By Victoria Plum
The National Garden Scheme (NGS) raised a fantastic £3.1 million in 2018 for various, usually health-related charities. (I expect many of you know the “Yellow Book”, which lists NGS gardens and dates for the current year.)
The talk enjoyed by the Reepham & District Gardening Club at Reepham Town Hall on Tuesday 15 October was given by staunch NGS supporter Graham Watts of Dale Farm, Dereham, who opens his garden to the public.
Having bought the house and two acres in 2007 he and his partner set about making, changing, reimagining and working on the garden.
The before-and-after photos were interesting and we gasped at the speed with which borders were established and flowering effectively.
Style-wise, Graham described the borders as “cottage garden with knobs on”. He knows that a tidy lawn enhances the look of the borders; fertile soil and ample water proved to be a boon.
Grass carp were imported to control the weed growth in the half-acre pond (or do I mean lake?), where they took three years to eat everything apart from the water lilies.
(I was interested in this as we have put grass carp in our garden pond – a bit smaller, six feet by twelve feet – for the same reason, where I hope they will do a quicker job.)
A “truth” that Graham mentioned was that “plants don’t read textbooks”, and of course we have all had experience of finding something growing in the most unexpected circumstance, and conversely, preparing the ideal situation for a special plant, which then keels over and dies.
(I find I have recently become interested in advertisements for remedies for “joint pain” so I am very interested in health-related charities such as those the NGS supports.)
The next meeting of the Reepham & District Gardening Club is on Tuesday 19 November at 7.45 pm in Reepham Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, when Hawk Honey of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust will tell us about bees in our garden and what we can do to help them.
Photos: Graham Watts, Dale Farm, Dereham