Plympton Gardeners Association


October News

John Gilding, welcomed all the members and visitors to the October meeting and requested that the visitors join - membership is approaching 100. He introduced Sara Rittershausen from Burnham Nurseries, Newton Abbot. She brought a wide range of orchids from the nursery which is 70 years old. Her talk was inspiring and provoked an array of questions.

Every year Bob Shaw organises a “grow the heaviest onion” competition. This year the heaviest onion was grown by Lynne Langridge (2lb 10oz), 2nd Bob Shaw (2lb 8oz)and 3rd Lorna Rogers (2lb 5oz).

Bob also launched his daffodil competition. The five blooms, in a pot, will be judged next March.

Help and contributions were requested for the Harewood House coffee bar which will be run by the PGA from Monday January 6th till Friday 10th . If you would like to help in any way please contact Paul Hutchings on 519504.

The four monthly competitions were well supported. The winners were Belinda Witts(a vase of flowers), Dr Keith Clapton( runner beans)and Sally Luscombe with both (a drawing of Plymbridge) and (knitted flowers).

The next meeting is on Thursday November 7th at 7:30pm in Harewood House.


                                                   Jobs to do in October

  Fruit and Veg

  Take cuttings of gooseberries. Prune grape vines. Clear onion beds. Start digging of deep trench beds for potatoes, onions and legumes. Renew top dressing on rhubarb beds.


Continue planting spring flowering bulbs. Plant new herbaceous perennials. Divide overcrowded herbaceous perennials. Clear summer bedding. Lift dahlias after first frost. Bring tender plants into the greenhouse for the winter.

   September News     

At their monthly meetings Plympton Gardeners have competitions for members in four different categories: flowers, fruit and vegetables, art and craft and needlecraft. The horticultural entries are judged by experienced judges using RHS criteria and with marks out of a possible maximum of ten. At the September meeting there were lots of high quality entries in the flower and fruit and vegetable competitions, as would be expected at this time of year. When the results were announced there was a spontaneous burst of applause for the maximum score of 10 marks achieved by Carol Penhallurick with her entry of 5 perfect dessert apples. An exceptional result!

The speaker at the meeting was Tricia Howard from Hidden Valley Gardens and Nursery who gave an interesting illustrated talk on a year at the 3.5 acre garden, which she maintains alongside her husband Peter. She talked about the history of the garden, which they have developed over a period of 20 years, and showed pictures of it throughout the year. She explained the work they have to tackle each month, including the periods when they are open to visitors.

The Show Secretary, Paul Hutchings, reported to members on the PGA 70th Annual Show which was held at Harewood House in August. He was pleased to state that the show had attracted more entries than in previous years, including many people who had not exhibited at the Plympton Show before. Also the numbers of people coming to see the Show were higher than in previous years.This augers well for the future.

The Trading Hut at Stoggy Lane will be open just once more this year, on Sunday 6th October. The members annual competition for the heaviest onion will be judged at the October meeting.

The next meeting of the PGA will be held on Thursday October 3rd at Harewood House, at 7:30pm, when the speaker will be Sarah Ritterhausen talking about Orchids.

                                                                                         Jobs to do in September

Fruit and Vegetables

Top dress sprouts with Nitrate of Soda.
Lift remaining onions, potatoes, carrots & beetroot.
Plant out spring cabbages.
Apply grease bands to all fruit trees.


Take cuttings of tender perennials such as pelargoniums and osteospurnums and keep in a greenhouse or on a windowsill over winter.
Plant out spring flowering biennials such as wallflowers, foxgloves & violas.
Continue to feed hanging baskets.
Sow sweet peas.
Deadhead perennials that are still flowering.
Collect seeds from perennials that have finished flowering.
Prune climbing roses as they finish flowering.

                                                                                                      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.

















                                                              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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