Gardening advice – prune clematis now…

We talked about including some relevant topical advice on the website and our first tip comes from Tigger on clematis.

Jayne’s garden, Mortimer Road

Before March comes storming in next week, time to prune your clematis. There really isn’t a mystery about what to do. If you know when the clematis flowers, you will know how to prune it. 

If it flowers early (the Montanas etc), if you were to cut it back now,  it won’t have time to grow and flower, so only prune delicately after flowering – these  clematis are called Class 1.

It if flowers May/June (many of the big flowering types), it has a couple of months to grow, so find some good buds about waist high and chop. Class 2.

If it flowers later, it has all spring to grow, so cut it to two feet – the shoots will come out of the ground and you can trim it later.  

Give them all a good feed – if you can use bone meal without the fox population going berserk, great – if not, try and drill holes near the roots and pour in slow release fertiliser.  Add a good water and a good mulch – anything up to 6 inches round the stems. Make sure the new growth is not waving about in the wind – tie-in gently until well established.


A private view of two National Garden Scheme gardens

As the drizzle set in around 6pm on referendum day our little group gathered at St Peters to be conveyed, in a variety of member’s cars, to the top of a hill in Highgate with views over London. Barbara Barnett had arranged this private viewing of two gardens and few of us knew what to expect. The first of the two gardens was Southwood Lodge where we were taken round by Sue Whittington. The garden was beautiful and full of special plants, even in the drizzle we were captivated by the variety. I for one had house and greenhouse envy! The hosts were very kind and Sue was a generous and patient guide – answering all of our questions easily and demonstrating her deep knowledge and love of gardening.

The second garden, 2 Millfield Place was on a different scale altogether. Southwood Lodge was not small but it curled around the house and down the hill forming ‘rooms’ which made the spaces intimate. The garden at Millfield House was expansive and seemed more like parkland, a grand open space which would have had fine views on a brighter evening. Huge borders, beautiful trees, a tennis court and private seated areas all perfectly tended. The garden was another gem but the real treat was learning about Peter Lloyd’s and his association with Plant Heritage and the conservation of rare plants through national collections.

Making an advent wreath

If you missed last night’s monthly meeting you missed a wonderful and pine-scented demonstration of wreath making by local florists Anna Day and Ellie Jauncey of The Flower Appreciation Society. We sipped mulled wine and nibbled mince-pies as they made two beautiful wreaths from a selection of evergreens including fir, bay, rosemary and ivy as well as dried poppy seed heads. We also had a chance to look through their beautiful book which is now top of everyone’s christmas wish list. Here are a few pics:

More Photos!!!

Another successful Flower and Produce Show. A big thank you to everyone who participated and supported Sunday’s event. Here are all the wonderful winners

The Rose Bowl
 The highest number of points in the first two categories, i.e. flowers and home-grown vegetables and fruit. Won by Carolyn Marcus.
The Silver Tankard The person with the highest number of points in Domestic Delights. Won by Tom Carter.
The Silver Cup Best Exhibit in Show. Won by Ceclia Darker.
The Group Prize The gardening group with the most winning entries. First prize: De Beauvoir WI; second: St. Mary’s Secret Garden.
1. Rose – a single bloom

1st: Liz Hatt, 2nd: De Beauvoir WI (Lesley Thompson), 3rd Maria Pinschof, Highly Commended: WETRA, Child 1st: Livia Pedder Walker
2. Mixed flowers – 1 stem each (at least 5 varieties)
1st: St Mary’s Secret Garden, 2nd: Dee Carter, 3rd: De Beauvoir WI (Lesley Thompson), Highly commended: Sarah Ferner, Child 1st: Flora Williams Ellis
3. Flowers of 1 colour (3 or more varieties)
1st: St Mary’s SG, 2nd: Sarah Fevner, 3rd: Francesca Bartlett, Highly commended: WETRA
4. Your favourite garden flower (3 stems)
1st: Anne Blackmore, 2nd: Carolyn Marcus, 3rd: Dee Carter, Highly commended: Carolyn Marcus
5. A flower arrangement (any design)
1st: Cecilia Darker, 2nd: Stephen King, 3rd: Tigger Cullinan, Highly commended: Dee Carter, Fran Smith, Vernon Trafford, Anne Hardy

