Meeting Reports

Report on Roger Hiron's talk - Sep 2017
Wolfgang Bopp nearest the camera introducing our members to the head bust of Sir Harrold the founder of the gardens in his favourite part of the gardens close to Jermyn’s House during the July visit.
October Meeting - Thursday 12 October - Talk by Wilf Simcox; "Your Lawn"
Wilf provided information about the history of lawns in gardening and informed us about what is required to achieve a good lawn result and provided examples of what causes lawns to fail.   Probably the most important point for the average gardener is to cut too short the grass when it is mown.    A full report will be available here soon.  Members Score 8/10
September Meeting - Thursday 14 September - Talk by Roger Hirons; "Perennials for Everyone 
Roger began his talk by explaining that there are over 2000 Herbaceous perennials and that their advantage is that they are divisible by root.   During its dormant period the plant can be dug up and the root divided into sections.   The original plant can be replanted and the plantlets potted up and planted out when new growth has formed.   Prior to the introduction of plastic flower pots in 1969, nurseries would sell the plantlets bare-rooted from plants they grew in fields. A comprehensive report is     Members Score 9.5/10                           
August Meeting - Thursday 10 August - Visit to Shore Leave Haslar  The Club held another successful away day this time part of the Club's programme and 30+ members made their way by car to Haslar Hospital and were greeted by Shore Leave's Manager and staff and were divided into two groups and shown around the very interesting memorial gardens which date to the 18th Century and are used by ex service personnel who use gardening as a therapy.    It was very interesting to see their techniques and the large amount of flowers and vegetables that they grow on the site.    Afterwards we sat down with coffee, tea, biscuits and cakes and enjoyed the gardens with many of the members purchasing the various items on sale which support this charity.    Everyone agreed it was another successful Club Night and for the record it was a lovely summer's evening.
July Meeting - Thursday 13 July - Visit to Sir Harold Hillier's Garden Romsey      
This was the first time that the Club has undertook an away trip, other to St Margaret's Nursery locally and employed member's cars to undertake the trip to keep the cost down.    The Club do not usually have a meeting in July so when the members indicated they would like to visit Sir Harold Hillier's Gardens and have a guided tour by the Director; Wolfgang Bopp who visited us during 2016 and talked about the gardens, we arranged a visit which attracted an additional charge of £12 each.
What a wonderful occasion, we had, 30 members attend and the travel arrangements worked very well indeed.   On a wonderful summers evening we were treated to a sumptuous amount of information on an array of plants, shrubs and trees, that Wolfgang has an incredible knowledge of.    Wolfgang's passion showed through the two and a half hours we had him to ourselves.   
I think all of those who were there would agree it was a unique occasion and we were privileged to have been there.   As dusk started to descend we made our way back to our starting point of Jermyn's House, for a welcome drink and nibbles that were demolished quickly, the walk and talk having built an appetite!  The Chairman presented Wolfgang with a donation cheque from the Club which will go towards the gardens.    The Club Members showed their appreciation for Wolfgang's tour by a very generous round of applause.     
Photo 1 (Top Right) - Our members listening to Wolfgang's introduction.  Photo 2 - Jermyn's House.   Photo 3 - The wonderful flower beds of Centenary Border. Photo 4 - Wolfgang introducing us to one of the rarest trees in the world the Wollemia nobilis Pine. This tree was only known through fossil records until the Australian species was discovered in 1994 in a temperate rainforest wilderness area of the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales by David Noble a field officer,   Photo 5 - Another photo of Centenary Border.  Photo 6 - Members being briefed on the array of trees. Photo 7 - One of the unusual specimens of spruce trees Picea glauca or 'Alberta Globe'.  Photo 8 - A very usual bamboo; phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis from Eastern China which has green markings on either other segment of bamboo on each side.
2017 Auction - Auctioneer Glenn and Treasurer Tiffany look on as Jan and Keith Purnell display at Lot to the bidders.
June Meeting Saturday 10 June - Garden Plant and Item Auction 
This event was originally scheduled for Thursday 8 June but the unexpected calling of a General Election meant that the Club were unable to use the Catisfield Memorial Hall for this evening because it was being used as a Polling Station and we had to look for alternatives.   The other users of the hall each Thursday were unwilling to give up one of their Thursdays in June and with no other evenings available John Ekins kindly negotiated with the Village Association for us to use the hall jointly with them, which they had booked for their Open Gardens event. 
