Wells Voice Article September 2022

Photography by Timothy Walker

August has left us with dilapidated borders and defoliated shrubs, a scattering of leaves over the lawn and plants in general having shut down to preserve their moisture. The odd patch of drizzle only served to emphasise the low levels of rainfall the south-west has suffered this summer. Going into September my garden, sprightly in Spring and luxuriant in early Summer, now has the rather scruffy and tatty appearance of a post-Christmas high street shop window marking the January sales. Plants everywhere have taken a battering and some have proved more resilient than others. Only those hydrangeas which enjoyed the shelter of some shade have survived with dignity intact. As these dramatic quirks brought by climatic change become part of what we can expect, the trick in future will be to choose the winners rather than the losers. And it's not just the decorative borders. We are more dependent on plants than we imagine. The prospect ahead doesn't look optimistic.

Which sobering notion brings us to the next meeting of Wells Gardening Club. We are delighted to welcome back Timothy Walker, lecturer at Somerville, Pembroke and Hertford Colleges, Oxford, and formerly for several years Curator of Oxford University Botanic Garden. Timothy is one of those rare speakers who has the gift of making the dullest aspect of gardening hugely entertaining. It is this originality which sets him apart. On a previous visit to us, what he had to say about the private life of the fig took many of us by surprise.

So, mark the date: Thursday 8th September 2022 in Wells Town Hall at 7.30 pm. Subject: 'What have plants ever done for us?' Everyone welcome. Members £1, Visitors £3, includes refreshments. Pip