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,
Julia

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.

xx

Belinda

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on 9th February 2021.

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to meet in person yet, so we will be using Zoom.

This means that we cannot hold our AGM as planned. We can delay it until June at the latest, and will give 2 weeks notice.

Our topic this month is “How to Plant for Flowers in Succession”. Discover which species to choose to stagger flowering throughout the year.

December 2020 Newsletter

Our best wishes for a happy festive season and a positive outlook for 2021, from all the Admin Team – Belinda, Edwina, Julia, Ingrid, Luci, Marga, Pam, Rosamund and Shirley xxx

Well this has been a strange year indeed. When we had our last meeting in the Salle de l’Eveille in March this year, we had started taking precautions, but of course, none of us could foresee the extent or duration of the restrictions that would take place this year. 

 Thank goodness that we have been able to use Zoom to keep connected with each other and continue some of our activities at least.

Our one face to face meeting in October was a brief respite from lockdown and made me realise that it is much easier to manage social distancing in an outdoor setting. So in the coming year, we are focussing on activities that we can hold outdoors and on visits to gardens, until such time as we can start using the meeting room again.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 12th January at 14h

This will be a fun Zoom quiz. I do hope you will join us for some gardening and general knowledge questions, and of course to share news of what you have planned for your garden in the coming year. If you haven’t got going with Zoom yet, please do give it a try – I am more than happy to help with installation and to run through how it works ahead of time, so don’t hesitate to email or call me on 05 65 31 49 72 if you are a bit hesitant about it.

Recent meetings

On our meeting on November 10th, I talked about “Gardening by the Moon”. I hope Santa will bring me a copy of “Jardinez avec la Lune 2021”, which will be my guide for when best to sow seeds, prune and plant out. The booklet is full of timely tips and recommendations and also helps improve my gardening vocabulary in French.  Here are some resources for more information:

Due to the restrictions, we couldn’t hold our Christmas Decoration Workshop with Isabelle Durand, as planned, but Julia Barton stepped in and gave us a fantastic, informative demonstration using Zoom, on December 8th. It was really a lovely way to spend the afternoon and as you will see, there were some super decorations made by our members. If you made some more after the workshop, do please share your photos with us. The illustration for our Christmas card was created by Liz Mitchell.

The club now has a stock of Oasis, at €1,50 per rectangular block. A useful website for craft and floral decoration materials is buttinette.fr

Isabelle Durand’s stall in Montcuq market

I hope that many of you will look for Isabelle in the Lauzerte and Montcuq markets, where she sells her lovely decorations as well as Christmas trees. Hopefully we will be able to do a floristry workshop with her in future.

2021 Programme

You should have all received our combined Christmas Card / 2021 Programme in the post. You will see that we have a wide range of activities planned, aiming to encompass the need for social distancing and minimise indoor meetings until such time as the health crisis has diminished. We are focussing on outdoor events and will continue to use Zoom as needed, but really hope that we can meet again as usual before too long. There are some things that we had to defer from 2020, such as the Brocante in Chantal’s garden, and the visit to Jardin d’Ingrid, and there are plenty of visits to look forward to. There may well be some additional outings that we can add at short notice,  and as always, we welcome your suggestions.

Photography Competition

 A new challenge for you all is the Photography Competition for our 2022 Calendar, to show off what is looking good throughout the year. 

We kicked this off early so that we can complete our calendar in time to launch it at the Journée de l’Arbre in November, so we already have some great entries on our Facebook Group. 

If you aren’t on Facebook, you can still participate – you can download to Dropbox or Google Drive, just drop me an email and I will send you the links you need.  

We are looking into ways in which you can participate in making the final choice for each month’s winning entry, and we are recruiting sponsors for the prizes for each month. Please let Luci know if you, or a company you are involved with, would like to be a sponsor.  

Between us we will create an inspiring library of images featuring the plants that do well here throughout the seasons, as well as the wildlife that we find in our gardens.

Garden to Table

Another new idea is our “Garden to Table” feature, for sharing your ideas and recipes for using seasonal garden produce. When you have a glut in the garden, it will be really useful to have suggestions of what to do with it. We hope you will have delicious goodies for us to taste along the way, especially during our October meeting.

One thing that isn’t shown on the programme is our celebration meal, but we will arrange that when it becomes possible to do so – we will certainly have something to celebrate then! 

The year will culminate with an exhibition of your photos and a prize giving for the monthly winners, to which all our sponsors will be invited.

