Chairman’s Blog April 2014

Osteospermums sc


Surfacing from a long wet, but not cold, winter, we now see Spring all around us. Gardens beckon us, either a workers or visitors. At our Spring Lecture, we heard and saw pictures of the glories of Gertrude Jekyll’s garden at Upton Grey, which we will be visiting in June. I also had the pleasure of attending the opening of an exhibition at Shaw House near Newbury at the end of March. The theme of the exhibition is the garden. Do go if you can; it is open until November. You will also see the work done by the Payback scheme workers to clear parts of the garden that have been covered by rubbish for decades.

 At Watlington House in Reading work has re-started after the interruption of poor weather and the need to vacate the garden for work by Thames Water. I missed the gardening day in April as I was in Spain, but work has started to clear the weeds to prepare for planting.

Spain is a couple of months ahead of us. Their winter was dry, with no rain in the South from Christmas until our visit! Fortunately only one day. Flowers from our high summer are in full bloom with osteospermum making a good show and hibiscus and bougainvillea flowering freely. It is surprising to see fruit on the almond trees, which flower in December/January. There is the wonderful scent of citrus blossom and oranges ready for picking at the same time.

Charles Elly



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