Gardening on Chalk by Geoff Hodge

Gardening on chalk raises a number of problems for many gardeners. The ground is hungry and lacking in nutrients and has a high PH meaning that acid loving plants won’t grow. Plants have a short root structure and so require more watering with nutrients added to the water rather than using dry feeds. Hydrangeas will […]

The Amazing Honey Bee by Richard Rickitt

In the UK there are 24 species of Bumblebees most of which nest in the ground. There are 225 species of Solitary Bees which don’t nest in colonies. Some of these resemble wasps, some are very small and some are specific to a particular plant e.g. Campanulas. There is only one species of Honey Bee […]

Planting Bulbs for Spring by Tim Woodland

All bulbs require feeding with bonemeal and potash when they are flowering and also when only the leaves remain, in order to build up the bulb for the following year and allow them to naturalise. Allow the leaves to remain for 6 to 8 weeks after flowering. The first to flower are the snowdrops and […]

The Making of a New Pleasure Garden by Simon Goldsack

Holme for Gardens has been developed from a dairy farm which was later converted to a fruit farm which shut in 2017. The 15-acre site stands on soil which is acid clay, sand and gravel. The inspiration for the garden came from books, magazines and visits to other gardens. Work on the garden started well […]

Pest and Disease Control by Alan Horgan

Alan has spent almost all his working life in horticulture and now mainly deals with organic and biological controls. Honey Fungus which attacks the roots of many woody and perennial plants is actually edible. It used to be killed by Armatillox which is no longer available but Jeyes Fluid does have some effect. Vine weevil […]

The Treasures of Dorset by John Christopher Legrand

The Jurassic Coast is 95 miles long and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fossils have been found here since the time of Paeleontologist Mary Anning 1799-1847 who sold fossils collected under Golden Cap and Blue Lias Rocks. The first place on the journey is Whitchurch Canonicorum containing the church of Saint Candida and Saint […]

Hydrangeas by Fran Clifton

Climbing hydrangeas. Should be planted horizontally in shade as they only grow upwards. Examples are H. Petiolaris (deciduous) and H. Seemanii (evergreen) which are self clinging. Don’t use on white walls or allow to get behind drainpipes and gutters. Pruned at the end of season. Shrubby but with no framework. Cut down to ground level […]

The Scented Garden by Anthony Powell

Anthony began by discussing what scent really is for. It is an aroma given off to attract pollinators to a plant.  Some flowers smell, but also some roots do. Crushing underfoot can release the scent of a plant. The sense of smell varies with different people. We each interpret smells in different ways. Anthony asked […]

Flowers of Reserves and Roadsides by Gerald Ponting

Gerald lives quite locally and is an accomplished speaker and excellent photographer.  His talk was accompanied by pictures of some of the 133 species of wild flowers taken in the area over a two year period. Many of the plants had been mentioned and illustrated in John Gerard’s Herbal of 1657 and we were shown […]