A Survival Guide for House Plants

As the sweltering summer continues we held our July meeting with windows & doors wide open, which had amusing consequences when a passing dog came in to see what was happening. Our speaker Philip Aubury gamely continued whilst the charming intruder was safely returned to his owner! Philip gave a very informative talk on a survival guide for conservatory & house plants including the best situations for different types of plants, watering, suitable composts, feeds and pest controls. It was interesting that whilst he much prefers organic pest controls, he finds peat-free composts more of a challenge and uses more traditional peat-based ones instead (except for orchids of course!), adding vermiculite or washed sand instead depending on the plant's requirements. He then went on to a practical demonstration of how to increase our stocks with the best propagation methods for various species, and how to pot on plants that outgrow their space. He brought a good selection of plants that we could browse whilst having our refreshments. He judged our monthly competition "Plant in an unusual pot" & the winner was Rosalie Allden's orchid in a Head Gardener mug with Shelley Tunnicliffe 2nd & Sylvia Nunn 3rd. Now we are looking forward to an open garden evening for members & their guests at Lilac Cottage on Friday 3rd August with Sylvia's kind permission (and very hard work!), fingers crossed for the weather. Also if you check out the Annual Show page on this website you'll find the list of this year's classes and full paper schedules for the event will be available at our August meeting. In the meantime if you'd like a word version of the schedule or separate entry form please email me at deborah.gardening@live.com. I hope they'll both be available to download from here soon.