The Potting Shed

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Xmas lunch Feb. 6th, 2013 @ 07:28 pm
This week was Christmas lunch week! Yippee!

The food was plentiful and good, and I think we all had a very good time. So, a big thank you is due to Shirley, for all her hard work in arranging this.

Thank you, Shirley

Same time next year?

Current Mood: full

Week 3 Feb. 6th, 2013 @ 07:12 pm
And the wintry weather continues - it will be so nice when the soil dries out and we can get back into the garden again.

There were no takers for Plant of the Week this week, so on Tuesday, I stole Shirley's images for her forthcoming plant of the week for Friday's group, and on Friday, I followed up Judy's Tuesday presentation of Veltheimia.

The Astrantia images will follow later, when Shirley has done her presentation - I don't want to steal all her thunder...

Our Sites of the Week handout is here:

Sites of the Week 3 )

Our main topic was The Garden in February, and here's the handout:

The Garden in February )

Does anyone want to comment, or ask questions?

Current Mood: creative

Week 2 - Garden Design Jan. 25th, 2013 @ 06:00 pm
Week 2 has been a bit hit and miss. Everything was fine on Tuesday, but on Friday, my car sulked and refused to start, so we cancelled the session. Sorry, folks.

So, here's what we talked about on Tuesday, and will be talking about on Friday.

Our Plants of the Week this term will be long-flowering plants, plants that give us a lot of petal power over a long period.

Judy introduced us to Veltheimia, a bulb growing as a house or conservatory plant in this country, with lovely waved and crimped leaves, and a red hot poker-type flower. Veltheimia is from South Africa, and flowers at this time of the year, Christmas/January. Mine have been kept cooler and are just now starting to open. They'll be in flower for a month or more.

Here are the images:


Here are our Sites of the Week:

Sites of the Week )

Our main topic was Garden Design, and we had a chat about issues facing members. Here's the handout:

Garden Styles )

Got any comment? Leave them below.

Next week, we'll be looking at the Garden in February

Current Mood: cold

A New Term and a New Start Jan. 25th, 2013 @ 03:45 pm
This journal hasn't been updated in a while. Sorry about that - it's been a case of so much to do, so little time...

But, let's see if we can make a whole new start for 2013.

The snow has put an abrupt ending to any winter jobs we might have been doing, but hopefully warmer weather will move in this weekend, and it will be possible to get back to work rather than just staring moodily out of the window, thinking of all those things-to-do that are piling up.

In the meantime, here's what we have been talking about.

In week 1, we looked at the weird and wonderful beauty of Cacti and Succulents.

Here are the images:

Cacti and Succulents images

And here is the handout:

Cacti and Succulents handout )

Our sites of the week are here:

Sites of the week )

Does anyone have anything to share about these topics? If so, just comment below.

Current Mood: cold

Week 5 Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 07:02 pm
So, we're half way through the term already. My, but that has flown, hasn't it?

This week our plants of the week were Tulips from Tracy, Forsythia from John, and on Tuesday, Margaret bravely took on both Paeonia rockii and Fritillaria meleagris.

Images are here:

Tulips, Paeonia rockii, and Fritillaria meleagris

We had Forsythia last week, from Joan on Tuesday, and so images will be a little further back in the album.

Our main topic was our seed sowing experiment, and so the Sites of the Week mirrored that. Here's the handout:

Sites of the Week )

Our main topic, the seed experiment, will be something we keep coming back to, but here is the list of seeds that someone, somewhere is trying!

Agastache Sunset Yellow
Antirrhinum Madame Butterfly
Campanula punctata Beetroot
Doronicum caucasicum magnificum
Erysimum Little Kiss Lilac
Hollyhock Chater’s Double
Iberis Snowflake
Lavender Munstead
Lupin Gallery mixed
Papaver orientale
Pyrethrum King

Primula pulverulenta
Helenium autumnale Rotgold
Achillea clytopetala
Linaria purpurea Canon Went
Verbascum chaixii album
Potentilla nepalensis Roxanna
Thalictrum rochebrunianum
Fibigia clypeata
Alcea rosea nigra
Thermopsis lanceolata
Aster ericoides
Kniphofia triangularis
Papaver orientale Beauty of Livermere
Hesperis matronalis
Delphinium belladonna Cliveden Beauty
Teucrium hircanicum Purple Tails
Veronica gentianoides

The seeds are old-fashioned perennials which should be relatively easy to germinate. The experiment will last through into next term, and everyone participating has two different sorts to try. Please remember that you're growing them for the whole group and, if possible, for both groups.