Home-grown vegetables and fruit
6. Potatoes or other root vegetable – at least 5
Carolyn Marcus, De Beauvoir WI (Amanda Lovegrove), St Mary’s  Garden, Andrea Williams, 1st Sidney Owen, 3rd Evan Parry
7. Unusual or exotic vegetable
Tom Mc Manus, Annie Blackmore, WETRA, WETRA
8. Courgette, squash or cucumber – 2
St Mary’s S Garden, WETRA, Annie Blackmore
9. Tomatoes with calyx – 5
WETRA, Annie Blackmore, Dee Carter, Carolyn Marcus
1st Elodie Tims, 2nd Layton Parry
10. The biggest marrow
St Mary’s S Garden, David Owen, 1st Sidney Owen, 2nd Frederick Owen
11. Onions, shallots or leeks – 3
St Mary’s S Garden, Carolyn Marcus, St Mary’s S Garden, Annie Blackmore
12. Beans – 5
Carolyn Marcus, Merope Beddard, Dee Carter, Dee Carter, 1st Ismay Tims, 2nd Fred Owen, 3rd Tilda Lowrie
13. Bunch of mixed herbs
WETRA, Carolyn Marcus, St Mary’s SG, 1st Rae Ferner-Rose, 1st Ismay Tims
14. Hard fruit (e.g. apple, pear) – 3
Carolyn Marcus, Merope Beddard, Dee Carter, Dee Carter
15. Soft fruit – 5
Stephen King, Stephen  King, Richard Turnbull, 1st Ismay Tims

Domestic Delights
16. A chocolate cake

1st: De Beauvoir WI (Liz Kohler), 2nd: Dee Carter, 3rd: Margaret Wearing
17. A cake with an unusual ingredient
1st: De Beauvoir WI (Avril Broadley), 2nd: Annie Blackmore, 3rd: Nancy Turnbull, Over 12s Joint 1st: Muirn O’Rhian and Rosa Appignanesi, Child 1st: Jonah Sharp
18. An open tart, sweet or savoury
1st: Ian Stuart, 2nd: Conor O’Malley, 3rd: Margaret Wearing
19. Your favourite cake
1st: WETRA, 2nd: De Beauvoir WI (Pamela Dow), 3rd: De Beauvoir WI (Sara Lawrence), Child 1st: Layton Parry
20. Cupcakes – 3
1st: De Beauvoir WI (Amanda Lovegrove), 2nd: De Beauvoir WI (Sara Lawrence), Child 1st:  Minna Bertram
21. Biscuits – 5
1st: De Beauvoir WI (Sara Lawrence), 2nd: Kathryn Packer, 3rd: Andrew Barras, Child 1st: Elodie Tims
22. A loaf of bread or 3 rolls
1st: Tom Carter, 2nd: Ben King, 3rd: Michael Parry, Child 1st: Evan Parry
23. Pot of jam, jelly or marmalade
1st: Tom Carter, 2nd: Annie Blackmore, 3rd: Kathryn Lowrie, Highly commended: St Mary’s Secret Garden, WETRA, Tom Carter, Eleanor Price, Anne Bunch, Child 1st: Frederick Owen
24. Chutneys or Pickles
1st: WETRA, 2nd: Anne Bunch, 3rd: Dee Carter
25. Other preserves
1st: Amanda Hayes, 2nd: St Mary’s Secret Garden, 3rd: Anne Bunch
Young Gardeners (under 12)
26. Miniature garden
1st: Missy Trethewey, 2nd: Cleo Lowrie, 3rd: Ismay Tims and Elodie Tims, Highly commended: Livia Pedder Walker and Tilda Lowry
27. Animal or insect made out of flowers, vegetables or fruit
1st: Fenn Reeves, 2nd: Lilla Bhose, 3rd: Evan Parry and Lula Jankovi, Highly commended: Ismay Tims, Layton Parry, Elodie Tims, Misha Jankovic, Fenn Reeves
Photography, drawing and painting
29. Picture of a fruit or vegetable