To Do this Month

Flowering Yucca

I also want to get some more Dahlias and perhaps some summer flowering bulbs, and would be looking at Farmer Gracy for those. Again, please let me know if you are interested.

It may seem that there is not much to be done in the garden in December, once you have protected everything against possible harsh weather, but on fine days, you could be pruning climbing roses and overgrown shrubs, and this is also a good time to prune apple and pear trees,  as well as planting bare-root trees. It is also ideal for sowing some flower seeds indoors or in a heated propagator, such as Sweet Peas, pelargoniums, hardy cyclamen and snapdragons. In the vegetable garden you can sow broad beans and plant garlic sets outdoors, and start lettuce such as Winter Gem and Lamb’s lettuce in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame.

A late-flowering rose in Sarah Pegg’s garden

Don’t forget to put out fresh water for the birds as well as encouraging them to pick pests off your roses by hanging feeders nearby. I have an ongoing battle with keeping the pigeons off my green veggies, do please share any proven techniques!

Update from the MdR garden

 Our volunteers were able to get back to the garden during the summer months, and really enjoyed seeing how it is maturing.  Dead-heading and cutting back some of the vigorous growth have been the main tasks, along with some weeding and watering, although M. Claude has been diligent at keeping the garden tidy and watered throughout the periods when we have not been able to visit. David and Louise, together with Luci and her husband, were able to finish the job of laying the remaining gravel and tidying up, so everything looks very smart now.

Once again, since the end of October, the garden has been left to look after itself, and we hope to be able to start again some time in the New Year. If you would like to be added to the volunteer rota, then do please let Julia know. We hope to be able to hold a cuttings workshop there in the Spring, as there should be plenty of material for propagating from, and it would be lovely for more of our members to be able to see the results of all the work that has gone into the garden. It has certainly been appreciated by the staff and the residents and their families, and thanks to all your efforts the garden has continued to thrive and provide non-stop colour and interest, even in the hottest and wettest periods.

Changes to the Bureau

Since the very beginning of the club, some 7 years ago, Pam Westcott has been doing a fabulous job as Secretary.  Through the changes of other officers of the club, she has provided continuity and made sure that not only do we abide by the rules and regulations, but that we keep you all up to date with the information you need. From making sure that we have meeting rooms, to answering all kinds of queries, Pam has developed the contacts we need and been a friendly and welcoming presence at our meetings. I can’t thank Pam enough for all that she has done for the club over the years, or for all the help and support she has given me. The club has grown and thrived thanks to her selfless and generous attitude towards all the little things that need doing behind the scenes. 

Pam has been saying for some time that she would like to have a change, so whilst I am very sorry to see an end to her tenure, I am really pleased to be able to announce that from early January, Edwina Silver has agreed to take over as Secretary.  Pam will continue to be a member of the Admin Group and will be helping Edwina to transition into the role.  I know that I can count on you all to support Edwina as she gets familiar with her new responsibilities. 

I am also very happy to announce the appointment of Julia Barton as our Vice-President. I am really looking forward to working with Julia on our 2021 programme. These two roles, together with those of President and Treasurer, make up the Bureau, or the executive of our Association.

Please join with me in thanking Pam for all her amazing contributions over the years, and in welcoming Edwina and Julia to their new roles.

Our AGM is due to be held in February, and will include elections to our Admin Group. We would welcome some new participants, who will help make things happen for the club. So please let our secretary know if you are willing to join the AG, then we can include your nomination in the info sent out before our AGM.

Season’s Greetings to you all.  Stay safe, stay warm, stay well. Belinda x

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.

February 2020

Our AGM in the Salle de l’Eveille

Our AGM was held on 11th February, and all members should have received a copy of the minutes, sent out by our secretary. There have been some changes to the published programme, which have been highlighted, and this site has now been updated to reflect the latest information. If you a paid-up member and have not received this email, please contact our secretary

There will be an Open Morning at our MDR Garden on Friday, 6 March, between 10 and 11:30 am.  If you haven’t yet seen the garden, or are thinking of offering to help maintain it, this is an ideal opportunity as there will be  will be volunteers available to show you round and answer any of your questions.  If you would like directions to the garden, then please contact our secretary

Also, would you be able to help with laying some gravel at the Maison de Retraite on the morning of Friday 13th March? If you could help out, please contact Julia Barton

