Mid June Update and News

We’re now over 12 weeks into our Covid induced lock down, and still getting used to life with very limited social interaction, and severe restrictions on travel. Although yesterday the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford did lay out the first signs of a relaxation, with all shops potentially opening on Monday and outdoor non contact sports being allowed, the 5 mile limit on travel stays in place for now. All hospitality also remains shut down still, though with a hint that this may be relaxed by mid July.

Regrettably, with this in mind, July’s meeting with Helen Warrington has also now been cancelled. Elena (who very frustratingly, currently has no computer access thanks to a BT mess up) has asked me to pass on that she’s currently thinking that as an option for August, with further relaxation of travel restrictions in the offing, it may be possible to hold some sort of arranged-at-short-notice outdoor event to replace what would have been our summer social event…

Watch this space for updates as we get closer to the time, and keep your fingers crossed for the weather.

________

Many thanks to Elena for sending me this information on what’s clearly been a big summer lock down project for her and Andy in their garden :

I have been planning this pond for a while and ‘lockdown’ has provided me with the opportunity to ‘get it done’!

Last month my neighbour, James, used a mini digger to scrape off the grass in a ‘dead’ grassy area and dig the pond, well not really a pond, more of a dry riverbed ending in a puddle 🙂
James then provided and put down the underlay and pond liner for me … it’s amazing what some people have in their shed, sorry James, workshop!

I then proceeded to fill it with stones from our river – thank goodness for empty dog and pig food bags… I filled these and Andy trailered them up to the house.

Because I chose to site the pond on top of a rubble dumping ground, I had to create bog areas (mini ponds) around the main pond for boggy plants, some of which I purchased from Jan and Phil at Rhoslwyn Plants. I can report that they have had a fantastic spring witnessed by loads of empty shelves!

Thanks to my visit to Farmyard Nursery last month, Richard was able to produce a pond pump to create a mini waterfall. I repurposed some of my pottery efforts to ‘tune’ the flow to good effect I think. You will have to visit to judge for yourself!

Tina, John and Helen and Brenda supplied me with pond weed and tadpoles and thanks to them my pond is now attracting birds, and bees for a drink. Andy identified a nuthatch! and soooo exciting, the first frog has taken up residence this week.

I have been trying all sorts of plants in the very shallow pond, propped up with stones, and Brenda and I have a started on a grocery purchased watercress challenge to see who can actually get it to grow in the pond! Yes she has a new pond too, come on Brenda, show us your pond!

As you can see, I have been having fun, even resorting to planting Hostas in hanging baskets, quite fetching I think 🙂

My only real problem with the pond is that as fast as I ‘arrange’ the stones to hide the liner, my little next door neighbour, Charlotte, comes over for a visit and happily throws them into the pond – well that is what stones and water are for, bless her!

Meanwhile, Andy has been busy in the polytunnel growing food!

While I have not been able to see you all, the garden really keeps me connected to you. That rose from Gwenda… (after a bit of ferreting, Julian and Fiona think that’s it’s called “Goldfinch”, and is a modest sized rambler, with almost no thorns – they have one too – thanks to Gwenda!).

… the ‘lifted’ canopy idea from Yvonne, that Achillea from Ann Large, the woodland plant (name still to learn) from Fiona and Julian. (Daphne bholua…) My pond has sooo much of Cothi members’ advice and generosity associated with it. The baby Gunnera from Angela and Martin a few years ago, that has been split twice and is still huge. Yeah, I know the baby Gunnera (split number three) beside the pond, in an artificial bog, will grow too big, but what the heck, it looks so lovely and tropical and connects me with my roots. Thank you all, you lovely Cothi Gardening people … see you soon!

Maybe for an open air meeting in August if Mr Dreadful oops, Mr Drakeford permits.

___________

Thanks too for this update from Ann and Anthony on their own lock down project this year:

Hi All, I am posting a few photos of our Spring Lockdown Project, which was two raised beds.

In which I have so far planted First Early potatoes to try and avoid potato blight, hopefully we’ll have eaten them all before it strikes! Also Spring Cornwall cabbage – we had an invasion of caterpillars at the weekend, so I spent a few hours removing them, before too much damage was done. The rhubarb had a setback with the frost, but is now looking much better.

Can’t say that for the Rhododendrons, I always have a photo taken on my birthday standing by them, not this year!


Looks like some serious cherry harvesting has been going on at Tina and Derek’s – thanks for the lovely photo …


Meanwhile thanks to Colin for sending me this photo of a Dark Green Fritillary butterfly,  Speyeria aglaja, which he found in the garden. Click here for more on its life cycle.

Meanwhile in our own garden I spotted two exotic looking Scarlet Tiger moths,  Callimorpha dominula . Click here for more and why it gets its name.


With lock down limits on activity continuing for a while, there’s maybe still time to plan a big project for your garden. How about being inspired by the short video below, which some of you may have already seen, and thanks to Richard Bramley for sharing it on facebook – well worth a watch!

It’s headed “So you’ve been in quarantine for 3 months. What have you been up to?… Nothing much…”

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157145563191957&id=627541956


Finally, after talking about drones sounding like a bee swarm last time, as they head off or back from mating flights I can now offer a comparison, from this Monday.

By good fortune I was able to witness and film the entire process, beginning with “scout” bees checking out a hive all morning (filmed as ten second time lapse photos over 3 hours). Interestingly the scouts nearly all disappear from the hive over the last 4 seconds of this shortened clip (15 minutes of real time). They’ve flown back to direct the swarm cluster, sitting somewhere on a branch to the West of us, to this their newly selected home.

This second clip condenses the whole swarm arrival down, from about half an hour from first arrival, to them nearly all making their way inside. An amazing process to watch and hear – just look at the last few seconds and you’d have no idea of what had gone on before.

 


Finally, as always, it would be lovely to keep hearing from members about their favourite plants, or things in their gardens as we go through the next few months. Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a fortnight, and it’s a great way of keeping in touch and passing on information.

Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page.

You can send things to me at:

Cothigardeners@gmail.com

Thanks again to all who have contributed to this post.

Summer Begins Early – Update.

As all members will know there’s still no real hint of when Wales lock down will be lifted for any sort of social gathering, so for now our monthly meetings sadly aren’t possible.

