Successful Clematis Growing

Pam’s lovely Skimmia with three branches on a single stem

Our new season’s programme started on a chilly but dry evening with a good turnout of members & guests enjoying Mark Smith’s talk. His engaging and refreshing approach blew away some of the old techniques and myths, with a simple “mean method” of care and pruning that he learnt some years ago from renowned Clematis breeder Raymond Evison. He gave details of some good new varieties and had a range of suggestions for more unusual uses too, such as in hanging baskets and as ground cover.

Mark chatting to members after his stalk

After his talk he drew our raffle and judged the first of the new round of competitions for the Trudi Brearley Challenge Trophy, which will be the same each month so less restrictive and encouraging members to bring whatever’s looking good in their gardens: “A single seasonal stem, home-grown”. Points are awarded each month and the highest total over the whole period wind the Trophy. This time the winner was Pam, with Sylvia 2nd and Rosalie 3rd.

Sylvia’s Mahonia and Rosalie’s Sarcococca

Our usual refreshments followed the raffle, with free books and magazines to take home as well as catching up with friends after the festive season. A very good start to 2024 with several new members joining too, onwards and upwards!