February 2021 News

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on 9th February 2021 at 14h, via Zoom.

Our topic this month is “How to Plant for Flowers in Succession”. Discover which species to choose to stagger flowering throughout the year. Julia and Belinda will be giving the presentation, which will be a feast for the eyes, with lots of lovely photos, and plenty of information to help you have a beautiful and interesting garden throughout the year. We hope you can join us.

Members will receive an email from our secretary with the details of how to join the Zoom meeting. If you need any help with getting started with Zoom, please don’t hesitate to ask.

AGM delayed

As we cannot meet in person yet, we cannot hold our AGM as planned this month. We can delay it until June at the latest, and we will give 2 weeks notice beforehand. 

Membership Renewals due this month

In the meantime, we do have ongoing expenses, including our monthly subscription to Zoom, our website and our email services, so we are inviting members to renew their membership this month, as usual, please.  As we will not be seeing you, we have put the Membership Form on our website, and you can find it from the “Join Us” page, or going directly from this link https://www.cjl82.fr/membership/

The Admin Group have agreed to recommend that we keep the membership fee at €10 for the year, which is something members would usually vote on at the AGM; we hope this meets with your approval.

Membership Form on the website

You can complete the Membership form directly online, and when you click Submit, the results will be sent to Rosamund, our membership secretary, who will contact you with the details of how to make your payment, by cheque or bank transfer.

Please note that there are some optional fields on the Membership form, including your Areas of Interest. We encourage you to have a think about it and complete this, as it will really help us to plan our future programme. We would also particularly like to know if you have a specialist subject that you would like to talk to members about, or give us a demonstration of, or would like to host a visit to your garden. You can use the “Other Areas of Interest” box for that.  There is also an opportunity to let us know if you are willing to volunteer for the Maison de Retraite (see below for more info), Ground Force, or generally help out at events or meetings.

We do hope that you will renew your membership and help keep the club going. We have a full programme of activities for the coming year and will be arranging visits, activities and meetings as soon as feasible. Meanwhile, our Zoom meetings have been more enjoyable than many were expecting, and it is really super to see everyone even if only via a screen. If you haven’t already done so, give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised!

Previous Meeting

Our January meeting was a Fun Zoom Quiz. Actually, it turned out to be a lot more fun than people expected, and we covered all sorts of garden-related topics, including identifying some glorious gardens around Europe.

Can you name this garden, and where it is?

Date for your Diary

Next month, on March 9th, we will be holding a Seed Sowing workshop. As we did with the Christmas Decoration workshop, if we cannot get together, we will do it over Zoom, and those interested can meet up with Belinda if they need to get materials (pots, labels, compost, seeds), so that you can follow along at home.

Photography Competition

Have you contributed to our Photography Competition yet?  We will arrange voting on the winners later in the year, so you can still submit photos for any month from October onwards.

Photos should be from your own garden, or gardens that we visit together, and should show something seasonal. Let’s see what is looking good in your garden!

If you would like to participate, but are not on our Facebook group, please send an email to Belinda.

L’Argentée Médiévale (Maison de Retraite)

Dear Members

A few years ago, the Club de Jardinage de Lauzerte took on the project of designing and planting a garden at the local EHPAD for the residents, their families and friends and as a project for ourselves to help learn about how to tackle gardening in our fairly inhospitable climate.

The results have been very well received and our members have benefitted from the opportunity of working with fellow gardeners and sharing skills and ideas. This year we plan to hold a Cuttings Workshop at the garden on Tuesday 13th April, in which you will have the opportunity to take cuttings from existing plants material and grow these on for your own garden.

We have a regular team of Volunteers who give up a couple of hours once a month to carry out regular maintenance work on the garden. You do not need to be an expert gardener but can benefit from other members experience. The jobs usually involve dead-heading, general tidying up and some watering when it is dry.

We have teams of members who are responsible for each section and it is these people who decide which plant goes where and what needs moving. They are Moon Garden – Julia, Raised Beds – Rosamund and Sun Garden – David and Louise.

If you feel that you would like to be involved please tick the box on the Membership Form, or contact Julia  as she keeps the ongoing list of volunteers and organises the visits. Please do this even if you were on the list last year as we all have changing commitments from year to year.

Thank you,

To Do This Month

Things are starting to show signs of new life again, and the days are getting longer. Yesterday an Anemone that has been in bud for weeks, opened for the first time, and I have snowdrops and hellebores too. If you have clumps of snowdrops, it is best to lift and divide them ‘in the green’.

This is a prime time to start getting ready for the growing year ahead. Some jobs got delayed as the weather was so cold, and then so wet during January. I am still pruning roses and fruit trees, and starting to think about clearing away some of the untidy remains of perennials. I leave seed heads as long as possible, as they are decorative and provide food for the birds.

I have already started with sowing seeds – chillies in particular need a long growing season, so I get them going in a heated propagator, along with some tender annuals such as geraniums and impatiens. Next up will be tomatoes and aubergines. There are lots of seeds you can sow this month for the potager, and they are all detailed in the “Jardinez Avec la Lune’ guide, which I use to help me organise my time.

In the flower garden, there are useful lists of things to do on the Thompson & Morgan site, here is an example:

Pruning and tidying

  • Prune wisteria now, cutting back summer side-shoots to 2 or 3 buds. For advice on the best way to do it, check our wisteria pruning guide.
  • Cut back shrubs, such as cornus and salix cultivars (grown for their colourful winter stems), down to their bases.
  • Prune summer-flowering clematis towards the end of the month, before active growth begins. For advice on the best way to do it, check our clematis pruning guide.
  • Cut back the old foliage from ornamental grasses before growth begins. Clip them to within a few centimetres of the ground.
  • Prune overwintered fuchsias back to one or two buds on each shoot.
  • Prune winter-flowering jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) after flowering, to encourage new growth for next year’s blooms. Cut back the previous year’s growth to 5cm from the old wood.
  • Trim winter-flowering heathers as the flowers disappear, to prevent plants becoming leggy.
  • Prune winter-flowering shrubs such as mahonia and viburnum x bodnantense once their colourful display has finished.
  • Remove faded flowers from winter pansies to stop them setting seed. This will encourage a flush of new flowers when the weather warms up.

There is certainly plenty to do to keep ourselves busy while social activities are restricted.

Future Activities

Have you completed any projects in the garden this last year, or have you found more joy from the garden than you might have expected, especially during lockdown? Do let us know about your experiences, and do please take photos of your achievements, we may be able to feature them in our display for the Place aux Fleurs on April 18th, which we hope can go ahead as planned.

I hope that the recent flooding has not impacted you or your garden badly.

Stay safe, stay well and enjoy your outdoor space.