowdrops

Mark Newstead 

www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

Heyford Gardening Club – March 2019

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments

At our February meeting Christine Lewis explained the intricacies of using plant material to dye fabrics. This provided some surprises; who would have thought that avocado skins would produce a delicate pink, or that green was so difficult to obtain?

The evening also featured our annual art and craft show which again revealed the wealth of talent amongst our members. The photographic section was won by Jill Langrish with a study of snowdrops, Kim Woodbridge-Dodd and yours truly shared second place and Mike Langrish came third.

The visual art section was won by an embroidered seascape by Mary Newstead, Chris West came second and Linda Hall, Ann Haynes and myself tied for third place.

The craft section was won by Lynn Ashby with an amazingly intricate quilt, Mary Newstead was second and Chris West came third.

Next month we welcome the return of Patsy Rayner who will tell us about plants and literature.

The evening will also feature the Annual Daffodil Competition.

The classes are:

1. Single coloured daffodil
2. Bi-colour daffodil
3. Small flowered daffodil or narcissus

each exhibit will require only one bloom.

Spring
At the time of writing, in mid February, the snowdrops have been blooming for weeks and there are daffodils, crocuses primroses and violets all basking in the sunshine and yesterday the mahonia was full of bees. It would be easy to be seduced by these mild spells in early spring and to start sowing seeds but the nights are still long and cold and the soil hasn’t yet warmed up so it’s better to wait a bit longer. No doubt by the time you read this normal service will have been resumed.

Some Things to do in March
1. plant early potatoes, onion sets, garlic, shallots and summer bulbs
2. top dress containers and pots with fresh compost
3. last chance to plant bare rooted shrubs and trees

Mark Newstead

www.heyfordgardenclub.com

For more information visit the Heyford Gardening Club & Allotments page

Heyford-Gardening-Cluband-allotments