April 2020

Hi Everyone, I hope that you are all safe and well. It was lovely to see so many of you at our March meeting, which seems so long ago, as our world has changed so much in that short space of time. I feel that we are very fortunate to live in a sparsely-populated region, where hospitalisation for Covid-19 has been at a very low level.

There are many ways in which we as a club can continue to interact and share our successes and overcome our failures. Through our use of social media and our website, we can share photos, knowledge and practical tips, as well as stay connected. So I encourage you to use our Facebook group and we are also looking to increase the content on our website.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 14th April, at 2 pm
Our meeting this month include A Tour of Janet’s Spring Garden – We can’t promise the delicious tea and cakes, but we can share the beauty and joy of Spring, by showing you photos and taking you on a virtual tour of Janet’s lovely garden at Moulin de Valat. We will also be joined by Graham Berry, award winning cameraman and passionate photographer, who will share useful techniques and answer your questions about how to Improve your Photography, especially with regard to photographing plants and gardens. Whether you use a phone, a pocket camera, or something more complicated, there are some simple tips that can help you take better photos.

To Do this Month In these strange, unprecedented times, our love of gardening and nature is a strength and a solace. From a few pots to a big plot, growing and nurturing plants gives us hope for the future, connects us to reality, and grounds us in practical tasks. We can bring beauty to our eye and food to our plates. I have found myself really motivated to increase the amount and variety of crops that I will grow this year, starting indoors with sprouting seeds and micro greens, and planning a wide variety of vegetables and fruits.

Recent events Following our AGM, when it was announced that Fiona Forshaw would be retiring from her role as Vice President, and stepping down from the Admin Group, I am delighted to share the news that Sally Ecclestone is now our new Vice President. I look forward to working with Sally on our future programme. Huge thanks go to Fiona, who has been so instrumental and has put so much energy over the years into building our club into the successful community that it now is. Our last meeting was due to be a talk from Yvonne Innes, who was so sadly bereaved at the end of last year. Instead, we had a varied garden-themed quiz, with Luci Wilson as our host. It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Maison de Retraite For now, we have been asked to avoid visiting the garden at the Maison de Retraite, but thanks to the work of our volunteers in February and early March, the garden is in great shape and full of spring flowers, so will provide a delightful space for the residents and staff to get a breath of fresh air. I was pleased to see this photo from La Médiévale Argentée on their blog.

Dates for your Diary Our next meeting, which will take place on Tuesday May 12th at 14h. Once again we will again use Zoom for a virtual meeting. Julia will be able to give a presentation as planned, on Choosing and Growing Irises, and we will also be looking at ways to get more of you involved with sharing what is happening in your own gardens.

CJL Website and Facebook Group Have you visited our website or Facebook group recently? Don’t forget, our private web pages can be accessed by entering the password cjl82110 but most of the content at www.cjl82.fr 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.

Changes to monthly meetings

I hope you have all stayed safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. While the restrictions on large gatherings are in place, we are using Zoom for our monthly meetings, and the details of how to join us can be found in your invite email from our secretary.

The recently restored glasshouse at Kew gardens, with glass sculptures by Chihuly.

Our next meeting, on Tuesday 9th June, will be “Inspiring Gardens Around the World”, when members will be sharing their memories of some special gardens and what they particularly loved about them. Do come and join us.

Our July meeting will be a week earlier than usual, on Tuesday 7th July, when Rosamund will be showing us a before and after of how the garden at her new house has developed. We changed the date as it otherwise would clash with the Fête Nationale.

We had planned to have a BBQ in July, instead we are hoping it may be possible to have a little gathering at the salle des fêtes at Montbarla, having a picnic with each of us bringing our own food. This would be in the evening of 21st July. We will keep you posted.