The Auction was successful because it raised £291 for the Club and was enjoyed by those members who attended particularly as they picked up some real bargains.   It was disappointing that both numbers of members attending and donated items from members were down significantly from last year.   The amount raised was healthy however (about £20 down on the previous year) and we were left thinking how much more we would have made for the club if we had more members attend for we had 10 more lots and overall the lots available were of a high quality.   The Chairman and Committee are very grateful indeed to those members who provided us with donated items and those members and others who came along to the Auction and generously purchased items.   Particularly supportive was St Margaret’s Nursey who provided an amazing amount of plants and gardening items to purchase such as a tray of 18 geraniums going for £1.50. 
Perhaps the Qualcast Electric Lawnmower and Strimmer worth approx. £100 (the lawnmower hardly used and the strimmer not at all) going for £30 was the bargain of the auction and a St Margaret’s display hanging basket with over £45 worth of plants going for £11 being the star attractions.   
May Meeting - 'A Practical Demonstration of Gardening Techniques' - Brian Kidd - Members Score 9.5/10
Brian used his normal style of a laid back practical presentation with humour  to entertain the members with something he called ‘Four plants and a job!’   Notes of Brian's talk are shown at the to of this page.
April Meeting - 13 April - 'Plant Propagation from seed/softwood cuttings & Colourful Summer Containers - Peter Chivers - Members Score 6.3/10
Peter provided the members with a good demonstration of taking cuttings from softwood examples mainly and followed this up in the second half with a demonstration of constructing containers for the summer.   His practical work was enhanced with a camera which projected onto the screen behind him what he was doing. 
March Meeting - 9 March 2017 - 'Roses' by Glenn Duggan - Members Score 8.7/10
The Chairman opened the meeting by announcing that the speaker; Stewart Pocock had to withdraw the day before he was due to address the Club because he was ill.  This was the first time that a speaker had not been able to attend, certainly in the last 3 years and is always difficult especially with the lack of notice for the Club to provide an alternative speaker. 
The Chairman mentioned that he had always had an interest in roses and he in particular had been looking forward to what Stewart had to say.    Determined not to let the Club and its members down the Chairman had put together a presentation in very quick time and he delivered it to the members.     Glenn started off by providing a quick history of roses which originate in the Northern Hemisphere in a wide range of areas from North America, Europe, North Africa and China.    There are approximately 100 to 150 wild rose species found in those areas.    Roses date back to something like 35 to 70 million years old.    Nowadays thanks cultivars there are approximately 30,000 species of roses world wide and they are grown in all locations where it is possible to grow roses.
Glenn then turned his attention to what is needed to grow roses well.   They need at least 4 hours of direct sunlight each day to achieve best growing conditions.    There are however a number of species that do not require that sunlight (at least 60 are found in the David Austin catalogue.   Glenn then explained with the aid of the Power Point presentation how to plant and look after roses.    In particular he focused on the amount of watering each rose bush requires dependent upon the rainfall and the time of the year and the soil conditions.    As a broad guide an established rose needs 5-10 litres of water at least once a week in summer.   Glenn also covered pruning, mulching, taking cuttings, prolonging roses as cut flowers etc.
He then covered some "off the wall" rose items such as the use of potatoes in taking cuttings, the use of banana skins in providing nutrients to roses and how to create multiple coloured roses using a while rose and food colouring.    By the end of the meeting everyone agreed that the absence of our published speaker had been brilliantly covered by our chairman who had provided an entertaining and informative talk.   The icing on the cake was that as no fee  had to be paid to the speaker the club had spent some money in purchasing 6 rose bushes for members to try their new found knowledge to plant and look after.  Members were invited to answer 6 questions posed from the presentation and the 6 lucky prize winners took their rose bushes home with them!
February Meeting - 9 February 2017 - John Trim 'Vegetables all the Year Around' - Members Score 8.5/10
A new record was set for Catisfield Gardening Club when for the February 2017 meeting 53 attended which is 7 more than the previous record set last April when 46 members attended the talk by Sandy Worth "A Passion for Poppies".    Those that attended heard a master describe their work, for John Trim is indeed a master of vegetables and the successful growing of them not only for consumption but for showing them and winning national prizes.    What impressed everyone is the amount of dedication that goes into the raising of crops.    John has a great eye for detail and the work involved is amazing - what a a talk, and what a great start to our season.    We are delighted that 16 new members have joined the Club and with approximately 10 to 15 of last year's members expected to rejoin I think we can expect the attendance record to be broken in the coming months.

John Trim's advice can be found at the following link:

This link takes you to John’s 18 pages on the advice section of the very useful Allotment & Garden Web Site which has a wealth of advice.     At the link click on each of the sub sections such as “Growing Potatoes for Show Cultivation” and you will find John’s advice on the right Compost Mix for Show Potatoes which everyone was interested to make a note of.

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