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.
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!
The Pond Owner's Calendar - Linda Smith Waterside Nursery
Linda set up Waterside Nursery in 1995 specialising in aquatic and moisture loving plants. The Nursery regularly exhibits at Chelsea and they have won 9 gold medals. Linda talked us through what we can expect to see in our ponds through the seasons and the work that has to be done to maintain them using pictures from her own ponds. It was a very entertaining talk and taught us that we must examine our ponds closely at all times of the year to enjoy them to the full and keep them healthy!
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.
Flower Arrangements for Christmas - Barbara Sheppard
The December meeting is our Christmas Party and the hall looked very festive with Christmas tablecloths and decorations. Barbara is a member of our club and an expert flower arranger. She demonstrated three flower arrangements in classical and modern styles that we could try at home entertaining us with stories from her career and tips on where to buy the best flowers as she worked. She also did a small table decoration and three of the members got a chance to do their own while the rest of us looked on. After the demonstration we had refreshments , our a Secret Santa and a special free raffle of Barbara's arrangements. Congratulations to the lucky winners!
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!
Sarah Ridgeway Hinton's Nursery
We were scheduled to have a talk on the Dry Garden from Ingrid Millington Hillview Nursery but unfortunately Ingrid had to cancel at very short notice due to a family crisis. Sarah very kindly stepped in and gave us an entertaining talk on Warwickshire Trees and some tips on making gardening easier as you get older. A big thank you goes to Sarah for rescuing our evening.
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!
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 Meeting and Fuschia Competition
Clematis - Stuart Dixon
Stuart is a confessed Clematis addict. In his garden in Hebbs Farm (which is open for visits) he grows an extensive range and he used photographs of these to illustrate his talk. He told us that Clematis like moist, cool root conditions - they have not enjoyed this hot summer and many look ragged now as they have not had enough water. He recommended good varieties and told us to buy plants with at least 4 shoots as these will repay us with flowering quickly and well after planting whereas the small bargain Clematis often struggle for years before becoming properly established. Valuable lessons for us all! Thank you to Stuart for a very interesting talk.