80, Brackyn Road
24th OCT.,2003.Some rain at last but not nearly enough! Lawns need aerating and top (autumn) dressing but the ground needs to soften considerably first. Ed's given his COLEUS and GERANIUM plants to his neighbours for their conservatories over the winter. Also Denis is lifting his DAHLIAS and soon will be separating his CHRYSANTHEMUMS--Ed is hoping to have some of these for the front garden in 2004.
14th NOV. 2003.Ed's managed to aerate his front lawn after some recent rain softened the ground. He's also added an Autumn 'dressing'.So hopefully it will green up again next Spring!He also intends planting SEDUM round base of his Rowan tree next Spring.
30th NOV,2003. Pruning the Rowan tree has helped expose Ed's front lawn to the recent rain and all the autumn dressing has dissolved to the grass roots. Ian has recently lifted his DAHLIAS and intends to separate his CHRYSANTHEMUMS in early Spring. Perhaps Ed might benefit? It's also worth noting that Tom and Roger have left the seed-heads on their Hydrangers to help with frost protection, as they're leaving them outside over the winter.
23rd JAN,2004. Happy New Year to everyone. Daffodils and Crocuses are already well above ground. Probably due to the mild wet weather!
2nd FEB,2004.Well,a few inches of snow and lots of rain don't seem to have kept the Daffodils back-some are already in bloom together with Snowdrops!
20th FEB,2004.Snowdrops are still in bloom and are looking particularly good in large masses in the Brackyn front gardens.A wide variety of Daffodils are appearing daily and several colours of Crocuses are now showing through around the Road.
16th APRIL,2004. Well the Snowdrops are now long gone and most of the varieties of Daffodils are 'going over'.(Don't forget to'dead head' the Daffs to get an equally good display next year!). Many of Brackyn's gardens now have beautiful displays of Tulips, and so the colourful Springtime display continues on. In view of the detrimental effect of last year's long, dry, hot Summer on the front lawns, Ed has recently sown some grass seed especially good in dry conditions. He hopes to cover the area around the Rowan tree in this way. Watch out for updates later in the year!--- On the same theme,he has also just planted some Sedums near the base of the tree because they are evergreen and like sunny. dry, well drained positions and hopefully will give a colourful ground cover over future Summers. The varieties used are Sedum 'obtusatum'(red) and Sedum 'spathulifolium'(yellow). Ed is also trying his luck with Alpines this year-in particular, several varieties of Pulsatilla vulgaris (the 'Pasque' flower).These were a common wild flower at one time but are now very rare. They like Chalky, non acid soil and so should be grown in containers using the appropriate soil mix.(Pulsatilla vulgaris 'alba' (white) and 'rubra' (red) are two varieties currently available in many Nurseries and Garden Centres)
Just a reminder that many veg. can now be planted out. Ones to look out for are Cabbage(Hispi), Cauli(all year round), Lettuce(Mixed Salad Leaves) and Broad Beans(Bunyards Exhibition).
A TIP FOR BETTER RESULTS IS:- dig deep trenches (at least 1 spade deep) and line them with newspaper before re-covering with well-manured soil. Finally plant the Veg. seedlings carefully and well spaced on the top. Adding small quantities of Lime will also benefit the plants.
10th MAY,2004.The recent weather has been fairly inclement with heavy squally rain showers and frequent high winds but our gardens have still come on at a good pace in the last few weeks.Ed's Broad Bean plants are now well over a foot tall and his Cabbage,Caulie and Mixed Salad Leaves are all prospering.
The three varieties of Pasque flower Ed planted last month have all flowered successfully since, and they've been deadheaded immediately on 'going over' (they produce decorative seed heads) so as to allow as much goodness as possible to get into the main root systems.
The Sedum plants around the Rowan tree are now well established and beginning to spread, and the recently planted Chalomile also seems to be prospering.
Just a word about our wildlife;Wrens,Robins and Tits are nesting in Dave and Tony's; Wrens and Blackbirds in Ed's.
28th July,2004. So far we've had a damp,mild summer and most of our gardens have done well. Even the Sedums around Ed's Rowan tree have flowered and have now spread significantly. His Chalomile is also starting to establish itself in the same area. There's currently a blaze of colour in Ed's back garden where hybrid Asters and Gazenias are all in flower, although on dull overcast days the gazenia flower-heads stay 'closed up'! The warm, damp weather has been good for vegetables and Ed's 'Hispi' Cabbages and his 'Bunyard' Broad beans have already provided a number of meals for his table.(Good advice for single people or small families is to carefully remove the cabbage from the soil and stand in water where it will stay fresh while leaves are gradually removed over several days). The Caulies are also gradually coming along with 4 out of 6 plants forming flower-heads.The Runner beans have been slow to flower this time which might be due to placing the seed-beans in the smallest size of Jiffy pot before transferring to the garden.(Beans produce a large root system and need plenty of room to do this). 'Spar' and Ian have produced a fantastically magnificent display with their baskets and pots this year, as also have Tom and Roger with their wonderful Hydrangers--no doubt a great deal of hard,dedicated work has been done in all cases.
