Abbots Langley Gardening Society

March 20th 2014



Itís that time of year when things in the garden start to demand attention and one of the things that is most enjoyable is planning your containers and baskets therefore Andrew Babiczís talk on Seasonal Container Gardening was very timely and so interesting that the very next day I went to the garden centre, bought plants and seaweed plant food and got started on mine as well as giving my poor old container plants a jolly good feeding.

It is interesting to listen to a person who knows his plants having studied at College and, amongst other jobs, worked for 3 years in the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh. He also judges Britain in Bloom.

The first thing we were told to do was to get rid of the gardening gloves and feel the plants, touch them and smell them and get to know them. Did you know that stinging nettles have a square stem? No? nor did I and I expect like me, you will be taking his word on that one.

We were told all about the different containers available from the garden centers and some other, very surprising, items being used. Wellington boots, walking boots, tin cans, old boilers, pallets, tyres and even old toilets.

One tip came after another, slugs donít like to crawl upside down so a container with a large rim is an advantage, they also donít like to crawl over coffee grounds or copper. Fix a J cloth over the drainage hole in the base of your container to stop ants, I wish I had heard that one a few years ago.

John Innes No. 3, generally, is a good compost to use though Andrew did discuss other options and other plants that need different soils.

Whether you decide on flowers or vegetables for your containers, the choice of plants to use is endless. Runner beans in a window box? Who needs curtains? He also showed us photos of the most surprising mixture of plants that look spectacular together.

The room was packed with people, not surprisingly, and I am sure that everyone will have taken a lot of ideas away with them, I know I did. My apple trees in containers are saying thank you indeed and there is a rumor that there was a long queue outside the coffee shop on Friday evening, I canít think why?

You are missing out on great entertainment and lovely village social events by not joining us. It only costs £2 to attend for an evening at the Manor House Sports Club but better still, only £5 for all year so here is a list of some of the events that you can enjoy.



Pam Cotton