CHAIRMANS REPORT 2004 – 2005

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CHAIRMANS REPORT 2004 – 2005 Powered By Docstoc
					THE FRIENDS OF TREBORTH BOTANIC GARDEN CYFEILLION GARDD FOTANEG TREBORTH

NEWSLETTER
Number / Rhif 25

CYLCHLYTHYR
January / Ionawr 2006

http://www.treborthbotanicgarden.org/

COMMITTEE Dr. Pat Denne Dr. David Shaw Ann Scott Wood Rachel Hughes Angela Thompson Andrea Roberts Sarah Edgar Dr. Trevor Dines Enid Griffiths Peter Frost Grace Gibson Bryan Hyde Judith Hughes Geoff Radford Dr. Barbara Jones Nigel Brown Chairman Vice-Chair Secretary Treasurer Membership Secretary Newsletter Editor Publicity Officer Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Committee Member Curator Student Representative

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EDITORIAL
A warm welcome to the first newsletter of 2006. We are commencing the year with a range of articles chronicling the lives of some of Treborth‟s prominent people. We thought it might be interesting for everyone to learn about the members whose names often appear in our newsletter. We are starting the series with an item about the Woman Who Knits Trees. We hope you like it. Grace Gibson is continuing her war on slugs and offers more advice about how to keep them at bay. We should be really interested to hear from you about how you manage slugs in your gardens, and will also welcome articles from you on any other subject. To this end you can contact me care of the Botanic Garden, address listed below, or via email: jnr@enterprise.net Come on don‟t be shy! Following the recent Annual General Meeting, the Chairman‟s Report for the year 2004 – 2005, details the issues, activities and challenges of Treborth‟s year. There are also articles about October‟s successful Star Watch and the Weather and Wildlife Report for August to October. New to Treborth is the National Vegetation Classification Garden where the aim is to help students and visitors alike identify key species of native plants. This is an exciting project and it will be interesting to see the garden develop. Agapanthus and Crocosmia make their debut in this edition and we are continuing the Gardener‟s Checklist of Jobs To Do. Can I remind you that this is your last chance to pay your subscription if you have not already done so:£7.00 single £10.00 double at same address £12.00 family regardless of the number of children Payable to: The Friends of Treborth Botanic Garden. Please send cheques to: The Membership Secretary c/o Treborth Botanic Garden, University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2RQ. Finally, I‟d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year and to wish you all a successful gardening year. Andrea Roberts Editor

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CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2004 – 2005
It has been a busy and productive but worrying year at Treborth Botanic Garden. The future of the Garden remains uncertain, for although the College authorities assure us that the Garden will remain under their control, and that there is no intention of selling, or allowing it to change radically from its present use and ambience, their very restricted finances mean that some of its facilitities are under threat. The glasshouses are a particular concern, for the larger ones are getting old and are expensive to run, and as there are no funds available for replacement, or major maintenance, the authorities have decided to relocate all glasshouses to Henfaes (the College Field Station at Abergwyngregyn) at some future date. Your Friends Committee hope that at least some glasshouse facilities can be retained at Treborth, including the orchid collection for example. Friends are searching for new ways of helping to maintain and develop the Garden: one exciting prospect is to seek funds to develop projects connected with the Atlantic Ark concept (see the article in the September 2005 Newsletter), another possibility is to form links with specialist commercial growers who are seeking outlets. However, we do have to remember that the Friends are constituted as a support group for the Garden, we do not own it so cannot ourselves initiate major projects without College approval. Sadly, during the year we have lost a founder member, Tony Fogg, and other long-standing members such as Mair Roberts and Gwynedd Jones; their love of plants and support for the Garden we remember with gratitude. On a happier note, I hope that you will agree that the Garden is looking good: a small but very dedicated group of volunteers have worked hard to keep it so. A new area, the NVC garden, has been developed behind the temperate house, and is now in use by student classes to help in their identification of the native plants of woodland communities. A very welcome trend is the increasing involvement of students in the Garden - much invaluable practical work is done by student workparties and by individual students, and they have made their support for the Garden known in no uncertain way through their encouraging expressions of concern about the future of the Garden.

