As the weather warms up and Spring moves through its various phases, gardening will once again keep many of us busy and provide the stimulus and relaxation that will keep us happy and fulfilled during lockdown. The therapeutic benefits of gardening have had a good press during the pandemic and it may even be that I have acquired some new readers. If so; welcome and I hope you are finding that gardening is bringing you a lot of pleasure and satisfaction.
If you look on the Cambridge Botanic Garden Website you can see the live webcam on the cactus plant which grows up a tree. I have been monitoring it for the last few days and today it has flowered. Apparently it has never flowered before in this country and its flower only lasts for 12 hours.
On 16th January forty three members took part in our BGA Zoom session. We were joined by Andrew Sankey who gave us an insight into the life of Gertrude Jekyll, one of the most well known horticulturalists of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century and recipient of the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour …
A cold and wet January has not encouraged activity in the garden so gardeners will be raring to go this month. This is particularly true as we face the prospect of another two or three months in Covid-induced lock-down. Last year many of us in isolation were made even more aware than usual of the therapeutic power of gardening and this will be a source of relief and hope this year.
The onset of spring always brings a lift to the spirit and we shall be especially glad of this at a time when, sadly, we shall once again need all the sources of hope that we can find. I walked around my garden before writing this in mid-January and I was delighted to see the first snowdrop buds showing white under an apple tree. Continue reading
The Gardeners’ programme for 2021 began on 19 January with two members talking about their own gardens. Once again Zoom came to the rescue and the monthly programme will continue to be presented in this way for the foreseeable future. The speakers at this first meeting were Linda whose garden is in Ison Close and Josie with a garden in Darlow Drive. One of the pleasures of having two speakers with a common topic is the contrast it provides in the size and nature of the gardens and differences in the style of presentation …
The disillusioned philosopher Ecclesiastes writes in the Old Testament “Of making many books there is no end”. This is no less true of gardening than of any other subject and in the run-up to Christmas when there is likely to be less to do outside in the garden I am devoting my article to books on gardening. Maybe this will offer some ideas for Christmas presents or just improve your gardening knowledge … Continue reading
On Tuesday 17th November Lucy Hartley, an award winning Garden Designer based in Stratford-upon-Avon, joined us via Zoom to talk about the principles and pitfalls of designing a border. Lucy started her talk by advising that a border should be viewed from different angles She went on to say that borders should combine restfulness with interest. The principles of designing a border are the same as those involved in painting a picture. Lucy illustrated this by showing us an example Van Gogh’s painting of “Starry Night.” Continue reading
The quieter winter months are a good time for planning and carrying out a garden project. Two projects that I am hoping to get done, with the help of one of my sons, are replacing broken glass in an old greenhouse and generally improving its appearance and, the big one, clearing out the silt of many years accumulation in our pond. This will also mean taking out all the plants in baskets, weeding and replanting them. It will be necessary to drain out the water in the pond and, as it is always best to use rainwater if possible, I am hoping to pump some of the existing water into dustbins so that all the refill will not be tap water. I shall put the silt on plastic sheeting round the pond edge so that the wildlife in the pond has a chance of getting back where it belongs. Once dried, the silt can be spread on borders or the vegetable garden. One of my hopes is to clear out most of the roots of a rampant waterlily that has escaped from its basket and is dominating much of the pond surface. The moral is to check the ultimate size of any plants that you plan to put in the pond and to be careful to avoid invasive species.
Dear BGA member,
We, at the BGA, hope that you and your loved ones are keeping well during these very trying times. We are so pleased to be able to continue with our monthly meetings/ talks via Zoom. It is wonderful to see so many of you come together to be part of the talks. We hope that you are enjoying them!
Today (Saturday 31st October), I ventured into Bedford market to purchase plants for my pots to get me through Winter. I discussed the ‘possibility’ of a further lockdown with the proprietors, Bootsies Nurseries, and subsequently, the Prime Minister this evening has announced a second lockdown, albeit not as severe as the initial lockdown in March. This means that only essential shops will be permitted to remain open. Given this, you may wish to know that Bootsies Nurseries which is a Bedfordshire business trading at Bedford market will be happy to deliver orders to Biddenham and Bedford (delivery charge:£5) Furthermore, they will soon be delivering Christmas items such as Christmas trees and Christmas wreaths etc. If you are interested, their contact details are as follows:
Lloyd Cleverly 07824368443 and Karen Cleverly 07788920501
We look forward to seeing you on the 17th November when Lucy Hartley will give a talk titled ‘Designing a Border From Scratch’.
Until then, take good care …
Best regards Paula Church.
On Tuesday evening 20th October 35 Members and Visitors were joined, on Zoom, by Rob Brett the Curator of RHS Garden Hyde Hall. Several years ago BGA members visited Hyde Hall and it was interesting to note that, when we arrived, most people made a beeline for the dry garden. Rob, who started off in farming, has had a career in horticulture which has taken him from Kew Gardens to the Cambridge Botanic Garden, Sainsbury Laboratory Plant Science Research Facility at Cambridge University and the Eden Project in Cornwall.