Good luck!

Current Mood: sympathetic
Other entries
» Week 4
Another week of mouth-watering plants of the week. Doesn't it make you itch to get out in the garden once more?

On Tuesday, Judy gave us Chionodoxa, and Joan told us about Forsythia. On Friday, Margaret gave us Magnolia stellata and Carole told us about miniature, and other, Narcissi.

Pictures are here, at Photobucket:

Magnolia stellata, miniature Narcissi, Forsythia and Chionodoxa

There is interesting information about some of the Forsythias. We mentioned that the French are breeding some much smaller new varieties which ought to be more suited to modern gardens. Here's how - this information was picked up from a gardening blog, from an entry about Forsythia Gold Tide.

GOLD TIDE is the product of certain experiments in France, in which plants of Forsythia x intermedia ‘Spring Glory’ were irradiated with gamma rays. Seed from subsequent open pollination was collected and planted, and one of the resulting seedlings was named ‘Courtasol’.

Courtasol is the temporary name for Gold Tide, and the other dwarf French varieties have similar registration names - Boucle d'Or is Courtacour and Casque d'Or is Courdijau, for example. So, I imagine these are all seedlings from that experiment. Will the dwarfing last? Will it have other effects? Interesting...

Let me know what you think of such experiments.

Our main topic was about pruning. Sadly, I can't post the handout with the pruning table on it - I can't seem to work out whether tables can be posted to a journal, sorry. So, you'll just have to make do with the hard copy and the pruning links on our Sites of the Week. Here's the handout:

Sites of the Week )

» Week 3
What a week - winter has finally arrived with shivers and snow. But, we brightened ourselves up with some lovely plants of the week.

On Friday, Jean drew the short straw for both bulb and shrub for February, and she told us about Muscari and Skimmia. On Tuesday, Robert told us about snowdrops, and Sheila introduced us to Winter Aconites, Eranthis.

Snowdrops (Galanthus) are already at Photobucket from last week, but the others are in the usual place:

Eranthis, Muscari and Skimmia

Also on that Photobucket link, you will find images of Phalaenopsis Blue Mystique, syn Royal Family. This is a blue Phalaenopsis, created by a patented process that does not involve painting, spraying or hybridizing. What it does involve is injecting dye into the flowering stem of a white Phalaenopsis. It seems that these are selling for twice the price of undyed plants. So, what do you think about that?

There were queries about where to buy some of the rarer Eranthis - both the white ones in particular. This nursery, Rare Plants, supplies them:

I had to use the search facility, because Eranthis don't appear on the menu list, but they are there.

Also, Crug Farm have Eranthis pinnatifida:

Edrom Nurseries have a range that includes E. pinnatifida:

Wallet warning - the unusual ones aren't cheap!

Our sites of the week are here:

Sites of the Week 3 )

Our main topic for the week was The Garden in February. Here's the handout:

The Garden in February )

We also lookad at some items of news - here they are:

Moss under the microscope )

Carbon emissions to defer the Ice Age? )

Galanthophiles )

Next week, we're going to look at Pruning, so don't forget to do the homework!

Stay warm!

» Christmas lunch
Everyone agreed that a good time was had by all at the Christmas Lunch. For that, a big thank you is due to Shirley, who did all the hard work of organizing the event.


*Thank you*, Shirley from everyone.


» Week 2
We had some more interesting Plants of the Week, this week.

On Tuesday, Robert told us about Viburnum tinus and Judy told us about Lonicera x purpusii Winter Beauty.

On Friday, Margaret told us about the snowdrop, Galanthus, and Tracy told us about Sarcococca, Christmas Box.