Thanks to those Cothigardener members who’ve sent me some pics of their plots over the last few weeks. At last we have some rain again, and after kicking off a bit of hay making here already, we can all reflect on the irony of lock down coinciding with what has been an amazing and record breaking sunny spring. The Met Office website has some interesting facts and maps to illustrate just how unusual the weather has been this year. It seems a long time ago now, that a run of quite hard frosts spoiled the benign start to our gardening year and caused a bit of damage to many of our gardens…

Here’s some words from Elena to accompany scenes from her garden in mid May …

All the oaks, beech, ash have also been badly nipped. Not a pretty sight, but so it goes in a Welsh garden!

Frosted Black Lace Elder

Frosted Fern

Frosted Hosta

Frosted Persicaria

Frosted Wisteria.

In our own garden Persicarias seem the worst affected plants too, apart from vegetables growing outside – courgettes and squash were badly damaged losing most of their leaves, potatoes got leaf tips nipped …

but enviromesh, water bottles and woolly mats seemed to mitigate the worst of the minus 3 temperatures, and all but 3 squash plants seem to have recovered and are growing away within a fortnight. Will they still fruit though?

In the hay meadow even some early orchids keeled over, probably because the flowers are about two weeks ahead of normal, following the sunny dry spring weather.

________

Many thanks to Derek for this insight into how he and Tina have protected some of their fruit from marauding birds in what looks like a highly organised and impressive system …

With the arrival of Bullfinches this has become urgent – we can cope with the interest and demands of Sparrows, Wrens, Blackbirds and Thrushes, but Bullfinches are real experts!
Our local wild birds are well catered for with the enormous planting of fruit trees and bushes throughout the garden and grounds, but we are being a bit precious about these within the cage.
The fruit is a mixture of old favourites, and some fun varieties, we’ll see how they all get on.
The cage was until recently used to house chickens for a friend, but they are all now rehomed.
It measures 7 metres by 4 metres, is made of aluminium, and was sourced from Harrod Horticultural some years ago.
I have included a planting plan – the Chives and Strawberries are not only welcome in their own right, but of course they encourage pollinators

_______

Meanwhile thanks to Alison for these photos, showing how nifty Peter has been at recycling an old bed into both trellis work and new greenhouse staging …

 

 

 ________

Meanwhile Sandy sent me these pictures of her amazing Pyracantha clambering over the side of her cottage and covered in flowers  …

____

Finally a plant suggestion for members, and then a discovery I’ve made in our garden both related to honey bees.

Ever since a visit to Sheldon Manor in Wiltshire in June nearly 30 years ago we’ve been great fans of growing vigorous Clematis and Rambling roses into mature trees to add flower interest. Since learning a bit more about honey bees, I realise that hives can often struggle to find good food sources in June – the early spring flowers are over, there aren’t many hay meadows left with wildflowers, and later natives like bramble and willow herbs still haven’t begun to bloom.

Enter what I now call the “White Dragon” rose. I found this as a seedling growing in the garden back in 2010, probably coming from a hip of the well know vigorous rambling rose “Kiftsgate” which we already had in the garden. But this seedling when it first flowered produced bigger, earlier, and more scented flowers than “Kiftsgate”, which honeybees and bumbles adore. After noting it had grown shoots over 15 feet long in a year, I planted the still young plant into a rotten hollow centred tree stump, filled with compost which was quite close to the base of a youngish oak in 2012.

This rose has incredible bendy stems, and is almost disease free (unlike “Kiftsgate” or “Paul Himalayan Musk”, which we also grow), with young foliage with purple tints, so it’s easy to train around a wire base, or into a tree, even if it is quite thorny. Once it gets going though, it makes its own way ever higher with no need for help. It roots very easily from cuttings, so if anyone fancies a cutting of this local origin rose this autumn, let me know.

The video clip above is of another plant taken as a cutting from the mother seedling which has now made it almost to the top of the still growing Oak. (apologies for the noisy background). This daughter rose is already making good progress going up into a Scots Pine, and probably now only 8 years old, but must already be producing thousands of blooms over about a 4 week period at “June gap” time. You can see at the top of the plant you’re getting up to 50  quite big flowers per cluster.

The bees completely ignore the other creamy named rose “Alberic Barbier”, to the right, and although most roses produce no nectar, the pollen is invaluable, particularly in this time of seasonal shortage.

The second clip I’m including is to pass on an interesting bit of bee behaviour which has been obvious for the previous four warm afternoons. Up until about 2 pm, the worker bees (all female) have been busy entering and leaving the hive on foraging trips for pollen and nectar. They’re early risers and work long hours. They don’t hang around and are almost quiet as they whizz in and out of the hive entrance. Then in early afternoon, the air around the hive suddenly becomes really noisy. Look closely and you’ll see that bigger bees, with much larger eyes, the male drones, suddenly begin to leave the hive. And they’re noisy. It almost sounds like a bee swarm.

But look even more closely and you’ll notice that they all spend a very short time before flying off, cleaning their large eyes/face with their front legs. Why?

Well these chaps are off to complete the still poorly understood part of the bee’s life cycle that involves them flying into specific “drone congregation areas”. An average of 11,000 drones from tens of different colonies fly out to these specific well defined areas which are typically between 15 and 40 metres up in the sky and about 100 by 50 metres wide and may be a kilometre or more from their base hive.  And they only fly on suitable warm afternoons up until about 5 pm.

Within these areas they fly around expectantly, waiting and hoping for a virgin queen bee to appear on the scene. The quickest 10 or 20 drones will chase her and if lucky will manage to mate with the queen, who then flies back to her hive after 20 minutes or so with enough sperm on board to enable her to lay hundreds of thousands of eggs over the rest of her lifetime in the hive. If the queen flies past just outside the invisibly bordered congregation area, the drones ignore her and won’t chase her.

The “lucky” drones are mortally injured by the force of the act of mating, and fall to earth dying. Poor things…

The same invisibly bordered congregation areas are used every year – sometimes over centuries. No one really knows how the bees find them.

So maybe the drones are clearing their eyes before take off after a day spent inside in the dark, stoking up on honey for the chase, so that they’ll be better able to spot any queens as soon as possible. I doubt if the queen has any time to select her suitors based on how tidy they look …

Anyway it probably comes as no surprise to readers that with the change to cold damp weather today, the ladies are still foraging, though clearly not as much as before, but there’s no sight or sound of the drones, who are clearly putting their feet up inside the warmth of the hive.

