Newsletter, September 2019

Hi Everyone, 

How has your garden fared this hot/dry/late summer? 

We all have ideas about what we can do better to prepare for our variable climate, so let’s discuss this at our next meeting and pool our experience and solutions to the challenges. If you have photos to share, especially of your Hot Weather Heroes, please post them on our Facebook group, or send them to me in an email.

Liz Mitchell’s hot weather heroes – achillea millefolium, a. filependulina and vitex agnus-castus

September Activities

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 10th September, 2pm at the Salle des Fêtes, Lauzerte. As well as talking about how to cope with heat and lack of water, we will be sharing our learning (and lovely photos) from the gardens that we visited in Languedoc Roussillon in May this year, and Fiona will be giving you a taster for what we have in store for our next trip.

On Tuesday 17th September, Sue Sargeant has organised a trip to 2 of the gardens in the Open Gardens Scheme. We will visit Les Peyrières, Anglars-Juillac and Moulin St Jean near Grezels, with lunch at Le Clau del Loup. 14,50€ for lunch, and 2€ for each garden. Full or part day. Reservations to Sue please, by Sep 11th. See file attached with the newsletter.

Ordering Bulbs & Seeds for Autumn

We now have a 15% discount with Farmer Gracy bulbs (

See your emailed newsletter or our Facebook group for the code to use.

Shipping is free for orders over £50, or £5.99 standard delivery. I did place a large order for those who contacted me in July, and there will be a few spares. Not sure if they will arrive in time for the next meeting, but I will bring a list along of what will be available.

You can now order directly from King’s Seeds to get our 50% discount on seeds. Please see your emailed newsletter or the Facebook group for the registration code.

Delivery is only £3.50 for any number of seed packets. Please note that you need to select UK as the country when you first register, but you can later add a new address for billing & delivery.

I am waiting on delivery of the new catalogues and order code for Dobies for the coming year.

To Do this Month

My garden is really suffering from lack of water, but cooler nights will be a relief. I shall be preparing for some autumn sowing in the veg garden, with onion sets, broad beans and some leafy veg like pad choi, spinach and lettuce. I also plan to sow some green manure to dig in in early spring. The rest of the garden has pretty much had to fend for itself this summer, but all now needs a bit of tidying up so that I can plant bulbs.

Recent events

In July we had a lovely summer get together at the Salle des Fêtes in Montbarla. Everyone brought delicious dishes to share and Chrissie & Graham did a fantastic job on the barbecues. We really liked the location and format and will probably do the same again next year!   

We had to delay our July outing due to the exceptionally hot weather, but a small number of us were able to go the following week and had a thoroughly enjoyable day out at the Water Gardens and Bamboo Gardens.   Thanks to Ingrid and Sally for the planning and arranging.

Don’t forget, we would like to gather together lists of gardens to visit in various areas, at home and abroad. Please let us know where you would recommend!

Dates for your Diary

Tuesday October 8th, we will be looking at what we need to do to prepare for winter and reviewing how the straw bale gardens have fared this year. We will also be having a plant and seed swap. As part of preparing for winter, we will look at some simple ways of making a small bug hotel, for those all-important solitary bees, lacewings and other beneficial insects. I’ll let you know what materials to gather and bring along, it should be fun. Our best efforts will be displayed at the Journée de l’Arbre in November. 

Tuesday November 12th, we will delve into a little plant history and trace the origins of some of our favourite garden plants with “The Christopher Columbus Legacy”.

Sunday November 17th Journée de l’Arbre, Salle des Fêtes, Lauzerte. The club will have an area where members and visitors will be welcome to enjoy a display including our best bug hotels and photos from our events this year. We will need volunteers for the stand, so please make a note of the date.

Plant Fair: La Salicaire, Sunday 20th October, St Nicolas de la Grave

Maison de Retraite

An update from Yvonne: 

This is the garden of the retirement home, designed and maintained by club members on a voluntary basis. The gardens have been a delight through the seasons this year but now we can see that there is still some work to do to make the Sun garden as united and harmonious as the Moon garden. 

One of the main problems in this garden was that there were useable mature plants, which I thought we could incorporate, but which in in retrospect we should have taken out because they have continually given an unbalanced feel to the garden.  Now, in order to achieve a balance, the Rosemarys have been pruned back severely and we are going to take out the two large Phygelius, so that we can reinstate the circle of grasses and tall perennials round the tree.  Any plants which have struggled this year will be removed and potted up and can go to good homes/gardens.  As the Phygelius are taken out, many other plants will be moved around and annuals will be discarded, remembering that one of the important goals in the project was low maintenance.  

The Sun garden gets more sun wind and rain than the Moon Garden, so this has to be a major consideration in the final decision of which plants can stay and which to remove.  In small areas like this, each plant must have more than one attribute to earn a place.  Could be foliage, flower or habit. 

The main work for gardeners is to deadhead, trim back where necessary and water. As in any other garden, there is always work to do to keep the more adventurous plants in check while providing conditions which will encourage the slower ones to establish.  

Seems to have taken a long time to finish the short path between the beds but this will hopefully be completed early autumn-the materials have all been agreed by the MDR and we would love some extra help for that.

2020 Programme 

We have the bones of the programme for next year, but there are one or two slots available. Would you be willing to host a visit to your garden? Can you suggest an interesting seasonal walk for the group? Do you know someone who would like to talk to us about a gardening-related topic? As always, we welcome your suggestions for speakers and topics for our programme.

Local events

A couple of exhibitions with work by our members that you might like to visit this month.  

First of all Sarah Bellis-Jones will be showing her gorgeous pastels and watercolours, together with Ken Maxwell’s photographs and wood creations, at Galerie34 in Lauzerte, from 17th to 30th September.  

I will be showing some of my recent garden-themed macro photos, and some past favourites, as part of the PhotoViva exhibition, along with works by Nina Adler, Graham Berry, Mark Newman and Mo Newman at the Mairie in Montcuq, also from 17th to 30th September. 

CJL Website and Facebook Group 

Don’t forget, our private web pages can be accessed by entering the password, but most of the content here is available to everyone. 

Our Facebook group is great for sharing photos, events, and gardening-related information, and for asking for advice from other members. 

I think that covers it for now, I hope to see you on 10th.

Belinda x