Contributed by Ginny Oakes

On March 24, 2016

Super Spring Meeting

Everyone had a very enjoyable time at our Spring Meeting at Lenham last Sunday.
All the nurseries had wonderful displays of plants and many of us were tempted to spend way beyond our budgets. But our gardens will benefit from some beautiful plants for years to come. The Crûg Farm Plants stall was crammed with unusual plants and Sue and Bleddyn Wynn-Jones were on hand to give much needed advice on whether or not they would be suitable for our gardens and how best to grow them.
The Photographic Show was very well supported with many more members taking part and more photographs entered, making a beautiful display for members and visitors to enjoy. The winning entries will soon be posted on the website for everyone to see. As well coffee and biscuits in the morning and the usual tea and cake in the afternoon, members were also able to enjoy no less than six varieties of delicious homemade soup. They also took the opportunity to meet up with friends and have a good chat.
In the afternoon we had the pleasure of listening to a fascinating and enjoyable talk, ‘Plant Hunting in Colombia’ by Bleddyn Wynn-Jones. After giving a little history and information about the country he took us into the high mountains and showed us many of the plants that he and Sue have seen there, some of which they have gathered seed from to trial back in the UK. We had a very long plant list and, although we recognized some of the genera, others we’d never heard of and, of those we knew, the particular species Bleddyn showed were often new to us.


Tibouchina grossa by Dick Culbert is licensed under CC BY 2.0
For example, a tibouchina he found was not the one with purple flowers that many of us grow (T. urvilleana, native to Brazil) but Tibouchina grossa with gorgeous red flowers. This certainly caused a stir in the audience but it is apparently difficult, if not impossible, to grow in this country. But there were many others – gunneras in all sizes, eryngiums, passionflowers, solanums and a lupin, to name just a few. Some of these we might be able to grow. A talk like this reminds us of the enormous diversity of the plant kingdom and that seeing new plants and finding out all about them is what we love to do.
To see a full list of all the plants Bleddyn mentioned click here. To view the gallery click on an image to enlarge it and then scroll through. Hit F11 for a full screen experience. You’ll see what a good time we had.


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