23Sept.,2004. Well we're now past the Autumn Equinox and so Summer's officially over! The weather recently has been more Wintery than Autumnal with high squally winds and very heavy rain in short sharp showers! Absolutely awful!! Any benefit from the regular rainfall is erased by the wind damage!(check out the Japanese Anenome's!). Ed's Hispi Cabbages were good, apart from his last two plants which were eaten by caterpillars in 2 days flat--Lesson learnt:-"Don't leave plants in the ground too long after they mature!" His Caullies were rather disappointing with only small flower heads appearing on 3 out of 6 plants! However the Bunyards Runner Beans and the Mixed Salad Leaves were a success. Also the Hybrid Asters have given a wonderful display throughout the Summer (They're also good as window displays-staying fresh over many days in water.)
Ian and Spar have had a fantastical display of a large range of flowers(Marigolds,Petunias,Impatiens etc) for many months-a great effort of regular watering and tender care over an extended period.
Some more Sedums have gone in round Ed's Rowan Tree and the Michaelmus Daisies(ASTERS)are coming into flower. Hopefully soon the Chrysanthemums (from Denis) will also be in bloom.
16th Nov.,2004. It's been a dreary Autumn--quite damp but very mild! The Hanging Baskets and Pots around Spar's and Ian's houses are still in bloom as are their lovely displays of Dahlias. Ed's Michaelmas Daisies(Asters) are well over but the numerous Chrysanthemum plants he got this Spring from Denis are giving a wonderful,late season display. 'Just what the doctor ordered' at this time of the year! It is also interesting to note that the lovely Hollihocks in Feone's and Tony and Dave's front gardens are still in good flower--In one way these milder Autumns make our gardening efforts more worthwhile when the displays of plants last so much longer than they once did.To end on another good note, the reseeded part of Ed's front lawn around the Rowan tree has grown strongly over the late Summer and early Autumn and it now looks good for next year.
Well, here's to the next growing season when I'm sure we'll have plenty more to talk about--and don't forget 'The Answers Always Lie In The Soil'!
10th Dec.,2004. Just a few words about the great gardening support I've had this year from Annick in Corrie Road. She's managed to grow a wide variety of plants in a relatively small space and her enthusiasm has begun to 'wash off' on her neighbours. More next year.
22nd March,2005. Well here goes for another growing season! Its been a long drawn out winter/spring and the recent cold snap certainly held things back. However now the gardens are taking on their true spring mantel--Daffodils are out in profusion together with Hyacinths and early Tulips. Helebores have been good earlier on and are still quite splendid--they've propogated in Nursery proporions in Ed's front garden and he's potted up a large number for friends and neighbours.I guess it'll soon be grass mowing time again so lots of us will be braving the outdoors once more!
25th April,2005. Even though we're still having ground frosts on some nights-it's not too bad in the confines of the city,so if you already haven't planted your vegetables it certainly is time to set about doing it now! Ed is planting Early Beetroot,Sprouts,Spinach,Autumn Onions and Leeks this time round after preparing the soil with lots of farmyard manure before hand.Also Denis and Ed have done a swap of their excess plants this spring--Helebores from Ed to Denis and Dahlias from Denis to Ed. That's all for now-Keep it going!
10th May, 2005. Well, all Ed's vegetables have been planted and so far appear to be flourishing. He's used a method of site preparation recommended for a low rainfall area ( bearing in mind the relatively small rainfall in the East Anglia region over recent years!).
After digging the site a number of times, as deeply as possible--(ideally to 2 spades depth)--apply DRY farmyard manure and leave for a short period. When its time to plant your veg. plants, dig a trench as deeply as possible for each row of vegetable and line it with crunched up newspaper. Soak the paper in well, before turning the original soil back over the paper in the trench. Finally plant the plants according to instructions, along the line of the trench, in the soil immediately above the wet paper. It is wise to finish off by sprinkling a liberal quantity of Slug/Snail pellets over the whole site (You cannot overdo this--Ed's already found more than 2 dozen dead snails since planting!!). Repeat for each row of veg. you wish to plant.
27th May,2005. What a mixed bag of weather we've had so far this year!! Near ground frost conditions on several nights and cool squally spells in between relative mild spots. Luckily Ed has his vegetables in a relatively sheltered spot and so the frost hasn't affected his plants unduly. He knows some gardeners in the outskirts who had to cover their veg with 'fleece' several times over this period. Additional Info.:-The Beetroot plants were originally planted in groups of 3 and separated after about 2/3 weeks. The Leeks and Onions will be treated similarly soon.(This will give each plant sufficient room to develop fully.)
The bearded Iris have done OK in some spots but others clearly need lifting and separating later on. The same can be said for the 'Red Hot Poker' plants this year.The Ferns,Huchera and Euphorbia (all shade loving) are doing splendidly--probably the weather has been ideal for them. Most Perennials have returned as hoped apart from the Phlox(reason unknown!).The Helebores were 'dead-headed' immediately after 'going over' to prevent seeding in their surrounding area-lots of seedlings in previous years!
