Plympton Gardeners Association

May News

Plympton Gardeners were fortunate to have a visit from Martin Stott, senior gardener at Saltram House, at their May meeting. Martin gave his audience a short account of his own life as a gardener before turning to the subject of the gardens at Saltram. Using aerial photos taken about a century ago he was able to compare the Edwardian garden with what exists today. He explained how a staff of 4 gardeners, 1 apprentice and 40 volunteers maintain the garden and plan to develop areas of high intensity planting for the future. There were many questions from the audience at the conclusion of Martin's talk.

At the meeting onion plants were available for the members annual onion competition. It was announced that schedules for the Annual Show will be available soon from the Show Secretary, Paul Hutchins tel. 519504.The PGA will be running the coffee bar at Harewood House at the beginning of July and donations of cakes and sandwich fillings were requested. The chairman, John Gilding, also asked members for plants that could be offered for sale on the Gardener's stall at the Plympton May Fair on Saturday 11th May.

The monthly competitions were won by Keith Clapton (for flowers) with 5 tulips, by Sally Luscombe (art) with a pastel drawing of Marigolds and by Barbara Blakely (needlecraft) with a framed embroidery.

The PGA will meet again on Thursday 6th June at 7:30pm at Harewood house, when Peter Savage will be talking about Hostas.

Jobs to do in May

Fruit & Vegetables

Sow outdoors: main crop potatoes, 2nd crop beetroot, 2nd crop peas.
Plant out: runner beans, dwarf beans, lettuce, cauliflower, summer cabbage & sprouts.


Protect half-hardy plants from late frosts. Gradually harden off young plants grown from seeds or cuttings. Deadhead tulips and daffodils but allow the foliage to die down naturally. Thin out direct sowings of hardy annuals. Tie sweet peas into supports as they start to grow. Divide primroses/primulas that have finished flowering. Plant up hanging baskets but protect from frost.

April News

It was a case of 'two for the price of one' at Plympton Gardeners April meeting, when members had the benefit of the knowledge of two speakers on the theme of 'Growing for Showing'.

Dave Wickstead gave advice on growing stump carrots and potatoes for entering into horticultural shows. Dr. Keith Clapton followed this with a talk about the history and cultivation of sweet peas. He had started off pots of sweet pea 'Gwendoline' to give to members, to encourage entries at the Plympton Annual Show in August. He also announced a competition between members to be held at the June meeting of the PGA.

The chairman, John Gilding, stated that, this year, the National Vegetable Society plaque would be awarded at the August Show
for 5 globe beetroots and he encouraged members to sow seeds now. John also put out a request for plants to sell at Plympton's May Fair on 11th May.

There was a good display of flowers on the monthly competition tables, with Chris Bishop taking first place with some daffodils. Sally Luscombe won both the vegetable and craft prizes with swiss chard and some colourful weaving.

The next meeting of Plympton Gardeners will be on Thursday 2nd May at 7:30 at Harewood house when the speaker will be Martin Stott from Saltram.

Jobs to do in April

Fruit and vegetables

Sow indoors: runner beans, dwarf beans, herbs, marrows, pumpkins and sweet corn.
Sow oudoors: early potatoes, beetroot.
Top dress with fish blood and bone all beds for peas, beans, lettuce and strawberries.


Top dress all beds with fish, blood & bone.
Divide clumps of herbaceous perennials.
Plant out autumn sown sweet peas.
Prune penstemons, cutting down old foliage.
Plant summer flowering bulbs.
Put supports around perennials.
Deadhead spring bedding plants.















                                                              A new service for members from January 2014

Members who cannot get to the trading hut but wish to purchase garden supplies can now email Dave Wickstead (at  to place an order, which can then be collected at the next meeting.




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