October 2015

Kenneth Black talk 2015
John Massey featured above with the committee and representatives from the National organisation of the Cottage Garden Society.

The prospect of an entertaining afternoon with a talk by John Massey ensured a good attendance by members and several welcome visitors for our ‘Kenneth Black Lecture’ at Swindon Village Hall.

John’s talk ‘Autumn into Winter’ was filled with ideas, observations and lessons learned from a lifetime spent immersed in plants at his nursery and in his jewel of a garden at Ashwoods. The talk was delivered in his usual warm and witty style with lots of humour, poetry and anecdotes. He passed on numerous tips on the use of plants in our gardens, too many to mention here but a small selection I found interesting were:- Hydrangea Paniculata is good in frost pockets, John’s garden is in a real frost pocket adjacent to a canal. His advice was to prune it late to two buds-recommended varieties Vanille Fraise and Vanille Sundae.

His talk ended with a slide show accompanied by the intermezzo from the opera Cavelleria Rusticana which was very moving.

John’s love of his garden, friends and his beloved dogs Poppy, Daisy and Willow shone out in this talk which I’m sure was enjoyed by everyone.

Excerpt from the group magazine by Carol Galley

The afternoon concluded with a raffle, refreshments including home made cakes, plant sales and garden sundry stalls.

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Photo by Paulette Colley of two members manning the garden sundries stall