News from the Garden  - November

Season of mists and early frosts

The year continues apace, but there's still plenty going on in the garden with Acers and Hollies stealing the show with their autumn colours and bright read berries.  At last the grass has slowed its rate of growth and the autumn crocuses are starting to make their appearances too. A few hardy roses are still in bloom and the asters and verbena are still putting on a good show. Heucheras and sedums are providing some lower level colour too.

According to the RHS now's the time to be busy preparing your garden for winter, bringing tender plants indoors, wrapping tree palms and other delicate shrubs. Also think about wrapping up your pots and putting them up on pot feet to help prevent water logging. Remember to plant your tulips - sourcing them from suppliers who avoid neonicotinoids and plastic to help minimise your impact on the environment. Remember to collect fallen leaves from lawns and ponds too.

Thank you to everyone who came to our last photography workshop of the year and to Janet for providing a wonderful lunch. We look forward to you sharing your new skills in our Facebook Group and in the club photography competitions too.

This month's meeting is our AGM on 21st November at 7pm. You can find the agenda here. Remember to bring a plate of food to share, we'll keep formalities to a minimum and then enjoy celebrating another fabulous year of MGC events and taking part in a fun gardening themed quiz. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Happy Gardening!

News from the Garden  - September

Autumn's approaching

I think we're all very relieved to have some cooler weather and its been amazing how quickly the lawns have recovered. It was great so see the results of everyone's labours at the annual show with some really beautiful exhibits which impressed the judges and visitors alike. 

The efforts of the local children with their bug houses were amazing, their creativity shone out and their pride was well justified. Some of them even took the flower and handicraft classes by storm too, which was great to see.

September's a busy time for jobs in the garden, with our friends at the RHS again providing some good suggestions. Besides being busy harvesting your fruit and veg you can also start dividing your herbaceous perennials, collect and sow seeds and choose and plant your spring flowering bulbs. 

If your garden has a few gaps you may want to pay a visit to West Kington Nursery for their autumn public sale on the 8th and 9th September.

Our next talk with be an interactive discussion of vintage tools and the social history which accompanies them. That will be on the 19th September. We look forward to seeing you there.

Happy Gardening!

News from the Garden  - August

At last, some rain!

After such a difficult June and July with almost 2 months of drought August has brought some very welcome rain which has helped our gardens no end. Bedding plants and hanging baskets are bringing a riot of colour and roses are in full bloom too.

All our members should now have their Flower Produce and Handicraft show schedules and others can collect them from local shops and businesses. No matter what your skill or ability there's a class for you, in the floral art classes unless otherwise specified you don't need to have grown the flowers and foliage yourself.

For those of you wondering where to start and what to look for in exhibiting at the show our friends at Cheltenham Horticultural Society have provided a helpful guide on what to look for and how to display your exhibits. You can use whatever vases or containers you have available to you which makes for a great display. All entries need to be submitted by 8pm on 22nd August an exhibits may be staged from 8:30am on the 25th.

Jobs for the garden this month, remember to trim your lavender plants back to help prevent them forming excessively woody stems and give them chance to grow and harden off new growth before the winter. Now's the time of year to prune your wisteria too. Other than that keep up with watering and deadheading as needed.

We've a full range of activities lined up in September with an evening visit to Fibrex Nurseries on Tuesday 11th September 6:30pm please make sure that you sign up and let Kate know that you're coming. Our monthly meeting will be an interactive talk on vintage garden tools and the social history surrounding them on the 19th.

Happy Gardening!

News from the Garden  - July

Fighting the drought

It's hard to believe that only a couple of months ago we had never ending rain. The dry weather is making life incredibly hard for our plants at the moment. Not to mention those of us lugging watering cans, water bottles and trying to find innovative ways to capture waste water to use on the garden.

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Open Gardens evening, it was great to see such a variety of styles and maturities of gardens and there was something to inspire in each of them. We even had some visitors from Australia, Canada and the Netherlands join us so it was a truly international affair. The jury's still out on the "Parched peas" but Janet and Bill's hospitality was much appreciated on a hot evening.

There's a new page on the inspiration section from Kiftsgate in June when their Alliums were looking stunning.

This month's advice from the RHS helpfully suggests harvesting your courgettes before they become marrows (Prize for the most obvious hint there!) On a more serious note you should be on the look out for Clematis wilt, Apple Scab and clearing blanket weed and algae from your ponds.

