November 22, 2017

Garden Diaries

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 6.01.17: 2017 is here

And June 11th is suddenly quite close – help! That’s the date of the Sand Hutton and Claxton Plant Fair, as I’m sure you will have etched in your brain as well as on your calendar. I’m hoping my plants know as well that it’s their big event coming up. Actually they’ve mostly gone to sleep, and don’t seem too bothered about getting ready; the perennials have disappeared completely, the Kerrias, jasmines and Philadelphus are just a set of sticks in pots, and it’s only the Hebes who are properly dressed and waiting to go.

All this started off in 2015, when the Village Hall committee wondered about having a plant fair to raise some money for the Hall, and since there’s a number of us who are keen on growing plants, the decision was made and a date fixed. 2017 seemed a long way off but we did know that to have decent plants ready to sell then, we had to get a move on, so the work began; cuttings were taken, seeds sown, plants divided and potted up.

It’s been a fascinating exercise for me in doing things that I’ve done all my life but on such a different level; so, OK, I take cuttings every year of a few favourite plants, and sow a couple of pots of seeds and I’ll get enough successes to have some new plants to keep the garden stocked – but now to aim for at least a hundred healthy interesting plants that are attractive to buyers at just the right moment………Well, they’re out there in their pots, so far, so good. The big issue at the moment is over-wintering; the temperature last night was -4°C, and I won’t know until spring who has survived.

Green Fingertips first meeting for 2017

Green Finger Tips, your local  Gardening Club, will have its first meeting of 2017  on Thursday the 2nd of February, 7.30pm in the Sand Hutton and Claxton Village Hall

Jonathan Burton, manager at Ray Wood, part of the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard, will be giving a talk titled “In the footsteps of Forrest”

Jonathan recently visited the spectacular Chinese locations where George Forrest  and many of the famous French Missionaries botanists were based. He will talk about  the tour and the plants and collectors it revolved around

George Forrest (1873 – 1932), a Scottish botanist, was one of the first explorers of China‘s then remote southwestern province of Yunnan, the most biodiverse province in the country. He had an interesting and important life as a ‘plant hunter’ and received the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Victoria Medal of Honour. He discovered numerous species and the specific epithet forrestii now adorns more than thirty genera. Including; Rhododendron forrestiiPieris formosa var. forrestiiPrimula forrestiiIris forrestii and Hypericum forrestii

A Himalayan Poppy collected by George Forrest in Yunnan

Jonathan has an interesting and fascinating tale to tell. 

 We have a full programme of monthly talks, about a wide range of gardening topics and issues, together with an number of garden visits throughout the year. So if you’re a keen gardener or a gardener new to the area please come along an join us, you’ll be very welcome.

We look forward to seeing  you all members and possible new members on the 2nd February and getting our 2017 programme off to a cracking start. 

Best wishes

John