A Garden from Scratch - Adrian James
Adrian gave a wonderful talk about how he and his wife had built their new garden at Langdale in Offenham over the last 10 years. They started in 2009 with a field, massively overgrown hedge and large trees. Their first job was to clear it of all the unwanted plants and roots (the hardest of all) and install the greenhouses. Then with good ideas for the overall design and planting and a lot more very hard work they have transformed it into a beautiful garden with many rooms, a huge variety of plants and year round interest. The garden is open to the public under the National Garden Scheme by arrangement for groups and with Offenham Gardens on 3rd and 4th August 2019. Some of us are planning to visit.
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.
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!
May Meeting and Plant Sale
Garden Birds in Spring and Summer - David Tideswell
David has been a keen birder all his life. He gave us an entertaining talk on how to encourage birds into our gardens with tips on bird boxes, nesting material feeding and providing clean water for bathing. (An old frying pan is just the right depth.) Shrubs and hedges were good for cover and plants that encouraged insects provided food. The talk was illustrated with pictures of birds from his garden covering the common species that we should all see in our gardens and some that were rarer visitors.
The plant sale was well supported with a good range of herbaceous and vegetable plants for sale. Thank you to everyone who brought and bought plants.
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.
April Meeting and Spring Show
Old Fashioned Roses and Plants to Go with Them - Jeff Soulsby
Jeff gave us his first ever talk using power point slides which was a great success with some beautiful pictures of old roses from his collection. He usually uses real plants but there are no roses in flower in April! He told us that roses required a lot of care and need regular watering and feeding (more than most of us give them) and some need spraying against disease too. He told us how to train our climbing roses so that the bottom branches flower and then took us through a list of his favourites for sun, shade, poor soil, colour and scent. His all time favourite is Rosa Jaques Cartier a beautiful pink rose that has everything you could want - full petalled flowers, scent, repeat flowering, pale green foliage and strong healthy growth. Compte de Chambord is nearly as good too.
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!
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.
Kenilworth Horticultural Society
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!
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.