Ian and Spar have been very busy planting their pots,hanging baskets and borders--Spar's Lillies will surely give us a wonderful display soon.
1st Aug,2005. As expected Spar's Lillies have given a tremendous display, particularly the one with the large golden yellow flowers-does anyone know the name of this variety? Ian's Dahlias are also very striking and have already been in bloom for some time-Ed's aren't even in flower yet! The range of Hydrangers in Tom and Rogers' front garden is spectacular-perhaps weather conditions (mostly mild and damp) have been ideal this year. A number of other front gardens in Brackyn are also giving fine displays of Bedding Plants this Summer (particularly Begonias,Petunias and Marigolds). Needless to say Ian and Spar are currently tending to a gorgious show of hanging baskets and pots, and Denis's garden (front and back) is a 'Cottage Style' worth viewing.
The Bearded Iris rhizomes in Ed's have been lifted, separated and trimmed with the excess being passed on to Denis for distribution. Ed's Red-Hot Pokers have also been largely removed with just a couple of small pieces replanted.
26th Sept.,2005. Ed's back from holiday and has had his work cut out-pruning,weeding and mowing etc. to bring things back to normal! His Dahlias are still looking good but not as good as Ian's, but his Leeks and Sprouts promise a worthwhile crop in late Autumn/early Winter.Chrysanthemums are budding well, Japanese Marigolds are giving a great display as are the Asters and amazingly most summer bedding plants(Hybrid Asters,Pelargoniums,Fuschias) are still well in bloom-Autumn seems to get later every year!
2nd Nov,2005. Well we're now into Autumn but the mild weather's still with us. Grass continues to grow and lawns still need mowing! Although Pelargoniums aren't flowering any more, Begonias and Fuschias are still in full bloom! Its also the time for Chrysanths and late Asters, not forgeting the Nerines; so we've got some great displays at the moment in Brackyn.
1st Dec,2005. Winter arrived with a vengeance around mid November with frosty nights continuing over an extended period. Now we have a milder spell but its advisable to keep vulnerable, outside potted plants well protected--'FLEECE' is an excellent, cheap, breathable material to wrap pots and plants with over the Winter period.
Just a few words about Annick's garden in Corrie which, as always, throughout the Seasons has been an inspiration to her neighbours in the area.It's always full of interesting plants all year round--Snowdrop' Bushes and Mahonia Bushes with unusual(annual)Wallflowers, Sedum, Lavender, 'Grape'Hyacinth, and Green/Blue(Horizontalis)Spruce; all strategically placed in a small space. Thanks Annick for such a wonderful show.
7th Feb,2006. Well we're certainly having a hard Winter this year! It will be interesting to see what survives when Spring eventually comes.Alima's 'Bush' Dahlia and 'hardy' Cyclamens appear to be still O.K. as too are Ed's Penstamens, Cyclamens, Pansies and Grasses; all of which were planted in submerged pots last October in his front flower bed.
Recently acquired plants(currently indoors)are Euonymus'Blondy'(Evergreen,yellow/green),Hydrangea macrophyla 'Bailmer'(tolerates extremes and pruning),Conifer chamaecyparis 'Pygmea argentea' and Conifer chamaecyparis 'Pisifera'-- all of which will hopefully be planted in Ed's front flower beds this spring.
15th April,2006. Ed has just dug out a very large clump of 'Ornamental' Grass from his back garden and transported it over to Denis. It was sited near a North-facing fence and was self-seeded (probably by birds!).It has given a magnificent all-year-round display for some time but has gradually spread (Rhizome type root system) so now needs more space.The clump can be split easily at this time of year, SO ANYONE INTERESTED PLEASE CONTACT EITHER DENIS (AT 1a ) OR ME.
The grass is 'SPARTINA PECTINATA'. It has tiny flowers on tall (6 feet!) narrow ,straw-coloured spikes in late Summer; the leaves are narrow,arching olive-green with yellow stripes turning orange-brown in Autumn.It is multi-adaptable; good for water-side but also suitable in a dry garden.
10th May,2006. FEONA'S FILLING IN HER POND! WOULD ANYONE LIKE TO HAVE HER FISH. LET ME KNOW.
14th May,2006. John is going to have Feona's fish < all 11 of them!> together with some of her water plants and the pump unit. What a stroke of luck for him with his recently built pool. Tony has taken the remaining plants.
DONT FORGET TO LET ME KNOW IF I CAN HELP WITH THIS SORT OF TRANSACTION ANY TIME.
Another useful bit of info: If you have frogs spawning in your pond next Spring and you lose the "spawn" it will probably be because your fish have eaten them!! To save them, remove them together with some of the pond water and a small piece of oxygenating plant. They'll mature safely into miniature frogs over a few weeks and they'll help keep down the slug population in your ( and your neighbours') garden over the Summer!
