A good turnout of members was treated to a very interesting and explanatory talk by Liz Sperling from Cleveleys. Liz talked through the life of bees, going into great details of life within the hive. Who knew the sex-life of bees was so interesting!
During the interval, we were encouraged to taste several different samples of honey as Liz explained the difference between shop bought and hive honey and how we get runny honey.
in the second half, Liz dissected a hive explaining how everything worked, passing around sections of the hive whilst sporting a Bee Keepers outfit.
As new addition to our spring talks, we have introduced a ten minute course on ‘How to Exhibit in our Flower Arts and Crafts Show.’ Part 1 was about the schedule and how to obtain one. Part two will be at next month talk.
Last month’s talk, although not the usual gardening talk, turned out to be extremely
interesting. Bill Froggatt, Canal & River Trust North West Adviser, gave us an insight into the history of canals in the North West from the 1700’s to present day. He showed us the damage caused by recent storms and what the teams were doing working to repair them. A very enjoyable evening.
If you missed our talk and would like to know more about the Lancaster canal visit the Canal and River Trust and, if you are a keen photographer, you might like to check out their bicentenary birthday celebration photograph project.
Our talks, gardening related or not, happen on the third Wednesday of each month. Details of what is coming up next are on the talks pages of our website here
Radio Lancashire’s Gardening Expert, Bill Blackledge, came to talk to our members last week. Bill is one of the county’s most sought after garden experts. As do BBC Radio Lancashire listeners, our members and visitors got to pick his brains on all things horticultural.
Bill brought numerous plants along and gave us information on how to grow them to get the best of each variety. He demonstrated how the plants work together by planting up two hanging baskets which he then donated for our raffle.
The event was very popular with lots of members and friends present, all of whom were delighted to delve into the plant supplies when Bill had finished his demonstration and bought most of his stock.
At this meeting, we also had a visit from Danial Adshead, a young gardener who is just setting up in business growing bedding plants. To the delight of members, Dan brought a van full of plants all at reasonable prices.
So many plants in one night members, were definitely spoiled for choice!
For details of our next talk, please visit our events page here.
Paul King from The North Fylde Photographic Society gave an illustrated talk to our members at our March meeting.
Paul, who is Chairman of the North Fylde Photographic Society and a photography judge, showed us some of his excellent work.
His portfolio includes fabulous monochrome pictures and some impressive nature action shots of wild animals and birds.
He also has a great knowledge of photograph composition and digital editing for the best presentation.
Paul talked through a series of short photographic shows and passed around several large prints on many topics including animals, people, planes and landscapes. The picture above is Paul’s photograph of a Queen Butterfly.
The first in our spring series of gardening talks was given by speaker Matthew Smith of Brighter Blooms Nursery, Walton-le-Dale, Preston and what an excellent talk on bulbs it turned out to be! Matthew eloquently talked about his nursery and how it has developed over the years. He then went on to show some of his gold award displays at Chelsea.
Matthew is the founder of the Brighter Blooms Nursery and can be found at many flower shows all over the country. He has been a horticulturalist most of his life, starting at a very young age growing flowers and vegetables. Having worked for various nurseries and growing and selling his own plants during his teenage years he went on to university to study horticulture.
After graduating he started work for a landscape company that were establishing a new nursery and one-stop landscape shop. He worked here for 10 years gaining much experience in many elements of horticulture including running a flower bulb import and distribution business. This gave him the chance to develop an in-depth knowledge of all things bulbous and a passion for tulips started to evolve.
Matthew decided to go it alone and established Brighter Blooms in 2010, initially set up to be an online bulb supplier but now a well-established award-winning nursery.
Matthew saw that Zantedeschia (also known as Callas), was an unsung plant at flower shows. He decided to give it the attention it deserved and started to grow and exhibit them for the first time in 2010. In 2015, he exhibited at 13 flower shows including Chelsea Flower Show where he was awarded an RHS Gold Medal for his display of Zantedeschia. Matthew is very knowledgeable about Zantedeschia and he talked very enthusiastically, sharing good practise with members.
Matthew still has a passion for tulips and exhibiting them at the nursery is a more recent development. Look out for his tulip open weekend in April.
