Saving Pollinators

Any other members measure their rainfall totals?

To quote Melvin Udall addressing a group of depressed psychiatric patients in the film of the same title : “What if this is as good as it gets?” By which I mean the seemingly unending rain – it looks like we’ll have clocked up 6 consecutive months with 200 mm plus by the end of February, which we’ve never managed before, whilst I’ve been measuring rainfall here.

So thank goodness we’re all gardeners and can see the positive side of things – brilliant weather for lifting and splitting snowdrops, or even early daffodils. And thank goodness that many spring bulbs seem to shrug off all this inclement weather and look almost as good after storms Ciara and Dennis have whizzed through.

Plus our frogs  clearly aren’t bothered…

But early pollinators really do struggle with this sort of weather, so a reminder that tomorrow’s talk, Wednesday February 19th,  will be an up to date insight into how our own National Botanic Garden of Wales is at the cutting edge of research into what we can do to help pollinators of all kinds. Both Lucy Witter and Abigail Lowe will be talking about their own studies, so do come along and enjoy the first talk of the year.

7 pm for a 7.30 pm start at the hall in Pumsaint.

Has anyone checked their seeds and cuttings from the trip to Hergest Croft gardens last year?

I’m hoping to do a montage of what we’ve managed to propagate, and also forward it onto Steve and Mel for their interest, so if everyone who went on the trip could have a look at any pots they have over the next few weeks, and ideally send me a photo or two, that would be great.

A couple of pictures of some of my cuttings  – Buddleja, Salvia, Hydrangea, Acer all looking good so far…

And one of them even has a label on it!

Sad News

WordPress who host our website have just informed me that it’s apparently five years ago today that Fiona started the Cothigardeners website, but today this brief post is to let fellow members know the very sad news that Dave Bevan passed away peacefully this morning at home just as this wonderful sunrise broke across the valley that Dave and Avril, (and us) look down every morning, towards the distant Black Mountain.

Dave has been a wonderful friend over many years and both Dave and Avril have been loyal and involved members of Cothigardeners since we suggested they might like to come along shortly after we’d joined the club. I’m sure everyone would like to remember Avril and the rest of the family in their thoughts and prayers at this sad time.

Some, but not all, will know that amongst many other talents, Dave was an amazing photographer of wildlife and the natural world, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of all related subjects and many of you will probably have seen some of his photos gracing numerous publications over the years.  But such is the lot of skillful photographers, that you usually have to look very hard to find the credit to the man behind the camera. More of a veg gardener than interested in cultivating flowers, I particularly remember a glorious photo of his, of insect covered fennel flowers which graced the front cover of the RHS The Garden magazine, a few years back. I praised Dave for its quality after I’d spotted his name credited in the small print inside,  yet often he only heard about the use of his images in such prestigious locations months down the line.

More recently Dave threw himself with typical enthusiasm and commitment into capturing video footage, shooting everything in the highest quality and with painstaking care to capture many stunning wildlife scenes worthy of inclusion in a top notch TV wildlife show. Even after his diagnosis just before Christmas, he was meticulously staking out an old stone barn on our neighbour’s farm, hoping to catch some images of a Barn Owl which had taken up residence there. I’ve never looked before, but click here for an idea of the quality and diversity of just a little of Dave’s work over the years.

Fiona had already booked him for November 2020 for Cothigardeners, to show a recently edited film he’d created of some of his locally filmed wildlife footage, before his cruel illness struck.  Having discussed this recently with both Dave and Avril, and with their blessing, we hope to still be able to show this film at the November meeting as a tribute to  Dave, and in his memory.

Very warmest wishes, much love and sympathy to Avril and the family at this very sad time.