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Two second year students (Sophie Williams and Tom Little) travelled to Southern Africa during the past summer to visit and foster links with the Katse Botanic Garden in Lesotho. Treborth Garden is also strengthening links with the National Botanic Garden of Ireland at Glasnevin in Dublin. Ireland was again the venue for another very successful FTBG tour in June, this time to Northern Ireland: many thanks to Grace Gibson and Bryan Hyde for organising this visit so splendidly. During the past year we have enjoyed a full programme of FTBG events, most of them very well attended. These included three “Star Watches” joint with the Gwynedd Astronomical Society, Peter Stafford‟s excellent talk on the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a composting workshop, fungus foray, and field visits to South Stack and the Glynllifon Tree Trail with the Friends of Glynllifon. Also the Len Beer lecture: this year Jim Jermyn‟s knowledgeable account of alpine plants. The University‟s Department of Lifelong Learning continues to use Treborth for their successful series of Art Classes run by John Headley. Other users of the Garden have included about 10 different school classes, and many other local visiting groups such as U3A, Friends of the Bangor Museum, local horticultural groups (including the Chester and North Wales Orchid Society), the Wildlife Trust and Watch group, and there have been regular monthly meetings and workshops of the Gwynedd Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers, and the North Wales Entomological group Three excellent Newsletters have been produced during the past year, thanks to an editorial team firstly under Trevor Dines (special thanks to him for editing every Newsletter from issue number 1 until number 22), then more recently with Andrea Roberts as editor. Copies of past Newsletters can now be downloaded from the Treborth Garden website www.treborthbotanicgarden.org thanks to David Shaw. There have been four plant sales during the year, organised by a dedicated plant sub-committee co-ordinated very ably by Judith Hughes. These plant sales involve much hard work for the volunteers, but are remarkably lucrative as well as happy social events. So what happens to the money raised? Most of it has gone on essential Garden maintenance, including items such as rabbit-proof fencing for the NVC garden, payment of contractors for felling and shredding, a small storage shed for the volunteers, and equipment for controlling the environment of the orchid house. We are now in process of upgrading the plant labelling system in the Garden, so you will soon see professionally engraved labels on many of the trees, and we have purchased a

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much improved system for producing labels for the shrubs and other plants. Recently we have agreed to match-fund 50% of the capital cost of a secondhand van to be based at Treborth (up to a certain maximum), since the old van has had to go for scrap, and University funds could not be found for a replacement. It must be clear from the above that the FTBG provide lifeblood to the Garden. Are you happy with the way your Committee has worked, the ways in which your contributions have been spent? If you have any concerns about that, or any suggestions about future plans and policies, please do not hesitate to let us know: we are your committee, we need to know your opinions. Finally, my most grateful thanks to the Committee and to the many other volunteers who have done so much to help Treborth Garden during the past year. Speaking as Chairman, I can only say how very much I appreciate all their help, which has made my task quite an easy and certainly a happy one. Thank you all, and please do keep on volunteering, there is still so much to be done to maintain and develop our University Garden! Pat Denne Chairman

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STAR WATCH 8th October 2005
Skies were relatively clear for this joint star watch with the Gwynedd Astronomical Society and 40 enthusiasts gathered to take advantage of the expertise and high powered telescopes available on the night – two 12” Dobsonian reflectors, a 6” Dobsonian and a 3” refractor. Roughly 15 constellations were identified and their chief stars highlighted. Some observers saw M57, the so called Ring Nebula – an elliptic misty disk of gas thrown off a star 4,100 light years away in the constellation Lyra .Two very distant concentrations of stars known as globular clusters were spotted – M15 in Pegasus and M13 in Hercules, both approximately 30,000 light years away on the outer limits of our Galaxy, the Milky Way.
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Even further afield, but still amongst our close neighbours in space at the galaxy level, the Andromeda Galaxy (known also as M31), and the attendant galaxy M32 were relatively easy to see. M31 lies over two million light years away and is the furthest object visible to the naked eye; appearing as a pale, elliptic smudge in the night sky. This celestial object is larger than the Milky Way though with a similar construction, containing several hundred thousand million stars all orbiting the galactic centre which displays a marked bulge, and the entire structure consists of spiral arms of stars when seen from “above”, just like our own Galaxy. M31, M32 and the Milky Way are three of the galaxies that form a so called Local Group of some 30 galaxies traveling together through space, loosely bound by gravitational attraction. The rising of Mars in the eastern sky near the beautiful star cluster known as the Pleiades was perhaps the highlight of the evening and indeed the so called Red Planet has continued in striking form throughout the autumn, almost reaching the brightness and size demonstrated in 2003. With only a small handful of admirers left the planet Uranus completed the night‟s spectacle, dimly seen through the most powerful lenses, but no less exciting than the much larger and more distant celestial highlights seen earlier in the evening