1st: Jeremy Hornsby, 2nd: Vernon Trafford and Stephen King, 3rd: Roger Till, Child 1st: Olivia Grech, 2nd: Sam Sharp, 3rd: Ida Bertram, Highly Commended: Juliet Grech, Minna Bertram
30. Picture of a flower or shrub
1st: Jeremy Hornsby, 2nd: Roger Till, 3rd: Tom Carter, Highly Commended: Leila Wade, Olivia Grech
31. Selfie with garden friend or foe
1st: St Mary’s S Garden (Jerry), 2nd: Jeremy Hornsby, 3rd: Stephen King, Highly commended: St Mary’s Secret Garden (Michael & Philip), Highly commended: Matilda Wade
Dog Show
  1. Pint sized Pooch  (winner Moose, chiweenie)
  2. Best Rescue (winner Byron, labrador)
  3. Big is Beautiful (winner Huxley, great dane)
  4. Waggiest Tail (winner Annie, shi chi)
  5. Puppy Love (under 1 year old) (winner Ziggy, collie/whippet cross)
  6. Best Hairdo ( winner Frida, Hungarian puli)
  7. Best 6 legs (winner Charley cavarpoo)
  8. Made in Britain (eg. Jack Russell, King Charles Spaniel, British Bulldog, Lakeland Terrier, Scottie, Westie etc..) (winner Lolly, staffordhsire bull terrier)
  9. Best Trick (winner Ricci, miniature schnauzer)
  10. Little Rascal (winner Cosmo, miniature schnauzer)
  11. Best boy (winner Willy, whippet)
  12. Best girl (winner Bobo, cockapoo)
The dog show was presented and judged by Simon Stuart of Groom Dog City.
He has a petition to regulate dog grooming which you can sign here.

Annual walkabout – London Fields and Dalston

For those of you who missed it here are some pics from last night’s lovely walkabout which was impeccably organised by Nancy. Gardens included Tigger’s abundant strip of heaven, a herb filled front garden in Richmond Road and a windy rooftop oasis amongst the new developments at Dalston Cross.

Planting of the Month

The De Beauvoir Gardeners are delighted to see the new interest in planting up areas in public view making the neighbourhood a more pleasant place. We would like to give these some recognition by awarding a monthly prize of £25 for the ‘Planting of the month’. A planting can be any space, which can be seen from the street, including window-boxes, pots, front gardens, tree-pits etc. It doesn’t necessarily have to be beautiful, we would welcome entries from front garden veg plots as well. You may enter your own ‘garden’ or nominate something interesting you have seen.

  • Entries must be from an area covered by the club, that is London Fields, De Beauvoir, Dalston, East Islington.
  • The planting must be visible to passers-by.
  • If entering on someone else’s behalf, you must have their permission.

You can enter by sending a photo with your name and address to
Each month the photo of the winning planting will be posted on our website.

Winner March 2015

Richmond RdWe are pleased to announce our first winner which is ‘71 at 71’ a front garden filled with herbs at 71 Richmond Rd. Mac says …‘I am not the best of gardeners but there is an enormous interest in herbs beyond the basic ‘parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme’ and all I try to do is try and add a little more interest and gun. Even the youngest children enjoy strong smelling plants, especially the chocolate mint. I am happy to give away seeds and cuttings.’

All the Winners!

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who entered this year’s show and helped make such a wonderful display. Here’s the list of prizewinners:

Maggie Hendrick
 won the Rose Bowl for the most prizes in Flowers / Fruit and veg, Annie Blackmore won the Silver Tankard for the most prize winners in Domestic Delights, Edie Ramsay (Age 12) won Best in Show for her miniature garden.

St Marys Secret Garden Home Grown,
De Beauvoir WI Domestic Delights.

Favourite Garden Flower, 1st Fenn Reeves (Age 8); Exotic Vegetable, 1st Layton (Age 9); Soft Fruit, 1st Elodie Tims (Age 5); Bunch of Herbs, 1st Rae Ferner Rosie (Age 12); Hard Fruit, 1st Kitty (Age 12) and Fenn Reeves (Age 8); Tomatoes, 1st Minna (Age 10) and Ida (Age 3) Bertram; Beans, 1st Ismay Tims (Age 8), 2nd Layton (Age 9); Miniature Garden, 1st Edie Ramsay (Age 11) & Ismay Tims (Age 8), 2nd Elodie Tims (Age 5), 3rd Lula Tankovic (Age 3) & Liuvia Walker (Age 4); Animal or Insect made out of flowers, vegetable or fruit, 1st Minna Bertram (Age 10) & Elodie Tims (Age 5), 2nd Evan (Age 8) & Lorita Tomlin (Age 9), 3rd Ismay Tims (Age 8); Something you have grown yourself from seed, 1st Fred (Age 6) & Sidney (Age 3), 2nd Liuvia Walker (Age 4) & Evan (Age 8), 3rd Nathaniel Ayodele Bolaji (Age 5) & Evan (Age 8).

Chocolate Cake, 1st Iris Ramsay (Age 11); Your Favourite Cake, 1st Max Agar (Age 11), Pot of Jam Jelly or Preserve, 1st Sid & Vic (Age 8), 2nd Sid & Vic (Age 8), 3rd Max Agar (Age 11).

