On Saturday 11th February Jean and I spent a very pleasant day at RHS Wisley. This was the last day of the Iris and Cyclamen Show held in the Hilltop event hall.
The displays were beautiful. So uplifting to see so many spring colours after a long, cold winter. We were amazed at the variety in size and pattern of cyclamen leaves, all in perfect condition of course.
The Iris Fields of Hall Road, Wenhaston IP19 9HF were selling small pots of irises to which we both succumbed!
Our February meeting on Monday 20th, comprised our AGM, with the usual election of officers and presentation of the Annual Report, followed by a talk by Ruth Cornett on the work she has done on her Eltham Palace Gatehouse garden and her passion for roses.
Show Table Winners 2022 The Show Table cup is presented to the member who has garnered the most points on the monthly Show Table, over the past year. We have not been able to present the cup for the previous two years due to Covid, so we are delighted to be able to revive this tradition that has been running since 1955! This year, we had Joint Winners, namely Annie and Terry. Second place went to Pat K and Third to Anastasia. Well done all.
For the coming year, we have introduced an additional award, “Best on the Table” given to the best display each month. This time it was Sian’s turn, with her wonderful aromatic display of Mimosa.
As Anna writes in the latest Newsletter, January and February are the months for snowdrops.
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.
British Nestbox weekstarts every year on Valentines Day, have a look at their website to get tips on siting nestboxes to get the best chance of an occupier. Our feathered friends need all the help they can get.
This year, for the first time, I decided to put up a Christmas light curtain along the back windows of my house, never thinking that it would be such a difficult job! Having finally got the things up, with a good deal of foul language, I have felt reluctant to take them down. As well as the candles and lights around the house they have provided a welcome point of light in a rather dim January.
Imagine my delight when I heard a representative from English Heritage talking about Candlemas on the radio recently. Apparently, a tradition preceding the one which instructs us to take down Christmas decorations on the twelfth night, this allows for decorations to remain until Candlemas – the second day of February, which means that my lights can stay put for some time yet!
And snowdrops are also known as Candlemas Bells as they bloom so early in the year, and often before February 2nd. At one time it was believed that it was bad luck to bring these flowers into the house before Candlemas, but an opposing view has it that they are believed to purify the home. According to folklore, an angel helped these Candlemas Bells to bloom and pointed them out as a sign of hope to Eve and the flower is thus often seen as a sign of hope for the world.
It seems to me that everything comes together quite neatly: lights, illumination, snowdrops and hope. I think I will continue with this tradition!