Gardeners April update

Richard Ford, BBC Gardeners World Display
Richard Ford, BBC Gardeners World Display of Hostas – see below for details of his recent talk

Gardeners April Update – Upcoming events

The West Bergholt Gardeners Association recently advised their 2014/15 programme as follows:

Speakers’ topics  for 2014/2015

  • 15th September – Deborah Hart – Hanging baskets and winter containers.
  • 20th October – Darren Tansley – The mammals of Essex.
  • 17th November – Rob Sherriff – Dahlias
  • 8th December – Ric Staines – Gardeners Question Time,
  • 16th February – Jonathan Jukes – Marks Hall History and Progress.
  • 16th March –  Jeff Harrison – Through the year in a nature photographers garden.
  • 20th April –  Bryan Thurlow – My Perennial Mr.Potter.

Annual plant sale

Our Annual Plant Sale is on 19 May at 7:30pm; some of the funds raised are donated to local charities.   Held at the Orpen Hall, most most interests are catered for with bedding plants, Shrubs, trees and vegetable plants all on sale. Also a gardening Bric a Brac stall for more bargains.

Waddesdon ManorAnnual coach trip

The annual coach trip this year is to Waddesdon Manor, Allesbury, on the 19th June leaving the Orpen Hall at 8.30 am and leaving Waddesdon at 4.30/5.00 pm this wIll allow time to see the house and gardens including the Aviary, water gardens and the extensive wine cellars.  Tickets are available to Members and Non Members £25.00 (Coach and Admission). N.T. Members £12.50.  Subject to £12.50 deposit.   Some tickets available, for more details and booking contact Terry 01206 241256.

Open Gardens

The West Bergholt Open Gardens is on Sunday the 22nd June 13.00-17.00 – 13 local gardens and allotment will be open for viewing. Programme is £4 per person (accompanied children free) available for purchase on the day.  See posters around the village for points of sale.

April Speaker – Richard Ford on Hostas

Members came along to hear Richard Ford talk about his favourite plants—HOSTAS since with his wife Mary he set up Park Green Nurseries in 1983 Hostas being their main speciality.  Their displays have won some 180 Gold Medals, including 7 at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The popularity of Hostas is worldwide, attractive throughout the season.  They are useful garden plants with some newer species having attractive flowers and resistance to slug and snail attack.  One must not forget landscaping and indoor displays where potted plants are extremely attractive features.  It was in the 1800s that Hostas  originated in Japan as part of the daily diet, being eaten presumably as vegetables.  It was the 1950/60s when their popularity became evident in both the U.S.A. and the U.K.  The growth in the U.K.resulting in hostas being in the top ten of our garden plants.

Hostas are best grown in semi-shade or dappled shaded areas – not in deep shade!  The latter particularly if wet, leading to rot and slug and snail damage.  The plants prefer a moist soil and plenty of humus and bonemeal to encourage growth. General slow release fertilizer is best for established plants rich in nitrogen and potash used twice a year.

Propagation is carried out by lifting the plant and cutting straight through from the centre with a sharp knife.There are 50 species and some 10,000 cultivated varieties, some having the advantage of thicker leaves and more upright growth tolerating open positions and given some sun will bear flowers.  They will also be less attractive to slugs and snails.  However steps should be taken to control vine weevil and hosta virus.

An interesting talk well received by the Members who were able to purchase specimens from a well stocked plant table.

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