May Meeting and Plant Sale
The Spirit of the Place - Gardens at Packwood House - Mick Evans
Mick Evans has been Head Gardener at Packwood for many years and he gave an inspirational talk about the changes he has made to the gardens in that time. The stunning yew garden has been rejuvenated. The hot terrace borders are now sizzling with colour late into the season. New softer coloured borders line the path to the terrace and a Mediterranean garden has been created around the pool. On top of all of that the large walled vegetable garden has been restored complete with new dipping pond. Mick described his successes and failures encouraging us by saying that new plantings are often not right first time. All this has been achieved by Mick with a small band of dedicated talented volunteers and a lot of hard work. Anyone that has not visited Packwood recently should definitely go and see the gardens again. They are in for a treat!
Daffodils - Jackie Petherbridge
Jackie Petherbridge is President of the Daffodil Society and travels the country as an RHS judge. Her talk started with the history of daffodils then covered the 13 different classes which was surprisingly interesting. There are classes for species daffodils, different singles and doubles and the way Jackie described it all made sense. It was easy to see the differences and helped us understand which daffodils suit different situations. To finish she gave us some tips on how to smarten up our own daffodils for shows by smoothing petals and gently rounding the trumpets she made some very ordinary daffodils she had bought look very smart and even!
June 7th Meeting
Charlecote Park Gardens - Paul Smith
July 5th Meeting and Summer Show
Tenerife - A Botanical Honey Pot - Timothy Walker
Timothy Walker is a botanist and was Curator of the Oxford Botanic Gardens for many years. He spoke to us last year about their 393 year development and was back again this year to talk about his trips to Tenerife with Botany students from the university on field trips. Tenerife, although small, has areas with very different climates so has a very varied flora with alpine, cloud forest and desert species in close proximity which makes it an interesting place to study. He explained simply how the original indigenous species of plants on the island develop independently and sometimes differently from their parents on the mainland and how these are supplemented by arrivals by sea and air which do the same. This gives us some very unusual plants not seen elsewhere which he illustrated in excellent photographs.
August 2nd Meeting and Geranium Competition
A Healthy Garden and Allotment without Pesticides - Pauline Pears
May 3rd Meeting and Plant Sale
Euphorbias and other Spring Flowering Perennials - Don Witton
Our Plant sale went well too. There were vegetables, annuals and perennials for sale. Thank you to everyone who brought and bought plants. Between our sale and Don's most members went out with a bag of plants.
Don and Jenny at the Plant Table
Paul is Head Gardener and Estate Manager at Charlecote and he gave an interesting talk on the recent developments of the gardens since he has been in charge to extend the season of interest. He explained how he enlists the help of the National Trust Volunteers and local schools in his garden renovation projects to get the work done. He also told us about the Deer Park, the types of deer and how they are managed to keep the numbers under control. If you have not visited Charlecote for a few years it is definitely worth a visit as there will be plenty of new things to see.
Don Witton holds the National Collection of Euphorbias and is by his own admission is crazy about them! He gave us a very entertaining talk about the early flowering Euphorbias in his collection and other plants that complement them using slides of his garden and allotment in Sheffield. He talked of his successes and failures and how important it was to give plants the conditions they need - blue mecanopsis do not like his sunny open garden! There was also a memorable cautionary tale - beware Euphorbia sap which even though it may not affect your hands can have a devastating effect on more tender skin! You can see Don's garden and the collection on his web site Link to his web site. Don brought some wonderful plants to sell too and did a roaring trade at the end of the meeting.
2015 Kenilworth Horticultural Society 125 Years Old
The first mention of a Kenilworth Horticultural Society is in the Kenilworth Weekly News in 1890 so we had a party for society members and friends on 7th August at Fieldgate to celebrate. The committee provided a wonderful buffet with Pimms and soft drinks and Janet Cherry made us a beautiful birthday cake. Records of the society beginnings and Kenilworth in the 1890's were displayed (thanks to Betty Sunley) and there was a garden quiz to keep people entertained. Pictures taken by Jenny Matthews below.
Kenilworth Horticultural Society
Pauline Pears has been an organic gardener since 1970 when it was still very new and out of the ordinary. She gave us a very interesting talk covering soil condition, composting and general plant health as well as teaching us about good and bad bugs with a quiz. She has always looked for evidence before accepting the benefits of organic gardening so it was a compelling presentation and she dispelled some myths about companion planting for us too. She has written several books on Organic Gardening and answered our many questions very knowledgeably.
April Meeting and Spring Show
Pelargoniums - Ursula Key-Davis Fibrex Nurseries
Fibrex Nurseries is a family business and they hold the National Collection of Pelargoniums, Ivys and Ferns. Ursula is in charge of propagation an d she gave us a fascinating talk. Many of the Pelargoniums she would have brought to show us were not in flower so she concentrated on species and scented Pelargoniums passing round plants with scents ranging from Lemons through Roses to Aftershave! She also gave us tips on keeping plants through the winter, taking cuttings and choosing the right compost. It was a very enjoyable and interesting evening and many of us bought new plants to try.