Wild Life in your pond: Well balanced planting to enhance the habitatLinda Smith of Waterside Nursery, Leicestershire, is our speaker on Monday 10 March at 7.15pm. The nursery is a small family run business specialising in pond and bog garden plants. Members might like to check the website in advance, Linda is prepared to bring any orders with her and save the postage and packing charges.
Plants for sale, visitors £3
HELP WANTEDFOBS executive committee are seeking help from interested and talented FOBS members and volunteers.
1) We need someone to create leaflets, booklets, posters and flyers for FOBS talks and events. All information would be supplied, but he or she must have experience in using desktop publishing software, such as 'Publisher', in order to produce professional quality pdf files which can then be sent to a printing company.
2) Do you enjoy writing? We need people willing and able to write articles and press releases for the local media about FOBS events, e.g. the 30th FOBS Anniversary and Himalayan Garden Opening scheduled for 24 June 2014.
If you are interested and can help - please email the FOBS Committee or speak to the Chairman at any FOBS meeting.
Tour Guide's Briefing Day - Wednesday 19 March 2014Volunteer guides and assistants are invited to attend a meeting starting at 12noon, with time for packed lunches and hot drinks. Tour organiser Kay Keeton will explain this year's programme and Curator Ian Turner will join the group at 1pm to lead a tour of the Gardens emphasing the highlights for 2014.
Curator's Briefing Day for Volunteers 2014
Volunteers at the beech tree stump.
©Alison Hunter, 15 January 2014
Sarcococca confusa ©Alison Hunter, 15 January 2014
A very mild day for January, if somewhat cloudy and damp, saw a record turnout of volunteers for the Curator's Briefing Day. Ian Turner went over health and safety procedures, basically a common sense approach to knowing your own limitations and being aware not only for your own safety but that of everyone else. Keep tools tidy, avoid leaving tripping hazards and remember not to overload collecting bags so that the staff can collect them without injury. Each volunteer has now been issued with a FOBS handbook describing procedures and working practices.
The tour started at the remains of an old beech tree outside the Robert Marnock Garden. The tree had become infected with Meripilus giganteus and had to be felled. A stump has been left and Ian hopes to plane down the surface so that annual growth rings can be counted and a display of local and world-wide events can be mounted to show the history of the Gardens while the tree was growing. The loss of this tree has made a huge different to the growing conditions in and around the Marnock Garden, essentially from deep shade to an open south-west aspect. New planting is being considered.
There are some exciting events happening in the Gardens this year, in June there will be a 'Garden-Up' event with show gardens, plant sales, demonstrations and equipment exhibitions. The 'Tour de France' will be celebrated in the bedding displays in the Victorian Garden and the beds immediately in front of the Pavilions.
The 'Spring' area in the Four Season's Garden has been totally replanted and we look forward to the sight of the new bulbs and plants - hopefully only a matter of weeks away! The Himalayan Bed has developed well, most plants having been grown from seed directly sourced from that region. Mulch has been ordered to improve the soil condition and discourage weeds and the area will be the 'star' attraction during FOBS 30th birthday celebrations.
As we haven't really experienced any severe 'winter weather' so far this year, the more tender plants in the Mediterranean Garden are doing surprisingly well considering they were only planted in May last year. Even the 'Money Tree' Crassula arborescens has survived outside so far. One major loss due to high winds in early December was the 'Headache Tree' Umbellularia californica, which will alter the environment in the Asia Garden. The Hamamelis Walk in the Woodland Garden is growing well - and scent of the Sarcococca perfumed the whole of the Gardens.
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