Constantine Cornwall

A very peculiar gardeners’ year

Many gardeners will say that as winter approaches, it is the end of the gardening year. Others advocate that it is the beginning and you will yield the results next year due to the preparation done now. Whichever camp you belong to, this year has certainly been a testing one for most of us. Who would have thought that 2020 would end in such a way.

The society has not met since the last AGM and it will most likely not meet again until after the next one would have been held in 2021. We must all wait and see what the future holds prior to any further interaction.

The committee has decided that all Membership annual subscriptions paid in 2020, will be honoured for 2021. Let us hope that we can meet, have gardening talks and plan future events as soon as s reasonably practicable.

As keen gardeners we know that now is a great time to collect seed ready for next year.

As society members can we try to collect a few varieties from our garden so as things get back to normal we can try and get a community seed swap scheme for Constantine going in 2021. It will be a big project to initially start, but I’m sure with our collective knowhow wecan make a success of such a scheme.

The Facebook page is there for us all to use, to share ideas, ask questions and post pictures of plants and our gardens. For thosewithout a Facebook account I’m more than happy to administer any content that you wish to be included. For those wishing to have photographs included please send them via an attachment in a JPEG format, not via a Word or Pages document.

As this issue covers November and December, albeit it may be a little early for some, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Peter Wilson

Constantine Cottage Garden Society

Peter Wilson, Chair

This edition would have been mostly about our Summer Show that was due to take place in July. We would have been blessed with marvelous weather and I’m sure the day would have been a tremendous occasion. The last time the show was cancelled was during the Second World War although a show did take place in 1945, where money was raised for the local forces tribute fund. There was a similar occurrence in the Great War, it again resuming in 1919. After such a long period of absence during both wars, I bet it was a great morale booster for the village.

Constantine Cottage Garden Society’s 2019 Summer Show in happier times

Whilst our current predicament cannot be compared to those events, we must certainly look to next year and if we are not able to hold a full show, we must see how we can try to have some involvement of the various categories. It will certainly be feasible to judge, best gardens, hanging baskets in the Division 9 category, maybe a virtual show via Facebook or web pages will be an option. The committee are open to suggestions for this. As the cups presented in 2019 have not been collected, can I please ask that those winning recipients of that year, please ensure the cups are safe and stored securely, ready for collection at a later date.

The Constantine Cottage Garden Society Facebook page is now operational, several members have joined so please have a look and join, so we can boost the numbers. It is a chance to share pictures, ideas, problems we all encounter while gardening. If you are not on Facebook, please feel free to use me as a conduit for items, issues to be posted.

As the summer schedule visits have all been cancelled, we are currently unable to arrange the winter program of talks in the WI hall. There are a number of health and safety issues which preclude the use of the hall and until these can be addressed, it is unfortunately closed for meetings.

While we have had a lovely spring and summer so far this year, our attention as Gardeners’ undoubtedly turns to the Autumn and the inevitable garden tidy up. While that seems a little way off yet, just take a few moments out of your busy schedules and enjoy your garden, while the sultry days of summer slowly ebb into the Autumn.

Roy Keverne and David Burke

Members of the Cottage Garden Society have been saddened by the loss of two most prominent members who have passed away.

Roy Keverne (above) and David Burke (below) have both contributed so much to the success of the Society over many years.

They worked on various committees and held important positions within the Society. Roy was latterly the President and David the Treasurer. They were both keen and successful entrants to the Summer Show, Roy usually won the Fuchsias Trophy and David the “Men Only” Home Produce Trophy.

Our condolences are sent to the families of both Roy and David.

Howard Bolt

Summer Show

Spring update

Unfortunately with the Covid-19 virus the garden society programme for 2020 came to an abrupt end in early March. All meetings were cancelled and the Summer Programme has been put on hold until further advice is received from the Government. This has of course meant the unfortunate cancellation of our Summer Show, which would have been held on Saturday 18th July.

As the Lockdown has extended, it has given a few people the incentive to start gardening, with a number of tabloids running quite a few articles on ‘How to garden’. Naturally those new to gardening have wanted to obtain, compost, seeds plants etc, but with garden centres closed it has been problematic. With the desire for an instant Alan Titchmarsh ‘Love your Garden’ style garden; being unable to acquire these items has prevented a few progressing a new found hobby. The garden Society previously had a seed share scheme administered by members and as many neighbours do swap excess plants and cuttings, this is perhaps something that we can look to re establish, should the isolation and lockdown continue for some time.

