Monthly Report

Snitterfield Garden Club once again welcomed Helen Picton to the Village Hall on the 5th March 2019. She hails from the Picton Garden in Colwall with the Old Court Nurseries situated next door where the National Plant Collection of Michaelmas Daisies has its home. The feast of St Michael on the 29th September has influenced the name of these daisy-like autumn flowering plants – also now known from the 1990s as asters due to their star-like faces.

 

Helen’s talk was entitled ‘Daisy Days’ and she took the audience through the history of the development of these late flowering beauties with their fond farewell to summer. Cultivated from the late fifteen hundreds the popularity of these promiscuous plants has waxed and waned. The Old Court Nurseries were established in 1906 with Helen’s grandfather becoming manager after WW2 and her parents rebuilding the collection in the 1970s. Helen, herself, became involved in order to get her ‘hands dirty’ after studying botany at Kew. Today there are 433 varieties of Michaelmas Daisies of all sizes and shapes and falling into five different categories. She spoke of cultivation and propagation, division and not letting the shallow roots dry out. Offering welcome end-of-year nectar for busy bees these diverse plants are a gardener’s delight.

 

Our next speaker on April 2nd is Duncan Coombs who will be talking on ‘The Shaded Garden’. Meetings at the Village Hall start at 7.50 pm. All are welcome with guests paying £5 on the night. Refreshments and plant stall are available from 7.30pm. For any further information please contact 01789 731830 or secretary on 01527 458147.