Ashdon Gardening Club

Prunings 2008 to 2009 Season

Prunings for December 2008

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Promote . Educate . Inform

Welcome to the new look Prunings and a happy new year to all our members. We are all looking forward to the 2009 season and warmer temperatures (but not just yet). Prunings will be available on the Website and on hard copy to members without Internet access. It is a vehicle for the ASHDON GARDENING CLUB to keep in touch with its members and get your views on issues that are relevant to you. It will include tips on what ideally you should be trying to achieve in your garden from month to month with regards to planting and maintenance. It will act as a reminder for forthcoming meetings and events we have scheduled and give you a forum for getting your views and ideas across whether you can attend a meeting or not.


Our next meeting in January

January 15th 2009 7.45pm at the Village Hall

This is the Ashdon Gardening Club social evening. Come along and enjoy food and wine, meet like-minded members and share your gardening highs and lows. We will begin with gardeners' questions time, we have a topical quiz, raffle and the usual bring and buy plant stall. If you are moving or dividing plants/perennials or have been given a plant you do not like, rather than composting it let someone else give it a new home. If you have seeds left over from early sowings or too many seedlings everything is welcomed and funds raised will benefit us all. Please bring along a vase of winter interest flowers/foliage for a fun competition with a penny vote to get a winner. Rob and Ian will be canvassing members for ideas on speakers, subjects, events, places to visit etc. for the future and to find out what you want from the club. We look forward to seeing you all there.


What you should be doing in the garden in January

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General News

The BBC's Christine Walkden is coming to Ashdon Gardening Club. Tickets are now on sale for Christine's talk 'How to grow 2000 plants in a 20 x 30 foot garden' on 19th February, but places are limited, so order your ticket now and we will deliver it for you. Members £3, non- members £6, if you have friends or family that would appreciate a night out, go on get them a ticket too!!


Last Meeting Reviewed

November's meeting saw 31 members attend Mike Lindsell's talk describing the planting and cultivation of his 2 acre vineyard. This was a very enjoyable and informative evening, made even more pleasant by tasting different samples of Mike's wine at regular intervals throughout the evening. For those of you interested in a tour of the vineyard please see the website Sandyford Web sitefor more details. The url is http://www.sandyfordvineyard.co.uk/aboutus/index.php


New Members Welcome

We currently have 40 members for the 2008/2009 season, including six new members. As a small, friendly gardening club with a mix of gardening experience ranging from beginner to professional, we are always happy to welcome new members or guests. If you would like more details please contact Rob (01799)584101.




Committee meeting news

At our meeting this month we discussed the organization and advertising for the February meeting with Christine Walkden. We made arrangements for the January social evening, and discussed canvassing members on ideas for the upcoming season. We also discussed the re-launch of this issue of Prunings.


Members benefits

Check out your local nurseries for 10% member discounts, refer to page 36 of your handbook. Remember to place your Thompson & Morgan seed order through Roy Bartram and get a 50% discount. See page 8 of your handbook.


Diary Dates

Please let us know about topics or speakers you would like to hear for the 2009/2010 program.


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Members feedback

The Potting Shed (sale items)

Ian's Diary

I thought I would pen a few lines every month to let you know what I have been up to in the garden at Waltons and what I have planned for the future. I hope you can all visit the garden from time to time this year to see its continuing improvements. Feedback is always good for any gardener. If nothing else it should remind you what you should have attempted in the garden last month or should be catching up with this month. The great thing about gardening is you can do as little or as much as you like, but you will always be rewarded by the results.

Over the last month the lawns have had their moss control treatment. I have been clearing the walls of overgrown ivy, we had one wall collapse due to roots growing up through the foundations so it served as a reminder to check and cut back all of the wall ivy, some of the walls are nearly 300 years old. As it has been unseasonably cold and wet for the time of year I have been trying to keep off of the lawns, beds and borders to reduce compaction. I have been continually clearing leaves from the lawns, cutting back and tying in the wall-trained roses. Replacing and repairing the wires for the wall trained climbers. The teak garden furniture has had a jet wash and a good coating of teak oil. The grape vines have now been pruned after some advice from our speaker from the Sandyford Vineyard, along with the peaches and nectarines. One nectarine has an infestation of a scale insect or mite, so this had a wash and brush down to remove as many eggs as possible and a winter wash treatment. The apple and pear trees had a bumper crop so the vigorous pruning will be repeated again this year. Perennials will be left till March to be cut back this year, winter is a long season and I do not like to see bare beds and borders for too long. The stone paths are getting very slippery again so they will need a treatment over the next few weeks. Here's looking forward to longer hours of daylight.

