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23rd JUNE 2015


Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Eddie Munro – PELARGONIUMS


Meeting starts at 7.45p.m





My pond is looking quite good at the moment.  I have had to purchase a new pump and this has really helped clear the water.  I can see my golden and blue orfe and even my one koi!  They are getting quite hungry now, so I am making sure I feed them at least twice a day. 

My lawn is also in need of a lot of attention.  I have only managed to mow it twice so far this year.  It’s not good enough I’m afraid!  I really must scarify it as well to rid the lawn of unwanted moss. 

You may remember in August last year I had a huge holly tree cut down by a recommended tree surgeon and I planted a number of different kinds of ferns.  Thankfully most have survived, but I also have some unwanted euphorbias which have sprung up everywhere, (they’re like a weed!).  I also have a climber which is equally invasive.  I am not sure what it is called but despite it displaying small delicate yellow flowers in the Summer, it is becoming a nuisance as it raps itself around any bush or shrub going! 

My rockery which is home to mostly heucheras (and unwanted spring bulbs!) is looking very colourful and with the added backdrop of acers which are also looking at their best, I can honestly say that the bottom of my garden is looking quite splendid! 

Despite this, there is still so much I have to do.  I will need to ensure that I keep my acers watered as they do suffer so when left to dry out (they are mainly in pots).  I still have more than half of my fuchsias to check, pinch back and maybe take a few more cuttings!  I did manage to pot up my hanging baskets this weekend and a couple of planters, so I’m getting there.


Plant Sale at Wollaton Park Community Centre

Thanks to everyone who visited the coffee morning held on Friday 15th May. It was great to see some familiar faces, and whilst we were kept fairly busy, we did have an opportunity to have a chat, which is something we can’t always do on a normal monthly meeting, regrettably.


Plant Sale at Beechdale Pub, Beechdale, Nottingham

We have worked even harder this year to promote the plant sale at the Beechdale pub.  We have distributed flyers round the area, left flyers at the pub to promote the event, hoping it will appeal to the locals. Also adverts have been put in local free magazines. Thankfully it was better weather this year….


Plant Sale at Autokarna, Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

Please note that we are holding another Plant sale at Wollaton Park on the 31st May. We usually do well here (depending on the weather!). We have an ideal position and attract customers as they first enter the event from the car park or when they return to their cars. If you have any plants which you’d like to donate, please let one of the committee members know. Also, better still, if you have nothing better to do, come along, we’d love to see you!



Preparations and support for our Annual show

It’s that time of year again, when we want your support. To help make our show the best it has ever been, if you can spare any time over the 2 days of the weekend, we’d really appreciate it, as the saying goes…


’Many hands make light work’


What can you do to help?


  • Man a stall
  • Help washing up
  • Help set up the room, Friday p.m.
  • Stay behind Sunday to help tidy up



What else can you do to help?


  • Bake cakes
  • Donate tombola prizes
  • Put your 1st exhibit on the show bench
  • Put more than 1 exhibit on the show bench


Engraving of Trophies

It was agreed at the last Committee meeting that following the presentation of Trophies on the Sunday (9th August), the trophies will be collected in and be engraved on mass.  They will then be available to collect at the August monthly meeting.  It was felt then the winners could display the trophies with pride as their names would be engraved confirming that they were this years winners!


Just thought it right to include an excerpt from The British Fuchsia Society Spring Bulletin 2015 concerning a New Cultivar for 2015 (reviewed by John Nicholass): -


‘Geoff B Smith’

This introduction named after the BFS judge and fuchsia enthusiast from Nottingham is upright and bushy with mid to light green foliage and small single flowers with a pink tube and sepals and pale lavender corolla with darker picotee edges to the petals.  It will make a nice shaped show plant judging by the one I saw Gordon give to Mike Pervival at the Midland Show.

Parentage: Unnamed seedling x Unnamed seedling.

Hybridiser: Gordon Reynolds

Available from Percival’s Fuchsias.’ 

Let’s hope that we see some on our show bench! 


I have had a couple of email requests asking whether any of our members have the following cultivars: -


Amazing Maisie

Radcliffe Beauty

Derby Star

Derby Countess

Vale of Belvoir

Crown Derby

City Of Derby



If you have any of these cultivars to spare, please let me know.  Many thanks. 

