Plympton Gardeners Association

                                                                                          August News

At their August meeting Plympton Gardeners remembered two much respected members of the local gardening community who have recently died. Sam Brown had been chairperson of Plympton Fuchsia and Geranium Group for many years. Len Woodward was a long time member of Plympton Gardeners and a judge at local shows, judging both flowers and vegetables. He had worked as Head Gardener at the Mount Edgcombe estate and was very knowledgeable about all aspects of gardening. Fellow judge Bob Shaw said that Len will be sorely missed on the Plymouth judging circuit and at events in the wider area of Devon and Cornwall.

The PGA was glad to welcome Rebecca Wells as the speaker. Rebecca came to talk about gravel gardens and gave a very interesting illustrated talk covering all aspects of gardening in these conditions. She explained where gravel gardens occur naturally, how to replicate the conditions in our own gardens, the best materials to use and the plants that are best suited to growing in this way.
She showed illustrations of gardens where gravel had been used and the plants flourishing in them, and sparked a lively debate among members about aspects of garden design.

The PGA are holding their 70th Annual Show on August 17th, at Harewood House, and the Show Secretary asked for help in setting up the show, for donations of bric- a -brac, plants and cakes to sell.

The monthly competitions were well supported with prizes going to Keith Clapton for both fruit and flowers, to Barbara Blakely for craft and Maureen Styler for needlecraft.
The Gardeners will meet again on September 5th at Harewood House at 7:30pm. On that occasion the speaker will be Tricia Howard talking about the Hidden Valley Garden.

                                                                                            Jobs to do in August
Fruit and vegetables

Plant out strawberries.
3rd spray copper fungicide on all potatoes.
Prune out all fruited canes on raspberries.
Earth up leeks and celery.


Regularly deadhead plants such as dahlias &
penstemons to prolong their flowering.
Prune climbing and rambling roses that do not
repeat flower.
Propagate pinks and carnations by layering.
Feed containers with a liquid tomato feed once a
week to prolong flowering.

                                                                                                             July News

Sweet peas were a theme running through the July meeting of Plympton Gardeners Association.
Club vice president, Dr. Keith Clapton, had offered 5 plants of Sweet Pea 'Gwendoline' to members at the April meeting, with the challenge to bring blooms in to the July meeting for a competition. There were 12 vases of fragrant entries and Keith judged the winner to be Richenda Shuter's bouquet.
There were also sweet peas in the monthly competitions. John Gilding took the prize for flowers with his sweet peas, Jenny Mercer won the art prize with a watercolour of sweet peas and there was even an entry in the handicraft competition of some sugarcraft sweet peas.
The prize for fruit and veg went to Phil Warren for strawberries and Barbara Blakely took the needlecraft prize with a decorated walnut purse.

Because the booked speaker had had to cancel, the members were fortunate to have Saul Walker as a replacement. He spoke about his career in horticulture and the many twists and turns that had brought him to his present job as head gardener at Stonelands at Dawlish Warren. From the early influence of his grandparents, training at Antony House and Kew and working to organise RHS shows at Hampton Court and Chelsea, his career eventually brought him back to Devon and his first love - practical garden maintenance.
Plympton Gardeners will be meeting again on August 1st when Rebecca Wells will be talking about the Gravel Garden. Meetings take place at Harewood house at 7:30pm and new members are always welcome.
The PGA will be holding their 70th Annual Show on Saturday 17th August at Harewood House. There are competitions for flowers, fruit and vegetables, domestic science, floral art, handicrafts and junior exhibits. These are open to non-members and schedules can be obtained by contacting the Show Secretary, Paul Hutchins on 519504.

                                                                                                  Jobs to do in July

Fruit and vegetables

2nd spray copper fungicide on all potatoes.
Thin out raspberry canes.
Plant out: lettuces, winter cabbages and leeks.
Apply lime to celery bed.
Sow outdoors: spring cabbage, late carrots.
Mulch all fruit trees and bushes against water loss.
Top dress peas with general fertiliser.
Pinch out the tips of climbing beans when they reach
the top of their supports.


Start planting autumn flowering bulbs such as
autumn flowering crocuses and nerines.
Regularly deadhead flowers in containers and
hanging baskets & apply a liquid feed.
Collect seed from annuals and take cuttings from
perennials that you want to grow next year.
Watch out for and treat blackspot and powdery
mildew on roses and clematis.
Cut lavender for drying.















                                                              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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