Feeding.

And maybe having the equivalent of a good bee natter. But who knows?

__

Finally, as always, it would be lovely to keep hearing from members about their favourite plants, or things in their gardens as we go through the next few months. Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a fortnight, and it’s a great way of keeping in touch and passing on information.

Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page.

You can send things to me at:

Cothigardeners@gmail.com

Thanks again to all who have contributed to this post.

Late Spring News from Cothi Gardens and Gardeners

Very many thanks to everyone who’s sent words and photos to me recently.

We now know that Wales will remain firmly in lock down mode for at least another 3 weeks, although garden centres have at last been allowed to open again. Perhaps one of the longer term consequences of the pandemic will be an increased awareness of the benefits of gardening to mental and physical health? Sadly we’ve had to cancel Jim Almond’s June talk now, and still have no real sense of when we can all meet up again, so I hope that members enjoy these occasional posts showing where some of us are spending the majority of our time.

(Allium “Purple Rain” above – a new one we tried planting last autumn – maybe it’ll survive better here than others!)

I’m sure most of us feel really fortunate compared to so many at the moment, to enjoy this wonderful West Wales spring, with oodles of time to spend outside in our own havens.

Thanks to Sally for this recent update from her garden:

The long border at the front of the house was planted up last year with hardy perennials most of which were brought from my previous garden in Oxfordshire and supplemented from purchases from local nurseries and plant sales. This was after several months of digging out years of weeds and grass including one border teeming with Spanish bluebells, hah hah, and also having to have large Leylandii tree stumps ground out to release valuable planting space. One of the previous owners had obviously been a keen gardener as there are some good clumps of Astilbes and some well established Azaleas and Rhododendrons in the lower garden, and a raised brick planter with a Japanese Azalea and Pieris which I’ve cloud pruned as it was very straggly.

In spite of the really wet winter everything has come through, though I had thought I’d lost the 2 Rodgersias I bought at the Cothi Gardeners Plant Sale. But yesterday I spotted a pyramid like leaf cluster breaking through, and also my Nepeta govianana is thriving which I could never get through the cold wet winter clay of Oxfordshire. My numerous varieties of Astrantias and Geraniums are looking really good this spring and I’m also pleased with the 2 clumps of Polemonium ‘Hannah Billcliffe’ which looked very sad last year after being kept in pots for a long time. It’s the best Polemonium I’ve ever grown. The original plant from which I’ve taken countless divisions from over the years came from Hannah Billcliffe’s garden which she used to open for the NGS and that was over 30 years ago! I grew the Asphodeline lutea from seed 3 years ago and it started flowering last summer and looks set to be even more profuse this year.

We’re now working on building raised beds in a section of the previous paddock in the back garden for vegetables, and feel at home with the problems of an open windy site as we used to live at the foot of the Berkshire Downs but at least we no longer live in a frost hollow as well! We’re now on a hilltop ridge with panoramic views looking up to Llanllwni Common on one side and north as far as Lampeter and the hills beyond on another side.

Have taken a photo of my greenhouse this morning teeming with seedlings and plants of vegetables and flowers. The Dahlia merkii seeds which I got from you Julian have all germinated but no dark leafed forms.


Thanks to this update too from John and Helen, with some lovely favourites from their garden in early May …

This is cheating a bit. The Magnolia “Sunrise” is actually in a pot (it’s one of Carol’s that is temporarily living with us), but it provides a nice contrast with the Cordyline and the Euphorbia.  

Magnolia “Susan” (on the left) –  very easy to grow and very reliable.

The Rhododendron is probably “Cosmopolitan” – we got it unlabelled in a hypermarket in France. The Magnolia behind it is “Heaven Scent”, which, unfortunately, doesn’t really live up to its name.

The first flowers opening on R. “Horizon Monarch”.

R. “Picotee” – an absolute stunner.

Prunus “Pink Perfection”, living up to its name.

Prunus “Royal Burgundy”. The combination of light pink flowers and dark pink/purple foliage is particularly striking.

The tree Peony is another of Carol’s plants. It gives a real fillip to a rather dull part of the garden.

R. “Gartendirektor Glocker” . There are scores of plants named after German garden directors, a sure way to achieve immortality.

R. ” Winsome”, slightly out of focus. You win some, you lose some.

M. “Elizabeth”, one of the first yellow Magnolias and still one of the best.

A close-up of P. “Royal Burgundy”

Magnolia “Gold Star”. A fairly recent planting, covered in flower buds and growing apace. It will eventually reach 20ft x 20ft. Just hope some of us are still around to see it.


Thanks too for these from Sandy:

My drive. I just love this view, it’s so pretty. With Ollie dog too.

We’ve just put some wood chippings down and its looking better – hopefully less weeds next year.

A new project – we pulled all the hedges up and are reducing the size of the beds. Grass seed is down awaiting rain.


And thanks too for these from Elena and Andy’s garden…

It’s the end of April, but the “February Gold” daffs under apple trees are in full bloom.

Beautiful Beech tree in its new outfit of spring green.

Meg and in the background Patch enjoying the bluebells.

 

The crab apple tree covered in blossom, hope we don’t get a frost! ( Oh dear… Ed!! Minus 3 here last night and all my Squash and Courgettes are squished!)

The orchard in full of blossom under a moody sky.


Elena’s also sent in these ideas and suggestions for foraging…

Weeding loads of this right now:

COMMON CLEAVERS (Gallium aparine)
Also known as goosegrass, kisses, sticky bobs, sticky-Willy, sweethearts and Robin-run-the-hedge.
Roast the seeds and used as a coffee substitute. An infusion of the leaves is said to be extremely tasty with a hint of nuts!
From #NatureoftheBreconBeacons Pesda Press books

More about foraging click here, from Robin Hardford’s Eatweeds website.

FORAGING IN SPRING – BECOME A SAFE, CONFIDENT FORAGER, available to buy as a downloadable PDF from Robin’ website, as well as ebooks and physical books for sale.

