4 April 2019 – ‘Never a Dull Moment’ – Simon White

We were in Thriplow Village Hall to hear our speaker Simon White, an experienced horticulturalist who has worked for Peter Beales Roses for 38 years!  To prove his point Simon brought with him many products for sale including greatly reduced bare-rooted roses, clematis, other shrubs and perennials along with plant tonics, secateurs etc. etc.  It took him more than 10 minutes to describe his wares so we were all relieved when he turned at last to his talk!  Although I have to say that we all enjoyed browsing through these bargains and most left the meeting with bulging bags of plants!  You really never know what to expect at our meetings!

The subject was ‘Never a dull moment” – Simon’s choice of plants which gave him colour and interest throughout the year despite the fact that he has a very small garden.  A keen and obviously talented photographer Simon showed spectacular views of the plants in his garden.

His advice to people like me who have a small garden is to be bold, for instance try growing roses in the shade – they will still bloom just not giving you huge flowers.  Make good use of walls and fences but let clematis also grow through plants , climbing roses and shrub roses will span the seasons.  Always remember to water copiously and then some……… also with plant tonics and feeds – little and often especially with your baskets.  Grow potatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes in pots, grow sweet peas with runner beans in the same container, use a piece of guttering for growing lettuce.  So many pearls of wisdom but not enough space to record them so here is a summary of plants for all seasons!

Winter to Spring – Hellebores, Snowdrops, Aconites, Chionodoxa, Crocus, muscari, Aconites Amanagowa – the beautiful cherry tree, Magnolia – loves ericaceous compost (Simon grows them in cardboard boxes!)

Spring to Summer – Peonies – with rhizomes above soil level please, Clematis – check the flowering period and the pruning advice, Rosa Glauca for its foliage, tiny pink flowers and glorious bright hips (do not debud), all  annuals, Cosmos, Echinacea, Lilies – in pots, Geraniums etc. etc.

Summer – Winter – Dahlias, Hibiscus, Nerines, Chrysanthemums, Abutilon, autumn crocus, Mahonia, sedum and so many more.

Mary Duff

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