Quote of the Month

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

~Mirabel Osler

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

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April Visit Tuesday 10th

We're going to visit two gardens this time!  
The first one belongs to Joe and Brenda Macnamara where we'll have refreshments.
The second is a 10 min walk to their neighbour Margaret Stevenson's garden.  
 Please note that those who do not want to undertake the uphill walk (on a mainly concreted drive) are welcome to stay at Joe & Brenda's garden.   
It's not really practical to drive from the first to the second garden.
Directions to the gardens:  Take the Torrox Road from Cómpeta and, at the 6.1 km marker, there is a skeleton house on the right.  Please park there (ample parking) and walk up the garden drive opposite.

June Visit to Gibraltar


 One of our members has kindly suggested that we visit The Botanical Gardens in Gibraltar, which look wonderful - see  www.gibraltargardens.gi  for further information.

The proposed plan is to visit on Tuesday 12th June by private bus from Cómpeta stopping at Archez Cruz but we need a minimum of 20 persons to make the trip worthwhile.
We would leave Cómpeta by bus at 09.00am returning at approximately 7pm.  The bus will drop us over the border in Gibraltar (don't forget your passports!) and from there we need to make our own way to the gardens;- either by free number 4 bus or £5 for a taxi which will take 4 people.
The club will partially subsidise the bus fee and pay for a guided tour of the gardens, which takes approximately 1.5 hours. After the tour, there will be an additional 1 hour at the gardens for you to wander as you please.  You may like to bring a picnic lunch. The souvenir shop sells ice creams and coffee.

based on 20 persons; €20 each plus Gibraltar transfer as above.
based on 25 persons; €16 each plus Gibraltar transfer as above.
based on 30 persons; €14 each plus Gibraltar transfer as above.

If you have friends or family staying with you, none club members are welcome to join us as at cost of  €28 / €24 / €21 respectively.

If you are interested in joining the trip email Cindy a.s.a.p. so she can confirm arrangements. 
A non refundable deposit of €10 is due on or before our May meeting.

Quiz (02) and Answers to our Quiz (01)

QUIZ (02)
1. The cranberry, so popular in a sauce to go with the Christmas turkey, is known botanically as what?
a) Needlium
b) Injectium
c) Vaccinium
2. What would a gardener do with a dibber or dibble?
a) Scrape mud off spades and trowels
b) Make holes in compost from transplanting seedlings
c) Grade soil particles according to size
3. What is meant by a resistant vegetable variety?
a) A variety that is resistant to being attacked by pests or diseases
b) A variety that is not resistant to being attacked by pests and diseases
c) A variety that doesn't like being moved
4. The Royal Horticultural Society runs a large garden at Rosemoor. Which county is it in?
a) Kent
b) Devon
c) Warwickshire
5. What general term is given to the trees and shrubs whose leaves fall in autumn?
a) Deciduous
b) Evergreen
c) Ambidextrous
6. What is the popular name for the flowering house plant Impatiens walleriana?
a) Marguerite
b) Black-eyed Susan
c) Busy Lizzie
7. What is the name given to the technique of clipping trees and hedges into ornamental shapes?
a) Topiary
b) Bonsai
c) Renewal pruning
8. Why do gardeners practice crop rotation?
a) To grow bigger vegetables
b) To make the garden appear organised and efficient
c) To help prevent a build up of pests and diseases in the soil
9. Which part of a tree can be used to make cork?
a) The bark
b) Root tissue
c) Pulped seeds
10. The love apple is the original name for what?
a) Potato
b) Tomato
c) Quince

QUIZ Aswers (01)
1. Leylandi
2. Chile
3. Thyme
4. Cheshire
5. Koi
6. Vinca, a strain of the Periwinkle
7. Neutral
8. Fiction
9. A Rhubarb Forcer
10. Red

The History of the AGC

The Club (AGC) was founded in October 2007 by friends and gardening enthusiasts Dee Bigwood, Mike Moorcroft and Carol Starr.   It began with small, monthly meetings at friends' houses and gardens. The membership grew quickly.  It was no surprise that there was a huge local interest in gardens and a desire to learn more about gardening in the challenging, mountainous regions 14km inland from the coast.
Unfortunately, Dee, an able and very experienced gardener, could not continue with the day-to-day running of the Club for family reasons.   Tragically, the Club's keen academic and scientific advisor, Mike Moorcroft, passed away suddenly in August 2011.  He is sadly missed.  Carol, who is a UK qualified garden designer, continues to run the club.
As the Club's membership and popularity grew, the members decided they would each subscribe €10 a year. Cindy Jones, one of the earliest members, volunteered to be Treasurer.  The Club is run very informally with no committee and the post of Treasurer being the only formal role within the Club.
The AGC meets every second Tuesday of the month throughout the year.  Previous events have included a trip to La Concepion in Malaga and El Molino in Torremolinos, as well as a small group visiting the Patio Gardens in Cordoba.  Visiting experts have been invited to speak on topics as varied as Insects, Colour in the Garden and a talk by one of our local excavator drivers on the advantages of terracing our hillside gardens. 
 As can be imagined, Club members themselves are also a fount of professional knowledge and information.  Local and more distant garden centres have  hosted and given guided tours.   The majority of our monthly meetings however, are held in the gardens of members.  Members' gardens are as interesting and diverse as the members themselves and are always a source of ideas and inspiration.
A more recent addition to the Club has been a lending library, run by Greg Starr.  AGC is now a group member of the Mediterranean Garden Society.  The Club also holds two social events in the year; a Summer Picnic and Xmas lunch. 
We publish Monthly Financial Statements of Accounts.   The money raised pays for visiting speakers and also subsidises some events. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The AGC Garden Quiz

