Spring Show 2022

Our next Meeting is early (due to Easter) on April 11th and will be our Spring Show. Come and join in the fun.

Spring Show 2019
Spring Show 2019

Classes are as follows:
Class 1 Daffodils/Narcissi – 3 stems
Class 2 Tulips – 3 stems
Class 3 Flowering shrubs – 3 stems
Class 4 Camellias, Rhododendrons, Azaleas or Magnolia – 1 stem of any
Class 5 Small vase of mixed Spring Flowers
Class 6 Any pot-grown plant (indoor or outdoor)
Class 7 A pot of Spring bulbs
Class 8 Hellebores – 3 stems
Class 9 Tea cup floral display

OPG Diary Late March 2022

Charlton House gardens in Spring Sunshine
Old Pond Garden in Spring sunshine

The blocks of Epimedium look stunning at the moment, the flowers show up beautifully – it was worth cutting back the old leaves at the beginning of the month. New green leaves are just coming through, with lovely red markings.

Lots of the existing shrubs are coming into flower now, especially in the Peace Garden.

All Hail to the Volunteers! (Literally in this case, as our session was abandoned due to hail!)

Members gardens, March 2022

Anna's blue garden, with its Polyanthus flower clusters, hyacinths and Welsh poppy seedlings.

Anna has sent a picture of her blue garden, which she plants in late winter every year before the Eucomis take over in the summer. The Polyanthus flower clusters are going over but more buds are coming up, including hyacinths and Welsh poppy seedlings. What a striking effect!

And Sue has a succession of bulbs appearing in her pots as her ‘lasagne’ style planting  develops through spring.

March blog

Euphorbia myrsinites

Spurred by Kathy’s post on Euphorbia in the Old Pond Garden I have taken this photo of E. myrsinites which sits outside my back door all year round. As Kathy points out, Euphorbia are a large and adaptable genus and at this time of year are a real treat. I have found they do particularly well in my gardening conditions and now have several varieties.

In my front garden (such as it is) Euphorbia characias s. wulfenii is usefully seeding itself in a way which looks like I have planted it deliberately, but is actually nothing to do with me at all.

Euphorbia characias s. wulfenii
Euphorbia characias s. wulfenii

Vija

A day trip to Gunnersbury Park

Inspired by Melanie’s wonderful talk to members about the various Rothschild gardens, Sharon & I accompanied her on a trip to see the restoration project at Gunnersbury Park. We had our volunteer project at Charlton House & Gardens firmly in mind throughout the day, and were pleased to find parallels – albeit on a much grander scale there! Gunnersbury was bought by Ealing & Acton council in 1925 (Charlton was bought by Greenwich Council in the 1920s) and used as a public park in much the same way that Charlton Park has been.  

In 2018 the “Large Mansion” was restored using Heritage Lottery and other funding and opened as a Museum housing the borough archive. Major parts of the park were included in the funding, the Orangery, lake and orchards for example. The Friends of Gunnersbury Park were instrumental in the restoration effort, and volunteers clearly play a large part in the day-to-day running.

Continue reading A day trip to Gunnersbury Park

OPG Diary March 2022

Winter is over, swing in to Spring! The garden is waking up slowly, with Euphorbia amygdaloides robbiae showing signs of becoming a Star Plant. It’s rosettes of zingy lime green are unfurling and it really shines out in the sun.

These simple, unsophisticated plants, which rarely receive the recognition they deserve for all their efforts in growing and flowering, year in, year out, without asking for any help from anyone or anything, are among many unsung heroes of the gardening world.

Also showing off, Cornus mas or Cornelian Cherry in the Peace Garden, and lungwort, borage, rosemary, to name just a few.

We need to talk about the shed

Shed: noun. a small building or lean-to of light construction, used for storage, shelter, etc.

In times past, every garden path had a little wooden shed at the end of it, for keeping the boring bits to do with gardening – the lawn mower, spades, other tools and a few noxious chemicals for blitzing any insect daring to land on the beds.

So, in 2022, is your shed still just used for storing tools? Is it still small and wooden?  If so, you are in the minority. I have just had a fascinating browse on the Cuprinol SOTY (Shed Of The Year) website – which has been running for 16 years, I can’t imagine how I missed it! You have until April 19th to enter your shed by the way, but I recommend you check out previous winners to see what you are up against before you bother. My favourite is definitely the Roman Temple shed complete with colonnades and portico. It was entered in the ‘Unexpected’ category. You think?

Continue reading We need to talk about the shed

Snowdrop fever

As Anna writes in the latest Newsletter, January and February are the months for snowdrops.

Galanthus nivalis - common snowdrop
Galanthus nivalis – common snowdrop

Joe Sharman, the owner of Monksilver Nursery and who has come to be known as ‘Mr. Snowdrop’ has produced a variety called ‘Golden Tears’, described as ‘A narrow-flowered yellow pterugiform with a very large mark and bright yellow ovary. Very beautiful and distinct.’ The bulb apparently sold for £1,850.

A few years ago, I visited the Snowdrop Sensation weekend at Great Comp where a number of specialist snowdrop growers had stands. Some very beautiful varieties were selling for £100/£100 a bulb. I thought this a bit of a stretch and compromised, buying one for £10.00. I have watched this like a hawk each year, willing it to grow. There would be a great many tears and gnashing of teeth if I bought a more expensive bulb and lost it. I cannot imagine what one would do with a bulb worth £1,850.

Vija