Our August meeting will be on the 15th August when Rob Cole will talk about Autumn Fare at Meadow Farm Garden and Nursery and schedules for the Annual Show will be available at the July and August meetings. 

The Annual show will be on the 25th August.

Happy Gardening!

News from the Garden  - June

Fabulous Flowers

Many of your gardens will be looking at their best now that we've entered early summer with irises and alliums stealing the show and a host of other jewel like specimens waiting in the wings ready to take over. The bees are certainly making the most of the available nectar, have you ever taken a moment to see how many different kinds visit your garden? The Bumblebee Conservation trust have a great guide to bee friendly plants on their website and you can find a handy ID guide here too. 

The RHS summer show season is in full swing and you hopefully will have seen the highlights from Chelsea, Malvern and Chatsworth on Gardeners World. Naturalistic planting is the order of the day if the various shows have been anything to go by with cultivated versions of cow parsley and grasses planting with other natural combinations and plenty of water too. The long borders at Chatsworth with their raised beds were great for getting up close to plants and seeing gardens on a more achievable scale. The orchid display in the great conservatory was sensational too, it was wonderful to see so many unusual varieties together.

Jobs for this month include staking your tall plants, hanging your hanging baskets, watering wisely and planting out your summer bedding plants. Other advice can be found on the RHS website.

Congratulations are in order for one of our members Barry Metcalfe  

who organises the ‘Children’s Allotment Club’, the children’s Competitions in our Shows. He has received a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Awards. It is awarded for meritorious civil service worthy of recognition by the Crown. He will be given the medal by the Lord Lieutenant  and (at a later date ) will attend a ‘garden party’

He was bowled over at the recognition by  the village that he has served so wholeheartedly. It was an event that he never dreamt of and he was thrilled that we all managed to keep the secret for so long. Ann says he was ‘lost for words’…A rare occurrence!

Our next club garden visit will be 10th July to the Court House in Stretton-on-Fosse.

Don't forget our Open Gardens coming up on 20th June. Meet at King George's Hall at 6pm to collect your maps. We've got some beautiful gardens to share ranging from long established ones to some that are brand new. Don't forget to sign up for our Photography Workshop on 24th June too.

Happy Gardening!

News from the Garden  - May

Finally some sunshine!

The Spring show season is well under way now, I'm sure some of you will have made it to the Spring Festival at Malvern, it was great to see Mark Draper's garden having heard him talk a little about it when he came to see us in March. The contrast between the bright geometric shapes and naturalistic planting made for great impact. Another local designer and landscaping partnership of Ruth Gwynn and Keyscape Design and Construction won a gold medal and best in show too. Rapidly approaching are Chelsea Flower Show and Chatsworth too which are bound to be great sources of inspiration too.

More locally Pershore College have their Public Plant Sale on the 19th May, more info here.  If you know of other local events please let us know.

Our gardens are bursting into life now with Vibernums coming into flower and alliums springing up at great speed too. Regular lawn care will have begun too, remember not to cut your lawn too short if you want to stop it drying out too quickly. Plug plants are now widely available and a great way to get colour for your borders with minimal cost. According to the RHS those of you growing potatoes should be earthing them up now and planting any remaining plants too. Remember to keep on top of the weeds which will be trying to make a takeover bid too. For more tips and advice you can go to the RHS site here. Remember to protect your hostas from the local slug and snail populations, Nemotodes and wool pellets can be a big and wildlife friendly help on that mission. Don't forget to check your hedges for nesting birds before trimming them too.

The Chenies Manor visit went really well with lots of inspiration gained. Thanks to Janet for capturing some photos for the rest of us to enjoy. Our next club garden visit will be 10th July to the Court House in Stretton-on-Fosse.

Don't forget our Open Gardens coming up on 20th June. Meet at King George's Hall at 6pm to collect your maps. We've got some beautiful gardens to share ranging from long established ones to some that are brand new. Don't forget to sign up for our Photography Workshop on 24th June too.

Happy Gardening!

The unpredictable spring weather is continuing, and I'm sure that many of you did some sun dancing in the hope of having some beautiful flowers to exhibit in the Spring Show. It clearly paid off with some stunning exhibits on display.

This is a prime time of year to be planting your seeds for summer displays and many of the bulb wholesalers have great deals on summer flowering bulbs and tubers too. 

The RHS suggest that we should be feeding hungry shrubs and roses, giving our lawns some TLC and tying in rambling and climbing roses. The full list is here.

