13th October: Pruning Ornamental Plants – Gold Club Speaker

What’s On This Month

Kilmington Gardening Club is a member of the Gardens Group Gold Club and one of their experts will be our speaker this month. The Gold Club is advertising a Yeovil Literary Festival event to be held at Brimsmore Gardens (Tintinhull Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 3NU) on Saturday, 21st October when Sarah Raven will speak about ‘The Cutting Garden’. Sarah is an inspirational, passionate gardener and teacher as well as an award-winning writer of gardening and cookery books. She has presented television programmes including BBC2’s Big Dreams, Small Spaces where she shared her love and enthusiasm for cut flowers. For more information click here.

If you love the autumn, the RHS Autumn Garden Show is for you. It is held in the RHS Lindley and RHS Lawrence Horticultural Halls in London from 25–26 October (late event 24 October). The RHS describes it as ‘the end of season spectacle celebrating the beauty of ornamental and edible plants and offers innovative planting ideas to add late season colour and texture to your garden’. Visit the RHS website for more information.

Stourhead, Wiltshire is a beautiful National Trust property at any time of year but it is renowned for its stunning autumn colours. From 2nd October until 21st October there are free autumn garden tours. Click here for further details.


What to do in the garden this month

  • Plant spring bulbs – set them at 3 times their own depth below the surface. BUT, delay planting tulips until November to avoid the risk of tulip fire.
  • Lift and divide any overcrowded herbaceous perennials whilst the soil is still warm.
  • Tidy borders then mulch to insulate plant roots for the winter and suppress weed growth. Handy hint: you can use spent compost from annual container displays!
  • Cut back tall shrubs like Buddleia, Lavatera and Roses by about a third to prevent wind-rocking. They will be pruned back harder in early spring.
  • Harvest squashes and pumpkins before the first frosts.
  • Plant roses.

Reflections on Chelsea Flower Show 2017

A month ago, KGC member, Mary-Anne Driscoll, was lucky enough to visit the Chelsea Flower Show and here she reflects on what really stands out from that very hot, sunny Wednesday.

The show gardens were, as ever, smaller than you think, the television coverage cleverly giving the feeling of a much greater space, but that doesn’t detract from the lovely plant groupings among the hard landscaping. My favourite, and that of the voting public, was the Morgan Stanley garden designed by Chris Beardshaw. I missed the National Youth Orchestra, that was in part an element of the design, linking patterns from music to patterns in the natural world, but that aside it was a fabulous verdant space. The woodland, loggia and terrace are all cleverly connected by a weaving soft limestone gravel path. New plants I spotted, in particular, that I added to my wish list were Centaurea Montana ‘Jody’ and a beautiful Iris, ‘Night Owl’.

There were also 5 gardens, whose design was based around the senses, and which were celebrating 50 years of Radio 2. The Jeremy Vine Texture garden, designed by Matt Keightley, was the most unusual in terms of plant combinations. There was a rich, warm feel to it, all burnt oranges, deep reds and browns, which made a refreshing change from the green, white and purples. Verbascum ‘Fire Dance’ and Iris ‘Kent Pride ‘ stood out, in particular, surrounded by the soft hazy wafting of Stipa Tenuissima and Bronze Fennel. All this was lifted by drifts of delicious creamy pale yellow Californian Poppies.

The other sensory garden I liked had my favourite bit of hard landscaping in. It was the beautiful understated, smooth and elegant, concrete curved wall and seat in the centre of Jo Wiley’s scented garden. The wall was surrounded by soft frothy green and white planting, but, sadly, we couldn’t really appreciate the scented element, from where we were.

Of the artisan gardens, the Gosho No Niwa, No Wall No War, designed by Lazuyuki Ishihorea, was a magical creation. Acers, bonsai conifers, moss, water and rock with a structure placed to one side, which was a glass box room with a copper clad frame. Despite the crowds around it, it still managed to create an atmosphere of a blissfully tranquil space.

The Great Pavilion was hot and steamy, and one had to feel sorry for the Tulips on the Blooms stand; they looked a bit like the rest of us at the end of the day, a bit droopy and in need of a drink. Hilliers’ stand was as magnificent as ever as were the Allium collections.

I left hot, tired but happy with lots of photos, a long wish list of plants and bulbs along with a couple of pairs of my favourite gardening gloves and back in my own garden I am resolved to step back and take a hard look at how to group things better at some stage in the Autumn.