9th June,2006. A very late Spring has merged quickly into Summer and many plants have flowered together when usually they'd have been some time apart! The prolonged cold spell earlier also caused bulbs such as Daffodils,Snowdrops and Tulips to flower together in late March/early April! Ed's Eunonymus 'Blondy', Hydrangea 'Bailmar' and Conifers were transfered from indoor pots to outside planting in April and have flourished in his front flower bed; even though the Hydrangea took a while to establish! Currently a few Knifophia flowers are emerging from the front garden plant which was lifted and separated last year. There also is a wonderful display of climber Roses in his back garden at the moment and there's a strong show of Delphiniums on the way--the late Spring and heavy recent rainfall has suited them. Ian has put his usual hard work into setting out yet another great display of Hanging-baskets and Spar's Lillies are about to mature into a wonderful display.
Tom/Roger once again have a gorgeous display of potted Hydrangeas to look forward to; and Dennis's Hanging Petunias/Begonias certainly lift ones mood when passing by.
Just a word re our wildlife. Tits,Robins AND Wrens have nested this year in Tony and Dave's. Wrens and Blackbirds in Ed's but the Magpies killed the Blackbird fledglings! There's also a Hedgehog family nesting under a Fern at back of Ed's.PLEASE LET ME KNOW of any wildlife in your garden.
Did anyone see the "dog" fox wandering along the road late yesterday evening.}?
10th August,2006. A very unusually hot and dry July has made gardening difficult but we've all soldiered on as best we could,and watering night and morning (no hoses!) has kept the borders and baskets in splendid order.However those of us with lawns have long given up; perhaps it's time to redesign accordingly!?
9th September,2006. A much needed wet spell in August has helped our gardens get over the previous hot dry weather. The lawns in particular have greened up marvelously and look so much better. However, Ed is still considering planting a dry garden instead next year!! any suggestions are welcome.
19th Sept.,2006. I've just had a tour round Denis's garden this morning and it really is worth a visit(number 1A). (As he says; this 'Indian Summer' weather we're now having is ideal for our plants). What a great all-round display! From Sedums and Pulmeneria through Roses and Asters to Begonias and Fuschias--and many more.I'm sure Denis would be pleased to show anyone around at any time.
2nd Oct.,2006. Well we're officially into Autumn but the weather is still excellent for our plants--Ian and Spar continue to have a wonderful display, and Louise's lawn is a real treat! Alima and her neighbour Stephen have worked hard at their gardens aspecially keeping the privet-hedge tidy throughout the Summer. Tony and Dave have maintained their space with their usual enthusiasm; but understandibly, Roger and Tom have had to concentrate on the building of their new extension this year.
Just a few words about our neighbours in Corrie, especially Kitty and Wacek with their beautifully kept gardens--particularly the Pond and Aviary (more next year), and of course Annick whose garden continues to inspire.
Last but certainly not least, very many thanks deservedly go to Marylin and Norman for organizing the maintainance of the lawns around the Flats ( and keeping the Wheelies in order!)--their efforts have made a huge difference to our road.
10th November,2006. Penstamens,Roses and Dahlias all still in bloom!! I guess its due to this continuing lovely weather. Also of course the Chrysanths and Nerines are making a great display.
One good idea, passed on to Ed recently, for a continuous display through the Winter months is to layer sets of Spring bulbs at different depths in a deep trough or pot with Winter-flowering Pansies at the surface. (Apparently Daffodils at the lowest depth, then Tulips, followed by Grape Hyacinths and Snowdrops.)
28th December,2006. Well we've caught a chill at last--a few frosty nights just before Christmas. Was anyone caught out by its suddenness? Ed managed to put 'fleece' round his Fuschias just in time but the Begonias, as expected, didn't survive!
Here's to the New Year when hopefully we'll have many more gardening experiences to relate.
Happy New Year to everyone.
2nd February,2007. What a mild winter we're having so far! Apart from a few flurries of snow around mid January there's been nothing adverse to our gardens' wellbeing.However,apparently, most experts are now very concerned about our 'Flora and Fawna' as shrubs and trees are budding too soon which could mean a late frost will damage them beyond recovery! Ed reports large numbers of Bumble and Worker Bees swarming round winter flowers in an attempt to gather enough pollen to replenish used up energy in coming out of hibernation!
31st March,2007. Nights are stiil chilly but with the 'hour going on' and brighter evenings it feels more like Spring now. Forsythia and Japonica and some early Cherry and Plum are in flower with a number of early Tulips already cheering us up. Ed has done some plant swapping; taking several Chrysanthemum plants to Bernard&Agnes and Kitty&Wojek in Corrie Rd and greatfully receiving Asters(Michaelmas Daisies) in return. He also wants to thank Dorothy for giving him such a wonderful range of Asters(different colours,heights etc) and Phlox--they've all been added to his rejuvenated beds in the garden.