Covers the fifteen most common wild plants found in Spring.
Each plant notebook covers the past and present uses of wild plants as food and medicine.
They are delivered immediately as downloadable PDFs. So you can keep them on your mobile device when you go out foraging.
No need to drain your monthly data package. And no need to be connected to the internet.
Each notebook includes:
* MULTIPLE COLOUR PHOTOS of each plant MAKE IDENTIFICATION EASY.
* Discover the food and medicine uses of wild plants.
* Learn the folklore and plant stories.
* Includes delicious recipes.
* Know which part of the plant to use.
* When the best time to harvest is.
* In-depth nutritional profiles for each plant are covered.
* Cautions and contraindications – what you need to know.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin Harford is a plant-based forager, ethnobotanical researcher and wild food educator. He has published over 50 foraging guide books.
He established his wild food foraging school in 2008, and his foraging courses were recently voted #1 in the country by BBC Countryfile.
Robin is the creator of Eatweeds, which is listed in The Times Top 50 websites for food and drink.
He has travelled extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures, and his work has taken him to Africa, India, SE Asia, Europe and the USA.
Robin regularly appears on national and local radio and television. He has been recommended in BBC Good Food magazine, Sainsbury’s magazine as well as in The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph etc.


Of course still in lock down, we’re not allowed any garden visitors, but rising early as I do to try to film the garden and capture the bird song… I sometimes find some uninvited, though very welcome guests, checking up on how the garden’s looking…

Finally, I don’t know how many Cothigardeners know about the Steven Falk and Richard Lewington “Field Guide to the Bees of GB and Ireland” book which was very kindly given to me as a thank you for my time as chair. Thanks to this and the wonderful weather I’ve been able to identify at least 3 new bee species in the garden here this year…

The Red Mason bee, Osmia bicornis, which wasn’t interested in stone work, but has hunkered down in the screw holes of our terrace table…

and gone in for a bit of amorous behaviour on the outside of one of our bee hives…

But obviously didn’t appreciate the close observation, so quickly dropped down…

…  rolled over…

… and fell from view. Well spring’s in the air after all.

And yesterday, and named for obvious reasons, a Sharp-Tail Bee, one of a number of Coelioxys spp. Which species I’m not sure – but they’re apparently all what’s known as “clepto” parasites of the leaf cutter bees. So watch out Leafcutters – the sharp tail is used by the female bee to cut into the larval cell made by the leaf cutter of rolled up leaf pieces, so that the female bee can then deposit her own egg inside.

Always lots to see and learn outside isn’t their?


Finally, as always, it would be lovely to keep hearing from members about their favourite plants, or things in their gardens as we go through the next few months.

Perhaps you can all send details about what got zapped by the recent frosts??

Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a fortnight, and it’s a great way of keeping in touch and passing on information.

Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page.

You can send things to me at:

Cothigardeners@gmail.com

Thanks again to all who have contributed to this post.

Lockdown Update From Cothigardeners

So we head towards May, still firmly in national lock down, and having enjoyed one of the most glorious, quiet, sunny and peaceful springs I can remember. Ever.

Many thanks to those members who’ve sent me some pictures from their gardens recently :

From Derek and Tina a couple of weeks ago:

Cherries pollinated by bumblebees…

Distant hills across the garden hedge

Peaches hand pollinated by JoJo

Why we love spring.


Thanks too for these images and descriptions from Elena :

 Warm weather, Ceanothus and pink walls, almost Caribbean!

Bluebells are having a great year. Anyone else noticed that they have seeded everywhere since last year?

 The white broom in full bloom! Not sure if the yellow one in front has made it through the winter though 😦

Wonderful pop of colour from these. Getting more today in my order from Ty Cwm.
BTW Helen tells me Ty Cwm are having a fantastic year for sales, she is well pleased! Gwenda reports that Roberts are also having a great year and judging by Farmyard’s posts they are too!

The first of our strawberries in the polytunnel. Looks like we will have a huge crop this year!


And also for these from Alison :


And for these from Yvonne:

Here are some pictures from my garden taken last week.

The pink, over the top, flowers of Prunus kanzan are wonderful at this time of year. They follow on from Prunus Tai Haku with its single white flowers.

The unnamed Magnolia which was sold to me as wilsonii, but clearly isn’t. However, the flowers are wonderfully scented and loads of flowers from a young age.

Also, Magnolia stellata flowering well this year.


Evergreen Osmanthus delavayi, coming to the end of its flowering period, but still has lots of small white scented flowers.

Amelanchier lamarckii, raised from seed, has started flowering.

I love the leaves of Cercidiphyllum japonica as they come out, slightly bronze. This small tree has wonderful autumn foliage, smelling like burnt sugar.

Hellebores and Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’ still looking good.

The raised beds have been rejuvenated with new boards, and the arch has been installed. Watch this space for more developments.


And Avril’s passed on how her and Dave’s grandson Freddie, has caught the gardening bug young, and has been sowing and growing seeds and selling the plants from their garden in Norfolk to raise funds for cancer research… over £45 raised on the first day!


For those itching to get out and about to look at other gardens at this always exciting time of the year, here are two links to initiatives to bring garden experiences into your homes.

The first, locally, is a new garden blog set up by Joseph Atkin of Aberglasney Gardens, which as yet hasn’t made it out onto their website, but you can access by clicking here.  It’ll keep you up to date with how the gardens are looking, with fabulous photos by award winning local photographer Nigel McCall.

Secondly, the National Garden Scheme has been setting up a whole range of video’d garden tours of gardens which would normally have been opening for charity, but  currently remain closed under pandemic restrictions Click here for more, and also how one can still support the charity’s wonderful work, especially vital in these challenging times.

 


To close, a few snippets from our own garden.

Firstly a Camellia recommendation – Camellia “Les Jury”.

Nearly a decade ago we planted perhaps a dozen named forms of Camellias which we thought we’d carefully researched. They’ve taken years to really get going, but this year has been their best ever. However many, maybe most, have flowers which don’t die gracefully, leaving browning petals. But this one, has always been a star performer for us and largely escapes this failing.

It also seems to flower over a really long period – nearly two months, and even better the new shoots and leaves are tinged with red/brown for several weeks.  Plus it’s doing this in spite of me planting it within a few feet of a mature larch tree. So if you fancied a blast of strong colour, which looks great in any light, but especially backlit in the evening, then why not think about getting one?