If you were not able to come to our AGM, you can view our President’s report, which highlights the many different activities enjoyed by club members last year, and looks ahead to what we will be doing this year. The presentation also includes a copy of the Treasurer’s Report. You can view or download the presentation on Dropbox by following this link.

a wonderful array of cakes were on offer after the AGM

October 2019

Hi Everyone,

Well it does feel as though we have moved on from Summer, although there is still a lot of warmth in the days, and thankfully, some rain. Though underneath the surface, the ground is still quite dry. Some plants are having a bit of a resurgence after some rain and cooler weather – but for others the hot dry wind that came before the weather front, was the last straw. My Japanese Anemones have given up 🙁

Here are a couple of plants flourishing in late September in Liz Mitchell’s garden, and a profusion of butterflies on verbena bonariensis in Julia Barton’s garden

October Activities

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 8th October, 2pm at the Salle des Fêtes, Lauzerte. We are going to be looking at what we need to do to Prepare for Winter. Then we will have a fun activity, using recycled materials to create a small insect hotel. Please see the attached list for ideas of what to bring. I hope that lots of you will join in and we can get creative! Our best results will be shared at the Journée de l’Arbre in November. We will also have a Plant and Seed Swap. If you would like to make your own seed packets, please see here. Please make sure that plants and seeds are labelled, thanks.

Liz Mitchell contacted me to tell me about a delightful garden to visit near Laroque Timbaux. The owner, Nadia, is very proud of her beautiful garden and wants us to know that it is not just the English who like to garden. She has invited us, at short notice, to visit on the afternoon of Wednesday 9th October, as at the moment it is very beautiful with the grasses and flowers of Autumn. Details to follow.

Photo of Nadia’s garden earlier in the year, by Liz Mitchell

Bulb & Seed Discounts

As I mentioned last month, there are some spare bulbs for sale from our order with Farmer Gracy, which I will bring along to the meeting. including Eremerus, Alliums, Crocus, Narcissi and Tulips.

The new code for orders from Dobies is GD1349F, and for Suttons is GS1018F which will entitle you to a 50% discount off seeds.

To Do this Month

A busy time of year as we clear away after the summer and prepare for colder weather to come. We will be discussing this in our monthly meeting.

For those with bulbs to plant, this is a really useful guide https://www.farmergracy.co.uk/pages/ planting-guide

Recent events

Our visit to two gardens at Anglars-Juillac and Grezels, with lunch in between at the Clau del Loup, was a really delightful day. Thank you so much to Sue Sargeant for organising it with the members of the Open Gardens scheme. Here are a few photos for those who couldn’t join us.

Lunch at Clau del Loup
Cameron Field’s lovely garden among the vineyards. Photos by Julia Barton

Caroline Roberton’s garden at Grezels. Photos by Julia Barton and Belinda Berry

Both of these gardens are part of the Open Gardens scheme, which are adding more and more lovely gardens and helping to raise money for charitable organisations. It is well worth while becoming a member, for only 10€ you can visit gardens throughout the year. Find out more at https://www.opengardens.eu

Dates for your Diary

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

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.

Our lending library

A reminder that within our cupboard in the Tournesol Room, there are some really useful and interesting gardening books. You can find a list of them on our website at http://www.cjl82.fr/ resources/.

You are welcome to borrow one and return it to another meeting.

CJL Website and Facebook Group

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.

I think that covers it for now, I hope to see you on 8th.

Belinda x

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 (https://www.farmergracy.co.uk)

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

February 2019

February meeting

Our next meeting will be our Annual General Meeting, which will be on Tuesday 12 February 2019, at our usual time of 2pm, in the Tournesol Room at the Salle des Fêtes in Lauzerte.

In addition to the President’s Report and Financial Report, we will be electing the members of the Administrative Group for the next 2 years. It’s not too late to volunteer to join us, if you would like to help out with some of the tasks behind the scenes that help keep the club vibrant and successful.

You will have received the papers from our secretary Pam, which includes a subscription form so that you can renew your membership.

Following the business of the AGM, we will be showing some of an inspiring film about the Lost Gardens of Heligan, in Cornwall – a place I would love to go and visit.

Of course, it is our official birthday! So we will be celebrating with tea and cake.

I hope to see lots of you there.

Pam’s Salted Caramel Cake

To Do this Month

Encouraging signs of life, with bulbs poking through, and now the first irises and snowdrops in flower – welcome nectar for any bees that come out foraging in the sunshine. If you have large clumps of snowdrops, it is good to divide them and plant new groups ‘in the green’, as they finish flowering.