25th April,2007.It's been a good time recently for mending and painting fences. THE WEATHER'S GOOD; and if you have shrubs (pruned back in the Autumn or early Spring) and large Perennials about to grow again, they'll soon be too big to enable you to work on those repair jobs that need doing!
5th May,2007. Ed's just got back from Corrie Road where he visited Wacek & Kitty--what a lovely garden they have, with such a variety of things to see! Their front is mainly laid to lawn with borders alternately filled with Aubretia(Rock Cress)(This is a Rockery Perennial) and Roses--Very Effective! Then there's the Gazebo, splendidly draped with a large trailing Wisteria currently in flower, and producing glorious aromas over the whole area. At the back they have again more lawn; centrally situated large, climbing, aromatic, White & Red Lilac; a large, above-ground, well-stocked pond with many gold fish swimming amongst the Lillies; in a shady corner lies the conservatory (pemanently out of direct sunlight) and alongside a very handsome, heavily scented Jasmine. The whole ensemble can be viewed directly, in comfort ,throughout the year from their very cosy kitchen. What a great set-up and anyone from Brackyn is welcome to a view at any time.
21st May,2007. Ed's neighbour Tony recently expressed his concern regarding the absence of bees this year. Normally his Catoniaster is 'alive' with bees by now, but there's not one to be seen! Current theory is the mild winter, particularly the unusually warm weather in February & March, brought bees out of hibernation (a process that uses up most of their energy reserves) and there were insufficient nectar sources available so early in the year for them to replenish lost energy. Most die as a result!
Good plants to have in your garden to help offset this are:-Early Spring Flowering Mahonia , Clematis & Lonicera(Honeysuckle).Also Pulmenaria & Crocus & even some of the Hellebores.
1st June,2007. What a great display of all-round gardening this year in Denis's! He has a very useful nursery area which includes a greenhouse & a paved spot where he hardens-off seedlings.Currently he has many trays of Antirhinums,Geraniums & Foxgloves there(all grown from pcks of seed).In another part he's got mature plants of Aquilegia(purple & white),Hosta(light green/white edges)(orig. from John), Cordyline(from John) and decorative Grasses & Hellebores(from Ed). In yet another plot he's got Standard Roses, Sisyrenchium(blue-flowered variety), Bluebells & Grape Hyacinths in abundance. It's a great sight!. See Ed if you'd like to visit.
Meanwhile Ian has started off his baskets so it must be Summer!
Good news also on the 'fish-front'! Fiona's fish (handed over to John last year) have done marvelously well in John's new pond. (Quote:-"They even have babies now!").
19th June,2007. Lots of lovely rain-NO WATERING NEEDED! Just the time for us to experiment with planting Hellebore Seedlings between the front walls & pavement (shallow, dry & shaded!) of Silvia & Cei's house and also Tony & Dave's. (Nature has led the way with one self-sown Hellebore in that spot from last year). Hellebore seeds have also been recently gathered and distributed over the area together with Nastertium seeds, which hopefully will grow into shallow rooting, colourful plants.
Also, Tony & Dave, and Ed, would all like to thank Cei and Silvia (our new neighbours) for all the work they've done in their garden this year. It's nice to have such keen gardeners, willing to exchange ideas, living in our street; and their front garden with troughs & pots of various sorts of Colneus,Begonias & Asters plus self-sown Poppies is very pleasing on the eye and has improved their spot considerably.
23rd June,2007. Welcome to Evan who is a newcomer to the road and also a keen gardener. His garden is very shady(facing North) but he has many good ideas on suitable plants. More to follow.
8th August,2007. John's garden is now very impressive. He has giant Tomatoes ripening in his greenhouse and pots of Aubergines forming fruit alongside. In addition he's got rows of French Beans, various Root Veg (inc. Potatoes) interspersed with lots of Flowers such as Lillies & Gladioli, not to mention a modern style pond with fountain & Goldfish. Also the large pots of Petunias, Hostas & Cordylines form an attractive frontage to his house. Its a sight worth seeing for any gardener.
10th October,2007. Ian's hanging baskets and Spar's pots are still looking great. What a display they've had this year! Cei & Silvia should have a really colourful front garden in the Spring--with large numbers of Daffs, Tulips and Crocus(in their lawn)--something to look forward to. Also at present we've got a fantastic show of many varieties of Aster in Brackyn & Corrie gardens--they're giving a nice warm splash of colour to our surroundings.
15th Nov,2007. A hard frost last night killed off our Begonias!
4th Dec,2007. Some Chrysanths are still in flower but not much else! Geraniums and non-hardy plants should now be under cover (eg Cold Frame) or indoors. Some half-hardy plants like Fuschias can be protected with a 'Fleece' covering. See you all in the Early Spring, meantime have a joyful and relaxing Christmas ready for a new season of gardening.
14th January,2008. Just to say "Happy New Year" to everyone and to say that spring bulbs are already shooting, ready for a possible early Spring!