OK it’s red, and doesn’t attract any insects, but heck, you occasionally need to make the odd sacrifice 🙂

And now one of the benefits of doing a blog. I thought after all these years, because I was writing this piece, just who was Les Jury? Which after a fair bit of ferreting on the internet brought me to the amazing New Zealand Jury garden at Tikorangi and their multi generational family of gardeners and plant breeding history, which I’d never heard about before. If you haven’t either, then you can read loads about the place and the people if you click here.

It turns out that “Les Jury” was the final Camellia of Les’ breeding programme and a very fitting tribute though we (it turns out) have several other named and AGM Camellias out of this same stable.

Secondly, Fiona spotted this splendid small metallic sheened moth, probably a Green Longhorn, Adela reaumurella, in the garden this week. One of the family of Fairy Longhorn micro-moths, we’ve never seen it before,But it was a real treat to watch as a small group of males sat on the leaves of  Cornus kousa ‘Miss Satomi’, waiting, and almost casting their enormous antennae to try to catch a passing female…

For anyone thinking that daffodils finished weeks ago, some of the later forms like “Merlin”, “St Piran”, “Oryx” and “Trellisick” can provide colour, height and even fabulous scent right to the end of a very sunny April…


Finally, as always, it would be lovely to keep hearing from members about their favourite plants, or things in their gardens as we go through the next few months. Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a fortnight, and it’s a great way of keeping in touch and passing on information.

Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page.

You can send things to me at:

Cothigardeners@gmail.com

Thanks again to all who have contributed to this post.

April Sunshine and Lockdown in Cothi Gardens; Sally the Slug and Harry the Hare

As the Covid -19 lock down is maintained and we move into April with no clear exit strategy, I’m guessing we’re all feeling incredibly fortunate to be living in this wonderful part of the world, with our gardens to appreciate in what must be one of the best runs of dry weather we’ve had in ages. (Whisper – we could really do with some rain soon…).

In the absence of any meetings in the near future I’m very grateful for those members who’ve sent photos and information on their gardens to me or Elena recently.  Having just acquired a replacement granny phone (thanks of course to Fiona for sorting this) which I need for receiving SMS messages to log in to this website (the first got trashed last Saturday when I came off my bike at speed in the forestry), I can now upload these insights below:

Alison Williams sent these lovely photos of spring flowers from her garden : 


Anne Thomas sent me this background on what she’s been up to recently :

Well we have been creating a new raised bed in what was an untidy corner (one of many) and laying some slabs and creating a new bed in a corner that housed the oil tank until last month. Have a lot of Hellebores so have put some in the new area and a couple of Acers bought at one of the garden talks. And the good news is that online ordering still seems to be happening with plants!

New raised bed. I think I will plant some tumbling plants above stone wall (built by me when we put in the greenhouse).


Interesting daffodils ( ? Oxford gold)


I think we should feel very lucky living where we do in these difficult times. Must be awful stuck in a flat with children. We don’t need to see or speak to anyone other than the sheep!

Keep safe. I look forward to seeing other gardens.
Anne Thomas


Derek Marshall sent me this:

Raised bed evolution season by season!
The ground is so wet here that we needed to give some depth to the beds, hence raised beds. Originally with mole earth and compost, now supplemented with sand, grit, farmyard manure, more compost and ash from the Rayburn in combination or composition depending upon the intended planting for each bed.


The near bed has been prepared but needs to have holes burned when Tina wants to plant brassicas; the bed on the right still has Leeks; the bed on the far left is now planted with onions, and the central bed is still a bit of a hodge podge mess needing to be tidied up prior to reuse this season.
The fabric is heavy duty, keeps the soil warm and moist, and in combination with the holes reduces weeds, and weeding, tremendously, and the incidence of slugs is also much reduced. I use a small kitchen blowlamp to create the holes. It has many advantages: it is more accurate, easy to use, seals the holes as they are burned so no fraying, and therefore minimises errors on an otherwise potentially expensive resource, the fabric. By this method, and secure fixing by stapling, the fabric normally lasts 3 years, so also defraying the initial cost.
It is clear that Tina is the gardener in our family, but I can complement her efforts by creating structure, and I am weeder in chief, so it all helps.
Aren’t we fortunate at this time to have outside space to relax in, to work in, and to grow in? Additionally I anticipate that in the near future all our efforts to grow our own food will not only be beneficial, but necessary.


I think one of the (few?) benefits of the current crisis might be getting everyone to have to slow down and think about what’s really important.

So here’s a new fable in pictures for these troubled times from our garden – the Tale of Sally the Slug and Harry the Hare….

Harry the hare spent all day racing at speed, from dawn till dusk, getting hotter and hotter, and more and more anxious. But didn’t get anywhere. And ended up exhausted and turned to rusting iron.

(Many thanks to Martin and Angela for this wonderful prop! Click here for their website for any distant readers!)

Meanwhile in the greenhouse, Sally, the slimy slug, who spent all night very slowly slithering to the very apex to graze on algae and leaves, decided as light began to tinge the Eastern sky, to take the scenic route down. So abseiled down her own strong and sticky, slimey thread. And enjoyed a wonderful view as the sun rose and warmed her slowly spiralling body as she inched towards the floor. With plenty of time to think about what she was going to do for the rest of the day, and hardly a care in the world.

( Apologies for gender inaccuracies – slugs are hermaphrodites, but it doesn’t work as well with “it”).


Some of our favourite spring bulbs right now which always make me forget about the hard work last autumn crow-barring them into the ground.  In particular the largely white Nacissus “Thalia” and “Actaea”, and Tulip “Flaming Purissima” :


It would be lovely to hear from more members about their favourite plants, or things in their gardens as we go through the next few months. Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a fortnight, and it’ll be a great way of keeping in touch, and passing on information.

Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page.

You can send things to me at:

Cothigardeners@gmail.com

Wildlife in our Gardens; Favourite Plants; April Garden Scenes

Greetings to all Cothi Gardeners, and other readers. Here’s a news post with various snippets which might be of interest. Many thanks to all who’ve sent words or photos to either myself or Elena. Do keep them coming…

Carys Williams contacted me with the following information, from WWBIC :

We are your Local Environmental Record Centre (LERC) for West Wales. We would like to encourage people to engage with nature by recording plants and wildlife on your doorstep.

During the CORVID-19 outbreak, the public are urged to work from home and practice social distancing. We think this is a good time to learn more about wildlife in your garden, if it is safe to do so.

