This Month In The Garden – February 2020

Jeremy in the garden

How are your New Year resolutions going?  If paying more attention to the garden featured amongst them this is the time to start putting your resolve to the test. Busy times lie ahead and it is a good idea to get going as soon as possible.

The best place to start is with pruning. You can prune apples and pears much earlier than this but you do need to get it done by the end of February …

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My Garden – 2020

We started our new Biddenham Gardeners’ Association year with an excellent turn out of members and visitors.  The “My Garden” talks, which we feature every January, are always very popular and this year was no exception.  Two very different gardens were described:

First up was Jan Page who lives in The Old Barns. Jan’s garden came into being in 1987.  It is a small plot 40 ft x 30 ft and originally consisted of just grass and gravel.  However, Jan had other plans and over the years has created a very special oasis for many exotic and unusual plants.  Walls were built and we enjoyed seeing the photograph of the concrete being piped in over the roof top of the house during the wall’s construction.  A most attractive brick shed was built, a pond was formed from an up-ended sewer pipe, an acid bed was made and a raised bed was constructed from stone dug out from the wall foundations.  Fresh top soil was brought in to ensure that the many exotic plants were given a good start.  Much of Jan’s garden is quite shady but she capitalises on this with a variety of ferns, hostas, azaleas, bamboos and other shade loving plants.  In 2014 Jan dug everything out of her garden, she potted plants up and asked friends to look after them for her whilst her garden became a construction site as a new conservatory was built.  The garden was replanted with the green and textured  plants that Jan favours.  Fatsia Japonica, Calthifolia, Asarum, and Zantedeschia to name but a few.  Plants are crammed into every space giving an almost tropical feel.  A sambucus has not only a rose but also a clematis growing through it.  Jan is a true plants person and we were delighted that she was able to share her passion with us this evening. A small selection of photos from Jan’s presentation:


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This Month In The Garden – December 2019/January 2020

Jeremy in the garden

Over the next couple of months there are likely to be quite a few days when the weather won’t be conducive to working out- of- doors. There are, however, plenty of jobs to keep you busy if you can get outside. That means it is a good idea to keep both in mind and have a list of the things that you can do under cover or indoors as well as planning what you will do in the garden. There is also Christmas  and the New year to celebrate  so gardening may not be a  high priority, especially in December …

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From Fields to Floribunda

At our November meeting we welcomed Alison Green.  Alison, who is a garden designer, took us on a journey of how she created her beautiful garden in North Enfield.  Her talk was interspersed by some very useful gardening and landscaping tips. I particularly liked her idea of planting pots within pots for a quick and easy turnaround each season …

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This Month in The Garden – November 2019

As this year draws near to its end we are seeing a repeat of last year’s weather; a long period of drought followed by a wet October. There is a difference though, as the period of drought was neither as prolonged or as hot as last year and particularly noticeable is the fact that lawns have recovered really quickly. After last year’s damage when the traditional advice of not watering the lawn in a dry period as it will quickly recover after rain proved wrong, not watering has been the right thing to do this time … Continue reading

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A Labour of Love (Alpines and Bulbs) by Rob Potterton

The speaker at our meeting on 15th October was Rob Potterton of Pottertons Nursery near Caistor in Lincolnshire. Rob’s subject was “A Labour of Love. Alpine, plants and bulbs.” His highly informative and entertaining talk was illustrated with excellent photographs and a great many pictures of alpine plants showing the huge range of plants and their vibrant  colours. The easiest way to be reminded of the plants that Rob talked about is to visit the nursery website (@
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What do I do with this Space?

At our September meeting there was a very good turn out to welcome Darren Lerigo from Essex who set about answering this question.  But before he did so he passed round a box of what looked like sweets, but not to eat, as they were little balls of clay containing wild flower seeds which he asked us to throw onto a patch of earth – in our garden or elsewhere.  So, back to the question – and it seems that what most people want to do with the space around their property, according to a survey conducted by The Horticultural Trades Association, is to reduce maintenance. 
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This Month In The Garden – September 2019          

August was the month of the big wind. Most people probably avoided major damage but there was enough to stir things up in the garden. Some of my dahlias were spoiled and I just got to the vegetables in time to stop the line of runner beans being blown down. It was a salutary reminder of the importance of providing support for plants and checking that the support hasn’t been outgrown.  Many of us start sticking in stakes and tying things in when plants start flopping about but that is really too late.

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Annual General Meeting – 2019

This took place on Tuesday 16th July.  After a short business meeting when Paul Fricker was voted to be the next Chair of the BGA and all Members of the Committee were re-elected to serve in office for the forthcoming year. We welcomed Charmaine Norrish, Senior Community Fund Raiser for the British Red Cross in Bedfordshire, to talk about the work of the Red Cross including their involvement with the Open Gardens Scheme.
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Weeds and the Weed free garden

The subject of  our meeting on 18th July was “Weeds and the Weed free garden”. Our speaker was Geoff Hodge, a garden author and broadcaster, who gave us a lot of useful information while engaging the audience with a stream of banter. Geoff started by offering us a miracle cure for weeds which he calls “VIAP”; Vigilance, Instant Action and Persistence”. Always be on the look-out for weeds and do something about them as soon as possible. The weeds will be growing while you procrastinate … Continue reading

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