This month is when work really starts again in the garden, pruning and trimming and tidying – but more cold weather is in the forecast, so tender plants still need protection.

Now is a great time to start sowing some seeds, especially if you have a heated propagator or soil-warming cables and a good light place for them to grow on. I generally start chillies and some tomatoes at about this time, and flowers such as impatiens and petunias.

For more suggestions of what to do in the garden this month, I usually check out the Gardeners World site.

I also use the guide “Jardinez avec la Lune”, which helps me organize my time and if it gives me a little added advantage by being in tune with the Moon, I am all for it. You can get a book from Gamm Vert, or see their monthly summary online.

January meeting recap

Our January meeting included a fun picture quiz, set by Fiona. It was great to see how much knowledge everyone had to share and it was a good way to get to know each other too.

There were 6 different sets of photos to identify, and 5 teams.

We had a fantastic selection of nibbles to enjoy afterwards, thanks so much to everyone who brought something.

Yes, those are watering cans that Fiona is wearing! Aren’t they cute?

Thank you so much to everyone for the help given to get the room set up and cleared away afterwards, a fantastic team effort.

Belinda

December 2018

Christmas decs
Wishing all our members and their families our warmest wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year xxx from all the admin team

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 8th January, at 2pm in the Tournesol room at the Salle des Fêtes in Lauzerte. We will be having a fun gardening-themed quiz, with drinks and nibbles, so do come along and flex those brain cells and start thinking about the gardening year ahead.

Great news that we have enough people to confirm that our trip to Languedoc will be going ahead next May. Don’t forget that you will need to pay the next instalment by the end of December.

Many thanks to those who have already agreed to join us on the admin team, we can still take a couple more, so if you are thinking about it and would like to know more about what is involved, have a chat with Pam or myself.

To do this month

This is the time of year for taking a bit of a break from the garden – even Monty Don says there is not much to be done, but he does like to sow onion seeds on Boxing Day – these can be grown 3 or 4 seeds in a module of potting compost, and kept in a cold frame or polytunnel. He also suggests that this is good time to pay some attention to your tools and give them a clean and sharpen.

Those of you who like to browse through plant and seed catalogues, please note that we now have new numbers for both Dobies and Suttons, which will give you 50% off seeds. I will also be placing an order with King’s Seeds shortly after our January meeting, so please be ready to give me your list for anything you want from them (or you can send to me by email). I do have some catalogues to bring along, but you can also order your own copy from any of those suppliers, free of charge, or of course, do your browsing online.

Recent Events

Bales planted

At our November meeting, Chrissie and Guy Biddlecombe gave us a really informative and inspiring talk on Straw Bale Gardening which generated lots of interest and questions.

They really made it sound like a very appealing way of easily adding a raised vegetable plot – which would be particularly helpful for anyone with a lack of good soil.

Bales flourishing
The tomatoes and other vegetables really flourished
Bales harvest
A great harvest of spaghetti squash
Bale conditioning
The steps to follow to condition the straw bales prior to planting
Bale book
The book by Joel Karsten explains the whole procedure very clearly

Earlier in the month a small group of us had a thoroughly enjoyable visit to Les Jardins de la Poterie Hillen for autumn colour. Once we arrived, we realised why they waited and waited for the right moment, the Japanese acers were really stunning, and there was lots of interesting use of grasses and ornaments throughout the gardens – plus really delicious “gourmandises” in the Tea House. Highly recommended for another visit, and we were told that late Spring would be a particularly good time to go.

Below you should see a slide show of photos from our visit – click on one to see it full screen and then you can scroll backwards and forwards using the arrows to left and right of the photo (click the X top right to close the slideshow and come back to this page).

Our display at the Journée de l’Arbre was full of ideas and inspiration for growing in containers, of all sorts. Special thanks to Ingrid for organising everything and giving the demonstrations of layered bulb planting and thanks also to all those who helped out on the day.

CJL Stand
CJL Stand

Finally, for our December meeting, we had our Christmas lunch at Les Voyageurs, it was really a lovely atmosphere and most enjoyable. Special thanks go to Shirley Sears-Black for organising it so well – loved the little picture tokens with our choices on!

Christmas Lunch

It has been a year of mixed emotions, but what a lovely group of people our gardening friends are. Make the most of the festive season, may it bring good health, warmth and comfort – see you all in 2019.

Belinda