24th March,2008. Well we've had a strange Spring to say the least! Quite mild at first (which brought some plants on before their usual time & others, such as winter Flowering Clematis, Lonicera etc, to prolong their usual flowering periods) and then some very cold spells quite recently (which have stopped some Spring Flowers 'dead in their tracks'! Noywithstanding all of this, the grass continues to grow,so it'll soon be time to start mowing those lawns again! More soon.
10th April,2008. Well I've been putting it off as long as possible but now that those daytime temperatures are rising I guess its time to get the lawnmower out of hibernation once again! It is going to be a busy weekend!
2nd June,2008. It must be Summer, Ian's hanging baskets are out in all their usual glory--another great display. Spar's Foxgloves (Digitalis) are impressive--they're Ed's favourite flower and that deep pink colour on this variety is really eye-catching. If anyone has noticed Ed's trough of Begonias on his front lawn, these have been successfully overwintered on his bedroom sill--something he was told would be impossible!
1st August,2008. At last we've had some real summer sunshine and our gardens are thriving. Alima's Vegetables (front garden) are doing well, particularly her Sprouts and Celery plants. Hollyhocks have liked the earlier warm rain and now bask in the sunshine in many gardens; even Ed's 'Mullein'(Verbascum Olympica) has done well (measured at 8 feet tall recently!).
1st October,2008. We're,officially, well into Autumn now but although the weather has been variable it still remains quite mild. But I feel that the nights will be getting cool enough for ground frost to appear soon. However, Ian & Spar's and Tony & Dave's hanging baskets etc. are still looking magnificent--all down to good husbandry I think.
3rd December,2008. Winter's certainly arrived in the last few days with a fine sprinkling of snow and frosty, even during the day, recently! This will certainly kill off any Begonias left out to give a bit of early winter colour! Anyway, the Chrysanths have been great this year, particularly the later, bronze coloured ones which are still giving us a wonderful display round Brackyn, and could go on for a while yet.
26th March,2009. Wow it was a much harder Winter this time round! We're now, officially, well into Spring yet the plants (particularly the perennials) still look very much the worse for wear-Ed's long-lived, trusty Penstamen has 'given up the ghost' and gone to that everlasting,perfect 'garden in the sky'!-but the Bulbs have come on rapidly with Daffs cheering up the March gloom all around.
24th April,2009. Lots of plants are blooming together this year-perhaps because of the delayed Spring?! Tulips have given a particularly good display everywhere but Evan's are extremely beautiful this time. Ed's resurrected his Penstamen by transplanting a self-rooted piece from another plant and it looks O.K. so far! His Wall Flowers (grown from seed 2years ago)are also quite good. Now he's noticed the Bearded Irises leaping into life-they'll be in flower in a week or so (very advanced!).
4th June,2009. Hanging baskets have now appeared all round the road-in particular Tony & Dave's and Ian's have added so much colour to our surroundings--it's breathtaking! Petunias, Loebelias, Aubretia, Begonias of every type are giving us a great display across the spectrum. They've certainly helped lift our spirits at a time when we most need a fillip!
19th August,2009. There have been some fantastic displays in the 'Street' this summer but there are two that stand out as exceptional. The hanging baskets around Ian's house would win prizes at the highest level-the Petunias in particular are a magnificent display (and he grows many from seed or tiny seedlings). The group of unusual Sunflowers in his front also catch the eye-each about 7feet tall with petals a rich buttery yellow and centres a chocolate brown. Very striking! Also Evan's garden has matured into a very unusual blend of plants which look so good in his woodland setting, and his planting of Impatiens and Marigolds on the drive-way to his garage is so imaginative. (By the way, Evan-"Any chance of some of your prize 'Sycerentium' if you 'split it' this Autumn?!")
16th February, 2010. After a mild and prolonged Autumn, when Ian's Hanging Baskets were in flower well into November and Ed's Chrysanths (the Coppery ones) in flower into December, we've had a hard prolonged Winter--in fact the worst for over 30 years in some parts!
But Spring is almost sprung, the Blackbirds are noisy and active again, and the Snowdrops and Crocuses are blooming (see Ed's neighbours' front gardens), so it shouldn't be long now before we're out enjoying our gardens once more.
23rd July,2010. Well,Spring did arrive eventually but only in a piecemeal fashion. After the Crocuses came the Daffodils and then the wonderful Tulips--there was a far wider range of varieties this year, particularly in Evan's garden. The weather in May and June was so unpredictable and cooler than normal that lots of Summer flowering plants which normally bloom at different times, tended to bloom at the same time this year. So Brackyn Gardens were a blaze of colour, but only for a for a short time!
In July we've had a period of draught, some very hot days, high winds (which damaged lots of Rose 'ramblers' and 'climbers', and tall plants like Hollyhocks) and yesterday we've at last had some decent rainfall, which will help many of us, with some relief from the daily chore of watering, especially those with hanging baskets (eg: David, Ian, Spar & Stephen et al..) and those with many bedding plants (eg: Dorothy & David et al..). Let's hope the weather will be more predictable from now on! That's all for now.
