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.
Such an intriguing title! Kevin Pratt from Village Plants Nursery, Hazel Grove, came to talk to our members about winter colour from trees and shrubs. His talk was backed up by excellent photographs of some beautiful plants and Kevin ably answered a range of questions from the audience. Kevin had brought with him a range of plants from his nursery which were for sale after the talk. Members took great interest in his knowledge of each plant and took heed of his suggested planting locations.
Kevin is qualified in botany, soil science and horticulture with thirty years gardening experience and two RHS Gold medals in the floral marque and Gold medal at Southport Flower Show. He has worked daily, self employed as a landscaper and maintenance gardener in some very beautiful gardens in Hale and has worked with ‘Raymond Blanc’ at Le Manoir.
Chairman John Horrocks said, ‘Kevin certainly knows his stuff. His talk was very interesting and informative and he brought an excellent selection of plants from his nursery’.
Our next talk is in 20th February and will be on Summer and Autumn Flowering Bulbs.
On Remembrance Sunday, the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, Janet and Judith had the privilege of representing the Thornton-Cleveleys Horticultural Society by joining dignitaries, schools, local groups and businesses in the procession to the Thornton Cenotaph. Whilst it had rained as everyone assembled, it stayed fine for the rest of the service and the sun shone through the trees bathing the ‘fallen soldier’ in a striking light. Janet and Judith were extremely proud to lay a wreath on behalf of the Society. It was very poignant to see so many people showing their respects.
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.