Members News 2020

This page is for members of Staffs and Worcs Gardening group to share photos and garden news. Although we can’t currently meet its good to keep in touch and share our gardens. If you are a member and would like to share your garden please email your photos and news to:


I bought this lovely plant some years ago from Paul Green of Green’s Leaves.  It sits in a pot outside my kitchen window facing due north.  I have never persuaded it to flower but the colour in the Autumn is lovely.  It is now about 6 feet tall and I’m considering giving it a hair cut to reduce the height and so it doesn’t look quite so scrawny.  Advice appreciated… Sue Potter

NOTE: If you can help Sue please contact me via the contact button on the menu bar and I will forward your response to Sue.- Editor

Sue Potter A


This wonderful clematis  is called Freckles , out for the last two weeks and will still be flowering at Christmas. – Margaret Biggs

Margaret Biggs Freckles


Lovely autumn colour in the garden of Val Elphee

Val Elphee


“from a members garden” – It is not all russet and gold leaves in the garden at this time of the year.


It’s a glorious day here in Stourbridge and hiding in the shade I found this lovely Fungi Amanita muscaria. These first appeared in our garden about 5 years ago and every year since they have spread a bit further. Although poisonous to humans  slugs love them and its always a race to get a decent photo before they are decimated. Pat Orme



This little treasure is Galanthus Regina olgae Tilebarn Jamie. This picture was taken on 8th October. Hopefully the first of many. – Sue Potter

Snowdrop 1


Autumn Colour at Calke Abbey on Wednesday 7th October


Autumn is with us. Last Thursday just before the storm arrived we took photos of our Virginia Creeper and Clematis Tangutica (Bill MacKenzie – I think?) growing together on a pergola. The seed heads of the clematis are stunning and make this a plant worth growing.


I would like to alert members to ‘Beechgrove’ – gardening programme on BBC2 Sunday mornings – many people may already watch this. It is much more down to earth than ‘Gardeners’ World’. The presenters are mainly time-served horticulturists – not celebrity media people who are lacking in basic skills, well worth tuning into on Sundays or watching when convenient on BBC iplayer – Gordon Malt


Autumn colour in the National Trust garden at Bodnant  Wales near Conway on Saturday 5th September – Pat Orme


We have had this Cyrtanthus Elatus for many years and it continues to produce an excellent display of flowers. The pot is kept in the conservatory over winter and stood outside in semi shade in the summer.

It is also known as the “Scarborough Lily”. The story being that in the early 19th century a Dutch ship sailing north from the Cape of Africa was wrecked off the Yorkshire coast near Scarborough. Locals thought the bulbs looked like Daffodil bulbs but were surprised to find that the bulbs produced strappy leaves like those of amaryllis and 3 to 4 inch funnel shaped orange-red blooms in clusters.

David G


Plea from Helen Lewis

I must have bought this at a meeting because of the label. BUT the name has washed off. What is it? It looks as if it is a collection of bulbs; if so can I split it up and put some in the garden?

Answer: It is Albuca shawii – not totally hardy, I grow them in clay pots outside in summer then kept on the dry side in the greenhouse in winter, the clumps of bulbs can be divided up in spring. – Gordon Malt


Railway stations with flower gardens are very much a thing of the past. Usually found at smaller stations where the Station Master had time between trains to tend the garden.

How pleasing to discover on a visit to Madrid in November last year that Atocha Railway Station, the largest station in the city, has a superb covered tropical garden. When the station was modernised in the 1990’s the original terminal building was converted into a concourse with shops, cafes, seating areas plus a covered tropical garden. The garden is huge, about 4000 square metres, with thousands of plants, plus a pond with fish and turtles. In the Madrid summer heat the gardens are misted from overhead to give a truly tropical jungle feel.

A wonderful peaceful location was touched by sadness when in March 2004 commuter trains were bombed by terrorists. A small memorial is now located in the concourse. David Glennon


Can you help?

We have two Hollyhocks in the garden but we cannot remember where we got them and have lost the label(s). We think they are “Chater’s Chestnut Brown”. One is in a large pot and has grown to nearly 6 ft. tall with the double flower spikes starting to open.  The other plant is in a border on the north side of the garden but is much smaller – less than 3 ft. tall and although it appears to be a double flower variety they not a ‘full double’. Can members help identify them?  David and Millie Glennon

NOTE: If you can identify the Hollyhocks please contact me via the contact button on the menu bar and I will forward your email to David.- Editor


Fort Worth Botanic Gardens in Texas, USA.

An interpretation of a Cottage Garden – David Glennon


Good news for those of us struggling with not being able to indulge our favourite pastime of garden visiting. The National Garden scheme are now starting to open up gardens to visit. You have to book tickets in advance and no tea and cakes will be served  but at least its a start. Check out the NGS website for full information and a list of gardens near you. –  Pat Orme


More lovely images from the garden of Lilian Owen

The gigantic foxgloves, are at least 5ft tall and the bees are enjoying them. Hope to see you all soon in the meantime stay safe


This is a photo of my garden today, the Thalictrum is doing well – Jan Lovell

Jan Lovell 2


Pound Shop Iris: Just shows you do not need to spend lots to get a good display

Jan Lovell.