The Common or Garden Project is a simple way of recording 6 priority species for beginners. (Hare, Common Toad, Hedgehog, Bullfinch, Blood Vein Moth, and Slow Worm).  We have chosen these six species which are included in the Section 7 list the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.   This is a list of the living organisms that are of key significance to sustain and improve biodiversity in Wales. We need to know more about these species, can you help? For more information click on the link below.

Common or Garden Poster_english

Thank you, and happy wildlife recording!

Carys Williams

Biodiversity Information Assistant

West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre (WWBIC)

Tel. 01994 241468 www.wwbic.org.uk


Many thanks to Brenda for the photo of this gorgeous clump of Ipheion uniflorum ‘Charlotte Bishop’ – An easily grown spring flower related to the onion family the foliage of which dies back during the summer. Growing amidst what looks like a wonderful clump of Snakeshead fritillaries.

And to Elena for these photos and words about her friend Susan’s amazing garden in distant Trinidad & Tobago, which has a wonderfully exotic and lush feel:

All over the world gardeners in lockdown are turning to their gardens for stress relief during these difficult times. My friend Susan in Trinidad, who I have known since primary school, sent these photos of her small urban garden. What a great use of foliage pot plants! I am sure many of you will recognise the Australian red palms, colourful crotons and bromeliads, bamboo, ferns and the orchids hanging from a tree branch. Lovely … thanks for sharing Susan!!

And back home thanks to Ruth for sending a photo of her productive polytunnel which is providing lots of fresh vegetables for the table during these tricky times, Ruth says :

This is my polytunnel with the brassicas I have been growing over the winter, plus leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, curly kale, cavolo Nero kale and chard. We are enjoying eating them now. If I try and grow them in the summer the caterpillars demolish them!

I’m guessing we’ll all be focusing more on productive plantings this year.

A couple of favourite flowers right now from the garden here at Gelli Uchaf: Scilla Bithynica, the Turkish Squill, shown below, and in more detail in the video clip later. It’s a stunning small blue bulb which flowers for a very long time. We bought a couple from Shipton bulbs several years back, and it spread so well from seed that it’s gradually making a nice carpet of blue, a good 6 weeks ahead of native bluebells.

and Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the Lenten Lily :  One of our native daffodil species, which is short and early, and always pale and dark yellow, but quite variable in form. It takes a few years for the snowdrop sized bulbs to settle in, but it’s then really reliable here, and produces quite a bit of seed unlike most daffodils, so can be spread around for those patient gardeners amongst us …

___________________________

The last 10 days of sunny weather have been a fantastic time for early insect activity in our garden, and a great opportunity for seeing just which flowers are favoured by some of our commoner insects.

Day after day of unbroken sunshine, even if the wind’s been nippy, or downright bone chilling – particularly first thing, when I’m out in my nightshirt and long johns. But I hope you enjoy the merged video clips from our garden 800 feet above sea level, in often really chilly and windy conditions

It’s such a thrill to find that after so many years of deliberately selecting and planting more and more insect friendly flowers here, it’s now (relatively!) easy to film such pieces – so many insects find our garden an oasis of provision this early in the year.

Images that reinforce the message that although we all love our flowers, millions of years of evolution have really developed them for their nutritional value to our insect fauna.  And anyone with bumblebee queens a plenty in their gardens in March will probably be familiar with the distinct impression that when walking round your garden, surveying the scene, one or two of these incredibly tough, and large insects will meet you, and if not exactly greet you, then certainly check you out.

Carefully. Circling you three or four times, before heading off on more urgent duties. Just to let you ponder whether it’s them invading your personal space, certainly far too close for safe social distancing.

Or vice versa.

Does everyone else find they get”buzzed” by bumbles?

And has anyone any idea why they do this?

You’ll see in the video clip below, in this order, these wonderful symbiotic insect flower pairings, and see how much busy work is still going on outside, Covid-19 restrictions notwithstanding, in the natural world.

And for any unfamiliar with the wonderfully adapted vegetarian adult Bee fly, it has a sinister life cycle – its larvae are carnivorous, preying on bumblebee larvae. No bumbles, no beeflies.

There’s still lots of opportunities to spot these up to the middle of May, when the adults disappear for another year. Primroses, Aubrieta and Pulmonaria all seem favoured plants for them in our garden.

Chionodoxa “Pink Giant” : Honeybee – Apis mellifera

Scilla bithynica : Honeybee – A. m.

Skimmia “Emerald King” : Honeybee – A. m.

Chionodoxa forbesii blue : Honeybee – A. m.

Primula vulgaris – primrose : Peacock butterfly – Inachis io

Muscari armeniacum: Honeybee – A.m.

Aubrieta : Dark-edged Beefly – Bombylius major

Muscari neglectum : Small Tortoiseshell butterfly – Aglais urticae

Primula vulgaris – primrose : Bumblebee queen – Bombus terrestris

Primula vulgaris – primrose: Dark-edged beefly – Bombylius major

Pieris “Forest Flame” : Bumblebee queen – Bombus leucorum

Narcissus “Brunswick” : Peacock butterfly -Inachis io


It would be lovely to hear from any members about their favourite plants, or things in their gardens as we go through the next few months. Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a fortnight, and it’ll be a great way of keeping in touch, and passing on information.

Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page.

You can send things to me at:

Cothigardeners@gmail.com

Helping Our Local Plant Nurseries

Many thanks to Elena for this collated information about some of our familiar local plant nurseries. They’re still open, and at this normally busy time of the year are inevitably suffering very badly from lack of visitors.

So do think about whether there’s anything that you need, which you can source from them and help them through these challenging times. You’ll see many have come up with ways to make it easier and safer for us to still use them :

Ty Cwm Nursery : Sad news that Hollys Café at Ty Cwm Nursery is closed. Here at the nursery we understand that some of you may not want to visit us. However you may still want to make your gardens look beautiful. We can take payment over the phone and deliver locally. Give us a call and we’ll do our best to accommodate you. 01570 480655.

Farmyard Nurseries:  we are operating a delivery service for those of us who feel they can’t go out. Ring us on 01559 363389 for a chat, I’m sure we can get things to you. Payment can be made over the phone and plants/compost left where you want them. Alternatively we have set up an outdoor till at the nursery so that you don’t have to go indoors at all if you don’t want to. The shop and market stall are open and free tea and coffee is still available here. The garden is looking lovely too. Mail order is another alternative, see our website for details. I would like to thank everyone who shops with us for such loyal custom and hope everyone stays safe. All the best, Rich.  Please share if at all possible.

