Wells Voice Article April 2024

Spring bulbs are not suited to mild, sunless damp conditions. Nor are we for that matter. The snowdrops flourished only briefly. Early tulips are showing a reluctance to display their buds and the daffodils seem to be having a hard time. Daffodils often do. When I worked in Bristol the daffodil season was constantly fraught with danger. The trouble was Mother's Day coming in Mid-Lent just when the narcissus family was brightening the roadside verges, flower beds in the park, and little front gardens. The risk was there on the calendar every year. When the season clashed with the celebration and the stars were aligned, then the golden daffodils were plundered in bunches by the younger denizens of the urban streets and presented to Mum with a winning smile. Curiously enough, over time I observed that the daffodils began to show a canny awareness of what was happening, blooming either too late or too early, flowering either side of the fateful date, so thwarting the nippers of their piratical booty.

Now we are into April and things are starting to move. Plants in the borders are dug up, split, swapped, donated or sold. For this is the season of plant sales, much more sophisticated affairs nowadays. Gone are those broken yoghurt pots containing an ailing feverfew struggling to survive. We seem to be much more knowledgeable and take care with our presentations. Plant sales and Spring shows are fun. And if you wish to know what's on, here's a suggestion. Go to your computer and type

SFGC.co.org and you will reach the website of the Somerset Federation of Gardening Clubs. The other option is for the San Francisco Girls Chorus but that's for another day. If you click on Events, you will find the Noticeboard of current events. If you click on Publications, you will have the County's Calendar of Events for 2024 at your disposal.

Individual club programmes are not included. The Federation has over 160 members so there's plenty to choose from.

After last month's excellent talk by Sally Morgan on the Climate Change Garden we are now more prepared to take on whatever comes our way as long as we follow the guidelines in her admirable book. There are ways around excess water or drought with the consequence that we can grow what suits the conditions, even chickpeas, kiwi fruits and apricots. Which is a good trailer for our next meeting. The subject will be Exotics. Brian Jaques will be showing how what we call exotic plants are quite feasible in this part of the world. The talk will be in Wells Town Hall on Thursday

11th April at 7.30 pm. Admission £3 for visitors Members £1. Everyone is very welcome. Pip.