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Great Haseley and District Horticultural Society - March 2017

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Yesterday I spent the day in the garden continuing the cut-back and weeding.

  It was a pleasure to feel the warmth of the sun, albeit rather hazy. After such a long cold period, it is noticeable that only a few days of warmth have kick-started growth.  Most obvious is the rapid development of bulbs. Snowdrops are looking magnificent and are being joined by the cheery yellow of aconites and the blue Anemone blanda and Scillas.  If the daffodils hurry up, then we will have quite a show although even my early tulips are a long way behind and barely out of the ground.

Primroses have been flowering since November, but are now getting into their stride.  I love their delicate yellow and the way they seed around so much, popping up in any situation; they are especially happy in the gravel of the drive and require virtually no care whatsoever, even growing in fairly shady places.  I can recommend them without hesitation.  Not so welcome is the widespread seeding of a particularly wishy-washy pink geranium which I purchased at a National Trust garden thinking it was another variety entirely.  When it flowered, I should have removed it immediately; it will trouble me for many years now.  The old saying that one year’s seed is seven years’ weeds is ever correct.  One definition of a weed is any plant that is in the wrong place or is overwhelming the desired planting so there are many garden plants that readily become weeds.  Two prolific seeding plants that are an endless weeding problem in my garden are Hesperis matronalis (sweet rocket) which has already germinated and Verbena bonariensis which is yet to appear.  I can’t complain too much as I would not wish to be without either, but their presence certainly increases my workload.  Do keep up with weeding out unwanted seedlings as growth is rapid from now.

I had not appreciated just how much rain we have had until I ventured into the bottom of the field where there is standing water.  Clearly, I cannot start sowing seed in my vegetable garden yet.  While a cloche would allow the soil to warm and keep the rain off, it would not dry the soil very much when the water table is so high that water is lying on the surface; this is where raised beds have a very valuable role to play in raising the growing area out of the wet.

Thanks to the mild weather all the scented winter flowering plants are preforming well and I was surrounded by heady fragrance as I worked yesterday; you may well smell Daphne ‘Jacqueline Postil’ as you pass my garden gate and she is now so tall she can be seen over the wall!

Liz Moyses, Membership secretary, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
01844 279875

Thank you to those members who have already paid their subscription for 2016 and may I remind other members that your subscription is now overdue and will be gratefully received; you must be in good standing to vote at the AGM.
Don't forget the AGM at 7.30pm on Wednesday 22nd March in Great Haseley Village Hall - all welcome. More details to follow.