12 May 2012

Hilda's Uninvited Guest.

Last Tuesday, a neighbour knocked and informed me I had a visitor on my front porch. I looked down, and there was this prickly little fellow!

He showed no inclination to leave, so I found two bowls and gave him some cat food and water. He ate the food ravenously then snoozed. He was still there that night, so I gave him more, which he also ate.  Much to my surprise, he was still there the next morningMy neighbour made him a Des. Res. from a shoe box, cotton wool & 2 elastic bands. I put it down, and he climbed straight into it!  After cleaning up several lots of poo, and realising he had been nibbling on the insulating foam of the outside tap, I began to think he would be better off in the back garden. As he was still in the box, I carried him through and put the box in a sheltered position together with his bowls.
Yum Yum!
 That night, he was out and about in the garden, hopefully eating up my copious supply of slugs and snails. I am gradually reducing the amount of cat food I am giving him, as I am sure he will find more than enough natural food for his needs there. Another good thing is, he will be safe from the road.

Millbrook & RHS WISLEY- Part 2.

Some other lovely plants are these:
Angraecum subulatum.

Orchid: Irene Finney x Spring Best.
My most favourite flower of them all is the one below, called V. SANSAI BLUE (M). It attracted a lot of attention, so obviously, many people felt the same.

The day raced by, most of us had a meal or snack in one of the restaurants there and soon it was time to wend our way back to the coach, after visiting the shop, of course! This lovely colour co-ordinated container was just outside:

Here is a photo of our most senior member of the club, Millie Winter. She had just returned to the coach and was enjoying a well-earned sit down.
 There was much snoozing on our way back to Dagenham as we all relaxed after a busy day. A good time was had by all.

Millbrook Gardens & RHS Wisley. Part one.

Unfortunately, the weather was rather wet, windy and cold , but I think everybody enjoyed the trip, in spite of that. We went first to the garden centre at Millbrook and made use of their cafe for refreshments. It is a very large centre with a good range of products. Back on the coach, we headed for RHS Wisley. The amount of rain we have had recently was evident in the rich green of the fields and several waterlogged areas.

At Wisley we waited while Peter collected and distributed the tickets and then went our separate ways. There were several very large marquees housing a craft exhibition. The range of things for sale was massive, from large outdoor statues made from materials such as stone, bronze and wire, through knitted goods, glass, wood carvings, paintings and hand made jewellery.

A wire sculpture of a witch.
A wire dragon.

The actual gardens were looking a bit sorry for themselves due to the weather. The bulbs were finishing, but there were still some lovely shrubs and planted containers around. The massive greenhouse provided a welcome break from the rain and cold. Inside, the conditions were tropical, to suit the plant requirements. Here are some photos of the plants which caught my eye:

A lovely orchid.

An orchid and fern display.

4 May 2012

April 2012 Meeting.

The hall was a hive of activity at this meeting. Members have started to be booked in, to comply with Health & Safety regulations, so two ladies were doing this at the door and Gina was selling her raffle tickets, as usual. Soon after , the competition fuchsias arrived, this year they are "Walz Jubelteen", a pretty pinky/mauve upward facing variety. Instruction sheets were given out with them. They will be returned in August for judging, as Peter says, dead or alive!

David and Gwen Bendall selling a fuchsia to Kath Dawes

 Jean and Tim from Longhouse Plants were there with a lot of plants for sale. 
Tim also did a very interesting talk on plants in general, climate problems and how they affected his business, details about specific plants he had for sale, and also a question and answer session. Here are some of the plants they had bought:
A sunny Primrose.
An unusual Rhododendron

A lovely collection of plants for sale.

During the break several people took the opportunity to speak to Tim, we had our usual refreshments and the raffle was called.

Jean & Tim amid the plants.

Tim, Peter, Richard 
and Marion Travers

This blog is open to  everybody to contribute to, it would be great if more people did so. Just e-mail Peter (railtonspecial@live.com), or see Jeanette or Hilda at the club meetings or outings.
On the bottom right of the blog is a place to access older Blogs, just click it & you can see previous items.

I thought we might start a section on helpful tips. Here is the first one, from me:
When taking cuttings or pricking out seedlings, to save using so many plant labels, try using different coloured straws. Cut them into about 4 pieces each, put one piece into each pot or tray of seedlings, also one bit into the "mother" plant with the label, or ensure every different tray has at least one label with its' straw, or you won't know which is which! Here is my competition fuchsia which I took some cuttings from, to give you an idea:

The cuttings are draining, prior to being put into an unheated propagator. Note the straws. If you run out of different colours to use, different coloured straws can be combined.