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A garden for all seasons - Tuesday 26 February at 10.30 am

Diane describes herself as an alpine Gardener, growing cyclamen, galanthus, hepaticas and more hepaticas! She is Director of the Alpine Garden Society Seed Exchange. Her garden is north facing, high and cold. Shade from the house and surrounding trees means that much of the garden receives no sun for six months. Shade means both lack of light and a longer time taken for the soil to warm up. Shelter needs to be provided in greenhouses and frames but there are interesting plants for all seasons. A very knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, Diane is a justly popular regular on our lecture programme.
FOBS Members free, Visitors £5

Tour Guide Briefing - Wednesday 6 March at 12.00 noon

FOBS Tour Guide Co-ordinator, Kay Keeton, will open the meeting with a discussion of the tours booked to date. Tour Guide Leaders and their assistants (affectionately known as 'Sheepdogs') will be allocated for each tour. Anyone wishing to join the team will be most welcome to come along.
The curator will then take the group on a tour of the Gardens pointing out the latest developments.
Drinks will be provided at the start of the session, feel free to bring a packed lunch.

Time for a change - FOBS will be updating in the New Year

FOBS Logo 1 (1984-1995)
FOBS Logo1
FOBS Logo 2 (1996-2003)
FOBS Logo2
FOBS Logo 3 (2004-2018)
FOBS Logo3
FOBS Logo 4 - a new look coming in 2019
FOBS Logo4

Volunteer Briefing - 9 January 2019

Curator Ian Turner welcomed the group and expressed gratitude for the work done by volunteers. In the past year total hours had exceeded 4000 and the number of volunteers was over 100. There had been no days completely lost to the weather. The highest number of attendees on any one day had been 42, the lowest 11. Volunteer hours now included those working at other times, not just the Wednesday morning team. Group members were asked to contact the FOBS Chair with ideas for increasing the number of volunteers, to improve training and to help plan for additional sessions of work on other days, including weekends.

Ian then went on to review health and safety issues, which are essentially risk assessment and common sense. Always select the correct tool for the job, if any task involves strain don't do it, keep your work area tidy, be aware of other people and don't leave tools lying around. Trips and slips can cause accidents. Ask for help if something is too heavy to lift. Please don't overfill the dumpy bags - think about the safety of the staff too.

It was a lovely bright day, occasionally sunny, but cold. After pausing to admire the Acacia baileyana in bud, near the gate on the way out from the Education Centre, Ian led a tour to inspect the projects currently in progress, many of them funded and supported by FOBS. The group eventually returned to the Centre in time for a very welcome hot drink.

AGM Bed - has been cleared after the plants had grown too large. Will be dug over again and replanted with perennials. It is likely that many of the beautiful allium bulbs will persist.
Marnock Garden
Newly planted scree bed in the Marnock Garden
Osborn's Field
A new project in Osborn's Field, this sheltered south-facing patch, backed by a stone wall, has a relatively warm micro-climate. A new South African Bed will be home to plants from both the Western and Eastern Cape.
Sophora microphylla
Also in Osborn's Field is the current Plant of the Month. Sophora microphylla is a member of the pea family and provides a welcome splash of colour at this time of year.
Victorian Garden
New planting next to the Curator's House cafe includes a eucalyptus tree which will provide shade in summer.
Victorian Garden
Trees and overgrown shrubs along the wall will be replaced to provide a more pleasing background to the colourful bedding plants. The bedding is planted out twice a year and is very popular with visitors.
Outside the pavilion
Outside the central pavilion Ian stopped to talk about the gardens in general. It was noted that the clock had stopped due to a power cut. Apparently there is quite a complicated procedure to restart it at the proper time!
East Lawn
A view across the East Lawn reveals the trees spaced out in the "Gardenesque" style, each having suffient space to develop without tangling with its neighbours. Our original curator, Robert Marnock, was an exponent of this design.
Lucombe Oak
Now that the thicket of shrubs around its base has been removed, the semi-evergreen hybrid Lucombe Oak can be really appreciated.


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