Sunday, 27 September 2020

Get That Exotic Garden Look, Nina Lewis. September's zoom meeting

You never know what you might find near to home, and that was certainly the case with Nina Lewis’ garden in Woodford. Nina took us on a tropical journey through her garden with plants of striking colours and glamorous flowers. I was surprised to learn how many tropical plants not only do well but thrive in our part of the world.

Nina’s passion for her exotics came across as she told us about where her plants originate from, the best planting positions and their general needs to do well. We were told about the Tetrapanax Papyrifer, (Rice Paper Plant), middle photo, which has deeply lobed leaves up to one meter across, this hardy plant grows to four meters tall, so be careful where you plant one of these. I thought one of the most striking was Cobaea Scandens (Cup and Saucer Vine), upper photo, this vigorous climber has fragrant bell shaped flowers which change from green to purple, which would look wonderful against a sunny wall or fence.      

If you wanted to grow something a bit smaller, Nina suggested Hemerocallis, also know as a day lilies, bottom photo, which are easy to grow and although the flowers are short lived as each plant produces so many blooms their displays last for weeks. It’s best to go for varieties which flower at different times to increase the flowering period.    

Exotics are also found in the streets of Walthamstow, Nina told us about a Pomegranate Tree, which originates in the region from Iran to Northern India, which is thriving off of Lea Bridge Road and a Mimosa Acacia, from Australia which has fluffy yellow scented ball shaped flowers, growing beautifully in Prospect Hill. You never know what you might find growing at the end of your road.


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Meetings for rest of 2020.

Due to Coronavirus and the safety restrictions on people meeting, there will not be any Club meetings at Unity Hall this year. The Committee will review the situation in January 2021. The club will be holding Zoom meetings on the first Friday of the month for the remainder of this year. Details of the Zoom meetings will be advertised on this site. 

When the Whittingham Gardening Club, is able to hold meetings again they will be between 8.00 and 10.00pm on the first Friday of each month, except January, at Unity Hall, Bramley Close, Walthamstow, E17 6EG. Benefits of joining the club include: guest speakers talking on a variety of subjects, demonstrations of horticulture, a monthly newsletter, outings to places of interest and a flower show in July (subject to coronavirus restrictions).

Club Meetings - Update September 2020

As a result of the ongoing situation with Covid 19 and the safety restrictions on people meeting there will not be any Club meetings at Unity Hall this year. 

The club will be holding an online virtual Zoom meeting on 2 October at 8.00pm. October’s talk is by John Baker, his talk is titled, Heavenly Hostas. John’s presentation will include; how hostas were discovered and have been developed. How to grow and propagate hostas and very importantly how to avoid slug and snail damage!  

 If you would like to join the meeting on 2 October please email your interest to:  by 1 October 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

June update on Coronavirus affecting meetings

John promised, early summer, an update on meetings and outings. As things stand at the moment, he regrets all meetings and outings are still cancelled until further notice. The national situation is gradually improving, but still too early for the club to get together. There will probably be a further announcement in 2 or 3 months time. Thank you for your patience but we all understand why.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

A Very British Garden, Darren Lerigo March's meeting

Once again Darren Lerigo from Modern Mint gave us a wonderful teat with his latest talk, titled A Very British Garden. The title made me think that we were going hear all about cottage gardens, gardens full of flowers and lawns, and possible a water feature. However, this is not always the case with gardens of today. There is a trend where new gardens have too much paving and are surrounded by tall bare fences, lacking one of the most important things, plants! Darren has plenty of ideas on how to reverse this trend.

Darren shared his marvellous ideas on how to make our gardens special with amazing flowers, good organic gardening practices, while working with nature.   Darren’s approach to dealing with slugs is to crush one garlic clove and mix it with a litre of water, spray this onto your plants to deter slugs, it also protects against aphids. Darren’s unique wit and humour encouraged a lot of members to engage in discussion creating a great atmosphere for the evening. Darren advocates the ‘No Dig’ method, which gives outstanding results and certainly prevents backache. If you would like to know more about  No Dig you can visit :

One plant that was recommended is Baptisia australis, commonly know as Blue False Indigo, this hardy perennial is drought resistant, once established, grows up to 4 feet tall, prefers full sun and has deep indigo blue flowers from early spring until the autumn. If you are looking for a great climbing rose then Darren recommends Rosa ‘Madame Alfred Carriere’, this fragrant double white rose will thrive on a north facing wall or fence. Darren emphasised the importance of our beloved compost bin, whichever type of bin you choose keep it full so that none of your green waste is wasted!