Last Month, we were privileged to have Malcolm with us talking about, yes, his favourite subject: FUCHSIAS.  And for those new to the society, I hope you found him very informative.  However, even though he is a regular speaker here, I can assure you that we all come away having learnt something new! 

Here’s a reminder of some of his key points: - 

Pests & Diseases

Ways to help remedy Pests & Diseases: -

Vine Weevil Killer – use Provado, at least twice a year; Spring & Autumn

Rose Clear – use once a month or fortnightly, it can act as a fungicide as well as an insecticide.

Yellow Fly traps – hang these up in the greenhouse – it’s a good way of identifying the specific bugs that are actually in your greenhouse.

SB Plant Invigorator – use fortnightly.

Green/Yellow Sulphur – to try and reduce or get rid of Botrytis (Grey Mould) – dry stem with kitchen paper and ‘puff’ with yellow or green sulphur


General Husbandry Tips: -

Good Aeration to prevent Botrytis

Clean utensils after every use

Cuttings – take good cuttings, always hold cutting by top pair of leaves and NOT by the stem. Cuttings should not be kept in direct sunlight and should take root within 2 weeks.  Don’t overwater. Or press down as this eradicates air from the compost.

Growing Standards – at earliest opportunity, put cane in to ensure main stem grows up straight. Use tights to tie stem to cane, this will prevent any damage to stem as the tights stretch.  As plant grows, do not be tempted to strip the plant of the leaves, but do take out any side shoots. Leave top 5 side s

shoots to form head. Head should be symmetrical.  To achieve this, keep pinching out every side shoot from the bottom set of side shoots to the top.


The measurement of Standards are (taking from the exhibitors, Judges and Stewards Rule Book & Guidelines): -


Mini Standard – The length of the stem, from compost level to the underside of the first branch must not be less than 15cm, nor more than 25cm.

Quarter Standard – The length of the stem, from compost level to the underside of the first branch, must not be less than 25cm, nor more than 46cm.

Half Standard – The length of the stem, from compost level to the underside of the first branch, must not be less than 46cm, nor more than 76cm.

Full Standard – The length of the stem, from compost level to the underside of the first branch, must not be less than 76cm, nor more than 107cm.


Potting on - Pot on once plant has a decent rootball, but not pot bound. BEST PRACTICE: - pot up into next size pot, pot up round existing pot (or an empty pot, same size), take plant out of pot and place in new pot making sure you don’t press down.

What compost does Malcolm use? - He is adamant that ‘you get what you pay for’.  Malcolm uses Petersfield No. 2 and/or Shamrock.

Growing pockets – these can be purchased at most Garden Centres and Malcolm has relatively huge success

What pH level do Fuchsias prefer? – Ph 7, neutral.


General Basic Tips on showing fuchsias: -


- Get to know your cultivar

- Generally stop pinching out 6 weeks prior to show day to ensure the plant flowers in time.


Hanging Basket/pot – Malcolm usually plants up 5 plants or at least odd numbers.

Again, Malcolm recommends stopping all shoots at the same time to get the best array of flowers on show day.


When potting up a basket, Malcolm recommends 4/6 round the sides leaving round in the centre for an additional pot, which he pots up and inserts at a later date when it is more established.


Shapes – Encliandras are best it you chose to have a go at showing these. Malcolm recommends: - Oojse; Hemsleyana; Lottie Hobbie.

It is best to train/twist stem around frame and keep trimming until you reach the desired effect.


**PLEASE NOTE:  I have purchased some frames from Timmermans Garden Centre (they were reduced by 50%), so if anyone would like one, please let me know.  Stock is limited (only 7) so first come first served. The frame is pig-shaped! £2.00 EACH**



Sangrol – unfortunately, you can’t get hold of this anymore.


In Spring – High Nitrogen feed

Early Summer – Balanced

In preparation for show – High Potash


Basically Malcolm also admitted that really a balanced feed all year round would be sufficient.  However, no need to feed during winter.

Frequency – Malcolm recommends full strength once a week. 




The two favourite birds are the robins and the tits - the robins for their friendliness and the tits for their antics. Both are most noticeable in the winter when so much of the garden is still, and the place to watch the tits is at the bird table.  Hang up a

string bag or wire tube filled with peanuts, or suspend a piece of wire with a lump of fat at the end, and watch them swing upside-down as they feed.