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Prunings for February 2009

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Promote . Educate . Inform

Welcome to Prunings and the hope of warmer and drier days ahead for all our members. We are all looking forward to the 2009 season and the wonderful spring bulb display is just beginning. Prunings will be available on the Website and on hard copy to members without Internet access. It is a vehicle for the ASHDON GARDENING CLUB to keep in touch with its members and get your views on issues that are relevant to you. It will include tips on what ideally you should be trying to achieve in your garden from month to month with regards to planting and maintenance. It will act as a reminder for forthcoming meetings and events we have scheduled and give you a forum for getting your views and ideas across whether you can attend a meeting or not.


Our next meeting in February

ASHDON GARDENING CLUB

Presents

Christine Walkden

How to grow 2000 plants in a 20 X 30 ft garden

Christine Walkden

Thursday 19th February 2009 7.45pm

Christine is a known plantswoman & horticulturalist

Star of TV’s Christine’s Garden

Resident Gardening Expert on The One Show

at Ashdon Village Hall

ALL WELCOME

Entrance by ticket only -

Members £3 Non-members £6

This is one of the Ashdon Gardening Club's showpiece events of the year. Come along and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit, meet like-minded members and share your gardening highs and lows. We will begin with gardeners' question time, then Christine will talk us through how to grow 2000 plants in a 20’ by 30’ garden. Don’t forget the raffle, this should be a bumper one with some great prizes. We look forward to seeing you all there.


What you should be doing in the garden in February

With the exceptionally wet and cold weather of late I would be surprised if many have ventured into the garden let alone dug over vacant areas of your veg. plot. Now with a cold snap and snow forecast it is hard to imagine that it will be warmer and drier one day. February is the last month to prune your apple and pear trees, also your autumn raspberry canes can be cut down to ground level before giving them a bit of fertilizer and a mulch. Summer raspberries can be cut back to one or two buds above the tops of their supports.


General News

The BBC’s Christine Walkden is coming to ASHDON GARDENING CLUB. Tickets are now on sale for Christine’s talk ‘How to grow 2000 plants in a 20 x 30 foot garden’ on 19th February, but places are limited, so order your ticket now and we will deliver it for you. Members £3, non-members £6, if you have friends or family that would appreciate a night out, go on get them a ticket too!!

January 31st was the date of the Ashdon Quiz night at the Village Hall. 15 teams of 8 had to answer 10 rounds of 10 questions. I am pleased to announce that the Ashdon Gardening Club team came out victorious, well done to everyone who took part.

Anglesey Abbey's snowdrops and winter garden are in their prime this month so get down to see them on a clear blue day if we have one.


Last Meeting Reviewed

January’s social evening was a great success, 14 new members joined and all enjoyed the great food and wine. Thank you to everyone for helping out. Thank you to everyone who answered the questionnaire; Rob and I had an interesting time gathering your thoughts on events and ideas for the future. The quiz from Hilary kept us all on our toes, hopping from table to table as I was, I could see that all were enjoying themselves.


New Members Welcome

We currently have 54 members for the 2009 season, including 20 new members. As a small, friendly gardening club with a mix of gardening experience ranging from beginner to professional, we are always happy to welcome new members or guests. If you would like more details please contact Rob (01799) 584101.


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Committee meeting news

At our meeting this month we discussed the organization for the February meeting with Christine Walkden. We made arrangements for having a presence at the WI Market Place to be held at the Village Hall Saturday 28th February 10.00 – 12.00. We will be advertising the benefits of the Gardening Club and promoting the Annual Village Show. After going through the feedback from the questionnaire, we will be beginning to make enquiries for speakers for future meetings and gardens to visit in the summer.


