Gardens and Gardening

There are many possibilities in the topic of ‘Gardens’, so we have set out some overall themes to start with, along with some more specific ideas about how to grow and nurture our garden interests. We would like to hear what people think of these, and are open to other ideas as well – it is your group.

Our proposed themes are:

Sharing practical tips
Seasonal themes
Types of plant
Visiting gardens
Garden design
Practical work

We will also make visits to gardens in the London area, and maybe to members’ plant containers, gardens and allotments.

  • Frequency: Monthly
  • When: Third Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. Visits will be by arrangement
  • Where: Depends on the activity. “Home” (at least to begin with) is a house in Park Avenue South, N8

Group Conveners: Sarah Dearman and Rebecca Harrington

To join this Group complete this Contact Form

* indicates required field

This Form may also be used to contact the Convener on other matters relating to this Group’s activities

Our activities

The Gardens Group started well at the Open Event, and is now up to 30 members, all with a lively interest in a wide range of gardens and gardening topics.

Our meetings began with sharing interests, problem areas and ideas for group discussion and activities. We had a discussion on pruning, and finished the year with a festive session including traditional American popcorn and cranberry decorations.

2018 started with tips from a local gardener, Alfie Bines, on Getting ready for Spring at our January meeting, with ideas for planning and preparing for the coming seasons with colours and shapes, and interesting shrubs which grow well in most local conditions.

In February Chris told us about her experience of learning beekeeping, a complex task which needs training, and fascinating and productive when you have some expertise. Who knew there are 620 species of bee living in the UK? She also talked about creating pollinator-friendly gardens. Bees need water, so a pond, however small, helps them directly, as well as encouraging birds and frogs which will eat pests, avoiding harmful pesticides. A ‘bug house’ and a small log pile complete the bee friendly landscaping.
If we then plant plenty of their favourite simple, non-hybrid flowers like salvia, borage, lavender (in pots if we have heavy clay soil) rosemary, sedum, herbs and winter flowers like sweet box, ivy and hellebores, we’ll be helping these essential creatures to benefit our gardens and the wider eco-system.

We’ve been meeting in members’ homes so far, but will branch out for three spring visits to local gardens which are part of the National Gardens Scheme, and which will open specially for us. There are charges for these visits. These gardens look splendid when open to the public in the summer, so we want to see how they start off in spring and get ideas for the work ahead in our own! There are plans for some plant swapping too.