Nigel Brown Curator

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WEATHER AND WILDLIFE August to October 2005
Temperature (oC) max min 23.5 7.0 26.5 4.75 21.75 7.25

Month August September October

Rainfall inches mm. 3.05 77.4 3.54 89.8 9.67 245.6

August experienced average rainfall and weather conditions were unremarkable. A green woodpecker on the first of the month was however something to remark about as this species has become a very scarce visitor to Treborth Botanic Garden in the last few years. The following day another scarce but possibly increasing avian visitor flew in - a crossbill, joined by a handful more over the next day or two, and then no more. Both of these striking species demonstrate marked post breeding dispersal, especially crossbill, which may irrupt in locations hundreds of kilometres from their natal areas. A Painted Lady butterfly on the third was one of too few Nymphalids this summer. By mid month whimbrel were whistling on their winged migration, heading down through the Strait to feed in Foryd Bay and beyond before continuing their two month long journey from Scotland and Scandinavia to W.Africa. Terns fished the Swellies in day long processions and sparrowhawks gleaned rich pickings from the woodland edge to satisfy their noisy offspring deep in the forest. Moth catches did not reflect such a glut however, with nightly tallies of less than half the previous years, due in part to the much reduced numbers of Large Yellow Underwings. One welcome species was Oak Hook-tip - rather local in its appearance in our area – surprisingly, as it is an oak feeder and probably feasts on Turkey Oak as well as the two native species of oak when at the larval stage. It is an attractive, warm orangey brown moth with strongly hook tipped forewings. The caterpillars tightly fold an oak leaf in which they pupate and then drop to the ground cocooned en mass in the autumnal shedding of senescent foliage. Hidden and forgotten they sleep till spring before the first brood hatches, usually in late May.

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By the beginning of September there was a touch of autumn about the Garden; the dainty birch (Betula pubescens ssp. odorata) on the rock garden rapidly shed its yellowing leaves and field mushrooms were plentiful in the open Grounds. Moth catches assumed their seasonal character with Rosy Rustics and Sallows predominant. However, the weather was really far from autumnal with temperatures comfortably exceeding 20 degrees during the first week and not far short of that for much of the rest of the month. Above average sunshine hours were a tonic for all users of the Garden though the butterfly numbers remained disappointing, with Small Tortoiseshell being particularly scarce. October provided a cornucopia of weather conditions, beginning brightly then producing a deluge on the 11th when 61.5 mm (2.42 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours. This was followed by 41mm (1.6 inches) on 18th which heralded an almost unprecedented wet spell lasting 26 days. With almost 10 inches of rain falling in October the Garden became saturated throughout and regular operations (border work/mowing) proved virtually impossible. A number of trees toppled under the influence of extremely fluid ground conditions and along the steep seaward edge of the Garden local landslips took yet more trees to meet the muddied waters of the Strait.