Picture of a fruit or vegetable, 1st Nova (Age 5) & Debbie (Age 2), 2nd Anne & Ida Bertram (Age 5), 3rd Nova (Age 5); Picture of a flower or shrub, 1st Fenn Reeves (Age 8) & Minna Bertram (Age 8), 2nd Nathaniel Ayodele Bolaji (Age 5); Garden friends or enemies, 1st Iris Crane (Age 3), 2nd Zofia Boyd (Age 6) & Fenn Reeves (Age 8) & Kitty Reeves (Age 12) & Rosa Tomlin (Age 12); World War One theme with poppy, 1st Kit Crane (Age 5), 2nd Rosa Tomlin (Age 12).

1. Rose – a single bloom,1st Kirsty Norman & Debra Lawrence,
2nd Tigger Cullinan & Lesley Thompson, 3rd Jill Morland.
2. Mixed flowers – 1 stem each, 1st Dee Carter, 2nd Francesca Bartlett.
3. Flowers of 1 colour, 1st St Mary’s Secret Garden, 2nd Mary Norden.
4. Your favourite garden flower, 1st Kirsty Norman & Annie Blackmore,
2nd Brian Voakes, 3rd Maggie Hendrick & Christopher Preston.
5. A flower arrangement, 1st Kirsty Noman & Stephen King, 2nd Tigger Cullinan & Stephen King, 3rd Tigger Cullinan.

6. Potatoes or other root veg, 1st David Owen, 2nd Maggie Hendrick, 3rd Maggie Hendrick.
7. Unusual or exotic vegetable, 1st St Mary’s Secret Garden, 2nd Joanna Burgess,
3rd De Beauvoir WI.
8. Courgette, squash or cucumber, 1st Nancy Korman, 2nd St Mary’s Secret Garden, 3rd Maggie Hendrick.
9. Tomatoes with calyx, 1st Nancy Korman, 2nd Tigger Cullinan, 3rd Jane Williams.
10. The biggest marrow, 1st St Mary’s Secret Garden & Louis Proudfoot.
11. Onions, shallots or leeks, 1st St Mary’s Secret Garden.
12. Beans, 1st Maggie Hendrick, 2nd Jenny & Tom, 3rd Joanna Burgess.
13.  Bunch of mixed herbs, 1st St Mary’s Secret Garden, 2nd Joanna Burgess, 3rd Tom McManus.
14. Hard fruit, 1st Maggie Hendrick, 2nd Dee Carter, 3rd Kathleen Kelliher.
15. Soft fruit, 1st Richard Turnbull, 2nd Maggie Hendrick, 3rd Stephen King.

16. chocolate cake, 1st Margaret Wearing, 2nd Nancy Korman.
17.  A cake with an unusual ingredient, 1st Gillian Daniell, 2nd Judy Dunwoody.
18.  An open tart, sweet or savoury, 1st Margaret Wearing, 2nd Nancy Korman, 3rd De Beauvoir WI.
19.  Your favourite cake, 1st Joan Miller, 2nd Annie Blackmore, 3rd Martha McSweeney.
20.  Cupcakes, 1st Annie Blackmore, 2nd De Beauvoir WI, 3rd De Beauvoir WI.
21.  Biscuits, 1st Andrew Davidson, 2nd Jenny Topper, 3rd Brian Voakes.
22.  A loaf of bread or 3 rolls, 1st Annie Blackmore, 2nd Benjamin King, 3rd Tom Carter.
23.  Pot of jam, jelly or marmalade, 1st Tigger Cullinan, 2nd Tom Carter, 3rd Christopher Preston.
24.  Other preserves, 1st Annie Blackmore, 2nd Kathryn Packer, 3rd Lucy Witt.

28.  Picture of a fruit or vegetable, 1st Stephen King & Fiachra O’Reigan, 2nd Stephen King & Stephen King, 3rd Catherine Hetherington.
29. Picture of a flower or shrub, 1st Diana Mansfield, 2nd Gillian Daniell & Jonny Moy, 3rd Charles Garrad & Stephen King.
30. Garden friends or enemies, 1st Lisa Brown & Diana Mansfield, 2nd Gillian Daniell & Stephen King, 3rd Jonny Moy.
30.  World War One theme with poppy, 1st Stephen King, 2nd Andrew Barrass.

Moose Pint sized Pooch, Hank Best Rescue, Cassie Big is Beautiful, George Waggiest Tail, Kin Puppy Love, Sumter Best Hairdo, Maus Best 6 legs, Charlie Made in Britain, Chanel Best Trick, Carlos Little Rascal, Gypsy Best Girl, Peaches Best Boy.