All those images are here (after the images for Orchids, our main topic for this week):

Viburnum tinus, Lonicera x purpusii Winter Beauty, Galanthus and Sarcococca

The Sites of the Week handout is here - jut click on the links in the handout to go to the relevant websites:

Sites of the Week )

Our main topic for this week is popular Orchids. Here are the handouts:

Cymbidiums )

Dendrobium nobile )

Phalaenopsis )

Orchid images are here:


Any questions? Comments?

Next week, we're looking at the Garden in February, so don't forget to have a look at your Garden Diary.

» Spring Term - Week 1
Here we are, a new year, a new term, and a new venue for the Tuesday Group.

I hope everyone finds the new venue comfortable. There is the disadvantage of not easily being able to photocopy, but I'm sure we'll deal with that. I'd be interested to hear what you think about the Centre.

Here's the Course Programme for this term:

Course Programme )

Our Internet Sites of the Week are here:

Sites of the Week 1 )

And our main topic was the Garden in January. The handout is here:

The Garden in January )

And here is something seasonal to enjoy - images of Schlumbergera:

Schlumbergera, Christmas Cactus

Don't forget that next session, those of you who are doing a Plant of the Week are going to tell us which ones you're planning to do. Presentations for the coming week are going to be from Robert and Judy on Tuesday, and from Margaret and Tracy on Friday.

» Week 10
For our last week of term, we looked at the Garden In December.

The handout is here:

The Garden in December )

Our internet sites of the week are here:

Sites of the Week )

» Week 9
I'm afraid that we have had a bit of hiatus between Week 8, and now, because I'm catching up with this after the start of the spring term. However, I shall try to remember what we did!

Our plants of the week for week 9 were Crocus laevigatus from Jean, and Mahonia from Carole.

Our main topic was Shrubs for Autumn Interest. The handouts are here:

Autumn Interest )

Autumn Interest Shrubs )

Images for the Plants of the Week and the Autumn Interest Shrubs are all here:

Crocus laevigatus, Mahonia and Autumn Interest Shrubs

Our internet sites of the week are here:

Sites of the Week )

» Week 8
Hopefully, by next week, it will be possible to confirm to everyone where we will be next term, and what the term dates will be.

For this week's Plants of the Week, we had Hippeastrums from Maureen and Hamamelis from Jean on Tuesday. On Friday, we had hollies, or Ilex, from Shirley, and Nerine from Margaret.

Images are here:

Hamamelis and Hippeastrum, Ilex and Nerine

Our sites of the week are here:

Sites of the Week )

Our main topic was Wildlife in the garden. We had a good discussion about the wildlife that we'd seen in our gardens, and here is the handout, on how to care for wildlife:

Looking After Wildlife )

» Week 7
It's week 7 and gardens are really starting to wind down for winter. Our Plants of the Week for Tuesday were Schizostylis (thankfully, now Hesperantha) from Judy, and winter flowering Daphnes from Hugh. For Friday, we were given Hibiscus and autumn-flowering Crocuses, both from Enid.

Images are here:

Schizostylis, Daphne, Hibiscus and Crocus

Our sites of the week concentrated on all thing bugly, apart from one with stunning aerial views of many places, including Sheffield and Rotherham:

Sites of the Week )

Our main topic for the week was The Garden in November, and here's the handout:

The Garden in November )

November Plants )

» Week 6
I can't believe that week 6 has come and gone.

We took a break from looking at our Plants of the Week, to give everyone time to catch up.

Our main topic was the use of botanical names for plants. And there was homework, at which everyone did really well. I never doubted!

The handout is here:

The Meaning of Latin Plant Names )

And if you want the quizzes I set, here they are, with and without answers. Be careful which link you click on!

Plant Names Quiz )

Plant Names Quiz with Answers and Examples )

Our sites of the week are here

Sites of the Week )

I had a good time - hope you all did.

» Week 5
Halfway through already!

Our plants of the week had an odd hiccup this week. October's plants on Friday were temporarily unclaimed, and Jean stepped in and told us about fuchsias. Pictures will follow when the Friday group have seen them. (NB, fuchsias are now loaded up). On Tuesday, Robert gave us Tulips, which are right for planting this month, and Joan told us about Euonymus, particularly the winged spindle, Euonymus alata compacta.