The two commonest garden tits are the blue tit and the great tit.  Many hundreds may pass through the garden during the year but only a few are present at one time.  During the spring and summer a vast quantity of insect pests are devoured – about 10,000 caterpillars are taken back to feed the young in a single nest.  Tits are certainly birds to be encouraged! 


Should Nesting Boxes be provided?

Throughout the winter, tits look for holes in walls and trees which could make satisfactory nesting sites in the spring.  Nesting boxes are available for hanging up in the garden – you may be able to buy one at your garden shop or you can make one by following the rules laid down by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.  The entrance hole must be 3cm across, there must be no perch outside the hole and the box should be placed at least 2m above the ground.

It does seem a great kindness to provide such a nesting box but it may not be so.  Caterpillars are much less common in gardens than in woodland, and the chick deaths in a garden nesting box are many times greater than in a natural nest in the countryside.  Maybe our job should be to provide food in winter and not a nest in spring.


What do Garden Tits eat?

Tits occasionally eat fruit buds and berries, but their main diet consists of aphids, beetles, caterpillars, spiders and slugs.  In autumn they search for seeds – the great tit can break open a hazelnut.  In winter food is scarce, and they will readily descend on a well-stocked bird table.

The great tit is aggressive and noisy, driving other birds away from the fat or cheese on the table.  The blue tit is also quarrelsome, but is more willing to move off to a hanging feeder where it can eat in peace.  Feeding all year round is now the accepted recommendation, but during the breeding season young chicks need grubs, not cheese.


How do you tell the Garden Tits apart?

The two commonest garden tits are rather similar, with yellow breasts and blue wings.  Look closely at their heads – the Blue Tit (11cm) has a bright blue crown and a black eye-tripe – the Great Tit (14cm) has a black and white head and a black stripe down its chest.  The Coal Tit (11cm) is less common and is quite different – the body is grey and buff.


When did Tits first learn to drink milk from the bottle?

Nobody knows for certain when the first Tit learnt to drink the cream from the milk bottle on a doorstep.  The first recorded instance of a tit tearing off the cardboard top was in Southampton in 1921 – many hundreds of sightings were reported in 1949 and today it is a commonplace occurrence. 

Tits are active and inquisitive and tearing away a cardboard cap to get to food below is perhaps not surprising – tits tear bark to get to the hidden insects.  The introduction of the foil top made cream stealing even easier, and the technique would have been quickly learnt and spread by other tits watching the milk-drinking pioneer. 


26 May

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Eddie Munro -  FUCHSIAS

Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

11 – 14 June

BBC Gardeners’ World Live

23 June

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Eddie Munro – PELARGONIUMS

Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

30 June – 5 July

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

11 July

Long Eaton & District Horticultural Society SUMMER Show - held at the United Reformed Church, Midland Street, Long Eaton.  10.00a.m to 4.00p.m.  ADMISSION FREE

22 – 26 July

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park

28 July

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Arthur Phillips – SHOW TALK

Meeting starts at 7.45p.m



8 – 9 August

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Show – ANNUAL SHOW at Attenborough Village Hall, Attenborough.




15 August

Derby & District Fuchsia & Gardening Club– at Swarkestone Nursery, Lowes Lane, Swarkestone, Derby, DE73 7GQ. 12.30p.m to 5.00p.m.  AMPLE CAR PARKING.

16 August

BFS Midland Show – Palmers Garden Centre, Lutterworth Road, Ullsthorpe, Leicestershire, LE17 5DR – times to be confirmed

25 August

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Fred Hunderhay – FUCHSIAS

Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

12 – 13 September

Long Eaton & District Horticultural Society AUTUMN Show - held at the Coronation Hall, Toton, 2.00p.m to 5.00p.m on the Saturday and 10.0am to 3.45pm Sunday.


22 September

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Tony Taylor – ORCHIDS

Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

27 October

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – Geoff Smith –OVERWINTERING FUCHSIAS

Meeting starts at 7.45p.m

24 November

Nottingham & Notts Fuchsia Society Monthly Meeting – AGM and Christmas Buffet

Meeting starts at 7.30p.m



















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Remember our next meeting

Will be

Tuesday 23rd June 2015

And our speaker

Is (again)

Eddie Munro

Talking on