Hortitalk

Wednesday 24th November
7.30 pm on Zoom

Our next informal get-together on Zoom for members to discuss anything associated with plants and gardens.
This time it will also include the results of the Member Survey

Hortitalk

Wednesday
24th November

“Happy Birthday Hortitalk !”

This latest informal Zoom meeting marked a year since our first Hortitalk.

Chairman, Mike Kingsford, after lighting the candle on the birthday cake, set the ball rolling with a selection of photos from the past year’s Hortitalks, followed by some newly submitted ones:

Not surprisingly, no-one could remember the name of the New Zealand Christmas tree, the first question in the quiz that started our first Hortitalk:- Pohutakawa!

In looking back to Mike’s glorious tree peony, ‘Itoh’ peonies were mentioned, hybrids between the tree and herbaceous peonies that combine the good points of both. They are expensive, but Lesley is tempted, so watch this space.

One of the remarkable plants was the tomato ‘Red Alert’ – early ripening and continuing to produce a prolific crop.

Frank’s Mandevilla was a revelation to others who had struggled with yellowing and dropping leaves. His advice was not to try growing it around a frame but to allow it to grow upright, clipping back shoots to keep it in shape. Propagation is easy: cut off a side shoot, dip the end in rooting compound and pot it up.

The photos of yucca and osteospermum at West Wittering showed how mild of this late autumn is, although osteospermum can be more hardy than widely thought.

There will be no Hortitalk in December – the next one will be held on 26th January.

Hortitalk

Wednesday
27th October

Chairman, Mike Kingsford, kicked off our latest informal meeting on Zoom with some photos from members.

The Glory of Autumn was exemplified by some photos of Winkworth Arboretum, where acers were showing their bright autumn colours, although other trees were only just beginning to turn.

From members’ own gardens, there was the foliage of a parrotia turning a glorious gold.

Dahlias were showing their resilience – determined to keep on blooming in spite of the weather.

Kaffir lilies (previously known as Schizostylis, but now renamed Hesperantha) were again providing a bright display without having received any particular attention. Although said to prefer damp conditions, these were in a dry part of the garden.

As every year, the Nerines had suddenly appeared with their glowing blooms.

Looking forward to the new season, there was a November-flowering camellia , as well as a spring-flowering rhododendron ‘Timothy James’, fooled by the remarkably mild weather.

Alternatives to box were discussed, including Euonymus ‘Jean Hugues’ (this was the one shown in the previous Friday’s Gardeners’ World) and also Ilex crenata.

In light of the up-coming COP 26 it was suggested that sustainable gardening would be a good topic for the website,starting with pollinator friendly plants. Notes on Darren Lerigo’s January talk “Helping the Honey Bee” are already available on the website, but it was agreed they would be given more prominence and something more comprehensive would be considered.

Mike ended by encouraging all members to come to the AGM.

Hortitalk

Wednesday
29th September

Lesley submitted photos of a mystery plant, a readily spreading ground cover spilling out from the flower bed into the gravel path. Throughout the summer it had very many more pink flower heads than seen in the late September photos. This was readily identified as Phuopsis stylosa (Caucasian crosswort). It was also reported to take well in gaps in stone walls. It is easy to grow and propagate, so look out for it at next May’s Annual Plant Sale.

Mike’s very large-leaved quick-growing plant was more of a puzzle, but was subsequently identified as a Paulownia (foxglove tree). It quickly grows into a large tree, but only starts bearing foxglove-like flowers after quite some years.

There was some discussion of October’s Autumn Flower Competition and of interesting gardens visited: several in Cornwall, of which Trebah excelled, nearer to home, Sussex Prairie Garden and right on our doorstep West Dean Gardens where there is a lot of new planting underway.

Hortitalk

Wednesday
28th July

Most of the discussion concerned the up-coming Annual Flower Show,

Read more

with Chairman, Mike Kingsford, encouraging members to set the example by entering things in the Show.

This year there will be no need write entry cards by hand. Not only will Margaret Rhodes pre-print the class name and number on all the cards, but will also print the entrants’ names and numbers on labels to be stuck on the appropriate entry cards. She does not envisage needing additional help for this. Mike asked that entry forms be subitted as soon as possible, rather thah just befor the cut-off time, to help Margaret spread our the workload.

