There has been a bit of a chill in the air, but I am hopeful that we will continue to have some bright warm days into autumn, so that we can enjoy the tasks of preparing the garden for winter.
Welcome to our new members
We are delighted to have had 12 new members join us this year and to have had a chance to meet most of them now. Please keep spreading the word and bring your friends along to visits and meetings to see what we get up to.
Last call for photos
September is the last month for submissions to our Photo Competition, so please get your entries in. Add them to our albums on Facebook, or send them directly to me.
Here is a draft of the wall calendar and if you haven’t already done so, please pre-order your copies now (fill in the form at the end of this post). The final price will be determined by the quantity we order.
For the next calendar competition we will be having some different themes for each month, so please keep on taking photos of things of interest in your garden.
For our meeting on 12th October we are having a private visit to Arboretum de la Bergerette, 82660 Saint-Sardos. We have brought this forward from November, as it should be better for autumn colour. This arboretum, which houses the national collection of Oaks, is not usually open to the public. Shaun Haddock will give us a guided tour, starting at 14h30 (in English). If you would like to get there earlier, you are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds (there is space under cover if necessary). As well as the oaks, there are many other species of ornamental and fruiting trees and many plants designed to attract and benefit wildlife. I am sure we will enjoy the Alphabet walk, with species from A to Z. An Association has been created to help safeguard the future of the arboretum, and we ask you to make a donation towards the ongoing upkeep of this wonderful resource.
So that we will be able to give Shaun an idea of numbers, please let us know if you can join us, and we will arrange car-sharing (form at the end of this post).
The Fête des Associations on 4th September was a good opportunity for us to introduce the mayor and his team to the club and to make connections with other associations, as well as to let the local residents know what we do. Julia shared tips on saving and cleaning seeds.
Sue Sargeant, who recently raised 684€ for Cancer Support France by opening her garden, wants to redesign this bed of sedums, so will soon be digging them up, splitting them and potting on for planting out next Spring. Sue says “if there are any members who would like to observe this and learn how to divide them and take away their own Sedum they are welcome to come along.” Date to be confirmed late Oct/ early Nov. Register your interest by completing the form at the end.
Our visit to Les Jardins de Coursiana on 14th September, was a wonderful outing, with a delicious lunch beforehand at L’Etape Angeline, organised by Shirley, and and an interesting and informative tour of the gardens. There was such a lot to see and enjoy. It really is worth a repeat visit. I’ll post a gallery of photos in the Members Area.
To do in late September and October
It’s time to be sowing Phacelia as a green manure, peas for an early crop (under cloches or in the polytunnel), mixed salad leaves in trays, broad beans to over-winter, summer cauliflowers, spinach, and other leafy veg, and maybe some fast-growing turnips to harvest around Christmas. I also like to sow sweet peas before the end of October, to benefit from earlier flowers.
I will be mulching as I weed and clear spaces, with whatever I can get – horse manure, garden compost, cardboard covered with grass cuttings – the more we can cover the ground over winter, the less work there is to do in Spring.
On a dry day, you can collect seeds from hardy perennials, which can be sown straight away (or saved for our seed swap in November). It’s also a good time to move any deciduous shrubs that are in the wrong place, and to plant new evergreen ones. You can take cuttings now from ornamental trees and shrubs.
With all the leaves starting to fall, gather them up and store in bin bags, or make a big heap in a chicken-wire bin, to rot down into leafmould.
It’s not too late to order spring flowering bulbs – don’t forget that you can get a 15% discount from Farmer Gracy by using the code jardinagedelauzerte at the checkout. Their warehouse is in the Netherlands, so there is no problem with them delivering to France (unlike our suppliers for discounted seeds, who currently are not shipping outside of Britain). By the way, don’t be tempted to sow tulips too early, it is better to wait until we have had some cold weather, to minimise the risk of tulip fire.
Dates for your Diary
La Salicaire plant fair at Saint Nicolas de la Grave is on Sunday 17th October from 9h – 18h. You can see a list of exhibitors here. It is one of the best events in our area, with a wide range of plants from specialists.
On Saturday 6th November, we have been offered a private visit to the garden of Liz’s friend Nadia at Hautefage La Tour (47), with lovely grasses and other plants that look good in autumn. Liz has suggested that this could be combined with a morning visit to Chateau La Stelsia, at Saint-Sylvestre-sur-Lot, which is an unusual place, with a large parkland with interesting trees, metal and wooden art sculptures, a beautiful rose garden, lake with waterlilies and black swans. Although the roses won’t be at their best, the acer trees will hopefully have good Autumn colour. Enough to wander around for an hour or so, weather permitting. Le Bistrot there has a menu de jour which is always very good. If you would like to join us on this outing, please let us know on the form below, and we will see if we can negotiate a special price for lunch for our group.
Our plant and seed swap will now take place on Tuesday 9th November at the Salle de L’Eveillé in Lauzerte at 14h. If you have some garden produce such as jams, chutneys, dried fruits and vegetables, do bring them along (with a recipe) or make something tasty with your fresh produce, for our Garden to Table tasting. This will be a good opportunity to chat and share our experiences, of what has gone well, or been particularly challenging this year in the garden, and talk about our garden plans for next year.
We still need a few volunteers please, for our stand at the Journée de l’Arbre, at the Salle des Fêtes in Lauzerte, on Sunday 21st November. There will be lots of interesting exhibitors at this event, and we will be launching our calendar. So do come along to support us and the local pépinières and artisans.
If you can help, please tick the box on the form below.
Our final meeting of the year will be the Photo Exhibition and Prize Giving on Saturday 4th December at the main Salle des Fêtes in Lauzerte from 14h. Isabelle Durand will give us a demonstration of making a Christmas Wreath. All the winning photos from the calendar competition will be printed up and on display. Please make every effort to come along, bring your friends, enjoy all the photos, learn how to make a wreath, and celebrate our winners. Can you make some mince pies or a cake for us? Please let us know, below.
Keep in touch
Don’t forget that between meetings, you can connect with other members on our Facebook group where you will also find photo albums from our visits and useful information in the files. You can ask for advice, share plants and seeds, tell us about local events, upload photos of gardens you visit….
I have recently updated our list of Pépinières, and the Google map that goes with it also includes all the public gardens that we know of in this area. If you know somewhere that is missing, please let me know. You can download the list here :
For those not on Facebook, please visit our website and especially the Members Only area, where you can find photo galleries, information on our discount codes and presentations from our meetings – remember, the password for those pages is cjl82110.
Looking forward to seeing you all again soon, please do complete our feedback form below, if you would like to come on any of our visits, or can help out.