Clematis – Queen of Climbers – Carol & John Adams

Lady Betty Balfour

On a very hot June evening we were pleased to welcome Carole Adams and her husband to talk to us about clematis.  Carole had the idea of starting a nursery in 1975 and three years later she opened her nursery Adams Plants in Buckden, Cambridgeshire.  Carole and her husband grow and sell a variety of plants but specialise in clematis.  Carole started her talk by telling us that the clematis is a member of the  ranunculaceae  family whose members include buttercups and aconites …

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This Month in the Garden – June 2017


For many people June is the highlight of the gardening year. Maintaining a succession of colour throughout the year is one of the great challenges for the ornamental gardener but most of us can  manage a good display in June. It is a great time for enjoying your own garden and it is a wonderful time for visiting other gardens. One of the loveliest within reasonable distance of Bedford is Coton Manor at Coton, Northamptonshire. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12.00 to 5.30, postcode NN6 8RQ and it has a good restaurant and nursery for plant sales. June is the best time for seeing roses and Coton Manor has plenty of them.
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Fascinating Falklands by Richard Revels – part 2

At our May meeting we were pleased to welcome back, at short notice, Richard Revels who continued with Part 2 of his illustrated talk on the Falkland Islands …
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This Month in the Garden – May 2017

TMITG_ds1This has been a wonderful spring and it seems to have gone on for a long time; starting with the snowdrops in February, daffodils in March and April and now tulips and the first bluebells. Blossom this year has been especially abundant. My garden was previously an orchard and we still have three original pear trees, a damson, a plum and an apple tree and we have added to these with two more plums and two apples. The pears and plums have filled the view upstairs  from my study with a blaze of white and now the apples are taking over with their quieter pink. Last year I had virtually no tree fruit so I have high hopes of better things this year provided we don’t have any vicious late frost. Our amalanchier tree has also been especially striking with its Persil-white blossom and it has been a wonderful sight in the late evening sun. They are one of the best small decorative garden trees and they come with a bonus of berries for the birds and a colourful autumn foliage display … Continue reading

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The Wonderful World of Salvias by Janet Buist

Salvia involucrata ‘Boutin’ Mexico

The speaker at our well-attended meeting on 18th April was Janet Buist on the subject of The Wonderful World of Salvias. Janet was until her recent retirement the owner of Pennycross Nursery which specialised in salvias. There are over a thousand different species of salvia and the number is growing rapidly with new introductions. Janet said she is often asked how to look after them and there are no easy answers as their requirements vary a great deal. Salvias come from all parts of the word except Australasia although chiefly from the New World and these varieties were the main subject of her talk … Continue reading

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This Month in the Garden – April 2017

TMITG_ds1In 2016 the zodiac animal for the Chinese was the monkey but, as far as I was concerned, it was the year of the slug and in my articles I probably bored you with my horror at the damage inflicted on my plants. It seems though, that I was not alone and the March edition of the RHS magazine, The Garden, had a long article on ways of reducing damage from slugs and snails. They are also setting up long-term trials on the subject …

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This Month in the Garden – March 2017


Some people use the opportunity of extra time at the Easter break to get their gardens into shape but Easter is still six weeks ahead  and that will be six  weeks of valuable gardening time lost. For the serious gardener March is the time to get going; the big busy month …
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Gods in the Garden

There was an excellent turnout of 57 people for our March meeting.  We were pleased to welcome Michael Brown, a horticultural lecturer specialising in garden history.  Michael gave us an insight into why statues were placed in gardens throughout history and the myths behind them.  We travelled in time from the Temple of Apollo in the Roman gardens of Pompeii to the Sleeping Goddess at Heligan taking in, on the way, “Lampy” the garden gnome immortalised by Sir Charles Isham.

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Fascinating Falklands – Richard Revels

Members came to our meeting on 21 February expecting to hear a talk on Warden Abbey Vineyard by Jane Markham but what they got was a visual feast of birdlife in the Falkland Islands. Jane was unable to come to talk to us because of family problems and we were very fortunate that wildlife photographer Richard Revels was free to come at short notice. We knew about Richard because he fascinated us with his spectacular photography when he came to talk last September on Britain’s Wonderful Wildlife. This time his subject was The Fascinating Falklands
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This Month in the Garden – February 2017


This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the conception of our garden in its present form. When we no longer needed a football pitch for the children we asked a garden designer to give us plans for a landscaped rear garden. The result frightened us with the scale of his ideas, because we were planning to do all the work ourselves, but we could see the possibilities ( perhaps I should say ‘capabilities’) and we accepted the plan …

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