Our trip to the Garden House on 22nd April was a great success. Thanks to Kate for organising it. You can find some pictures in the inspiration section of the website.

The sharp eyed amongst you will have spotted a new event on the calendar, on Sunday 24th June we'll be running an Introduction to Garden Photography Workshop. Starting at 10am we'll explain the basics of photography and help you to capture beautiful images of your own garden and those that you visit. All abilities and cameras are welcome, you'll be surprised at what you can achieve with just a little thought and some post processing magic. The cost will be just £20 and includes a tasty  lunch before we finish at 1:30pm.

Our Club meeting on May 16th will have Jack Willgoss talking about ‘Wildgoose Nursery and their viola collection. How to grow violas and their top 20 varieties’He and his wife, Laura, were RHS Gold medalists at Malvern in 2014 & 15 and achieved a Silver gilt medal at Chelsea in 2015 &16. The meeting is in the King George’s Hall in Mickleton at 7.00pm for a 7.30pm start and we very much welcome visitors! The competition will be ‘Three violas in a container’ (Single or mixed) We are also revving-up for our Open Gardens evening, on June 20th, for members and their guests More feasts for the eyes!

Happy gardening!

News from the Garden  - March

Has Spring finally arrived?

After being under feet of snow at the start of the month it's finally beginning to feel like spring. The days are getting longer and our gardens are starting to come to life again.

Now is the time to plant your summer and autumn flowering bubs and tubers ready for a stunning display of Dahlias and Lilies. Some websites will let you choose the month of flowering so you can plan your displays for colour all summer round. If you decide to plant some lilies make sure you choose the right kind of lily for the soil you have: Longiflorum and trumpet lilies will be happy in limey soil, oriental lilies prefer acidic and species lilies will thrive in most soil conditions. For other March jobs the RHS top ten are here. For those of you battling with slugs it's time to get those nemotodes in action to help your spring shoots survive.

The National Garden Scheme is underway and you can find open gardens near you using the National Garden Scheme App on your smartphone.

If you're wondering how your garden compares to others at this time of year there are a few pictures from Hidcote now in the Inspiration Section.

It's not long until the Spring Show now too, the schedule can be seen here and we'll be sharing some hints and tips for anyone wondering what's involved so you can all have a go.

Our visit to The Garden House at Condicote has now been rearranged for 11am on the 22nd April and we will be meeting at King George's Hall at 10:30am. Full details are on the Programme page.

Hopefully you all enjoyed the talk from Mark Draper on the 21st March. Our speaker next month is Martin Hayes of the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust who will be talking about efforts to restore Gloucestershire's orchards.

Happy Gardening!

ENTRY FORMS for the Children’s Competition at the Gardening Club’s Spring Show on SATURDAY, APRIL 14th, can be obtained from the Nisa store, the Post Office and the village school.

The title of the competition is;


Entry is FREE.

The children create animals from fruit, vegetables and props which will be supplied.

There will be 3 age groups (5 to 7, 7 to 11, 11 to 13) and 1st, 2nd & 3rd certificates and small prizes will be given to each group.

‘Creation time’ is 10.15am until 11.15am.

Viewing is from 11.15am until 12.30pm. 

Prize giving is at 12.30pm

PLEASE RETURN THE ENTRY FORMS TO THE Post Office or NISA store ……….Not to the school. BY APRIL 1ST so that we can make sure we have enough materials for everyone.

Ann and Barry Metcalfe will be overseeing the competition and we all wish every entrant LOTS OF GOOD LUCK!!

News from the Garden  - February 

The More it Rains Tiddly Pom.....

Will this rain ever end?! This must be the hardest time of year, you've got great ideas for things you want to get cracking with, but every moment you think about getting out the heavens open yet again!

By contrast you may be wondering what you "should" be doing at this time of the year. Thankfully the RHS have already thought of that for us and come up with handy Top 10 jobs lists on a month by month basis. You can find them for February here and March here.

Some of the local gardens have some stunning displays of snowdrops Batsford was looking particularly beautiful in the sun this week. You can have a look on our inspiration page to see them in all their glory

Hellebores are the stars of the winter garden with many beautiful colours to brighten up the dreary days before the spring bulbs come to life. Ashwood nurseries have a helpful guide on looking after your new hellebores here, you can even go and visit their nursery for a Hellebore tour on the 17th February. Don't forget our first talk of the year will be on Wednesday 21st February - Look forward to seeing you all then.

Happy Gardening!