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                                              NOTTINGHAM AND NOTTS





What is happening in the Garden Centre :

Well finally, I am glad to say that Christmas is over! I say that because at last at Timmermans, we have finally taken down the Christmas Decorations; dismantled the Grotto (said goodbye to santa for another year!)and have only a few Christmas items remaining on sale, however, not just Christmas items but toys and garden accessories – many discontinued lines - have found themselves on the Sales bench. 

Indeed, it really does feel that we’re getting our GARDEN CENTRE back! Garden accessories have been put back in place – e.g: kneelers; dustpan & brush sets; gloves; hanging baskets; incinerators. Emphasis is now on seeds, tools and garden furniture.  Outdoors, we have seed potatoes, onion sets and shallots on sale. We have plenty of potted bulbs and primroses (although it does seem we have these all year round!)

What is happening in the Garden: 

  • Fruit & Vegetables

At this time of year, I always start planning ahead and this includes deciding what to grow.  Once again, I am determined to concentrate on growingmore vegetables, albeit in containers as I haven’t (yet!) got an allocated space in the garden.  Bob bought me a gardening book for Christmas written by James Wong – ‘Growing for Flavour’ which has some different concepts, which I hope to experiment with this year.  One new concept which James Wong mentions in his book is feeding his crops with aspirin to enhance taste. If I am to try this, I am going to have to grow double and treat half normally and treat the other with liquid aspirin.  Watch this space to find out how I get on.  I want to try growing some potatoes again in used compost bags.  Whilst I had reasonable success last year, I don’t think I chose the right variety for Bob and myself.  This year I have gone for the old faithful ‘Arran Pilot’ (1st early), should be ready to harvest June, and ‘Desiree’, which is a red potato and main crop, should be ready to harvest September. I positioned these by the side of the house last year, so may change location this year, to see if this increases the yield.  I am also contemplating forfeiting part of my border and turning it into a small (and I mean small!) vegetable plot, probably one metre square (again, I have been reading up on growing vegetables in a small area). Ideally, I would need to dig up my well established Yucca tree, but failing that, I may just use the area in front of the yucca this year and see how successful it is in Year 1 

  • Perennials/Garden Shrubs etc

I am now eager to get out in the garden.  I need to cut back my two buddleias early Feb and I want to start weeding and turning the soil over, but need to be careful to do this when the ground isn’t too hard/frosty. I will be wanting to give the garden a good mulch, using our own compost (hopefully).  We have 2 compost bins, one where I put mainly grass cuttings; kitchen waste and trimmings from the garden and the other, which I keep for just leaves, hoping to produce leaf mould eventually.  We also have a wormery which in fairness Bob looks after.  We have plenty of bottles of ‘worm wee’ which I am looking forward to using this year in the garden and we also need to check on how much compost has been produced... 

Last September, I bought a few bulbs, inspired by John Gibson who gave that rather informative talk on Daffodils, and I have planted them in several planters in the hope that I may have at least one decent container to exhibit in Long Eaton Horticultural Society’s Spring Show.  However, I am concerned as I have quite a few small potholes – I can’t decide whether the squirrels have pinched my bulbs or have been busy planting their nuts!  I guess I will just have to wait. 

I have bought 2 Sarcococcas recently.  These are lovely scented shrubs and I will be potting these up in the two stone planters I have in the front garden. Other tasks that I need to be doing, is cleaning the remaining fallen leaves and putting them in my composter; clean my plastic terracotta pots in readiness for the growing season. 

  • Fuchsia Growing

I have checked on my fuchsias and given them a small amount of tepid water, if needed.  I have a number of mini greenhouses dotted around the garden – 2 at the front; 5 on the patio at the back and a further 4 at the bottom of the garden.  Having them in different locations means that some need more water than others. However, I was pleased to see some shooting already.  Unfortunately, the strong winds we experienced around a fortnight ago, caused me some concern as it managed to lift one of my greenhouses right up and it landed horizontally across my cold frame. Not happy! I managed to resurrect the greenhouse and did my best to replace the fuchsias, some had come completely out of their pots and a lot have lost their labels, which is very frustrating.  It was at this point, that I have decided that perhaps I need something more sturdy.  Bob and I are now on the lookout for a greenhouse which is suitable for our needs. 

  • Wildlife/Pondlife

As a lover of wildlife, it is important that the garden is as wildlife friendly as possible.  When I look to buy plants, I consider whether they are bee-friendly.  Food is always available on the birdfeeders for the birds (and squirrels!)  The pond at the bottom of the garden is essential for encouraging wildlife into the garden.  I can assure you that I have a little bit wilderness somewhere in the garden to attract wildlife as well! 

Thanks to our efforts, we have already seen sparrows, blue tits; great tits; long-tailed tits; robins and wrens.  Hopefully, I will be joining in the annual RSPB Garden Birdwatch which is taking place over the weekend 28 – 30 January 2017.  If you have an hour to spare, count as my species of birds you see in your garden at any one time and register your findings online. 



