garden shed

Winter 2024 – A letter from the garden shed

Our theme this year is Flowers in your Garden, so I am going to try and make sure each quarter there are ideas, hints etc related to this. Flowers add to the biodiversity in our gardens by bringing in pollinators and birds all essential to a well- balanced garden.

However, growing them can be a challenge with so many insects and critters who want to eat them. Also, our weather and soil can be an additional challenge so we will try to pass on as much knowledge as we can.

10th birthday celebrations

The first meeting of the CJL was in January 2014. It was a breakaway from another gardening club and was created to meet the needs of the members and to serve the Lauzerte area. Since then, we have grown and grown and now have 101 members. Some live here permanently, others are summertime visitors – but all are welcome. All of us face the same challenges, the weather either very wet (like this winter so far) or bone dry for months on end. The soil can be stoney, clay or both. Rarely is it a rich loam, but despite this we create some stunning gardens to enjoy.

Hats off to you all for achieving some beautiful gardens despite these challenges.

A little note from Luci in Marketing, P.R. & Events!
This year we have some great events planned. We hope that you come to as many as possible.
We have put a lot of effort into making a varied calendar for all our members for this year. If there is something you think would be a great event or topic for a meeting in 2025, please email us.
We love planning. Please do email and ask if you would like to sign up for anything. The earlier we know how many for each event the smoother they run. Luci xxx


  • January 9th – 10th Birthday Celebrations – with a Gardening Quiz, Full afternoon tea including sandwiches, scones, and cake!! and we are drawing the winner of our Raffle.
  • February 6th – Felting workshop. Here is your chance to make a pretty flower pin cushion in a flowerpot to use yourself or give as a gift. €25 pp All materials provided. Booking essential.
  • February 13th – AGM – Our annual AGM is to give you the members, an overview of how the club is doing, what we have planned and the way forward. We will also have a talk from Betty Lilly on How to Create and Maintain a Mediterranean Garden.
  • 12th March – Making Paper Flowers Workshop, learn how to make stunning paper flowers that look so real. All materials provided; cost is €25.00. Booking essential.
  • 28th March – Easter Lunch at the Auberge de Brelan – a beautiful spring lunch and our Easter Bonnet Competition – booking essential.

Winners of the Autumn Photo Competition

We had 84 entries which the Admin team whittled down to our top 10, from there, we voted on the top 4. The winner is Liz Mitchell’s picture of a stunning cobweb caught with dew in the early morning. The runner up is Lucinda Wilson’s Mushrooms.


  • Feed the birds, – with bad weather here they need every bit of help
  • Buy seed Potatoes – start them chitting
  • Sow perennial seeds – get off to an early start
  • Clean tools -and get the lawn mower ready for spring
  • Sow pelargoniums
  • Force rhubarb – for an early crop
  • Remove leaves of hellebores – so you can see the flowers
  • Vegetable bed – Plan your new veg bed
  • Sow broad beans
  • Plant garlic sets
  • Sow carrots under fleece
  • Weed paths, – start now, save time later
  • Plant bare root roses
  • Plant bare root trees
  • Peas – Start early peas such as Feltham First in pots


  • Grasses – Cut back/down the grasses to make way for new growth
  • Onions – Start onions in pots in the greenhouse for an early crop
  • Lilies – Plant Lily bulbs
  • Heather – Prune winter heather
  • Herbaceous perennials – Cut back if not already done
  • Containers – Check your containers, top dress if required
  • Seedlings – Prick out seedlings
  • Cauliflowers – Sow cauliflower seeds for early crop
  • Cannas – Start your cannas
  • Broad beans – Sow broad beans
  • Sweet peas – Sow sweet peas
  • Chillies – Sow chillies
  • Protect – brassicas from pigeon damage by netting
  • Tomato – Sow tomato seeds
  • Prune – hardy trees and fruit trees


  • Salad leaves – Plant out hardy salads to ensure a good supply this summer
  • Clematis – Prune late flowering clematis
  • Annuals – Plant annuals for an early display
  • Begonia – Start off begonia tubers in trays
  • Lily Bulbs – Pots up newly bought lily bulbs
  • Perennials – Lift and divide perennials – best way to double your plants for free!
  • Seedlings – Pot up self sown seedlings ready to move them where you want them
  • Snail alert – Watch out for snails and slugs
  • Seedlings – Prick out seedlings
  • Greenfly etc – Watch out for early signs of greenfly and other aphid.
  • Dahlias – Start your Dahlias. If overwintered take them out, check for rot, remove damaged parts of the tuber and pot up. If buying new, get them into compost asap
  • Compost – Turn your compost to start heating it up
  • Weather – watch the temperatures very carefully, we can still have cold nights or a late frost
  • Wisteria – cut back to 6 buds to ensure a great flowering season

Planning a Cut Flower Garden:

We had a fabulous talk from Rachel Cave last year about planning and planting cut Flower Garden. Rachel has provided us with a list of her favourite plants, that do well for her in our soil and our climate. Use this list to start your own. Be aware that those marked with ** need a lot of watering.

Statice, Snapdragons**,  Sunflowers, Celosia**,  Dahlias**,  Larkspur, Gomphrena, Cosmos, Scabious, Nigella, Echinops, Gypsophlia Paniculata.

Planning a Vegetable Patch?


Happy Winter Gardening to you all from Luci and Edwina