Moth numbers remained low in October despite some favourable overnight temperatures, that of the 10/11th still 18.5 degrees at midnight! A marked influx of small passerine birds occurred mid month, including goldcrests and by the third week redwings had arrived. Large Wainscot moth on 19/20th and 21/22nd was a welcome reminder that moths also travel, in this species‟ case perhaps not very far (a few kilometers), but nevertheless, biologically significant and interesting since such natural dispersal presumably permits the species to colonise new habitats and thereby maintain a species presence in a dynamic world where living space comes and goes as a result of natural events such as this months downpours or anthropogenic calamities at the other extreme such as drainage works. The Large Wainscot can only survive in the stems of reeds and the nearest reedbed to Treborth Botanic Garden is over a kilometre away. So in the eyes of the crossbill, green woodpecker and wainscot Treborth is a potential resource in time and space to be exploited by individuals with a deep and essential wanderlust – let‟s hope that the Garden continues to offer natural living space for such species long in to the future. Nigel Brown Curator
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THE WOMAN WHO KNITS TREES
This title sounds like the name of a North American Indian but is in fact our very own Chairman of the Friends, Pat Denne. Further explanation follows! Her interesting life begins our series of potted biographies of prominent Treborth people. Pat was born in 1931 (information freely given, I assure you) in Colchester, Essex, to her part-housewife, part-primary school teacher mother and science teacher father. Pat had a sister who sadly died young. Pat studied single honours Botany at University College London and carried on there to complete a PhD on the development of daffodil leaves, having been given a sack of bulbs by her supervisor with the instruction „do something with these‟. She alludes to her generation, unlike today‟s, as being the lucky ones who could do research on anything they liked. This led to the opening up to Pat of a world of scientific exploration, especially with regard to trees and forestry, at that time a subject very much dominated by men. From London, she moved to Kent, to the government-funded East Malling Horticultural Research Centre to study the storage of apples. This interest subsequently took her to New Zealand for 7 years, moving on to work for the Department of Science and Industry there on plant physiology. Pat‟s work at the University College of North Wales, as today‟s University of Wales Bangor was then known, began in 1968 in the Forestry Department, headed by Prof. Dennis Richardson. He was a great person to work with according to Pat: a moderniser who widened classical forestry to include urban aspects. After a long career teaching, carrying out research and writing academic papers, she no longer lectures but still has a desk in the School of Agriculture and Forest Science and is Curator of the School‟s Wood Collection. However, she does still have a „day-job‟ for two days a week, with a local consultancy firm, using her expertise to identify plant fragments (mainly tree roots, charcoal from archaeological digs and timber samples). Pat also surveys churchyard trees, helps to manage the North Wales Wildlife Trust‟s Porthamel reserve (between Moel y Don and Brynsiencyn) and gets involved with botanical organisations such as PlantLife. Pat lives in Llanfairpwll, in a lovely old cottage she bought almost 40 years ago, set back from the road on an old footpath. It‟s one of the oldest buildings
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in the village, with parts dating back to the late 18th century. Although there are houses close by, there is a tranquil rural feeling to it. The surrounding “ecological” garden (to use Pat‟s term) is an engaging mix of trees and shrubs, (including some exotics), and perennials, which can survive and compete with slugs. Inside, there are a number of spinning wheels as you might expect and I glimpsed a weaving loom as I walk past a window. While she was working in New Zealand, neighbours with sheep introduced Pat to spinning and we can safely say she never looked back! Pat‟s great hobbies are spinning, weaving, dyeing and knitting all sorts of garments. And this is where the article title comes from. She derives great inspiration from the intricate patterns provided by the microscopic structure of wood, and the picture on the cover really does no justice to the beauty of the hand spun and knitted shawls she has made. I was fascinated by the exquisite workmanship in them – vessels, rays and other elements cleverly translated into delicate twists of wool to make cross sections 2-3 feet in diameter. Thirty years ago, she founded with others from the area the Gwynedd Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers that now has many members and meets monthly in Treborth. She is also the librarian for the UK-wide Association of Guilds. As one of the founder members of the Friends of Treborth, Pat has been on the committee for most of that time and Chairman for the past four years, constantly giving excellent leadership. Way back then, the Garden was more overgrown than its well-kept appearance of today, and Pat regrets the lack of „before and after photographs‟ to chart its progress. At present, the Garden faces an uncertain future as the University struggles to maintain its finances, but Pat remains optimistic that the Friends can rise to any challenge to preserve it! Pat attributes her very fulfilling and interesting life and her academic career to a personality that is able to see the possibilities and positives of what comes her way. She says she‟s lucky to have this attitude, but I feel it‟s more to do with her own dynamism and strength of character than anything else…

Angela Thompson Membership Secretary

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SLUGS
I‟ve had some interesting and challenging encounters since the list of slug resistant plants was published, and found myself apologising for their bad behaviour on several occasions. However, I shall fearlessly stick my neck out and offer a few additions: Alyssum, Arabis, Astrantia, Anaphalis, Agapanthus, Allium moly, Ballota, Bergenia, Begonia, Berberis, Bellis perennis, Borago, Brunnera, Calendula, Camellia, Canna, Cardamine, Carex, Catananche, Cerastium, Ceratostigma, Chrysanthemum, Crocosmia. Over to you now! Please share your experience with the rest of us. editor Andrea Roberts please. Letters and emails to the