Mentioned in November’s Newsletter – please can you let me know if you would be interested in attending any similar sessions this year.  Many Thanks 

***Next Month – 4 Corners *** 

We are endeavouring to put on a similar event to last year and reaching out for any volunteers who would be willing to talk for approximately 15 mins (4 times) on their favourite subject.   

Anyone interested, please let Colin or myself know ASAP.  Many thanks. 

AND Buffet

Also, we plan to hold a buffet similar to that at our AGM. Contributions to the buffet would be greatly appreciated and a list will be circulated so that we can ensure that there will be variety on the buffet table. Many thanks. 


Just a quick reminder that your FREE CUTTINGS will be available at next month’s monthly meeting (February). 


Anyone, still to renew their membership, please do so before end of January, to be included in the Free Cuttings distribution.  See Derek. 

SOCIAL MEAL – Date for your Diaries:  

The Coopers Arms,

Weston Hall, Weston-On-Trent, Derbyshire, DE72 2BJ 

‘An Award-winning English Country Inn of 17th Century Heritage’ 

‘A family-owned and family-operated free house’ 


Weston Hall, a large 17th Century mansion house is a Grade II listed building, meaning that it is among the most important buildings in the country.  The generally accepted story is that the house was begun by an Anthony Roper in 1628, and that Roper’s impoverishment and the outbreak of the Civil War halted its construction in the 1640’s.  The land on which Weston Hall sits was inherited by Roper’s 1st wife, Mary Gerrard, from her great uncle, Charles Paget, whose family had in turn acquired the land from King Henry VIII after the Reformation.  Unfortunately construction costs which were believed to be within the region of £1000 led to Roper’s bankruptcy in 1637 when he severed his ties by letting the house go to a George Poulton.  When the English Civil War broke out 4 years later, Parliamentary troops were garrisoned here with their horses stabled in the basement (now the bar area of The Coopers Arms). 

Weston Arms is steeped in History with stories including an escaped German prisoner of war who hid in the enormous chimneys during the 1st World War before making his escape and returning to Germany. 

In 1942, Weston Hall entered into the Cooper family and in 1989 it was converted into the warm, luxurious and unique venue it is today… 

It will be Friday 17th March 2017. As normal 7.00p.m for 7.30p.m.


Please add your name to the list – Highly recommend venue                                   



Coffee Morning at Wollaton Park Community Centre – again, we have been able to man a stall for the past 2 years.  Date is yet to be confirmed. 

Cossall Open Gardens – 4th June 2017 - last year, this venue was purely promotional, but this year, we will be selling plants which will hopefully bring in the crowds and give us the opportunity to talk to more people and promote our society and show. 

Autokarna – date to be confirmed - this is our regular event which we hope will follow Cossall Open Gardens which will mean any plants left over from Cossall Open Gardens can be sold at Autokarna. 

Tonight, we welcome back Sheila Over to talk to us on ‘Gardens of Influence’.  Sounds intriguing!  I enjoy visiting other gardens, and always come away with an idea or two. One garden I really enjoyed was the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.  Well worth a visit.  I have also Lake Maggiore, in Italy, where there are plenty of gardens to visit.  I went in May time and enjoyed the splendid colours of acers, rhododendrons and azaleas. I am sure you all have a favourite...or two! 

Sheila is well known to our society and welcome her back.                        


28 Feb

Monthly Meeting: 4 Corners AND Buffet – Start 7.30p.m


25 Mch

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

17 Mch

Social Evening – Meal at The Coopers Arms, 7.00p.m for 7.30p.m. Map and directions to be included in February’s Newsletter.

28 Mch

Monthly Meeting: Alan Soloman talking on Fuchsias


25 Apr

Monthly Meeting: Trevor Strickland talking on Fuchsia Species


23 May

Monthly Meeting: Colin Nicklin talking on Hanging Baskets in General


27 June

Monthly Meeting: Geoff Smith talking on Fuchsias





The easiest way for all internet users to help raise funds for our Society is simply by every time you search the Web you use easysearch. Easysearch combines results from Yahoo!, Windows MSN Live Search and in one simple search, the address is  Please try it and encourage others too. Don’t forget if you make any purchases on the internet, to go through our webshop to make sure we receive commission from the retailers (currently over 2000 well known retailers), the address is .



Remember our next meeting

Will be

Tuesday 28th February 2017






If anyone wants any item included in the Newsletter, please let me know, either at a meeting, or phone me on Tel: 0115 8758928, or email:  I will gladly include any article or event in the Newsletter.   

Also, if anyone would rather I send them an electronic copy, please let me know.   

Remember: It is YOUR newsletter. 


What Subjects would you like to listen?





Would you be interested in participating in any workshops?



And if so, on what subjects?






Beginners Classes – Would you like for these to be continued?




- If so, please let me know at this month’s meeting (see earlier paragraph in this newsletter)


At present we hold the 4 Corners Members meeting in February, but would really like the involvement of everyone, to keep this kind of evening ‘alive’. 


Would you be interested in taking to a small group in the future? Yes/No


Colin is always looking for new speakers to approach.  If anyone can recommend a speaker, please list details below: