WI report – March 2018

We were all inspired by our Speaker, Marion Dale who told us how to create a dream garden, with colour and plants.

Marion’s background was very different from garden designer, being a Marketing Consultant in London, but after thinking for some time about a change of career, a redundancy notice gave her the push to take the plunge. Moving to a converted barn in a village near Marlborough, Marion’s garden was the original cow yard.Hedges of beech, large windows in the barn which let in light, afforded very little privacy, plus the added  burden of a lawn which comprised more weeds than grass, Marion decided something had to be done. Not sure how to proceed, Marion enrolled at Lackham College, plus studying City and Guilds qualification at night school. Her final assignment a show garden won a Gold Medal at the Bath and West Show.

Moving to Somerset four and a half years ago, now living in Tintinhull, renovating a Victorian cottage and garden. Marion advised us to think about the style of garden we would wish to create. Italian style gardens are very formal with very few flowers but lots of water and geometrical landscaping. Cottage style gardens where plants take on shape and form. Modern contemporary style with reflective metal, coloured clippings, minimalistic. Lower maintenance gardens using resin bound gravel, hard landscaping, very little in the way of flowers. Wildlife garden, wild flowers which can prove very difficult to maintain, or a themed garden.

It is very important to select the right plants for the soil, soil testing should be first priority.On visiting any garden centre for the first time, the golden rule is take no money, but arm yourself with a notebook and pencil and ask lots of questions.

Write down the full botanical names, don’t worry about the pronunciation.  Clay soil takes longer to warm up but holds heat and nutrients, but cannot be worked when it is wet. Remember, work out how much space you have, do not pick plants which will outgrow your garden.Marion advised us as to the best plants to grow to suit various conditions, all of this advice illustrated by a very informative slide show. We all know now where we have been going wrong, no excuses now not to have a dream garden.

Angela thanked Marion for such an informative talk.

The competition for a buttonhole in any medium was won by Sally with lavender and Polyhymnia, second Pat Maddaford with camellia, third Angela with osteospermum. The flower of the month was won by Trish with chionodoxa.

Trish welcomed back Patricia Heap after a long absence and also two visitors.

Dates to Remember

18 April Group Spring Meeting at Shapwick.

18 July Visit to Midelney Manor House with cream tea.

26 May Celebration of Votes for Women & SFWI 12 noon to 3.30 pm Meadway Hall Compton Dundon with Ploughman’s Lunch, Entertainment £7.50.

We were reminded that visitors are to pay £4 per visit with visits restricted to two per year.

Next month’s Speaker is Yvonne Bell, Hobble Skirts and Harem Pants.

Wendy Edwards.

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