My favourite weapon of biological control in the strawberry cage this year was a large reddish brown frog who hid by day under the plank I used for kneeling on when planting out the runners. The moorhens from the pond used to help in the veg plot but this summer they were more often to be found up in the apple trees pecking holes in all the ripest fruit. Barriers recommended by the RSPB on their Garden website include materials such as lime, wood ash, forest bark, crushed eggshells, human hair(!) and soot. A protective application of crushed garlic has been recommended for warding off slugs, but I don‟t think I‟d use that in my strawberry bed. I might try it on the lettuces.

Grace Gibson Committee Member

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THE NATIONAL VEGETATION CLASSIFICATION GARDEN
The National Vegetation Classification Garden is a new venture for the Treborth Botanic Garden. It is being developed on the area between the temperate glasshouse and the railway line, which many of our members probably never knew existed! Previously it was a rather boggy and impenetrable scrubby area, but now has been cleared and landscaped into several beds separated by winding paths, with a small pond. The initial clearing and landscaping costs were funded by a teaching grant to the School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences, and further development and maintenance are being carried out by volunteer Friends. Friends have also contributed generously by paying for the essential rabbit-proof fencing. The aim of this new area is to help students (and other visitors to the garden) to identify key species of native plants that indicate different woodland communities. As the name suggests, the layout is based on the National Vegetation Classification system (abbreviated as NVC). The National Vegetation Classification system was developed in the 1970s to give a framework for understanding the diversity of British ecological communities. Altogether 263 main vegetation communities are now recognised within the system (ranging from maritime, through grasslands, heaths and forests, up to montane) of which 25 are types of woodland or scrub. Our NVC garden demonstrates 6 of those woodland types (W8, W9, W10, W11, W16 and W17), together with indicators of wetland and ancient woodland. Since space is limited, the beds include higher plants and fern species of the field layer and some representative shrubs, but not the larger tree species. The woodland communities were selected to represent a range from the more southerly lowland (W8, W10, W16) to the more northerly upland ones (W9, W11, W17), together with soil types varying from base rich (W8, W9) through low base status (W10, W11) to acid soils (W16, W17). We are still in the process of building up the collection, finding species for the correct habitats, weeding out those that should not be where they are, and getting the plants labelled. If you are visiting Treborth, do pay a visit to the NVC Garden (though please don‟t forget to keep your rabbit-proof gate closed!). Further details can be
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accessed on the Treborth Garden website (www.treborthbotanicgarden.org), and there is a laminated copy of those details in the Laboratory. Don‟t expect to see pristinely kept showy horticultural marvels, for it‟s an area to demonstrate native species as they may be found in their natural habitats. But there are many interesting and lovely plants to be found there. Pat Denne Chairman

