At a well-attended meeting in September, Clays Horticultural Society were joined by Doug Stewart, a lecturer, writer and broadcaster who also works at times with the RHS. He gave a most amusing insight into gardening in past times.
Beginning with Victorian days, he told members about the growth of specialist varieties, the use of cloches, of gardening adverts for such things as hosepipes, the start of colour cards for plants and seeds and how folk began to lay concrete paths through their gardens.
He talked about the work of apprentices in stately homes and how exam papers were devised, as well as showing pictures of early books on advice for gardeners including the enthralling ‘Rust, Smut, Mildew and Mould’ (An Introduction to Microscopic Fungi)! The first piece of advice for novice gardeners, which is still very relevant today, is look after your tools. Treat your tools as your friends and care for them in the same way. Use the right tool for the right job. Clean, oil and grease them after use and return them to their correct spot. Time has inevitably moved on, but most old adages and techniques are still useful in 2022!
October was the Society’s AGM and details of all next year’s varied activities are now available, including trips, speakers and a holiday! In November they have Kate Richards showing them ‘How to make a Christmas Wreath using Willow!’ and December is their Christmas lunch. Their meetings are held in Wheatley Village Hall on third Monday of each month starting at 7.30pm. Please go along and enjoy—they are a very friendly bunch! For information contact Christine Crowther on 01427 884882.