Pictures are here:

Tulips, Euonymus and Hardy Fuchsia

Our Sites of the Week are here:

Sites of the Week )

Our main topic was Plants for Dry Shade, and the handout is here:

Plants for Dry Shade )

For pictures of plants for dry shade, click the link for Tulips and Euonymus - they're all in the same Photobucket album.

Any comments, anyone?

» Week 4
We had another interesting set of Plants of the Week this week. Robert told us about Pyracantha, Joan chose Colchicum, and Mary told us about Gladioli. Images are here:

Pyracantha, Colchicum and Gladioli

Our sites of the week are here:

Sites of the Week )

Our main topic was Plant Combinations, where we shared some very interesting striking and favourite combinations.

Next week, we're going to look at plants for dry shade. Don't foget that there is homework - come along ready to suggest a couple of plants that will do well in dry shade.

» Week 3
It's another busy schedule for us this week.

Our plants of the week were:

On Tuesday, Hydrangea paniculata from Maureen and Roscoea from Jean. On Friday, Hardy cyclamen from Carole and Potentilla from Margaret.

Images for Friday's plants of the week will follow, and I'll update this post to include them. Meantime, here are the others:

Hydrangea paniculata and Roscoea: Potentilla and Cyclamen

(Photobucket is now updated)

Our sites of the week are five more that are worth checking out:

Sites of the week )

Our main topics were Autumn Propagation and Protecting Plants Over Winter. Both of these were group discussions, but here are some notes on Autumn Propagation

Autumn Propagation )

Until next week, then!

» Update to Plant of the week
Images of Lavender for shrub of the week have now been added, and lilies for bulb of the week, on the same link as Cardiocrinum and Impatiens tinctoria in the last entry. The link has been updated.

Thank you Shirley, and thank you Mary!

» Week 2
We're now into week 2, and our topics for this week include a bulb and a shrub of the week, sites of the week, and recognising trees.

Let's start here with sites of the week. There are some very interesting sites here - do check them out. We have the Cardiocrinum National Collection (relating to one of our plants of the week), The Woodland Trust, with lots of information and activites for children, and The Forestry Commission, again with lots of information including the tree name trail that we can use to recognise trees. There is also Cotswold Garden Flowers, with a wonderful encyclopedia of plants they've grown, and mail order shopping. Bob Brown, the proprietor, is currently writing a regular series for Gardening Which? on plants for places. Finally, there's Special Plants, and Roy Lancaster has an article about this nursery, and its owner Derry Watkins, in this month's issue of the RHS journal, The Garden.

Sites of the Week )

Then, for Plant of the Week, On Tuesday, Hugh bravely took on Cardiocrinum, the Giant Himalayan Lily, and Judy equally bravely took on Impatiens tinctoria, a beautiful shrubby Impatiens. On Friday, Shirley stepped up to tackle gorgeous lilies, and Mary stepped up to tell us about lovely lavender.

Images are here, at Photobucket:

Cardiocrinum and Impatiens tinctoria; Lilies and Lavender

Please remember that all the images go into the same album, so you may need to page back In between uploading these images, I've also uploaded images for recognising trees, and you will need to go back through the album.

In case you are a bit uncertain how to do that, I'll just explain the layout. Click the link above, and it will take you to the Photobucket album for this year. Above the panel with the photographs, you will see a white bar.

On the left hand side, that bar shows you the number of photographs in the album (129 at the moment).

Then it gives you the option to 'View All', which means that all the images will load onto a single page. This is slower than looking at a few at a time.

Your next option is to view all the images as a slideshow. They will be shown full size, and you can fast forward or reverse.

On the right hand side of the white bar are numbers. These are the page numbers of the album and you can turn over the page, so to speak, by clicking on each number in turn. The images will all be shown as thumbnails - to see any full sized image as I uploaded it, double click on the thumbnail.

It's as easy as that.

Our main topic is Recognizing Trees. I've put up drawings of the different leaves of native trees at Photobucket 0 use the link above. The Trees are in the middle of thr Plants of the Week images. Here is the handout:

Recognizing Trees )

A huge thank you to those people who hauled in half a forest, so that we could have fun recognizing trees!

Don't forget your homework for next week.

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