Date(s) - 11/08/2016
16:00 - 17:30
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Rowledge Village Hall
Summer Talk by Marina Christopher, followed by cream tea.
As an experiment this was our first summer talk combined with our traditional summer cream tea. The Talk and Tea was a sell-out.
As members arrived they found Marina, of Phoenix Perennial Plants, Medstead, at the front of the hall surrounded and overhung by a range of plants that were to figure in her talk.
After introductions Marina started by explaining her training and early career as an ecologist. This experience led her to realise the importance of insects in the health of the environment. As a result she set up her own nursery in which she focused heavily on plants that can provide a continuum of food to insects throughout the year. In doing so this also ensures flowers throughout much the year.
To provide this continuum of supply requires a number of techniques. The flowering period of native British flowers can be extended by judicial pruning (e.g. ‘The Chelsea chop’). However, plants from other parts of the world such as South America and the Mediterranean have flowering patterns which suit their local environment which is usually hotter and drier. So with skill and know how these can be used to plug holes and extend the flowering season of native British plants.
Marina illustrated her talk with a large range of plants and her knowledge of their botanical names impressed us all. She had brought with her a selection of plants for sale as well as some unusual garden tools and after her talk there was a flood of people keen to purchase some of these.
Finally, it was time for the cream tea, the doors to the main hall swung open to reveal colourful pom-pom bunting strung across the hall and two long tables decorated exquisitely with flowers to match. Each table was laden with scones, mountains of cream, jam and enough tea to supply an army!
Everyone tucked in until it was time to thank all the volunteer helpers and clear up.
Another outstanding success and as an experiment we couldn’t have hoped for better!