12th March 2019
Propagation: New Plants for Free – Tom Cole
An excellent lecture on propagation providing many useful tips on seed sowing e.g. using coir compost with vermiculite. If sowing indoors make sure it is not too warm and that there are sufficient light levels or else your seedlings will be leggy. He spoke about when you can take cuttings as these can either be soft, semi- soft or hardwood cuttings. Also included were layering and budding which included the use of very sharp knives so watch those fingers! Lots of helpful diagrams and Tom made it sound so easy. It was amusing when Tom mentioned how long a plant would take to establish using any of these methods as there were slight groans from the audience when he mentioned that it may take 2 to 3 years to flower!
9th April 2019
Climbers and Wall Shrubs – Tim Carter
We were joined by Tim, our local nurseryman from Long House Plants, who gave us much food for thought with a presentation of many and varied climbers and wall shrubs. He outlined the different methods used by plants for climbing – both self-attaching and those need tieing in – and discussed various supports we could use. Many wall shrubs were mentioned, including the useful chaenomeles (quince) which will thrive on a north or east facing wall or fence. There was so much information in this new talk, that we will think about asking Tim to come again, perhaps with an evening dedicated to clematis.
14th May 2019
Central Royal Parks – Jim Buttress
Once again Jim enthralled and entertained us with his life story and tales of his varied experiences in the gardening world. Always one to tell a good story, Jim had us all laughing at some of his adventures as he progressed through his career in horticulture. From humble beginnings, his work with the Royal Parks in Central London, his time as an RHS Judge and his work with Britain in Bloom, Jim has definitely led an interesting life.
8th October 2019
Story of the Pemberton and Bentall Roses at Havering-atte-Bower
Laura Hill started the evening by telling us a little about the work of St Francis Hospice and giving us the background to the Pemberton Family. This led on to the development of the Pemberton Roses and the Bentall Roses, a fascinating story with information on many of the roses and the hunt to complete the collection. Following this, Andrew Bentall explained how Jack’s Place Charity came about and its development helping lonely, depressed and anxious people through gardening therapy.
12th November 2019
Upminster Court and Gardens – Lois Amos
A very informative and lively talk from Lois who had lectured at Upminster Court and assisted with the changes when it went into private ownership in 2006. Built in 1905/6 for the Williams family in grand style with croquet lawns, Italianate garden, orchards, glasshouses, stable block, etc. over 33 acres. The site was reduced and the hall used by the LBH as a respite care home, for training and a nursery and for teaching students from Capel Manor. Lois had ensured listing of 76 trees in the grounds and the garden is the only Grade II listed garden in the LBH. During renovations since 2006, many of the original features (windows, doors, door furniture, plasterwork, ceilings and floors, have been restored. A pity it is no longer part of the annual Open House programme.
10th December 2019
Get that Exotic Look – Nina Lewis
Nina invited us to try growing many exotic plants in our own gardens – she successfully grows them in Woodford Green. These fall into three categories: tropical plants such as canna, ginger, etc. which need lots of water and food; desert plants such as agave, cordyline, palms and succulents which need hot dry conditions (preferably potted in terracotta) and Mediterranean plants which include the more usual plants we grow. Why not set yourself a challenge next year and try to grow something different? Nina has kindly sent us two plants lists: one of exotic plants and one of plants she grows in her garden.