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AGAPANTHUS AND CROCOSMIA
The August 2005 edition of the RHS Journal, “The Garden”, contains articles on both of these genera, and as we now have a number of species/cultivars in our South African bed at Treborth, I thought some information about our experiences of growing them might be of interest. We also frequently have specimens available at our plant sales. Agapanthus Agapanthus consists of ten species now placed in its own family, Agapanthaceae. It has a rootstock of long fleshy roots, strap-shaped leaves and a head of flowers arranged in an umbel, and white or shades of blue. Distribution ranges from the south-western Cape to the eastern part of southern Africa. Species from the frost-free western and southern areas, where rainfall occurs mainly in the winter months, are evergreen. Their new seasons buds are situated just above ground level, surrounded by leaves and they are liable to winter damage. Species from-eastern areas with summer as the main season of rain are deciduous and their new seasons buds are protected underground and so they are hardy with us. Agapanthus africanus from the vicinity of Cape Town was introduced to Europe in the first part of the 17th Century. It became a popular plant for container culture in protected situations. It was not until the eastern side of South Africa was developed in the 19th century when A. campanulatus was introduced that it became possible to grow plants outside. Although all species of Agapanthus hybridise freely, it was not until the 1940‟s when Lewis Palmer obtained seed from Kirstenbosch and started crossing his plants,
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producing what became known as Headbourne hybrids, that Agapanthus began to be a popular garden plant. Now there are some 300 named cultivars of Agapanthus but as these do not come true from seed they must be propagated vegetatively or by tissue culture making them expensive to purchase. In the border at Treborth our first plant was of the A. campanulatus group and this has done consistently well for some ten years forming a good clump of mid blue flowers. Shortly after we tried two large containerised plants that had spent some time in the cool house. No winter protection was given and one of them turned to mush in a bad winter, something that is likely to happen with evergreen plants. The other has survived for several years but seldom produces flowers. More recently we have acquired a number of hybrids mostly grown from a seed donation from Bristol University Botanic Garden or by donations of plants. A couple have white flowers and others blue reaching various heights all of which have now survived a few winters without protection. It is however advised to protect evergreen types with a mulch in winter. Crocosmia Crocosmia also contains 10 species with some 300 cultivar names but there the similarity ends. It is a member of the large Iris family, Iridaceae. Eight of the species occur on the eastern side of Southern Africa where rainfall occurs mainly in summer months. One species, C. aurea, has an extended distribution as far north as Uganda. The other two species are not known in cultivation, one comes from Madagascar and the other is endemic to a very limited area of Namaqualand. The variety of Crocosmias at Treborth has slowly increased thanks to various donations, some from unknown sources. Trying to put names to them was a problem until towards the end of 2004 when a book devoted to Crocosmia, together with a small closely related genus not in cultivation, was published. The authors were two South African botanists, Peter Goldblatt and John Manning, experts on African Iridaceae and Gary Dunlop who holds a National Collection of Crocosmia in Northern Ireland. One characteristic that aids identification is the leaves, which are either swordshaped with a single main-vein or pleated with several parallel veins. The latter type become taller plants reaching 4-5 feet as opposed to 2-3 feet for the plants with sword-shaped leaves. Two species with pleated leaves are C. paniculata and C. masoniorum. These illustrate another distinction, the former
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having tubular flowers and the latter upward facing open flowers. Several cultivars have been produced from crossing these two species, the best known being „Lucifer‟, which was introduced in 1969 by Alan Bloom. We have had all three of these growing for several years. They grow profusely but from my experience over a number of years C. paniculata does not flower freely. “Lucifer” apparently comes true from seed, but like most crocosmias it multiplies freely by vegetative means. We have more recently acquired several cultivars with sword-shaped leaves. Of these “Solfatare” is another easily recognised cultivar. This was developed in 1886 by the French nurseryman, Lemoine. Solfatara is a geological term for a gaseous volcanic vent that discharges sulphurous fumes. The choice of name for a plant with sulphur yellow flowers and unusual smoky bronze foliage no doubt alludes to this geological feature which was a well known attraction to Victorian tourists to the region north of Naples. More difficult to name with certainty is a plant with open trumpet-shaped flowers of a clear yellow with no markings. It could be “Golden Fleece” but apparently there are a number of similar clones in cultivation all with different names. The latest to flower in the season has been one of the few cultivars with bronze leaves similar to “Solfatare” but with a striking open flower about 4 centimetres across with tepals almost scarlet shading to a bright golden yellow at the centre with dark maroon markings. “Amberglow” appears to be the name that fits closest although from the description it has paler flowers. Our most recent acquisition I noticed in a clump of turf when I arrived at Treborth for a volunteer session. I tentatively identified this as C. pottsii, a species with small tubular flowers from Kwa-Zulu Natal. This name was confirmed when I enquired from Nigel where it had come from and was told he collected it in Scotland where it is common in Victorian gardens. This species was named in 1877 in honour of George Honington Potts of Lasswade, Scotland. He must have had it in cultivation for a few years prior to this as he had distributed plants to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and to Max Leichtlin of Baden-Baden, Germany, both responsible for the species name. It is possible that our plants were offshoots of the original clone brought to Scotland in the 1870‟s. It was only after 1820 that plant collectors reached eastern South Africa so the first species of Crocosmia to be discovered was C. aurea in the 1830‟s. As previously mentioned C. pottsii first appeared in the 1870‟s but it was first described in the genus Montbretia. In the 1880‟s the well-known French nurseryman, Lemoine, made the first cross between C. aurea and M. pottsii,
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which he named Montbretia cocosmiaeflora. The genus Montbretia was later sunk into the large South African genus Tritonia but in the 1930‟s T. pottsii was moved to Crocosmia. The correct name is now Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora. However, the name Montbretia is still frequently used for this vigorous hybrid which has unfortunately become a pest plant in some natural areas, no doubt due to gardeners finding it too invasive in their gardens and throwing out unwanted corms. Pauline Perry

