There was standing room only at our February meeting at Lower Hardres on Sunday when Steve Edney from The Salutation Gardens gave a talk entitled Succession Planting. He could have gone through the seasons from spring to winter in an orderly manner telling us what he plants or what’s at its best at any particular time. But he didn’t. He started in October and then flitted from season to season and from one part of the garden to another showing how he gets the most out of every patch, detouring into personal, often amusing, stories and experiences to explain his gardening philosophy. It was a most entertaining lecture and I think ‘frolic’ is the very best word to describe it. I’m sure there will be lots of members planning a visit to Sandwich this year to see the real thing.
The plant sale was very well stocked and doing a brisk trade and the tea and cake as welcome and delicious as always.
We asked members to bring contributions for the display and bring them you did! I’m only sorry I haven’t got photographs of the whole display – I spent too long chatting! It was fantastic and we had to bring out more tables for an overflow display so thank you all very much.
We had a huge branch of daphne, which had no label but we thought must be Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’. It perfumed the air with its beautiful fragrance joined by Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, Cornus mas and wintersweet, Chimonanthus praecox. The member who brought the cornus told me that she had to wait three years for flowers but another member was even more patient, waiting seven years for the wintersweet to bloom. She added that it was well worth it for the glorious perfume.
You can see in the photo a beautiful blue vase of a most unusual shrub, Ribes laurifolium Rosemoor form. This plant was unknown to me until last week when I saw it at Anglesey Abbey but in this form, with larger flowers and tidier growth, it is a choice selection – and it’s hermaphrodite so you can have berries with only one plant.
I know some of our members get up to some strange antics but releasing a TV aerial from the clutches of a clematis by cutting it off (the clematis, that is) whilst hanging out of an upstairs window could be judged unwise. Having liberated the aerial and captured the clematis, C. cirrhosa var balearica, she brought some of it along to add to our display.
A head of the early-flowering, pale pink Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’ reminded us of all the many varieties that will flower throughout the spring.
We had Cyclamen coum in a variety of colours and a pot of Iris ‘Natasha’, a reticulata type, ice-blue, nearly white, with a yellow mark on the falls. Also in pots were three plants that need to be grown in a cold greenhouse.
Thank you all for your generous contributions.