At their October meeting Ticknall Garden Club enjoyed a lively talk from Justin Harrison. Standing in at the last minute for the expected speaker, he did not disappoint. He had brought along a wide array of plants to demonstrate his general theme of pleasing plant combinations with a mention of his special favourites along the way.
Ornamental grasses covered with frost in winter look striking partnered with cyclamen or double flowering wild primroses. He warned that primula and primroses should always be checked for vine weevil before planting. Also good late winter colour comes from dwarf wallflower with winter flowering pansies. When planting pansies their open flowers should be removed and not overwatered he said. He showed how the curry plant with its silver grey leaves partnered any red leaved plants well.
Aromatic leaves were one of his passions and he urged the planting of fragrant pineapple, grapefruit and apple mints. The last being ideal for mint sauce. A hardy bushy salvia called Black and Blue has leaves smelling of black currant. Partner it with evergreen berberis Telstar which has a low arching habit and yellow flowers.
Lonicera Silver Beauty is a recent cultivar with small grey-green leaves edged in silver white. Slow growing, it can be trimmed to shape and will brighten any shaded area. Spirea Candlelight makes a compact bushy mound with yellow-green leaves and bright pink flowers. It looks well in group planting. For difficult dry areas try mimulus cardinalis, lychnis coronaria and double flowering feverfew.
Finally a few of his all time favourites included euonymus alatus, a spreading shrub with glorious red leaves in Autumn; the golden leaved philadelphus with its fragrant flowers and a neat rambling rose Ghislaine de Feligonde with buff coloured flowers and good disease resistance.
Justin had brought with him a large variety of plants, all grown at his own nursery, so very hardy to plant locally. With many years of experience selling plants on Burton market, it was not surprising that Justin did a brisk trade and club members went home that evening feeling very satisfied customers.