Kenilworth Horticultural Society
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.
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!
Pots and Hanging Baskets - Geoff Croft
Geoff Croft arrived with lots of plants for his demonstration and for sale. He has been in the horticultural business for years teaching and latterly running his own nursery which he claims he is retiring from soon. In a lively talk with lots of audience interaction Geoff took us through pots, baskets, compost and watering as he planted up an variety of containers and plants. Geoff sometimes does colour coordinated planting but also likes multicoloured pots and plants. He told us he could tell that we were thinking as he planted up a purple pot with red, yellow and pink plants but he just loved it and we should be more adventurous! It was a very entertaining evening and we bought lots of Geoff's plants afterwards to enhance our displays at home. Four members were lucky enough to take home the planted pots as their raffle prizes.
August 2nd Meeting and Geranium Competition
A Healthy Garden and Allotment without Pesticides - Pauline Pears
July Meeting - American Evening
Can the Americans Garden? Timothy Walker
This talk took place on 4th July, American Independence Day, so we had an American themed evening with flags, bunting, cup cakes and cookies. Some of the members also chose to wear red white and blue . Myra our Show Secretary went the whole hog with trainers, baseball cap and rosette to complete her look!
Timothy Walker gave us yet another very entertaining talk about Americans and their gardens. He began with a potted history of gardening in the USA and showed us some beautiful pictures of their best gardens. America has some very wealthy people and many love gardening and give generously to fund their favourite gardens. There are also private gardens with huge tropical greenhouses and massive indoor displays where the planting is changed four times a year. Inconceivable to us Brits! He also explained their love of English gardens and lengths they have to go to to grow some plants that are favourites here. It's a particular problem on the East Coast, where the weather is either freezing cold or baking hot and there are all sorts of unpleasant pests. The conclusion of course was that the Americans can garden and do it very well but they do have their crazy moments!
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.
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.
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!
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.