Beacon Report June 2021

Binfield Garden Club June 2021

It’s hard to believe that here we are in June and half-way through 2021. The
longest day of the year falls on June 21st.
Gertrude Jekyll said “What is one to say about June, the time of perfect
young summer, the fulfilment of the promise of the earlier months, and with
as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”
For advice to keep our gardens beautiful as long as possible without fading,
our club invited Christine Skelmersdale to give a talk on Zoom on May 6th
entitled The Year Round Bulb Garden. Christine has won numerous Chelsea Gold
Medals, is also a lecturer, author and holds the coveted Victoria Medal of
Honour (VMH) – the RHS’s highest award for services to horticulture.
Christine is a specialist on bulbs and runs a family firm, ‘Broadleigh
Gardens’ in Somerset, which has been propagating small bulbs and unusual
perennials for the last 40 years.

Christine’s excellent talk took us through the year, showing beautiful
photos of flowering bulbs beginning with Colchicum for autumn, the flowers
with no leaves and member of the lily family best under trees and shrubs.
They should not be confused with the true autumn crocus which is part of the
iris family. In January we have the cyclamens and their pretty pink and
white flowers. February brings displays of snowdrops – introduced into
Britain in the 17th Century and now so many varieties, singles, doubles and
with different markings. Remember that to increase your display you must
lift and split them. Christine’s bulb choice for March was erythroniums for
the woodlands and she recommended the easiest one to grow is Pagoda. April’s
bulb is, of course, Narcissus (Daffodils), the large ones need no
introduction but there are many small ones to enjoy and a new white one is
Ice Baby. Hawera is fantastic for pots and Poeticus is the last one to
flower with a lovely scent.       May is tulip time and there are some
pretty dwarf cultivars such as Little Beauty and Bright Gem. In June the
alliums love hot, dry conditions and in July look out for lilies. They like
their heads in the sun and their feet in the shade. African Queen can grow
up to 8ft tall!! In midsummer there are the Crocosima – very vigorous in our
climate and brilliant colours with Zambezi being Christine’s favourite. No
excuses now for not having flowers all year round! Christine kindly answered
questions from members and Ralph, our chairman, thanked her for a most
inspiring talk.
Our talk on June 4th will be What do I do with this space? by Darren Lerigo.
Darren’s speciality is pruning and topiary and he has been widely seen on
television and in Country Life. All members will be notified if this is
again on Zoom.  Full details of our programme for the year and other news is
on our website   binfieldgardenclub.wordpress.com    Remember the love of
gardening is a seed once sown that never dies! Take care everyone.