Members benefits

Check out your local nurseries for 10% member discounts, refer to page 36 of your handbook. Remember to place your Thompson & Morgan seed order through Roy Bartram and get a 50% discount. See page 8 of your handbook.


Diary Dates

Please let us know about topics or speakers you would like to hear for the 2009/2010 program.


Members feedback

The Potting Shed (sale items)

Ian’s Diary

Well the weather has not been conducive to enjoyable gardening lately. I have scrubbed and jet washed the paths and patio, it is amazing how fresh they can look once the slippery surface build up is removed. The limes along the drive have had a major prune to lift the lower branches. They were beginning to obstruct horseboxes and the tractor while harrowing the paddocks. The grassed areas at the entrance and along the drive had the last of the leaves and broken twigs cleared. These areas are awash with aconites now and the snow drops will be at their best this month. The daffodils are on their way, with another 1000 or so planted in the autumn I can’t wait to see this seasons display. Either side of the front pond adjacent to the lawn we have areas where the grass is left uncut to create meadows. These have also been planted with bulbs including daffodils, tulips, Camassia, snowdrops, Fritillaria meleagris and Alliums.

On drier days I have been making a start at clearing the perimeters of the Rookery, this is the lightly wooded area around the two stream-fed lakes. These were created around 1763 by the then owner Sir William Maynard and then renovated in the late 1950’s. I have recently uncovered the original stone built grotto at the top of the first lake which had become overgrown with ivy. The grassed areas around the lakes are rough-cut with ride on mowers, the original boundaries were planted with buxus, but over the years where branches have fallen and been driven around, brambles have grown up and brought the boundaries further and further in. The buxus can hardly be seen these days so the clearing of the brambles over the next few years and some replanting of trees lost in the 87 storm should bring this magical area back to its former glory.

At the front of the house there is a curved easterly facing wall, which is the boundary of the front lawn and pond. The border cut into the lawn at the foot of this wall is planted with Iceberg climbing roses, under planted with blue Irises and Nepeta. With the Irises starting to shoot the Nepeta has been cut back, the roses given a mulch of well-rotted horse manure and the edges of the lawn re-cut to give a clean distinction for mowing.

With the snow now falling as I type, who knows what February has in store for us?

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Prunings for March 2009

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Promote . Educate . Inform

Welcome to Prunings and still the hope of warmer and drier days ahead for all our members. The aconites are just going over now and the snowdrops have just about done their best and a glorious display it was. The daffodils are now starting their performance, and with different varieties interplanted we should be in for an extended display this year. I visited Anglesey Abbey on 21st Feb, the sun shone and the blue sky made a magnificent backdrop for the winter plantings and the snowdrops had just reached their peak, 2 weeks later than expected.


Our next meeting in March

March 19th 2009 7.45pm at the Village Hall

George Thorpe M.A., M.Hort. Head Gardener, Trinity College, Cambridge - Climate change and associated planting

George is well versed in all matters horticultural and is an entertaining speaker. With the uncertainty of what is sustainable planting for the future, this will be a chance to have your questions answered. Come along and enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit, meet like-minded members and share your gardening highs and lows. We will begin with gardeners' question time, then George will do his presentation. Don’t forget the raffle, and bring and buy plant stall. If you are moving or dividing plants/perennials or have been given a plant you do not like, rather than composting it let someone else give it a new home. If you have seeds left over from early sowings or too many seedlings everything is welcomed and funds raised will benefit us all. We look forward to seeing you all there.


What you should be doing in the garden in March

Suddenly we have had a few dry days and the sun has begun to shine. All those jobs you have put off over the last month will have to be squeezed in when you can. Get that veg. patch dug over and with everything sprouting into life in the herbaceous borders now is a good time to cut back your perennials. Mulch your beds if possible to keep the soil from drying out, locking that moisture in.