Our thanks go out to Darren for a brilliant evening, I have received many compliments on Darren’s talk so we very much look forward to seeing him  again in the future. You can discover more about Darren and Modern Mint at

                                     Baptisia australis, Blue False Indigo.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Beautiful Spring Bulbs, Nick Dobson and Vincent Daniels. February 2020's meeting.

Our thanks go out to Nick Dobson and Vincent Daniels for a most colourful start to our club year. We were treated to stunning photos of the most colourful tulips, amazing narcissi and unusual snowdrops.  Vincent, a very  keen collector of snowdrops, gave us a brief history on the plants and told which varieties are easy to grow and those which can be more of a challenge. Snowdrops are much loved as they are one of the first plants to push through the cold winter soil and give us a burst of colour.

If you want to play safe then go for the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis , which can be purchased cheaply at garden centres. If you would like to go up market then look out for the Golden Fleece snowdrop, this variety was once sold on ebay for £1,390!  Vincent confessed that he had paid £65 for a snowdrop, which subsequently died. Vincent brought several varieties along for us to purchase, I was tempted by two different types, I hope I have more success that Vincent did with his £65 plant.     

Nick followed on with advice on how to get the best from our crocus, daffodils and tulips which are grown in the ground, and explained the importance of feeding the bulbs, with a slow release fertiliser, after they have flowered. Nick grows most of his bulbs in containers and dries them out after flowering, in the following autumn he plants them back into containers using fresh compost. This gives Nick great results.     

Nick also told us about William Wordsworth’s famous poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (also known as “Daffodils”). Wordsworth was inspired to write this when he and his sister, Dorothy, came across fields of flowering daffodils. This is not surprising as fields of flowing daffodils are spectacular.   

Saturday, 1 February 2020

The Christmas Party, December social.

What a treat we had at our Christmas party! This was all down to Jan, Eileen, Daryl, Linda and Norman from The Occomores who provided a wonderful evening of entertainment.  We were treated to a good variety of songs through the years with solo numbers and songs by the singers, all supported with music from Unity Hall’s very own piano. There were great memorable tunes which had us tapping our toes and singing along. 

I was most impressed by the array of dresses that the singers wore, not one or twice did they change but every number was sung with a new dress or costume, the group looked very festive in their red and white Christmas gowns for their concluding numbers.

Our thanks also go to Patrica who purchased all the food, on behalf of the club, for the evening and Jo who helped Patrica prepare and set out the food. Thank you and well done for an impressive buffet.  
Congratulations go out the Barbara who won two tickets for this year’s Chelsea Flower show from the Christmas raffle. Have great day Barbara.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Annual General Meeting 2019, November's meeting

Many thanks to all our members who attended the AGM last month, this important meeting provides an opportunity for us to talk about the club’s year, discuss any issues and of course plan for the coming year.  

At the AGM there was a positive atmosphere about the club and agreement that it had been a good year. We enjoyed a variety of speakers  six of which were brand new to the club.  Our outings to Pashley Manor, Sissinghurst Castle and Theobalds Farmhouse Garden were very successful. Our Flower Show was equally successful, with 120 visitors, so a huge thank you to everyone who helped with the show in whatever way.
The club’s finances are doing well and this will be used to benefit members in the coming year, one of which is that there will be no increase in next year’s annual membership subscription, the monthly entrance fee will also remain the same. Membership ended at 58, which is a good result. The success of the club is solely a result of our member’s support, your support makes the club what it is. I would also like to thank the committee for all their hard work during the year.
In line with the club’s constitution the committee stood down and re-elections took place. 

Julie announced that she would not be seeking re-election for Treasurer, but  would like to stand as a committee member. A huge thank you goes to Julie for being the club’s Treasurer for so many years, all your hard work has been very much appreciated, Thank You Julie!  

Bob will not be standing for re-election next year, thank you Bob for being a committee member over the last few years.

Nina was nominated for Treasurer and I am pleased to say (and with great relief) accepted to role. A big thank you to Nina and welcome to the Committee.

The new committee is as follows:

Chairman John
Vice Chair Patricia
Editor/Joint Secretary Jill
Treasurer     Nina
Membership/Joint Secretary June
Committee Members Julie and Gillian