It was pointed out that there is no provision in the Show Schedule for biennials. However, it was clarified that hollyhocks, which prompted this query, are a short-lived perennial.

Concern was expressed about running Class 50, most fragrant rose, in the traditional way, with all the visitors smelling the roses as they arrive. It was agreed that this year Tom Brown would be asked to decide the winner, rather than the popular vote.
Robert Newman offered to make a perspex screen to stop visitors instinctively trying to smell the roses.

Two marquees will be erected on the green adjacent to the Green Room: one, with open sides, for refreshments and the other for any overspill of exhibits. If not required for exhibits, this also would be left open-sided for refreshments.

A recommendation that masks be worn inside the Hall was agreed.

As all washing up will be done in the dish washer, rather than by hand, Liz Hewitt asked for help in handling the heavy trays of crockery; Robert Newman and Mike Kingsford volunteered.

There was general support amongst the members participating for a continuation of Hortitalks after a break in August.

Show less

Hortitalk

Wednesday
23rd June

As usual, we started with photos from members’ gardens that set off a lot of discussion: (click any to enlarge)

Read more

Sweet peas: Mike Kingsford shared some photos of his sweet peas – Roger Parsons seed sown in Rootrainers in October and grown on in a quite harsh regime.
For intensity of fragrance he particularly recommended ‘Lady Nicholson’ and maroon / violet bicolour ‘Matucana’.

Allium christophii: often grown as a single “lollypop”, it looks really glorious in this mass of about 20 plants, self-seeded from the few bulbs that were planted here.

Erodium manescavii: flowers continuously from spring to frost – very easy to grow and propagate.

‘Kathleen Harrop’: introduced in 1919, a softer pink sport of Bourbon rose ‘Z├ęphirine Drouin’, introduced some 50 years earlier; both share the same characteristics: thornless, very fragrant and repeat-flowering. Said to be more resistant to disease if planted out of full sun.

Cacti: Mike stimulated the orange one into flowering by drenching it with water when it was very dry.

Foxgloves:The second photo shows not only the bumblebee disappearing into the flower, but also, to the right of the foxglove, the yellow pendant flowers of Chilean box Vestia foetida. Usually hardy enough for our climate, this winter strong cold winds had killed of the top of the plant. However, the base of the plant survived, sending up these new branches.

Tomato: Mike showed his first ripe tomato of the season – ‘Red Alert’, a bush variety producing an abundance of cherry tomatoes, grown from seed sown at the beginning of January in a propagator by Frank Bartlett.

Oxalis: several members had were growing pink flowered varieties. However, a warning was given about Oxalis cornucalata – its pretty tiny bright yellow flowers set in purplish shamrock-shaped leaves belie its thuggish nature.

Show less

Hortitalk

Wednesday
26th May

This started with a wide range of photos from members’ gardens – here are some:
(click on any to enlarge)

Read more

They prompted a lot of discussion: plants flourishing in spite of April and May’s extreme weather, those struggling or lagging behind and those just going their own way. Several recognised the growing acceptance of self-seeders in their garden, especially at this time of year: hellebores, forget-me-nots (blue, white & pink) and “wild” flowers, such as buttercups and campions, red, white & bladder.

The new foliage of the Acer ‘Brilliantissimum‘ was quite striking: opening as a coppery pink, then turning gold, before turning towards green.

Show less

Hortitalk

Wednesday
28th April

Discussions covered many aspects of the garden, before focussing on the plight of Crocus tommasinianus.

Read more

It is nigh impossible to source this delicate early crocus (rather than derivatives such as ‘Ruby Giant‘), as its propagation is too labour intensive to be commercially viable. However, one member offered bulbs and seeds that had built up in her garden, prompting a lot of interest.

Show less

Hortitalk

Wednesday
24th March

Read more

As part of a wide-ranging discussion about the garden at the moment, most people agreed that it was a good year for camellias, as evidenced by several photos. An incidence of poor flowering in pots may have been due to them getting too dry last summer. The compost should be kept moist to avoid inhibiting bud development in late summer.

Show less

Theme: Overlay by Kaira