Gardening Society Report - Feb 2017

‘Meadow in my Garden’
Paul Jupp
Growing wild flowers in your garden is becoming increasingly popular and there was a good audience, including several visitors and a new member, to hear Paul Jupp’s talk. 
Paul heads up a family firm in Devizes and does most of his business at flower shows, festivals and charity events. He brought along a really good display of his products and did a very brisk trade at the end of the meeting. ‘Meadow in my Garden’ is the name of his firm and his products were all decorated with wild flowers.
The reason that he started his business, which was a change of career, was that he became aware of how much of the world’s wildlife had become extinct or was endangered and that domestic gardens are now a major habitat for wildlife as the planet becomes more populated. Planting wild flowers is just one way of supporting a good population of the various insects that are at the bottom of the food chain. In addition, they are a very attractive feature in their season.
There were several blends of seeds for sale, for example, an annual mix, a perennial mix or a blend of both. Blends were available for different soil types and even for areas where you needed just low-growing plants. This diversity has interested some local authorities and wildflower mixes can be seen on some roundabouts and verges. One suggestion for a private garden was to underplant with bulbs for naturalising and then cover with a perennial wildflower mix. This would extend the season of interest and give a fairly low maintenance area which should come back each year. 
There were interesting free samples! Tiny packets of seeds were available and (much more intriguing) ‘nuggets’ that looked like misshapen maltesers. These were seeds bound in a clay mix that included some chilli powder to fend off the birds. These could be scattered on the ground. For very inaccessible places, there were ‘hand grenades’ of seeds that could be bought and then hurled in the right direction.
Lovely images of banks of wildflowers were just right for an evening in February, to remind us of warmer and more colourful times ahead.
Anyone needing more information can speak to Paul on 01380 724963 or make purchases on line at www.meadowinmygarden
Our meeting on 30th  March is an illustrated talk given by Mark Porter who is on the RHS Council and is also the NGS County Organiser for Hampshire. His talk is called ‘How on Earth did that get Gold?’ He is very energetic, good humoured and a keen gardener.
Dorothy Richards