Answers in the next Issue (along with another 10 questions)
1. Name the evergreen hedge that has created many a neighbourly dispute?
2. The Monkey Puzzle tree originates from which country?
3. What herb is regularly mentioned along with Rosemary?
4. The RHS holds a flower show at Tatton Park, which is in what County?
5. Name the popular type of goldfish found in ornamental garden ponds.
6. What plant is used in the treatment of Leukemia?
7. Soil can be Acidic, Alkaline or......?
8. Is a blue tulip fact or fiction?
9. What can be placed over Rhubarb to make it longer and more delicate?
10. What colour rose is associated with Lancashire?

Remember the Cacti Garden visit ?

Well, here is a link to an online jigsaw picture of a cactus.
Great fun ...... for 10 minutes of your life. simply Click on each piece and move it into place.
Good luck!

Fish Ponds

From Birgitta
 I've got a small pond with gold and a Pontederia cordata (water hyacinth, not the floating one, similar but smaller flowers). I'm interested swapping for an underwater oxygen donating plant - and perhaps a floating water hyacinth. 
However, my experience says that the fish destroys it by nibbling off the roots.   Any opinion of that?   
Replies please to editor,agc@gmail.com


A few online sources of information


www.gardeningsuppliesguide.com/ Cached - Similar
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
Tips on where to find the best garden supplies from the top gardening shops on the Web.

www.dobbies.com/ - United Kingdom

Now, do you have any favourites to share with the Club please?

Grass anyone? Fund Raiser of the Century

A village in Tarragona has come up with a way to beat the recession. They propose to plant marihuana.
A smokers’ club in the village of Rasquera and say the plantation would create jobs. 

They say they will not sell it, rather it will be for the use of the club members and also for ‘therapeutic ends’.
A cannabis association in Barcelona that uses the drug for therapeutic reasons has offered to pay €36,000  to the club and sign a deal with the Town Hall and then promises to pay €550,000 a year each July for the land rental, legal and judicial costs and security which make up the project. The Town Hall won’t have to pay a centimo.
There are about 1,000 inhabitants in the village, and while they admit they could never have imagined it, the crisis is such they say they are prepared to grow whatever is needed

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Special Issue dedicated to the AGC visit to the 
Botanical Gardens in Casarabonela March 2012

The AGC Visit to Casarabonela Botanical Garden

Carol writes:-
I think the visit was enjoyed by all 17 who came along.  The fully landscaped garden was well laid out with wide paths and easily negotiable steps with the planting beds full of mature and, in some cases, flowering cacti and succulents.  The sheltered village of Casarabonela tucked into the lower folds of the Sierra Nevadas has provided a perfect spot for displaying the owners' collection.  Unlike the devastation wreaked on these plants in our area the cacti here had largely escaped the ravages of the recent cold winds and below freezing temperatures that have decimated these same plants in our own local gardens.
The cacti, succulents and drought tolerant shrubs such as Ricinus, Euphorbia and Pelargoniums were all named (which is often off-putting in a botanical garden) was useful for keen gardeners wanting to purchase the same plants.  To see these mature, architectural specimens planted en mass with such artistry was an inspiration.
There was a small plant sales area and the ticket office sold locally made pottery at very reasonable prices - many members went away with their car boots filled.
After the garden tour ably given by a young Spaniard, Antonio, Maria, our Spanish host led the way to the village where we enjoyed a very good 3-course menu del día for €7 per head including drinks.
All in all a very satisfying visit well worth the 90km trip.
(Next visit is to the gardens of Joe and Brenda Macnamara and Margaret Stevenson on 10th April.)

Office - prior to being separated into Over 65 & Youngsters

Easy pathways for meandering

Looking up at the greenhouse

Good looking group of enthusiasts!

Cacti.... or visitors from outer space?

Greenhouse heat control using windows and blinds

Gorgeous ground cover

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Report of AGC Visit to the Cacti Gardens

I have a few photographs recording our visit to Casarabonela Tuesday and I'm compiling an illustrated account for our "Magazine".
If you have some photos and, maybe some text,  please send to me  asap. 
It's Show and Tell Time!

Blue Hibiscus arrives!!!

