Saturday, 7 October 2017

People, Plants, Pleasure and Passion

Don Witton’s presentation,People, Plants, Pleasure and Passion, was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining talk with humourous anecdotes and colourful slides.  Don, who re-invented himself after a long career as a teacher, is a specialist on euphorbias and we heard his amusing tales about the TV crew filming him for a Gardeners World programme.  More information can be found on his website.
Display Table
Sue G’s assorted Salvias for late Summer colour, although tender, include Amistad, Joan, Black and Blue, Super Trouper,Mexicana, Patens
Carol brought her biennial Tragopogon (Salsify) which she grew from seed and the attractive Gladiolus murielae
Ann’s container of  orange and red included Persicaria Fats Domino, Golden Arrow, Dahlia Charlie Dimmock, Tithonia, Hersperantha, Erysimum Apricot Delight, Antirrhinum and Rudbeckia.

Kate brought some Anemone Blanda, wondering which way up to plant them
 Caroline brought our attention to this publication
 Kate’s vase contained Persicaria campanulata Orange Field, September Spires and Firetail.  Salvias Amistad, Verbena bonariensis and rigida, Begonia Claret Jug, Astrantia Buckland and Shaggy, Rudbeckia Goldsturm, Aster frikartii Monch, Phlox Graf Zeppelin and Calicarpa
 Judith’s Fuchsia Genii
Notice Board
A few Friday Forum members have successfully applied Thelma’s tip for propagating from basil plants bought at the supermarket.  A delicious, fresh and free addition to Italian cuisine.

Save landfill sites by recycling household waste at the Kirkstall waste recycling site which  has now re-opened and accepts a wide range of unwanted goods for its shop selling recycled goods.

Next Meeting
20th October:  Harvest Forum.  Please bring prepared food for Members to taste which will be one of the various activities scheduled for this meeting.  An indication of allergens and vegetarian/vegan would be helpful.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather And autumn's best of cheer. Helen Hunt Jackson


It was a pleasure to welcome once again to Friday Forum John and Gail Summerfield. In their talk “Staff only beyond this point” John and Gail took us behind the scenes of a small nursery with their amusing anecdotes of the typical questions and comments made by customers.
We were fascinated to see the process of producing ornamental grasses and how John mixes his special compost in a concrete mixer.
Westshores Nursery, who have won many gold medals and once produced annuals and hanging baskets, now specialise in ornamental grasses and autumn perennials.
Gail, a botanist and lecturer in horticulture as well as a background in merchandising, writes for the publication “The Hardy Plant”
Display Table
There is still plenty of colour and interest in the gardens of our members
 Caroline’s pots of Persicaria capitata
Maggie found the name of her tall aster to be Mrs T S Wright

Eric’s Nicandra physalodes (Shoofly plant) which bears blue flowers

In Gill’s container: Japanese Anemones, Phlox, Salvia,, Alstromeira, Chelone, Campanula aesthetica, the yellow Kirengeshoma, Crocosmia Severn Sunrise,  the Obedient Plant Physostegia virginiana, Dahlia, Hydrangea and Begonia evansii
Left:Propagating Basil:  Thelma gave us a masterclass on this two weeks ago and Judith put it to the test producing many cuttings with a good root system in that time.
Centre:Judith's jug of Dahlias and Ageratums 
Right:In James’ pot is  Tropaeolum speciosum (Scottish flame flower) which has bright green foliage and crimson flowers in the summer, followed by blue berries.
James also brought from his garden Aster x frikartii 'Monch' (which initially James mistakenly heard named as African Monkey!) Clematis, Hesperantha, Actaea simplex 'Brunette' which thrives in a damp, dark corner) Crocosmia Solfaterre and  Rudbeckia gloriosa

Notice Board

Remember to support the Paxton Show on 23rd September

Next Meetings

6th October:  Presentation – “People, Plants, Pleasure and Passion” by Don Wittam
20th October:  Harvest Forum – more details to follow

Monday, 4 September 2017

Autumn approaches

Propagation Tips
We had a lively discussion on methods of propagation and members shared their knowledge and experience on propagating plants.
Two of the best ideas were:
From a supermarket pot of basil, take cuttings by breaking bits off and let them root in water.  The roots may try to double back on themselves so make sure they stay immersed.  Use clear pots when potting on so the development of the roots can be clearly seen.
When propagating cuttings, put a smaller plant pot inside a larger one and plant up the seedlings in the outer rim.  This means that, by removing the smaller plant pot, it is easy to see when roots have formed without tipping the plant out plus the cuttings can be watered by adding water to the pot in the centre.
Display Table


The Rudbeckias which members had grown on from plug plants gave a cheerful display and there is still plenty of colour in the gardens of our members.
 Kate’s Eucomis Autumnalis which has flowers with tops like pineapples
 Graham’s Clerodendron.  This is 1m tall and the same in width and has purple berries.
 Gill’s pot contains various Japanese Anemones, Phlox maculata, Willow gentian, a perennial Antirrhinum, Chelone, Campanula aesthetica, the yellow Kirengeshoma, Crocosmias Severn Sunrise and Lucifer, Hibiscus, Thalictrum Splendide,  Eucryphia, Persicaria Red Dragon, Japanese wallflower, Impatiens omeiana and Bergenia

Sue G’brought purple Rosocea and Sollya, the dainty bluebell bush or climber
 Ann’s pottery jug contains flowers in shades of yellow:  Rudbeckias, Robinia pseudoacacia Frisia which brightens up a dark corner, the purple flowered, variegated Phlox Nora Leigh,  Kirengeshoma, Hedera buttercup which starts off with Ivy leaves, the holly leaved Desfontainia with its orange, waxy flowers, Tithonia, Crocosmias Solfaterre and Star of the East, Fuchsia genii, Clematis helios, Ligularia dentata and  Ceratostigma desert skies
Notice Board

It’s the Paxton early Autumn Show on 23rd September.  Graham has asked for support in the kitchen or donations of cakes.
For entry details contact Graham Wheatley 0113 2563055 or look on the Paxton website
Judith recommended First Impressions nursery
Graham drew our attention to the many flower shows in the area.
Next Meeting

15th September:  Presentation by Gail and John Summerfield “Staff only beyond this point please”


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Visit to Golden Acre Park

More than 20 Friday Forum members enjoyed a visit to Golden Acre Park, here in Leeds, where Dean the gardener gave a very informative talk.  How fortunate we are to have these free entry parks run by the council and accessible by all.


Next Meeting:  1st September - Seasonal Propagation and plug plant returns

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Second Garden Visit of 2017

Garden Visits
Although it rained in the morning, it had cleared by the afternoon and Friday Forum members were able to appreciate the gardens (and refreshments) of Norma, Caroline and Sarah.
Unfortunately I was unable to be there, but Norma kindly sent some photos to show what I missed


Next Meeting

4th August:  A presentation on Hostas by Sue Proctor who will bring plants for sale.