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BARBICAN LIFE


an Horticultural Society


to 5 years old entered and were all were judged as being very competent, each was given a suitable prize. LATE JUNE there was an


Cherry and lime trees previously coppiced are now carefully managed for if too much coppicing was done, the deer present would graze on the young growth, thereby defeating the object of the exercise.


Grazing cattle are part of the future plans to promote wild flower meadows. Heartwood Forest took part in a ‘Tree Planting Event’ in 2009, every tree planted by one of the 100 volunteer planters assisted by their own ‘gofer’. Their aim was to plant 18,300 trees in the allotted one hour, they actually managed just over 20,000, however, this was short of the record of 26,000 attained in Northern Ireland. Our full coach then took us to Hatfield House where many had lunch, looked over the house and gardens and viewed the Henry Moore sculpture exhibition in the West Garden and Park. This is the first Henry Moore exhibition ever held in a stately home garden.


JUNE as usual heralds our SUMMER COMPETITION. This is judged by the All London Gardens Society and there are official classes for window boxes, patios and planted areas in a public place. Our Society however also includes a class for ‘First Timers’ and another for children’s efforts. Those entering prepare for this judging for some time beforehand and the variety of entries is truly bewildering. Hundreds of plant species


of every shape, size and colour are apparent, individuals exhibit their own personal flair, whether artistic or not, it can be seen that each expresses to some degree the spirit and enthusiasm of the participant.


The winner of this year’s patio award cultivates a small area in Ben Jonson, the window box winning design came from Gilbert House, and the public open space was judged to be within the march of small silent groups of three tubs – in perpetuum – under Willoughby House.


The public parking entrance to the same house also caught the judge’s eyes and has been recommended for other awards. As to the ‘first timers’ this proved a difficult class to judge as the displays were so diverse in colour and design, all were judged most worthy beginners but eventually a balcony in Defoe won the day.


The children were once again supplied with terracotta pots, planting material and this year low growth tomato starter plants. Each child raised their plant with care and attention, no doubt talking to it frequently, and they were expected to decorate the pot on an individual basis. The judging took place under the waterfall, the noise of which added to the enthusiasm, movement and exuberation of the green-fingered youngsters. Eighteen children from 3


11


opportunity to respond to an invitation to a GARDEN PARTY at The Barn, Serge Hill, Hertfordshire, the home of Tom Stuart Smith, a well known garden designer and winner of eight gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show, regarded by the experts as an unbelievable achievement in the horticultural world. The garden was open for the evening to raise funds for The Woodland Trust, the proceeds of each entry ticket including the provision of a young tree to be planted at Heartwood Forest which we had visited earlier. Tom started work in 1987 on this open windy gravelly hilltop which is divided into an enclosed courtyard and an open area with a formal layout. There are very striking plants, some reaching up to ten to twelve feet high, including grasses, geraniums, thalictrum, salvias and sedums surrounded by a five acre wild flower meadow. A further area of experimentation with newly planted seeds from South Africa has just been inaugurated. The bag of seeds cost Tom, in his own words ‘more than a similar weight of hallucination drugs’. This garden has been featured in a number of articles in magazines and on Gardeners’ World.


Woodland Trust guides point out some of the features of Heartwood Forest to Hortisoc members


Impressive display at the Willoughby House/ Brandon Mews car park entrance


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