Eight members of the group met at member Margaret’s house on Burnham High Street on 21 May.
Everyone was fascinated to see Margaret’s South-facing courtyard garden hidden away between the High Street and the River. A marvelous wisteria in full flower has draped itself all over the back wall of the house and the small garden is full of ideas and interesting plants many of which are growing up the courtyard walls.
A lovely clematis was coming into bloom, a prolific camellia was coming to the end of blooming, deep pink roses, just starting to come out, grew on a wall around a stylish ‘window’ which everyone quickly realised was a mirror – such a clever idea. A small raised pond adds to the interest but may in time be redeveloped as a seating area as it gets the last of the sun from the West. ‘A gem of a courtyard garden’ was the view of the group.
As usual the group discussed ideas, results of their own attempts to germinate/propagate seeds and plants and observations, for example the blossom this year – long lasting and plentiful and the lovely display of aquilegias in many gardens at the moment. Some tips included: growing calundula to attract hover flies which eat greenfly; adding a little cooking oil to washing up liquid in water to spray blackfly. Some members offered others results of self-seeded lavender and also of hellebores. Everyone agreed that with the sun and recent rain, weeds are currently ‘going mad’!
A lot of the group’s discussion was about ideas for possible future trips. We had a look at the NGS (National Garden Scheme) brochure for Essex and agreed to visit Woodpeckers in Burnham when it opens in September. Bev mentioned her recent visit to the Essex Young Farmers’ show at Roxwell which included various local crafts and food stalls and a herb stall selling, at reasonable prices, an exceptionally wide range of herbs. Bradwell open gardens is on Sunday 31 May from 10am. We plan to attend the Hyde Hall garden show at the end of July and probably have a group picnic there. Beeleigh Abbey is another venue the group plans to visit, probably in June to see the roses and to enjoy tea together. In the Autumn we plan to visit Marks Hall (near Coggeshall). Another visit is likely to be made to the Friary Garden in Maldon later in the year. Members also discussed the pros and cons of attending the RHS shows at Chelsea (next year) and Hampton Court. Clive mentioned the possibility of attending the Hampton Court show with Fords coach company and this is something we will look at for next year.