Rhoslwyn Plants at Silian 01570 422672 https://www.rhoslwynplants.co.uk/

Robert’s Garden Centre 01570 422756 https://www.facebook.com/robertsgardencentre/
Just another thought- if you’re worried about coming in to contact with people park outside the garden centre and call us on your mobile and we’ll put stuff into your boot…
You can pay by card over the phone.

Penlan Perennials: Hello all! Just a quick update from Graham and Julie here at the nursery. We are still open and sending our deliveries as normal – living in the middle of nowhere has it’s perks! We’re always isolated!! Please keep yourselves safe and your gardens beautiful! (Office) +44 (0)1570 480097 (Mobile) +44 (0)7984 880241

The Works Garden Center Llandeilo 01558 824238 http://growninwales.co.uk/giw_grower/the-works-garden-centre/

______________

Spring is always a great time of the year for planting out new plants, and this year we’ve 2 new plants we’re planning to get hold of if we can, having become very keen to add more great early season nectar flowers for our honeybees, to help them out in the mild, wet winters/early springs which we now seem to be having.

Firstly a medium sized evergreen bush covered in small yellow flowers which Fiona spotted last week on a visit with her Mum to Attingham Park in Shropshire, which caught her eye because of the noise of humming honeybees visiting it.

No label but  Fiona had the presence of mind to take a photo of it, and then being the clever person she is, used an online plant search to track it down. (Picture this – click  for link).

It turns out to be the Wintergreen or Chinese Barberry, Berberis julianae (which makes it another good plant for us 🙂 ). I wonder if any Cothigardeners currently grow it, and have other photos of it ?

Secondly after an email exchange with a friend about which garden plants her honeybees were visiting at the beginning of March, (with us it was mainly our Daphne bholua bushes) she commented that honeybees were flocking to her plant of Ribes odoratum. Originating in North America, the Buffalo currant bears fragrant yellow flowers in spring. Again does any Cothi gardener grow this?

Of course bees quickly move onto the next best thing, as one plant finishes flowering. Right now with us Skimmias (like the one below) are favourites – if the sun is shining!                                                                           _____________

It would be lovely to hear from any members about their favourite plants as we go through the next few months. Why not write a few words and send an image or two, preferably resized down to less than 1 MB? I can’t promise to put everything up online immediately, but usually within a few days and it’ll be a great way of keeping in touch, and passing on information.  Or use the Cothigardeners Facebook Page. Click here.

You can send things to me at:

Cothigardeners@gmail.com

 

Covid-19 Update from Our Chair

Members will already have received this email from Elena, our chair, updating the club’s status in these challenging times…

Cothi Gardeners is following the government’s strategy of social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel, as I am sure you are too!

With that in mind we are cancelling both our April and May meetings and will let you know about future meetings as things become clearer.

Nature can support us during these difficult times and we are fortunate to have easy access to the beautiful wildness of underpopulated Welsh hills, woods and seaside near our homes in which to de stress and breathe.

In our splendid physical isolation remember that you are not alone. Reach out, call friends and family for a chat … talking is good for mental health which underpins our physical wellbeing!

Happy gardening and keep well till we meet again

Elena

Next Meeting on March 18th Cancelled

Most members will already have received news from Jenny that very sadly our planned meeting next Wednesday has had to be cancelled. We hope that we can rearrange the talk from Marion Stainton for some time next year, and are very grateful to Marion for her understanding on this matter.

In a very fast moving situation with the Covid 19 outbreak, and with many members either away, ill or preferring not to attend,  regrettably cancelling the meeting seemed to be the most sensible step to take.

Apologies to all, and do pass on this news to anyone you think might have been planning to attend.

With the weather apparently improving a little next week, at least we can all look forward to more time outside in the fresh air, observing our gardens and the natural world, which are blissfully oblivious to all that’s occurring in the human sphere of influence, explode with typical spring exuberance.

And there’s always something that’s benefited from our mixed weather of late.  Edgworthia chrysantha, a deciduous relative of Daphnes, is flowering better than ever right now (below), with wonderfully scented flower clusters on bare branches which apparently always produce new growth in three directions.

A native of South West China (and Nepal and Japan), it fortunately has a more uplifting presence than their recent inadvertent coronavirus export.

Pollinator Research at the NBGW; Murder, Magic and Plant Potions; Upcoming Events;

We enjoyed a really successful first meeting of the year, even though Lucy, one of our two speakers from the National Botanic Garden of Wales, was unable to make it. Abigail nobly stepped in to cover both their areas of research on pollinators, and in addition had to cope with a laptop failure part way through. Thank goodness for Colin and Mark – Cothi’s own PC techies – for sorting it out swiftly so the talk could continue.

Abigial described Lucy’s work trialling several commercial mixes of annual plants to create pictorial meadows, and assessing just how good the various plants are at attracting the numerous different classes of pollinating insects. Actually it seems only a small percentage of the flowers included in most mixes seem to attract pollinators. ( 2 out of 15 species of plants in June; 6 out of 25 species in July; 6 out of 35 species in August). Lucy is hoping to build on her early work and develop her own mix of seeds to have wider appeal to the hoverflies, bumbles, honeybees and solitary bees which we’ll all have visiting the flowers in our gardens. 

Abigail, who is studying for a PhD at Bangor in association with the NBGW has built on the earlier work of PhD student Laura Jones. She discussed her own work on the analysis of pollen samples both in the honey of bees kept at the NBGW, by using DNA metabarcoding of these samples, and in addition looking at pollen obtained from other solitary bees and hoverflies. She’s trying to establish the plants most commonly visited out of the huge potential range of flowering plants grown at the NBGW site.

In addition the NBGW team have also analysed the DNA in pollen found in honey samples sent in by bee keepers from across the UK.

This has highlighted some fascinating information including:

Only 44 plant taxa were found in more than 5% of the honey samples, and only 4 plants were identified in over 50% of samples. These were Rubus species – mainly brambles; White clover; Brassica – above (e.g. Oil seed rape); and the Maleae tribe – e.g. Hawthorn, Malus (apple – below) and Cotoneaster.

