Summer and Autumn Flowering Bulbs

The first in our spring series of gardening talks was given by speaker Matthew SmithMatthew Smith Brighter Blooms2 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.

Zantedeschia-Picasso

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 Zantedeschia-Morning-SunCallas), 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.

Cartmel Peninsula and Holker Hall Gardens

Holker Hall 21.4.2016 248 - CopySteve 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.Steve Halliwell Holker Hall Gardens Talk 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.

Chocolate from Bean to Bar

Josie Morris Chocolate 3Josie 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 Josie Morris Chocolate 2chocolate. 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.

Artistic Planters with Attitude

This months gardening talk on 16th May 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 - planter demonstrationTim 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.

John Horrocks Bowl Planters

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.

Alpines for Sinks, Troughs and Raised Beds

Our gardening talk this month was given by Peter Foley of Waddow Lodge Garden whoPeter Foley 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. Waddow Lodge Garden

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. alpines

 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.