This months speaker was Kevin Tooher, talking about Sustainability. He is a tutor at Hadlow College, Kent and had the t-shirt on to prove it. I'm afraid I can't illustrate this to you, as his talk was so interesting, I forgot to take a photo! I do apologise. He judges for several gardening organisations as well as lecturing and giving talks to clubs such as ours. Before that he was a policeman.
He gave us several ideas on recycling and lots of practical tips. For example, stored water absorbs heat during the day and gives it out during the night, therefore, if you could acquire a container and leave it in a greenhouse, it could actually stop everything getting frosted. He advised us to feed the garden about now, to replace the nutrients lost because of the excessive rain last year. The use of water buts, composting, wormeries, using Tiger worms for preference, was also discussed. He told us not to add citrus peels or anything acidic to them, as the worms don't like it. When using the compost bins, save the vegetation to go into the bin in an old compost bag hidden away somewhere and add it to the bin in one go, instead of in dribs and drabs. That way the composting action is much increased, it heats up quicker, destroying weeds and sterilising everything faster and more efficiently. He showed us examples of Green roofs and walls, which are becoming more common. When planting a meadow he advised using a plant called Yellow Rattle to reduce the fertility of the grass to allow the flowers to flourish. He had hoped that we had wi-fi, but we don't, in order to see a video clip called "The Urban Gorilla" on U-Tube, so if you have Internet access, check it out, it is supposed to be good.
While on the subject of the Internet and recycling, there is a site called FREECYCLE (Google it), where you can register and either ask for things, or offer things for free. No money changes hands, it is just to stop things going to landfill. You remember the saying, that one man's trash is another man's treasure? This is the perfect example. I have used it several times.
It was a busy evening, as the fuchsias for the competition were being sold. This year the variety is "Ballerina Dreams". Peter had printed a sheet with hints and tips for everyone, with the usual prompt to bring it back "dead or alive, but preferably alive", in August for the judging.
Gwen & David Bendall selling me my fuchsia plant.
The raffle was picked as usual during the interval, where we all enjoyed our tea or coffee and a biscuit. Here are two of the lucky winners discussing their prizes.
After the interval, Kevin did a question and answer session, covering a lot of queries from the members. It was a thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining and informative evening. We all enjoyed it.