There are peaks of different flowering plants through the seasons, as one might expect  – from Acers, Malus and Prunus in April; Dandelion and Gorse in May and June; Bramble and clover in July; and Heather and Himalayan Balsam in August/September. 

As far as honeybees are concerned the vast majority of their food comes from native woodland and hedgerow plants in spring : Willow, Hawthorn, Cotoneaster, Apple and Cherry, Gorse, Sycamore, Holly, Oak, and Dandelion. Hellebores are the most widely used non native.

Other ornamental garden plants of particular value include : Paeonies, Camassia, Muscari, Viburnum, Wallflowers, Ornamental Alliums, Skimmias, Anemone (below), Roses, Flowering Currants.

For more detailed information on the work in this area at the NBGW, please click here.


Our next meeting is a talk by Marion Stainton, on Wednesday March 18th. As always, the hall is open from 7 pm onwards and help with setting up and refreshments is always welcome, before a 7.30 pm start time.

‘Murder, Magic and Plant Potions’

Marion is active in a broad range of horticultural projects for domestic, commercial and community gardens and spaces.  Her interests are in sustainable, environmentally friendly gardening, including pest management, vegetable growing, plant & garden history and the science behind plants and their uses. She opens her own garden in Herefordshire for the NGS. Marion gives this introduction to the intriguing talk title:

‘An arrow tip poison: a witches flying ointment: a murderous potion & deadly poison; addictive; with psychoactive properties; a wine that may help prevent flu; a cause of severe stomach upset & a cure for cancer; one to induce heart failure; another to reduce the risk of heart disease.  These are all properties of plants that can be found in or near your garden, plus quite a few more.  Add to this some myths and folklore and you have a fascinating alternative view of those lovely plants we walk innocently by every day.  You will never view your garden in the same way’.


Some more local events which might be of interest to members:

This Saturday, March 7 th in Carmarthen :

More details on their Facebook page.


Span Arts BIG Plant Sale are delighted to be hosting BBC 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time on Wednesday 25 March 2020, at The Queen’s Hall in Narberth.

The celebrated panel of gardening experts, including Chris Beardshaw, Pippa Greenwood and Anne Swithinbank with Kathy Clugston in the chair, will be tackling the questions put to them by local gardening enthusiasts.

The panel members have been guests of a diverse range of gardening clubs and other organisations; including recording at the top of Mount Snowdon, broadcasting from Buckingham Palace and answering questions from inside Number 10 Downing Street.

Tickets are £4.50 and include a hot beverage and the bar will be open. If you would like to take part in what is a lovely experience, please book in advance by phoning Span Arts 01834 869323 or book online at Span Art’s website  https://span-arts.ticketsolve.com/shows/873619115

Doors open at 5:00pm and recording at 6.00pm until 8.00pm.

Also : The BIG Plant Sale is back again on May 2nd at Town’s Moore Car park, Narberth!

 


Finally I’m including the programme for our neighbouring gardening club at Drefach Velindre FYI, below :

CLWB GARDDIO DREFACH FELINDRE
GARDENING CLUB – Programme for 2020:
Wednesday, 1st April 2020

Garden Machinery & Tools – Teifi Valley Garden Machinery

Dave and Bob from our local company, Teifi Valley Garden Machinery who have been longstanding supporters of the Club, will be joining us to talk about how to get the best from your garden tools and machinery, their uses and how to maintain them and prolong their life.

 

Wednesday, 6th May 2020

Herbs – Andrew Cook, Rhoshill Garden Plants

Andrew will give a talk on herbs and how to grow and use them for culinary and medicinal purposes.  A selection of herbs will be made available to smell and taste during the talk. There will also be a selection of peat-free grown and naturally maintained herbs on sale.

 

Wednesday, 3rd June 2020

Flowers – tips on presenting your Flowers and Plants for the Show – Lisa Cockroft

Lisa has been the Flower Judge at our Annual Show for the past few years and we are delighted that she has agreed to join us to share her tips on how to grow and present your flowers and plants to their very best.

 

Wednesday, 1st July 2020

Evening with Cheese and Wine and – Vines and Wines – Wayne Campbell

Wayne and Sally planted their vineyard at Pant y Ffynnon, Cwmpengraig in 2015. Wayne will take us through all the processes from growing to harvesting and making the wine. He will include some advice to members who make and show wines.

 

Wednesday, 5th August 2020

Seeds: Saving, Storing and Using –  Andrea Sanders, Lampeter Seed Library

Andrea will talk to us about how to save, store and use vegetable, fruit, herb, grains and edible flower seeds.   One of the main principles of the seed library is to encourage more people to save seeds and grow their own food.

 

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020

Getting the Best from House Plants – Mair Howe

Mair (Mia) is a long-standing member of the Club and she will be sharing her extensive knowledge of how to look after your house plants: what to do … and what not to do!

 

Wednesday, 7th October 2020

Open evening – The Gardens at Winchester Cathedral – Emma Sharpe

Emma, a Gardening Club member and former Head Gardener at Winchester Cathedral, will be joining us to share an illustrated talk on what goes into maintaining the gardens and grounds surrounding the historic Cathedral.

 

Wednesday, 4th November 2020

Pruning –  Joseph Atkin, Head Gardener Aberglasney

Joseph is a regular speaker at the Club and we are delighted that he will join us again this year to share his wisdom in the art of pruning.   There will be plenty of opportunity to test his knowledge with your most challenging questions.

 

Wednesday, 25th November 2020

Christmas Buffet and Willow Weaving Demonstration – Justine Burgess, West Wales Willows

Justine will talk to us about growing, cutting and preparing willow ready for weaving and will give a practical demonstration.
2020 Programme of Talks & Events
Wednesday, 8th January 2020

The History and Medicinal Properties of Monarda – Carole Whittaker, Glyn Bach Gardens

Glyn Bach Gardens holds the National Collection of Monarda, a beautiful late summer perennial with a fascinating history and great medicinal properties.  Carole will be telling us more about this remarkable plant

 

Wednesday, 5th February 2020

Annual General Meeting and Cake Tasting Competition

A chance to showcase your favourite cake recipe.  The winning cake will feature as the Set Recipe in the Show Schedule for the Annual Horticultural and Craft Show..