Date(s) - 13/08/2015
14:00 - 16:00
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At last it was the week of the pruning workshop. We all looked closely at the forecast that, as the week went on looked increasingly gloomy with predictions of rain and even thunder. A careful analysis by Lynn, our chair, pronounced that there would be a weather window starting at 2:00 p.m. and therefore the event together with the members cream tea should go ahead! As a result 8 brave souls arrived at Pat & Alan’s house to be greeted by Geoff Hawkins clasping a pair of secateurs whilst keeping a wary eye on the weather.
Initially we all gathered in the garage, thus avoiding the rain where Geoff gave us the lowdown on how to use the various pruning tools together with tips on how to keep them sharp. He also talked about the three types of pruning; Removal of the 3 Ds – Dead, Damaged and Diseased, pruning to Reduce or Pruning to Rejuvenate.
By this time the weather was improving so we ventured out into the garden proper where Geoff either showed or explained how to prune various shrubs. These included Aucuba, Ceanothus, Cotoneaster, Elaeagnus, Hebe, Cornus, Hypericum , Mahonia, Cotinus, Lavender and even how to tackle a large overgrown Juniper.!
The first hour went by very quickly so we all headed for Peter’s & Lynn’s garden where we were shown how to prune Climbing roses, Camellia, Buddheia, Philadelphus, Fig, tree Peony, and a Bramley apple tree.
Many interesting tips emerged as Geoff talked; cutting back large overgrown stems (such as the Mahonia) should be done one third each year. For those that are cut back to the ground (such as the Cornus – grown for its coloured stems) it is a good idea to leave just a few shoots to maintain the flow of sap from the roots. This latter point illustrates how the folklore of gardening is increasingly being influenced by greater fact based knowledge and stresses the need for us gardeners to keep abreast of developments.
That second hour went even faster than the first and we found ourselves being joined a by 40 other members of the club who arrived for the Prosecco and Cream tea. Finally these other attractions were sufficient to put off even the most ardent ‘pruners’ amongst us, so after a round of thanks to Geoff we sat down under a large gazebo to take great pleasure consuming the lashings of cream, jam and scones – homemade, of course, by a number of volunteers to whom we are eternally grateful.
By then even the sun appeared and the protection offered by the Gazebo was, fortunately, not required. All in all, another successful workshop, but we are still left wondering how our very capable chair had contrived with the British weather to make that weather window appear when it was really needed.