15th March,2011. The Spring Equinox is almost upon us-in the next week or so the Midday Sun will begin to move North of the Equator and this is when scientists inform us that it's the beginning of our Spring Season. Hurrah! The last Winter has been a cold, gloomy, prolonged affair (we're told that East Anglians have seen less sunlight than anyone else in the UK and its also been our gloomiest winter for about 30 years!).
February did see a good crop of Snowdrops in Brackyn and now various varieties of Daffodils are 'fluttering in the breeze'. Early Tulips are also showing colour in some of our gardens.
Yes, Spring is now definitely on the way--happy gardening (even if the grass will soon need cutting!).
Romsey Garden Club.(2008).
The last talk was part of our Social Evening on 13th May,08 at Ross Street Centre. It was given by Mags Rackley, Bridget Burrow & Lynda West(spokes person).They are 3 of the inmates of Mansfield Almshouses in Chesterton, and together won the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire 'Gardeners of the Year' Award 2007. The content of their 'talk' was inspirational, paticularly those of us who are daunted by the task of converting a 'wilderness' into a beautiful, multifunctional garden space.
The Plant Sale at St Philip's School Summer Fete on the 5th July,08 was a great success. A wide range of plants from Dahlias to Bergenias were available and a net profit of almost £70 was made thanks to the combined efforts of Keith, Eric, Anne and Ed.
The DAY VISIT To 'HYDE HALL' Estate and Gardens on 10th August,2008 was a wonderful day out. All of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves; the weather stayed fine, if a little breezy, throughout our visit and lots of plants in unusual settings provided a wonderful backdrop to the many 'walks' we managed to complete.(SEE PICTURES ABOVE).
I'm happy to report that the Annual 'Flower and Produce' Show on 6th September,2008 was a great success. It was officially opened by the Mayor & Mayoress, and Prizes Awarded by Allan Brigham. There were more entries than ever before,and the rain stayed away,enabling the large attendance to enjoy the day enormously.
CALENDAR FOR 2008/9
October 14th.....Margaret Nimmo Smith 'Hardy Ferns in East Anglia'
November 11th...Peter Vince 'Wildlife Trust'
December 9th....Peter Jaskson 'Drought Resistant Plants'
January 13th....George Thorpe 'Climate Change and Associate Planting'
February 10th...Allan Brigham 'Hobson's Choice'
March 10th......Bill Morris 'Propogation'
April 14th......Social Evening.
May 12th........(MOVED TO 'The Chinese Gooseberry Man' 26th May).
DON'T FORGET IT'S ONLY £5 PER YEAR(from now til Summer 2009) TO JOIN THE GARDEN CLUB.
Romsey Garden Club 2009 (website: sites.google.com/site/romseygardenclub)
The Plant Stall at St Philip's School Summer Fete on 4th July,09 was a big success once again with a profit of more than £60 being made for the Club.
THE DAY TRIP TO East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden (near the Norfolk Coast) on Sunday, 19th July was most enjoyable. Apart from a small shower on route we dodged the rain. Our lunch stop in Wroxam was eventful with some hiring a boat for an hour! The garden is unique with its setting so near the coast and provided us with a splendid array from open fields of Corn Marigolds to Mediterranean style, dry climate areas. A truly inspiring visit. View their website at:- www.eastrustonoldvicarage.co.uk
On 1st September George Thorpe has arranged for members of Romsey Garden Club to visit the Fellow's Gardens at Trinity College, and we hope that as many as possible will join us. We are asked to meet at the main gate at 6.30pm, and the charge will be £3 per head.
AND DON'T FORGET THE ANNUAL SHOW AT ROSS STREET COMM.CENTRE ON SATURDAY, 5th SEPTEMBER, 1.00 to 4.00pm. ALL ARE WELCOME. A HUGE RANGE OF ENTRY CATEGORIES(FREE-NO CHARGE)--B.B.Q. IN THE EVENING. COME ALONG; YOU WONT REGRET IT.
The Annual Show was even more successful than last year, with a vast increase in entries for a wider range of categories. The new 'point system' for multiple entries helped and many people won more than one prize.
FORTHCOMING EVENTS 2009/10.
13th OCT,09....JOHN MARSHALL--'Send a Cow'
10th NOV,09....ANDREW HARPER-SMITH (NOTCUTTS) 'Pruning and Training'
9th DEC,09.....DAVID PALMER (TV Auctioneer!)
12th JAN,10....AGM & SOCIAL EVENING.
9th FEB,10.....KEITH JORDAN--'Trees of Romsey'
9th MARCH,10.."TWIGS WAY"--'Plots and Politics'
13th APRIL,10..ALLAN BRIGHAM-'Cast Iron not Colleges'
11th MAY,10....To be advised.
This year's Annual Garden Show was held at Ross Street Community Centre on 4th September,10 and judging by the number of entries and people visiting, continues to grow in popularity. Many new families in the area came along and were keen to swell the Club's Membership on the first evening of the new events programmed for 2010/11.
Calendar for 2010/11.
