Saturday, 20 December 2014

Christmas Quiz and Festive Flowers


Quiz
James compiled a quiz which required us to identify a range of nuts and seeds in teams of three.

Not only was it great fun, but we learnt fascinating information too.  For example, the Queen of Sheba decreed pistachios an exclusively royal food.  Also, the Brazil nut is named after its country of origin and resembles a coconut.  These hard balls contain eight to twelve nuts in one shell



Festive Flower Arrangements

 Brenda's arrangement


 Mum and daughter working together
 Linda's arrangement


 Jenny's arrangement


 .... and the almost finished product

 Ann in her antlers preparing hers




 Susan G's lovely piece

 Peter's 2-tier version

Next Meeting: 2nd January Garden Resolutions for 2015 and Winter colour in the garden.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
and

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Wildife and Winners




Talk on Yorkshire Wildlife

John Hobson, who has previously spoken about Curious Yorkshire, presented an equally fascinating talk on Yorkshire wildlife illustrated with slides taken by himself.  John showed us how different vegetation in various areas attracts different species of animals, reptiles, plants, fungi, and birds.  We learnt how the land changes over time affecting the wildlife, for example how heather has been replaced by bracken from animals grazing.  The various wild orchids growing in our region were especially interesting, as well as plants from as far back as the ice age.



Display Table
It’s hard to believe what is still in flower in our gardens in the first week of December.
 
Brian’s gold chrysanthemums


Brian's white balou chrysanthemums won first prize at the recent Paxton show.

 Jill’s rose Graham Thomas still flowering outside her window.

Ann’s seasonal basket with stalk of a cone from the Abies pine decimated by the blue tits.  There is also whole cone, as featured on the display table in September and had been kept inside.  Minutes after this photo was taken, Ann inadvertently dropped the whole cone on the floor and this too was reduced to a stalk!


 Ann’s jug: campanula (out every month of the year) Rosa Warm Welcome, Polygonium Pink Buttons, Tiarella Creeping Dragon, Astrantia major and Hesperantha Mrs Hegarty

Gill showed us the Christmas garlands she has made for her family so members can produce a display during the next meeting.  One ring was produced from old stems from clematis and similar, others were fashioned from a wire frame and sphagnum moss or a preformed plastic ring with florist foam.



Judith brought examples of arrangements featuring glass containers, floating candles, plant pots and candlesticks with stems made from inverted wineglasses. 






I’m sure we have lots of ideas to work on for our own displays.
Awards from Leeds in Bloom for Friday Forum members
We are proud to report that three of our members received awards for their gardens this year.
Carol Abbot has competed successfully since 1999, raising her standard from highly commended to silver and then gold as well as best in area for the past two years.  Carol, who is assisted by husband Michael with the hard landscaping and lawns, opened her Cookridge garden for the National Garden Scheme this summer and many Friday Forum members visited it.


 


Kate van Heel entered her garden for the first time this year and was awarded gold.  She also opened her garden for the NGS.


Last but not least, James Fonqurney, who has entered four times, was awarded gold
James, who says he was inspired by the late Geoff Hamilton, recycled materials from skips and used his engineering skills to build six arbours, swapped plants for Yorkshire stone and even has a laundry museum in his garden.


 

Next Meeting
19th December – for our final meeting of 2014, James has devised his legendary Christmas Quiz and we have the opportunity to make winter arrangements.  Mince pies will be provided and we hope you will embrace the party spirit by wearing festive dress!