February 2018


Dear all,

For those who joined us at the February meeting, it was interesting to have a glimpse inside the gardens of a few celebrities, courtesy of Kevin Pratt.

His photographs reflected the changes in gardening style with more people keeping their gardens fairly simple in design and making more use of containers and ornaments. The speaker for our March meeting on Tuesday 6th is our own Liz Maddock who will be giving an illustrated talk on the “Flora of the Canary Islands”. The islands are a very popular destination for those of us in cooler climes especially in the winter months. The attached photographs were taken during my “birthday break” last month, in Lanzarote. It amazes me how so many plants rise up through the sand on beaches or thrive in volcanic grit, with such low rainfall. No doubt Liz will be able to enlighten us on that score. On this theme, it might be appropriate for members to see if they can find a succulent plant or cactus for the “Plant of the Month”.

Last Thursday’s “snowdrop walk” at the Lovell Quinta arboretum saw a beautifully sunny morning. The snowdrops are just about at their best with other spring flowering bulbs starting to appear. The backdrop of the many species of trees, both deciduous and evergreen, set them off perfectly. There should be some photographs appearing on the website ( shortly, along with other news of HGS events. Members of the public are welcome to visit The Lovell Quinta at any time of the year. Rode Hall is another garden which is well worth a visit at this time of year.

Looking at the weather forecast for the coming weeks it seems that the night frosts are likely to continue for some time yet but the spells of sunshine and blue skies during the day are a bonus. It is lovely to sit and watch the activities of the birds in the front garden. The wrens are scuttling about while bullfinches puff out their chests on the pyracantha, perhaps hoping for a few last berries. Our neighbours’ philadelphus (mock orange) overhangs the fence but the magpies keep it pruned by wrenching off stems that they can hardly carry away. They are magnificent looking birds but I have never quite forgiven them for devouring a whole nest of baby robins last spring.

The next “drop in / coffee morning / gardening chat / advice session” is this coming Friday, February 23rd at Cafe Aroma, St. Chad’s church hall, from 10.30 – 11.30. This is a lovely friendly setting with the chance to catch up with other HGS members in between meetings or just exchange garden gossip. Please come and join us if you can.

As you will have heard at the February meeting, the date of the 2018 village show has been confirmed as Saturday July 14th at St. Chad’s church hall.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on March 6th, if not on Friday. If anyone has friends who are interested in gardening, they are very welcome to come along as a visitor for any meeting.

Regards, Sarah.

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