Mary-Anne Driscoll

Did you know?

The red maple has several different names. The formal name is Acer Rubrum from the Latin for “red.” It is also known as scarlet maple because of its colour in spring and autumn, soft maple because of the soft but strong wood it produces, and swamp or water maple because it has the ability to grow in wet areas. Maple trees are beautiful, symmetrical, deciduous trees that are found throughout the United States and in Canada and Japan. They have been grown around the world on the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. leaves change into fabulous shades of red, orange and yellow in autumn.

The maple family has more than 200 species of trees. In the United States, the most common varieties are Japanese maples, red maples, sugar maples, black maples and silver maples. These trees are used in various ways, from providing shade and enhancing landscaping to being featured in wood furniture.

The Native Americans of Canada and the United States, including the Algonquin and Iroquois tribes, used red maple for several things. They made a decoction of the bark that was applied to the eyes when they became irritated and inflamed. The decoction was taken internally to stop muscle aches and the itch of urticaria (hives). The inner bark was used to cure coughs and diarrhoea.

Early pioneers to North America found the tree useful as fuel because it burned evenly and for a long time. From the bark, they made brown and black dyes. They added iron sulphate to the tannin of red maple to make ink for writing.

All over the world, people know the maple tree leaf is synonymous with Canada; this national symbol is located in the middle of the Canadian flag. The maple leaf first appeared on the Canadian flag in 1965, but the maple tree wasn’t officially recognised as the national tree of Canada until 1996.

The largest maple trees are the big leaf maple trees. These trees can only be found from the southwestern corner of British Columbia, Canada, and down along the United States West Coast, stopping near San Francisco. The big leaf maple tree can grow to be about 119 feet tall. Its leaves are also the biggest on any maple tree, reaching 12 to 24 inches across.

The Japanese maple has more than 400 varieties and is a native tree to Japan, Korea and northeast China. These trees grow to be an average of 15 to 25 feet tall and are the smallest of the maple tree family. Japanese maples have delicate, small leaves about 2 to 5 inches across and are used in landscaping; they are also popular trees cultivated for the Japanese art of bonsai.

Have you ever wondered where maple syrup comes from? The sugar maple tree is the state tree of Vermont and this is the wonderful tree that produces maple syrup. Maple syrup was first recorded as being produced in 1540 by Native Americans using the sugar maple’s sap. Vermont controls 35 percent of U.S. maple syrup production. These trees are only found growing naturally in one region in the world; which is the area between southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States. One sugar maple can produce 10 to 20 gallons of sap a season for maple syrup!


Annual Membership

The cost of annual membership in 2017 remains at only £5 per person, which entitles you to free admission to our interesting monthly talks held in Kilmington Village Hall on the second Friday of the month.

Application Form

Italian Gardens of Lake Como

We know that our members enjoy visiting gardens – the success of our Open Gardens is evidence of that – so from time to time we will feature reports of visits to gardens further afield to inspire you and set you dreaming!

For garden lovers, a trip to the Italian lakes in May offers unexpected delights. Set at the foot of steep mountains, they have little of the formal parterre symmetry that we associate with Italian style and instead feature sweeping lawns, banks of azaleas and rhododendrons and the early green leaves of deciduous trees alongside flowering palm trees and colonnades of wisteria. Another plus is the ferry service around and across Lake Como: every garden has a ferry stop within a short walk of the entrance. Horticultural highlights included flowering tulip trees and calycanthus, new leaves on a variegated copper beech and rows of pollarded plane trees lining a lake-side walk.


Don’t forget that if you have any gardening stories or photos to share with us, we would love to hear from you!

We were delighted to see so many lovely entries in the Kilmington Fayre and Flower Show – many of them made at our Children’s Workshop held a week before the Show. There are some very creative children living in our village and they allowed their imagination to run riot with a wonderful selection of hats, caps or bonnets made of paper and card. Here are just a few of the entries:

And they can do amazing things with vegetables as well:

Some of the winners:

Abigail was very proud of her runner bean which she carefully nurtured so that it grew to be the tallest!

Upcoming Visits And Events

Upcoming Talks


Sydie Bones (President)


B. J. Lewis (Chairman)


Jean Falconer (Secretary)


David Bromley (Treasurer)


Beverley Perkins (Membership Secretary)