Creating Space by Using Height
Speaker: Brian Kidd
Date: 31st January
Brian Kidd, our President, is well known for his enthusiasm, and for his entertaining and informative talks and this was no exception.
He spoke first about using runner beans in the flower border for their colour as well as for their food value and also as a screen on trellis. He then described apple trees grown as either as a columnar or at about 4.50ft to 3ft apart trained on canes tied to horizontal wires. Pruning, harvesting and aftercare were all covered.
His favourite pear, Doyen de Comice was recommended though it needs a pollinator. Trained and protected peaches for warm walls and blackberries for cold walls were covered and how to stake vines to create tall standards.
He then moved on to the greenhouse and various ways to make more use of limited space, using trolleys and shelving and growbags, and how to fix up a wall frame greenhouse onto a fence. Growing trees for shade which can be pruned for height not width. Removing the lower branches makes room for planting underneath. Leylandii can be pruned to lollipop shapes and flower borders planted underneath.
He mentioned growing clematis through camellias for continuity of flowering. In particular clematis Ernest Markam through a standard rose shaped camellia and clematis Montana to trail over a north facing wall.
He then went on to speak about hanging baskets which can be used in a variety of ways, perhaps around the corner of a house wall, and tubs for example on top of a water butt to make it more attractive. Flower poles were described and balconies which can be made very attractive with window boxes. “Skip diving” for second hand materials was recommended but always ask first! Just be creative!
He mentioned doubled walls backing on to slopes filled with small shrubs and flowers and pergolas covered with roses, clematis and jasmines.
Brian covered a lot of ground with his 86 inspirational slides but there was never a dull moment and all very enjoyable and instructive!