Jan Lovell


“Remembering Jan”

Colin & Elizabeth                                   Jane & Paul


Molly the Witch, I grew this from seed I had from seed exchange. I am quite proud of it

Jane Norris B

This has become my art corner over the last couple of weeks – Jane Norris

Jane Norris A


Yesterday we had two White Iris Reticulata in out front border. This evening looking at the garden we found the the White Iris had been joined by a Blue and White Iris. We have Blue Iris Reticulata elsewhere in the garden. Cross pollination? A new plant ??????????????? – Milly & David Glennon


We have a new gardening team unaffected by Covid-19  their wages are really cheap! Paul Norris



Proof of climate change? These two sturdy geraniums are the first I have had that have survived the winter outside in a basket.
Margaret Biggs

Promises, promises lots more to come. – Margaret Biggs

Margaret Biggs 2


The lake we made some 20 odd years ago in our field. – Margaret Wilcox

Margaret Wilcox


This is the garden last week, changed since then. I love the spring but the flowers are short lived. Paul constructed the tea house a couple of years ago, he’s quite clever when he puts his mind to it. – Jane Norris


I have cleaned the pergola. Was it last year or the year before that I planned to do it? Easier now we have a cordless vacuum cleaner.

The tulips and dog tooth violets are doing well and the Polish Spirit clematis which always does well is romping up its trellis. When we went to Pershore Sue recommended a nursery nearby and we bought a clematis.

That is doing well for the first time. Maybe it was the wet Spring or it has just got established.  The cornus is from a bit that broke off when Geoff was moving the parent plant for Fred. Fred said it would never grow.

What does he know!

Our sweet peas didn’t germinate well so we got some from Wildegoose along with some violas. A bit pricey but good plants. They were delivering free locally. Rushmere and New Barns are also delivering but it is not the same as going round the garden centre. Meanwhile we are working on what we’ve got. – Helen & Geoff


“Artist in Residence”

Polly-Ann has now come out the bathroom where she’s been since Christmas Eve! A present made by my daughter, when she’s finished her painting I’ll show it to you. Keep gardening and stay safe x Lillian Owen

Artist in Residence


’A very small suburban garden that looks at its best in the Spring. Camellias have lasted a long time this year as did the Magnolias. The Rhododendrons are just about to flower as are the azaleas’’ – Mary Hughes


The Bird of paradise plant we have in the garden room  for years has flowered again this year.

Fred & Pat Ellett

Pot of Tulips on the patio, variety Daydream.

Our Magnolia stellata is 15/20 years old and you can stop them from growing too big with regular pruning – Pat & Fred Ellett


Saw this combination at Floores Castle last year so thought I would have a go. The tulips are Ronaldo and Flaming Spring Green both from Peter Nyssen. We love it.

Getting lots done in the – garden. My gardening is usually done on the run between holidays.

I’ve also sown every seed I can find with very mixed results but it all keeps us entertained. Keep well, Love Sue and Harold xx

Sue Potter


Pieris ‘Forest Flame’

Although quite a commonly grown plant, in early spring the combination of red and green leaves with the white flowers make this shrub a spectacular sight. – Pat Orme



Message from David Glennon

Not all Nurseries / Garden Centres are totally closed.

Members in the northern part of our area may be interested to know that Pipers Nurseries, Gailey near Penkridge have opened online and will deliver within a 10 mile radius – see  Pipers is a family operation with the third generation now running the business; growing much of their stock on the nursery. Demand is such that from time to time they have stopped taking orders for a few hours while they  catch up. I have used them in the past week – excellent service.


Message from Jane Norris

I don’t know if members in the Kingswinford/ Stourbridge area are aware Ashwood, Highdown and Clent nurseries are delivering compost, sundries and plants. Ashwood will deliver in a four mile radius for a £5 fee I don’t know what the others are charging.


Paulette and Andys Spring Garden

Paulette and Andy


This was not planned. We forgot about the Tulips when planting the Peony. They do say Cottage Gardeners like jumble in their borders! – David Glennon

David Glennon


I love spring. First the Snowdrops, then Hellebores, Daffodils, Pulmonaria and then onto Erythroniums and Anemone. Not sure what I am going to do about summer bedding (I don’t use much, just a few pots) but at the moment I am happy with my garden even the demolished bits that you cannot see on these photos.  Angela Alexander


I always think March is a time of promise of what’s to come in my garden.  At the moment all plants shiver when I pass with my spade, it may be their turn to be dug up.    Heather Holyhead


Watch Out the Lily Beetle is back – Photo taken in my garden this afternoon by the eagle eyed under gardener. – Pat Orme

Lily Beetle
Red Lily Beetle


A couple of photos taken in the garden today.

Magnolia Stellata is a recent addition and this is the first time it has flowered. It is still shrub size, about 3ft tall but much larger specimens are in local gardens.

The Anemone Bordeaux was planted last year, so again a first time flowering in our garden. – David Glennon

Ziker Botanical Garden in Austin, TX stands high on the hill side overlooking the Colorada River with the Austin City skyline visible through the trees and foliage.

One tree took my eye, ‘Redbud’ Cercis Canadensis, with the flowers ’’spouting” on the trunk and boughs. A remarkable site. – David Glennon

Redbud’ Cercis Canadensis


Been hard at work getting the side lawn up and making a gravel path, now for the front lawn it gets water logged so it’s got to come up and down with more gravel
Enjoy your gardens while the weathers good x   Lilian Owen

Lilian Owen


Peter and I are getting lots done in the garden especially as the sun is shining.  We now have a tidy shed for the first time in a couple of years! – Pat Orme