Our first meeting of the 2016/17 season was truly fascinating. Sophie Leguil, the Plant Heritage Plant Conservation Officer, travelled all the way from her home in northern France to talk to us about the history of plant conservation, why it’s important and what’s happening to promote it throughout the rest of the world.
At the January meeting of PHNE we were entertained by a talk on ‘The Beautiful Bearded Irises of Cayeux’ by John Tait.
John is a local boy, but used to live in France, near the nursery of the iris supplier Cayeux, near Orléans. The Cayeux family have been hybridising and propagating bearded irises since 1892 and are now into their fourth generation of iris enthusiasts.
Every year we think we’ve had the best summer trip ever, and every year we seem to rise to new heights, which only goes to prove that we live in a country of exceptional gardens – and have exceptional trip organisers. Thank you Maggie Duguid of HPS for taking the lead this year, and Irene Bosomworth for her input. The preparation involves time and effort, strong admin skills, and occasional attacks of the jitters until the event is well under way.
Anne endearingly entitled her talk “Make your own daffodils (& snowdrops)”. Fetch the scissors and paste! Or at least the razor blades and fungicide, key tools in her propagation of hybrids.
Saturday 10th October saw us gathering once again at Ponteland Memorial Hall for a very colourful talk by Jo Bennison of Bennison Peonies.
Bennison Peonies is based just outside Lincoln in Market Rasen where they grow and propagate over 270 varieties of peonies in their fields for sale to trade and public.
There are three types of peony: tree peonies, herbaceous peonies, and new itoh hybrid peonies, which have the big tree peony flowers growing on a herbaceous bush. A good example of an itoh hybrid is the Peony ‘Julia Rose’ (pictured).