General News

Last Meeting Reviewed

February 19th saw Christine Walkden entertain us, when I say us I mean 120+ of us. Thank you to all who supported us and helped out on the evening with teas, tickets, raffle, chairs etc. This was a risky event for us to attempt so early in the season but the committee and members pulled together to sell 120 tickets in record time. Christine even exceeded our expectations with her plant knowledge during question time and the range of plants she showed were available for small spaces. I am now going to plant some alpines in my window boxes for a long low maintenance display. The members and guests I spoke to on the evening all had an entertaining and educational evening; we even attracted some new members to swell our meetings in the future.


New Members Welcome

We currently have 60 members for the 2009 season. As a small, friendly gardening club with a mix of gardening experience ranging from beginner to professional, we are always happy to welcome new members or guests. If you would like more details please contact Rob (01799) 584101.


Committee Meeting News

At our meeting this month we discussed the organization for the March meeting with George Thorpe. We reviewed our presence at the WI Market Place held at the Village Hall Saturday 28th February and found it to be a very successful exercise to raise awareness for the club. After going through the feedback from the club questionnaire, many people requested bulk buying of compost to get keener pricing. We discussed some options and will look at logistics and talk to local suppliers. We discussed sourcing affordable minibus hire for evening visits to gardens in the summer. We discussed having a summer barbecue at Philip Marchant's garden in July. We talked about how to make it easier for people to bring along plants for the club to sell at the Plant Sale 16th May. If anyone needs pots to put the plants in please let us know at the next meeting.


Members’ Benefits

Check out your local nurseries for 10% member discounts, refer to page 36 of your handbook. Remember to place your Thompson & Morgan seed order through Roy Bartram and get a 50% discount. See page 8 of your handbook.


Diary Dates
March 19th 2009 George Thorpe Head Gardener Trinity College - Climate change & associated planting
April 16th 2009 John Webster - Growing herbs and their uses
May 16th 2009 The Annual plant sale, outside the Village Hall - 8.30am start till it's all sold
May 28th 2009 AGM, social evening
June18th 2009 Hanging baskets at Springwell Nurseries
July 16th 2009 16th 2009 Evening outing to Spencers Garden Talk/tour/tea and cake - ticket only
July 24th 2009 Evening Barbecue
August 22nd 2009 Ashdon Village Show (see page 9 of your handbook)
September 17th 2009 Hilary Thomas Former head of Design at the prestigious Capel Manor Horticultural College - Right plant, right place

Please let us know about topics or speakers you would like to hear for future programs.

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Members' Feedback

The Potting Shed (sale items)

Ian's Diary

Although you can be forgiven for keeping out of the garden during the snow, then the thaw and flooding that followed, I am afraid I had to carry on regardless. The leaf blower came in handy for blowing the snow off paths, hedges, shrubs, fruit cages and just about anything I pointed it at. Nothing short term could be done about the flooding though, with the manhole covers forced off by the power of the flow, new streams cut their way deep through the paths and down to the garden. Fortunately it only affected the sheds and lawns; I fear others were not so lucky. On a lighter note our cymbidium orchids are all in full flower now so they have been transferred from the heated greenhouse to the house as well as the Amaryllis which are a little late this year, but worth waiting for. Now the greenhouse is a little clearer it will soon be time to start sowing in earnest with thanks to Roy for the Thompson & Morgan seed order. The hexagonal fruit cage area has been given a make over with the installation of all new wooden edging and a raised bed centre section for our strawberries. These have all been lifted and potted; the bed has been filled with our own compost then covered with a permeable membrane. The pots have had the bottoms cut off with a hacksaw then sunk a couple of inches into the compost through planting holes. This I hope will present the fruit better and save having to use straw around the bases which has proven to be difficult and untidy in the past. I will let you know if it works. Most of the re-edging to the lawns has been completed; it is not until you see how good the results are that you realize how much edging there is. What started as a tidy of a few has expanded to almost all, but as I say the results are worth it? The top soil and turf dug out has been used to fill holes and depressions form tree roots removed from the Rookery a few years ago. The aconites and snow drops are still going strong, the crocuses are out and the first daffodils opened 24th Feb.

Let’s hope the milder weather continues but mixed with some dry days please, I really want to get my green manure and nitrogen fixers dug in to my vegetable beds soon!

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Last updated 02/11/2009.