The photographs below show some of the many varieties he grows and sells. He was an engaging speaker and had our members very interested in all he had to say from how he got where he is today to tips and tricks for an outstanding (perhaps award winning) display of flowering bulbs.
Our next talk is on Wednesday 20th March 2019 and will be given by Paul King from North Fylde Photographic Society.
Steve Halliwell from Preston, gave us a fantastic tour of Holker Hall gardens through a series of outstanding photographs at our talk last week.
Holker Hall is a magnificent Victorian stately home with 25 acres of stunning gardens and an ancient deer park. Steve showed us pictures of fantastic trees and shrubs from the garden including many from the Asian sub continent as well as native UK trees. His knowledge and photography was awesome; we will definitely look to invite him back in the future.
Steve Halliwell is an author, public speaker and biographer, who has a depth of knowledge of local history and large gardens in the area. He is also known for his guide to Preston pubs!
Our next talk is DON’T GO TO SLEEP DURING WINTER on Wednesday 21st November 2018 at 7.30pm, given by double RHS gold award winner, Kevin Pratt from Hazel Grove.
Josie Morris gave us a tasty talk on chocolate last week. Full of interesting information about the cocoa bean and a practical demonstration of how she uses various molds to create chocolate master pieces.
We got to see a high heel shoe, a handbag, bars and other novelty items all formed from chocolate. Best of all, samples of the basic ingredients were handed around for us to taste.
At the end of her talk, Josie answered questions from enthusiastic members. She also had a display of chocolate items on sale which met with much approval!
Our next gardening talk is The Cartmel Peninsula and Holker Hall Gardens by Steve Halliwell on Wednesday 17th October at 7.30pm, details here.
This months gardening talk on 16thMay was the first in our new venue at Christ Church, Thornton. We were made very welcome and enjoyed the bright space for our meeting.
Tim Smith of Lythan St Annes, a regular on the talk circuit, gave us a demonstration which he entitled ARTISTIC PLANTERS WITH ATTITUDE. He talked about colour combinations and planting design, as well as suitable plants for the containers he was demonstrating.
Our Chairperson, John Horrocks followed Tim’s talk with a practical demonstration of making a bowl garden. Using a selection alpines and succulents, he put together small bowls and talked through soil types and drainage solutions.
Our next gardening talk is Wednesday 20th June 2018 at the usual time 7.30pm. Marguerite Hughes from Bretherton is talking to us about SCENTED PLANTS FOR ALL SEASONS
Marguerite Hughes is a well known Lancastrian horticulturist, broadcaster & experienced garden speaker. There will also be plants for sale by Sue Gillon from Meadow View Plants.
There are no gardening talks during July and August as you will all be too busy enjoying your garden! Gardening talks will recommence in September, keep an eye on this page for details as we get them.
Our gardening talk this month was given by Peter Foley of Waddow Lodge Garden who eloquently engaged his audience with his knowledge of Alpines.
Peter is of Holden Clough Nursery fame which is currently run by his son John. Established in 1927 by Richard Milne-Redhead, Holden Clough Nursery became one of the country’s leading Alpine nurseries. Based in the Ribble Valley, the nursery has won awards at RHS Tatton and at Southport Flower Show.
Peter talked about the best plants for troughs and planters using slides to demonstrate how they can be used. A keen audience asked a number of questions, the answers to which Peter was happy to give. He also brought along a number of plants for sale so we could indulge in alpines for our own planters.
The evening also saw a presentation to the staff and Friends of the Little Theatre for all their help over the years. This of course was our last event at the Theatre after almost 70 years of use.
All future talks will be in the nearby hall at Christ Church, on Meadows Avenue, Thornton. We’d love to see members and non-members at any of our talks.
Also this month, members were disappointed when the trip to Gordon Riggs had to be cancelled on the day. We had no coach to take us, due to a misunderstanding at the coach company. This was disheartening as the garden centre is a gold mine for gardeners and across the way there is the Fancy Goods Emporium and Cafe. Ah well maybe another time!
For details of other talks and trips, please see the events pages on our website.