For all of you who have been waiting, the fabulous blue hibiscus, alogyne huegelii, has at last arrived! Limited stocks.
 Lorraine Cavanagh, Viveros Florena, Competa, Malaga, Spain.
Horas de verano:    9 - 2. Summer hrs: 9 - 2.
Horas de invierno: 10 - 4. Winter hrs: 10 - 4.
Cerrado los domingos y los lunes. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
Tel:     00 34 689928201

Frozen potatoes

Frosted potatoes
Has anyone else planted potatoes only to see them attacked by the frost?
We would welcome advice of whether to dig them up or leave them in the ground in the hopes that they recover and provide us with a good crop.
 Reply to  Editor.agc@gmai.com


We are just doing so me research on the subject of creating a Wormery
Does anyone have personal experience of doing this?

Fish Ponds Anyone ?

Do you have a fish pond?
We have a large fish pond, over 50 fish and several kinds of plants.
Interested in swaps or fish or plants?
Reply to Editor.agc@gmai.com  

HELP from Birgitta re PALMs & BEETLES

Hello Jane/editor,
 A year ago I came across this info about plants likely to be attacked by the palm beetle.

Areca catechu
Arenga saccharifera
Arenga pinnata
Borassus fl abellifer
Borassus sp.
Calamus merrillii
Caryota cumingii
Caryota maxima
Cocos nucifera
Corypha utan (= C. gebanga, C. elata)
Corypha umbraculifer
Elaeis guineensis
Livistona decipiens
Livistonac saribus (= Livistona cochinchinensis)
Livistonac subglobosa
Metroxylon sagu
Oneosperma horrida
Oneosperma tigillarium
Phoenix canariensis
Phoenix dactylifera
Phoenix sylvestris
Sabal umbraculifera
Trachycarpus fortunei and Washingtonia sp., plus
sugar cane, Saccharum offi cinarum and
century plant, Agave americana.

I sincerely hope that they will continue to stay away from our local wild dwarf fan palms, Chamaerops humilis, a vulnerable species. Better have them go for the invasive agave.

And of course we should not forget to look for help from local sources:

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Over the Garden Fence
Advice from The Editor 
(editor.agc@gmail.com )

Welcome to your first, regular issue of our new AGC Magazine.
Each time there is something to add to our Magazine, all subscribers will receive it in their email in-boxes.
If you wish to add a Comment about a particular article, click on the heading of the item and another screen will appear that contains a Comment Box at the end. 
Enter your Comment and follow the instructions.
Be aware that the Editor has to accept each Comment before it is published.

To see the entire Website of all Issues - click on the Heading at the Top of your latest issue.
Everything that appears in the regular issues is available to be seen again on the Website Magazine.

This is OUR Magazine and everyone is encouraged to contribute. Please do!

Tuesday is our Trip to Casarabonela  
Please ! Please! Will each person be an
Intrepid Reporter !!!!
Take your cameras and notebooks. Send your photos and notes to the Editor - 
we can all share the experience & have a permanent record of our visit. 

Jack Frost Attacked
Last Thursday's issue of the Costa del Sol News carried the regular column from Lorraine at Viveros Florena
This time it detailed the damage that frost does and what we should do about the affected plants.
The Editor is contacting Lorraine to see if we can include that article in our Blog Magazine. 
Fingers crossed

 This is our Advice Section. We can all profit from the experience & knowledge of other members.  
Send your questions and pleas for help to editor.agc@gmail.com 

It all SEEMS very easy but being a red fingered gardener this bloggy stuff has baffled me!
But here goes :
I´m attempting to create a roof terrace garden. My dear, unsuspecting husband has put up lots of trellis and I want to try to grow a hardenbergia in a pot, as I think they are just the most gorgeous thing this time of year. Has anyone any experience of growing one in a pot? Would love some advice pleeeeese!!
Regards from Jo Robinson

Saving Hyacinths!
Every year we buy a dozen or so of those €1 hyacinths and enjoy a wondrous couple of weeks of perfume and beauty in the house.
Every year, we “plonk” them in the border. Some years we see them again. Some years they are too shy to pop up.
What do Members think we should do to enjoy repeated “appearance “ ?

Useful On-line Websites 
Please send the web address of any on-line source you find particularly interesting or useful.
(Email to editor.agc@gmail.com  )



www.gardeningsuppliesguide.com/Cached - Similar
You +1'd this publicly. Undo
Tips on where to find the best garden supplies from the top gardening shops on the Web.

www.dobbies.com/ - United Kingdom
March 13th - Visit to the Cactus and Succulent Jardin Botanico in Casarabonela - lunch afterwards
April 10th - Visit to 2 neighbouring members' gardens - Joe & Brenda  and Margaret
May 8th  - Visit to Oasis Capistrano gardens, Nerja
June 12th - Visit to a Gibraltar Garden (details t.b.a)
July 10th - In-house talk (t.b.a) *
August 14th - Summer Picnic
September 11th - In-house talk (t.b.a)*
October  9th - Visit to a member's garden
November 13th - Visit to a member's garden
December 11th (?)  - Xmas lunch in Competa
* In-house visits are usually held at the Centro del Ocio in Cómpeta