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