For a while now I have been thinking that I need to get out more. Although I like my own company and I love to potter in my house and in the garden, people keep telling me that the time has come to re-join the real world. So, with this in mind, on Tuesday evening, I was dragged along to my local village gardening club by one of my neighbours. I love gardening ..... well I love Gardener's World and I love beautiful gardens but managing to connect the two and get my garden to be anything other than a rectangle of scraggly looking grass and nettles, liberally dotted with weeds has so far eluded me. I seem to start out with fantastic intentions but somehow the reality never seems to be the same as it is in my head!!
The gardening club is a fantastic bargain. It's £10 per year and included in this is a summer BBQ and a Christmas supper and also, during the year, a couple of trips to visit gardens from the National Gardens Scheme. When we arrived, I was surprised to see the hall packed with about 40 ladies of a certain age, along with a few brave men who, from the look of them, were husbands who had been press ganged into going by their wives. The scheduled talk was supposed to be garden designs around the world but the speaker had cancelled at short notice. Fortunately, they had managed to get hold of a new speaker to fill in. He arrived slightly late, which to be fair was understandable considering he had stepped in with barely three hours notice and seemed slightly flustered to be faced with a roomful of women. He brought with him 3 huge buckets full of plants that he had picked from the gardens where he worked and he proceeded to gave a fantastic talk on what the plants were, how to grow them, if and when to prune them and he answered as many questions as were thrown at him. Very brave :-)
As the talk ended and I began to chat to the lady next to me about black stemmed bamboo, I watched in fascination as there began a most unseemly and unladylike dash to the front of the hall. Bewildered, I sat and watched, thinking that the ladies were simply keen to chat to the cute young gardener and take advantage of his extensive gardening knowledge. Imagine my surprise as they systematically stripped the tables bare of the plant specimens like a plague of locusts stripping bare a field of wheat. It was hilarious to watch, the prim and proper, Joules clad ladies were jostling and elbowing their way around the tables, vying for the best blooms. By the time I had made it to the front of the hall, the tables were bare and the beautiful hydrangea that I wanted to have a look at and take a quick photograph of, were nowhere to be found, which is why the images above are ones I had to find on the internet :-).
I can't wait for the next one, apparently there is cheese and wine instead of coffee and biscuits next month, with a plant swap where you can take a plant you have plenty of and swap it for something new and the month after that is the Christmas supper. A very nice lady is going to bring me a cutting of her black stemmed bamboo and some pink fluffy flowers that I was admiring in her garden. I have no idea what they are called but they will look lovely in my cottage garden flower border. I think that gardening club is going to be quite an interesting experience and I'm glad I decided to become a member and I can't wait to start collecting the beautiful hydrangea plants that I saw to put in my garden.