April 2017

The speaker for our meeting at Powick Village Hall on 15th April was Ross Barbour. He was previously Head Gardener at Ragley Hall where he created new smaller gardens within the grounds producing a diversity of habitats and achieving a natural balance with horticultural interest for every season. He used to do practical talks throughout the year at Ragley focussing on these new developments, sharing his knowledge and giving advice that could be useful to amateur gardeners. Now along with partner Helen Picton he is involved with the development of Old Court Nursery & Picton Gardens, providing a garden consultancy and design service.

In his excellent presentation on “Bulbs for the unusual” he shared his research on the gardeners who developed the huge variety of bulbs and corms that are available now. He showed many beautiful photographs of snowdrops, nerines, crocuses, and daffodils, tracking the history of each where possible. He managed to find images of many of the early plantsmen and women and told us something about their lives. The flowers, of course, were stunning and many were unusual, some rare and therefore expensive. He explained how much work and time it took to develop and propagate these plants on a commercial scale.

Our next meeting is a Gardener’s Market & Cafe on Saturday May 20th at Powick Parish Hall. Free admission.

Lorna Winstone