A very friendly group with a shared interest in plants and gardens


The committee met last Tuesday for the first time since March in the pleasant surroundings of our Chairman’s garden at ‘Longmeadow’ Alderholt.

Unanimous agreement was reached on many matters that need to be reported to you.

The meeting on 30th November that was to have been our AGM is cancelled due to the continuing uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. A full programme of meetings and speakers for next year is in place, even though it is looking extremely unlikely that we will be meeting in January in view of the continuing restrictions announced in the past few days and the difficulties of holding gatherings indoors at venues like Avonway. Therefore, everything remains on hold until we announce otherwise.

At the moment we do not intend to make any arrangements for an outing next year, so monies being held by the Society for the trip to Abbotsbury Gardens that we had to cancel in June will now be refunded in full to those that had booked. Our treasurer will be in touch with those affected during the course of the next ten days or so.

Annual subscriptions for 2021 are being waived for the 36 members that paid their subscription of £10 this year. Of the membership of 53 for 2019, there are 17 that did not renew this year. I will continue to include everyone on the distribution list for emails and newsletters for the time being. If you want to ensure that you remain a member, with voting rights at an AGM when we are able to hold one, please send your £10 subscription to our treasurer in the usual way. Remember that if you have already paid for 2020, you are not being asked to pay again for 2021. Of course donations are always welcomed, as funds this year lack any revenue from car park plant sales, or the bring & buy table sales at our monthly meetings.   

You will probably recall that when we met in January and February before lockdown intervened, a collecting box was available for members to contribute towards the Avonway Roof Appeal. The amount collected was £100 and this sum has been sent to Avonway’s Chairman for the Appeal Fund.  Thank you to everyone that made a contribution.

Seed catalogues from Dobies, our usual supplier, are expected in October. I will deliver a catalogue to the eight members that had a catalogue for 2020; discount levels remain as before – 35% off seeds and 10% on many other items. Any member that has not taken advantage of the generous discounts offered by Dobies previously, may do so by emailing me with a request for a catalogue.

In regard to the Society’s website www.fanddhs.org.uk the very successful photo galleries of spring and summer in our gardens is to be extended by the inclusion of an Autumn Gallery. So now it’s time to get busy with your cameras once again and send me your pictures, please. Unfortunately the Outside World Gallery was not the success I had anticipated, so that page will be taken down from the website shortly.

That covers everything from the Committee meeting, so we now move on to a few Gardening Hints and Topical Tips pu together for us by David Manston

1  Now is the time to think of Spring. i.e. Daffodils and Tulips etc.

After buying your Daffodils, now is the time to plant them. Choose your site and plant 4ins deep. If using containers or pots for showing (10in pots) use John Innes No 3 compost. Fill to a depth of one third and add a layer of grit. Grow 3 bulbs to a pot and then fill. Move to a sheltered position until Mid-February when they will be moved to the greenhouse to flower. Do not stand pots on bare earth as they will root through and

be damaged when moved.

This also applies to tulips but they are planted at the end of October, 5 of these can be grown to a pot. Florists buckets are ideal for both daffodils  and tulips, With drainage holes drilled in the bottom.

2  Trim and shape shrubs now and remove any dead material.

3  Complete the  cutting of hedges etc.

4  Sow seed of Exhibition onions now; Kelsae variety is suggested.

5  Sow late winter lettuce seed in the greenhouse. Tom Thumb is reliable.

6  Start winter digging of the veg patch for next year at the end of October. Weeds should not regrow after this.

7  Lift and store Dahlia tubers after the first frost. (if when removing foliage it is cut up into small  6in pieces and allowed to wither they can be buried in the vegetable patch acting as a green manure.

8  Now is the time to repair lawns. i.e. levelling humps and dips and also removing any suspect turf and re-seeding.

Well, there are plenty of jobs to get done, so I expect you’ll soon be busy tackling them.

I will keep in touch with everyone during the coming months, but meanwhile please check our website from time to time to see if any new pictures have been added to the Autumn Gallery.