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GARDENERS’ CHECKLIST OF JOBS TO DO
January o Protect vulnerable plants from frost and wind damage o Move pots containing vulnerable plants under cover if severe frosts are forecast. Deadhead and tidy plants in containers. o Brush heavy snow from conifers, hedges and shrubs so there is no danger of breaking branches o Cut back climbers from windows and doors o Cut down newly planted raspberry, blackberry and hybrid canes to within 25-30cm (10-12in) of the ground o Order seeds, summer bulbs, plants and seedlings o Sow under glass half-hardy annuals that are slow to mature o Germinate seeds such as begonias and pelargoniums on windowsills indoors or in the greenhouse o Bring in pots of forced bulbs for indoor flowering when ready

February o Keep the garden free from fallen leaves and other debris over the winter both to make it look more attractive and to deprive over-wintering pests of places to hide o Put cloches in position to warm the soil for early sowings of vegetables next month o Sow seeds of tomatoes for growing in a cool greenhouse o Prick out or pot up pelargonium seedlings that have grown from seeds sown last month
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o Clear weeds from around the base of established hedges and cut back overgrown deciduous hedges o If necessary, prune all shrubs such as winter flowering viburnums which have just finished flowering o Clean and oil the blades of cutting tools. Check electrical equipment before the busy spring season March o Sow hardy annuals in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse o Sow tender bedding plants in a heated propagator or in trays on a warm windowsill o Lift and divide congested clumps of perennials o Plant out bulbs grown for indoor use which have finished flowering o Mulch beds and borders while the soil is moist to reduce the need for watering and to keep down weeds o Remove winter protection from containers and top dress or replant overgrown or pot-bound plants, adding a slow-release fertiliser o Make the first outdoor sowings of culinary and salad herbs o Sow and plant out vegetables including beetroot, broad beans, carrots, onions, peas, spinach, swedes and turnips o Sow seeds of tomatoes in a heated propagator or on a warm windowsill to grow outdoors when all danger of frost is over April o o o o o o o o o Remove the insulation from the greenhouse Begin to harden off young plants and over-wintered cuttings Start to sow hardy annuals directly into their flowering position Plant tomatoes to grow in a cool greenhouse, train them up tall canes or strings Weed patios, paths and drives Plant summer-flowering bulbs such as acidanthera and tigridia Ventilate cold frames and the greenhouse whenever possible to encourage sturdy plant growth Mow the lawn weekly or more often if necessary; frequent mowing encourages dense growth Continue to plant vegetables directly into the ground and under glass for a succession of crops

Andrea Roberts Editor
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EVANS BROS (CALOR GAS CENTRE)
Garden Supplies Hardware, Power Tools, Gas Appliances & Cylinder Refills Key and Glass Cutting Household Goods 4 – 6, High Street Menai Bridge Telephone: 01248 712388 Supplier of peat-free Potting Compost to Treborth Botanic Garden

THE MUSE BOOKSHOP
New and Used Books Occasional Catalogues and Rare and Out-of-Print Natural History Books Treborth Botanic Garden ……. Friends Discount 43, Holyhead Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2EU Telephone: 01248 362072 email: gogarth@btconnect.com

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RICKARDS HARDY FERNS
We have the widest variety of ferns and tree ferns available in the U.K. As a keen gardener, or specialist collector, you‟re bound to find something here for you Open all the year, but best to ring first Catalogues on request. Please enclose 5 x 1st class stamps Special 10% discount for Friends of Treborth WE AIM TO PROVIDE THE HIGHEST QUALITY PLANTS AND SERVICE Carreg y Fedwen, Sling, Tregarth, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 4RP. Tel: 01248 602944 (day) 01248 677641 (eves.) 07811 372276 (mob.) email: rickardshardy@freeuk.co.uk www.rickardshardyferns.co.uk

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