For those new to gardening, the society has many experienced horticulturalists, who would willingly give advice to get you started. In order to assist with this and to promote the garden society, I have been working on a group Facebook page, which will be established in the near future. Members will be able to join, post pictures, ask questions to better their knowledge of our hobby. This will hopefully be ready for a future publication of this magazine or for discussion during the winter programme.

All that is really left to say for this edition is, albeit we have excellent gardening weather, please stay safe or should we now say, stay alert and take care of yourselves and family members

Danny Konik, Cornwall Council Community Partnership Officer

February 2020

Danny said that he has worked as head gardener at Gyllyngdune Gardens and Heartlands. He is now employed by Cormac Horticultural Section and is responsible for working with volunteers in the whole of the West Cornwall area. The Horticultural Section helps maintain a variety of public sites in Cornwall such as: municipal parks/gardens, roundabouts/verges, cemeteries, public rights of way (all 4442km), trails, woodlands, sports grounds. He said that there are some challenges to the work the Section does, explaining that a minority of the public have proved to be uncooperative concerning such things as vandalism, plant theft, dog fouling, damage to sports facilities. However, involving pupils in the planting of some public areas has reduced vandalism dramatically in these areas over a period of years. Danny has been involved with the Friends of Victoria Park and the Bowls Club, creating a ‘green oasis’ in the heart of Redruth. Similar volunteer groups have helped Victoria Gardens Truro and Fox Rosehill Gardens in Falmouth.

He gave particular mention about a volunteer group composed of less academically able young adults. Due to financial cutbacks, there has been a tendency to leave these young adults without help when they have completed formal education. However, this group has proved to be a useful asset and has given them some sense of purpose as well as opportunities to learn new skills. Indeed, one member of this group is now employed by the Horticultural Section.

Mark Harris of Potager Garden

January 2020

Mark Harris, who has been in charge of Potager Garden at High Cross for some 10 years, gave an inspiring, interesting and amusing talk.

The garden was started some 20 years ago by Dan Thomas, a gardener, and Peter Skerrett, an architect. They had visited what remained of High Cross Nurseries to arrange to use some greenhouse space and ended up buying the whole nursery. They could only work at weekends, because they both had jobs, but with the help of friends and family, set about transforming the overgrown nursery. They had little money but gradually cleared areas and started replanting them in a ‘small room’ philosophy.

Eventually, the Potager opened to the public on Sundays using a greenhouse for a small cafe. They have held candlelit evening events such as a tapas meal evening, a Japanese meal evening, a Christmas Roast. Day events have included ‘paint in the woods’ and ‘nature bugs’.

There is no master plan, but all the people working on the project know roughly the direction they want to go. Mark is their facilitator and is doing a most successful job.

Mark arrived in 2006, hoping to use space in a shed to build boats, and suc- ceeded creating a pleasing wooden sail craft. He gradually got involved with the gardening aspects of the project. He bought a tractor to help deal with lower growing vegetation and a chain saw to help remove taller plants and trees. Mark’s work became somewhat ‘The Good Life’ based.

Studios were created in greenhouses so that craft people could rent spaces to carry out their work, which helped the project become more financially viable. As more people have joined the project they have all shared skills.

The new cafe now has a relaxed atmosphere, serving vegetarian food, where possible grown on site. There are currently 2 potters working there, some of their pots are for sale with plants reared on site. There is a children’s group on Wednesday mornings as well as the following: Foraging courses, green woodworking courses, a bee study group, a variety of craft work in- cluding linocut art work, fine art, jewellery, furniture, metal work, print work. There is a dementia group which works in the garden.

Surreal Succulents

All you need to know about the creation of Surreal Succulents.

By Daniel Michael, Tremenheere Penzance

Cottage Garden Society AGM

Followed by John Moreland’s illustrated talk.

Creation of three gold medal show gardens at Chelsea.

An illustrated talk by Pat Ward

Garden Visitors – be surprised.

The Festive Party

Members please bring a plate of food.


Cottage Garden Society Show

The Cottage Garden Society Show 2018 will be held this year on Saturday July 21st at 2pm on the Recreational Field. This is the Saturday after the Brass on Grass weekend. Schedules available from Constantine Stores.

Trebah Garden – Darren Dickie