12th October,10...."Ideas in the Community" (Free admission).
WEDNESDAY 10th November,10. "Planning Small Gardens" by John Marshall.
14th December,10..."Gardens of Cambridgeshire" by Mr Drake (National Collection of Aquilegias).
11th January,11..."Gardener's Joy" by Geoff Hales.
8th February,11...To Be Advised.
8th March,11......"Fruit and Veg Gardening" by Keith Jordan.
12th April,11.....To Be Advised.
10th May,11......."Twigs Way" (The History of the Cottage Garden).
Garden Show 2011
The show will be held on 17 September 2011 at Ross Street Community Centre. Bring your entries soon after 12.15 pm, and the show opens to the public at 2.00 pm.
All Sections 1 to 7 open to anyone of any age.
SECTION 1:- VEGETABLES, SECTION 2:-GIANT & NOBBLY VEGETABLES., SECTION 3:- FRUITS, SECTION 4:- FLOWERS & HERBS, SECTION 5:-HOME PRODUCE (judge will taste small samples), SECTION 6:- DRINKS (judge will taste small samples), SECTION 7:- PHOTOGRAPHIC(Pictures from my garden, allotment, window box)(one or more with short description on A4 max).
CHILDREN'S SECTION (under 5's and under 12's).
Entries set up between 12.30 and 2.00pm
Entries will be judged by various people from the local community.
Mayor of Cambridge will be attending
Award Ceremony at 4.00pm followed by removal of entries.
Please go to:- sites.google.com/site/romseygardenclub for more information.
This year's Show was successful once again; lots of people came along to view and the hall was particularly full at the Prize Giving Ceremony where his worship the Mayor gave the awards to successful entrants. We were especially pleased with the quantity and standard of the Children's entries.
Programme of Forthcoming Events for 2011/12
18th Oct, 2011. The Botanic Garden's Head of Education introduces 'the world of Botany'.
8th Nov, 2011. Julie Dore (Medical Herbalist) will present "One person's weed is another person's medicine".
13th Dec,2011. Social evening and Quiz!
10th Jan,2012. Peter Jackson (Scotsdales) "Plants for Winter interest".
14th Feb,2012. To be confirmed.
13th Mar,2012. Bill Morris (on Propogation.
10th Apr,2012 To be confirmed.
8th May,2012. Organised College Tour.
Plant sale Sunday June 3rd
We had a stall at the Hope Street Diamond Jubilee party which was held on Sunday June 3rd where we sold lots of plants to boost Club funds and also to promoted the Garden Club and encouraged new members along.
Trumpington Orchard visit Tuesday June 12th
We will be meeting there at 6.15-6.30pm. Alternatively if you need transport committee members are prepared to drive and will be meeting in the Cutlacks car park at 6pm. Should you require transport please ring Caroline on 243144. Bring along snacks and drinks and a blanket if you have one so we can have relax amongst the apple trees in the sunshine (hopefully).
The weather didn't let us down, it stayed dry throughout and we were warm under our blankets! Lots of cake and sandwiches went down well with hot mugs of tea, and all enjoyed the tranquil surroundings.
ROMSEY GARDEN CLUB
Oct 9th (12) George Thorpe A talk on Trinity College Gardens
Oct 23rd (12) Festival of Ideas Free of charge events open to all:
4-5pm Afternoon walk around Romsey Rec with Keith Jordan
7.30pm A talk on Clare College Gardens by Head Gardener Steve Elstub
Nov 13th( 12) Emma Clark An Introduction to the Islamic Garden and its application to the Cambridge Mosque Project
Dec 11th (12) Xmas social Games, Wine, Soft Drinks and Nibbles
Jan 8th (13) Mike Day Flora and Wildlife in Costa Rica
Feb 12th (13) Peter Walker Gardens of Devon
Mar 12th (13) Dave Johnson My Career Path into Horticulture
Apr 9th (13) Peter Jackson Plants for shade
May 14th (13) Allan Brigham A Guided Local Walk
June 11th (13) A College Gardens Tour
All the evening meetings are held on the second Tuesday in the month from September through to May at the Ross Street Community Centre. The doors are open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Admission fees are £2 for members and £4 for guests. Annual membership of the club costs £5, and you can pay at the meeting or in advance at Cutlacks. The club invites members of other garden clubs and allotment societies to attend our meetings and join our trips out, and the charge for them will be the same as for our own members.
All meetings are open to guests as well as members, but we hope that you will want to join us. The evening meetings start at 7.30pm, at the
Community Centre in Ross Street, but many members come a bit sooner to talk to each other.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
IT'S STILL ONLY £5 A YEAR TO JOIN THE GARDEN CLUB AND £2 TO ATTEND AN EVENING PACKED WITH INFORMATION IN A VERY FRIENDLY AND WELCOMING SETTING.(the first Tuesday in each month at Ross Street Community Centre).
Please call at Ed's should you have any comments to make or information to add.
Please visit this web site at http://www.botanic.cam.ac.uk/Botanic/Home.aspx