Events Past

Reports of previous HPS Norfolk and Suffolk Group events, as told by our members.

Indoor Meeting: Talk by Peter Skeggs-Gooch "Different Ways With Clematis"

Written by Cherry Williams. Posted in Events Past

Clematis "Liberty"

A talk by Peter Skeggs-Gooch. HPS 12 January 2019

Clematis are such a diverse genus – a collection of climbers, scramblers, herbaceous and evergreen plants flowering all through the seasons that they lend themselves to be used in ways other than the climbers we know.

Companion Planting with another shrub or climber gives them the natural support they need and extends the season of interest. Roses, Conifers, Wisteria, Honeysuckle and Trachelospermum are good examples. Choose colour combinations carefully.

Manmade Supports can screens areas, add height to the border, disguise buildings and fences. Obelisks, walls, porches, tennis courts you can train Clematis up anything.

Cut Flowers, Table Arrangements and Bridal Bouquets. To use the flowers seal the stems with an open flame and put in cold water, they will last for 14 days or so, the large flowered varieties don't last so not advisable to use.

Clematis in Pots. Not all varieties are suitable, some are bred specifically for this culture. Soil in a 2ft diameter pot should be 50/50 John Innes and Multi Purpose, the smaller the pot use more JI to MultiP. Remember to feed. Peter's favourites: Crystal Fountain, Pixie, Liberty and Taiga.

Ground Cover and Herbaceous. These Clematis are non clinging. They make good ground cover or let them scramble naturally over plants and shrubs. Peter's favourites: Arabella, Durandii, Cassandra, Integrifolia vars, Aromatica.

Late Season Flowerers. These Clematis extend the season up to October. Peter's favourites : Gravetye Beauty, Duchess of Albany, Princess Kate, Margot Koster, Venosa Violacea , Redheriana.

Visit www.thorncroftclematis.co.uk for their full catalogue

Indoor Meeting: Talk by Dr. Twigs Way "Virgins, Weeders and Queens - a History of Women Gardeners"

Written by Jenny Hodgson. Posted in Events Past

Virgins, Weeders and Queens - a History of Women Gardeners

A talk by Dr. Twigs Way. HPS 8 December 2018

This talk was based on the fascinating book by Dr. Way encompassing the role of women in gardening from Medieval Times to the present day. The Virgins, Weeders and Queens was added to the original title to make the book more saleable!

In the 1600's lower class women were allowed to grow food and medicinal herbs for money - 3p a day while men were paid 6p plus free herring and ale! If a husband who ran a Market Garden died, his wife could run it until a son could manage it. Mistress Tuggie who wrote The Book of Hours for women was just such a lady.

Queen Eleanor introduced hollyhocks and quinces and Queen Mary installed glasshouses at Hampton Court. She had a collection of exotic plants brought back by Captains from around the world. Princess Augusta continued her dead husband's work at Kew, building the Pagoda and Orangery and a collection of plants from around the world.

In the 1800s Aristocratic Ladies could nurture and water their gardens and conservatories. In the 1900s, Surplus Women whose husbands had died became Lady Gardeners. They were often  daughters of professional parents and  became Head Gardeners of Ladies' Estates.

After the war, ladies became more active. Gertrude Jekyll was the first female garden designer. Many were multi talented as was Vita Sackville West at Sissinghurst. The Land Army changed the role of women gardeners and the clothes they could wear improved their life dramatically.

Dr. Way finished her talk with the inspiring story of Beth Chatto whose wonderful garden many of us will have visited.