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

Monday, 9 December 2013

It's TODAY! 1pm at Loreno, Competa

Tuesday, 10th December, 2013 at 1pm at Loreno, Competa.
(This restaurant is on the left, opposite the playground as one enters the village from the lower road. )

The three course meal offers the following choices
Sopa Picadillo  /    Lentegas   /   Paella
Estofada de Terneza   /    Chuletas de cerdo   /   rosada
Flan  /   Natilla   /   Melon
The cost is only €11 per person to also include, wine, beer and water.
I do not need to know your choice of food only that you are coming, you can pay on the day!!!!

See you later today..... 
table decorations made by the Wonderful Jo !

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Help Please to Make the AGC Christmas Lunch Look Good.....

We are desperate for someone (or two) to bring along Christmas Table Decorations.
AGC will refund costs (but don't go mad!)
The seating will be in the form of 2 long tables joined at the corner to form an "L"
So we need at least 2 arrangements. 
Made with Fresh Flowers please
Not too tall so that we cannot talk to the people opposite......

Will you volunteer please - Let Jane know before Monday morning

janekirkspain @ gmail.com
Thank you

Great British Garden Revival

Starting Monday at 7.00pm on BBC2 there is a series of 10 gardening programmes called
Great British Garden Revival You may wish to watch... at least once.
Check it out at      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03lv3fb

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Christmas Lunch

Hello Everyone
A Reminder that we are looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday, Dec. 10th at Lorenos 1pm !
Don't be late..... There are Goodies and Fun!

If you need to make a last minute booking - Call Cindy NOW!   665 156 467

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

AGC Meeting November 2013 - Hampton Court Flower Show

Hampton Court Flower Show  2013
Written & Presented by Olgi & Gill

Those of you who have been to the show will remember that from Hampton Court Station is quite a long walk to the entrance of the show ground, so Olgi and I opted to save our strength for the arduous day ahead, and took the river ferry instead. 
The first Flower show was in 1990, and was the brain child of a management consultant Adrian Boyd (along with a lovely chap called Aiden Day, who is rarely credited, and sadly is no longer with us so he can’t blow his own trumpet, so I will, because he was a friend of mine!) anyway, they had the idea of connecting Historic Royal Palaces and Network Southeast rail services in a joint venture because the organisations were both looking for ways of increasing revenue after having their funding cut.  Special trains ran from Waterloo, and all the porters wore carnations in their hats. 
The first year there were some 300,000 visitors, so can anyone guess how many there were in 2013?  The answer may surprise you, ............... 154,000.  (I’m only guessing here, but we are in the back end of a recession period, travel costs have risen, and back in 1990 I seem to remember it costing only about £7.00 entrance, whereas this year, tickets were £29.50, oh yeah, plus the cost of the airfare and hire car!!!)  I can even remember a couple of years going on two consecutive days, but then, that was when it was only a three minute walk from my front door to the entrance of Hampton Court Palace.
It was not until 1993 that the RHS took over the show, and they have been running it ever since, and it is now the world’s largest flower show.
In 1990 the show covered 11 acres with 265 exhibitors, this year it covered 34 acres of Home Park, with over 600 exhibitors, it takes 21 days to construct, and 10 days to dismantle.
Last useless factoid, this year visitors were a 71% female, 29% male split, just shows us women love a good day out, as if we didn’t know that already!!!
Olgi & Gill visited the entire show - beginning with -
Floral Marquee

Show Gardens
A Cool Garden (Won Best Summer Garden Award) This garden is designed to form the courtyard for a new spa building within a large rural estate. Offering attractive views from the spa building, it provides a private and restful space for the family to enjoy.
Four Corners This design has been inspired by the ancient Persian-style garden layout; it is divided into four areas by rills and features a water fountain. Hard landscaping materials with a soft feel, such as Cotswold stone and wood, together with naturalistic planting, soften the geometric lines of the design to create a relaxed and contemplative atmosphere.
Valley Garden
At the heart of a valley, two planted mounds rise from a central pool. A path cuts a geometric incision through the water into the heart of the garden. Incisions cut through the mounds to reveal the earth within, like archaeological openings, encouraging us to consider the nature of landscape. Bringing landscape to human scale, A Valley Garden takes inspiration from landform and the Japanese artificial hill garden.
Willow Pattern Willow Pattern tells an age-old story of unsuitable love; the wealthy Mandarin’s daughter elopes with a humble book keeper, escaping from her enclosed palace across a bridge over the water. The garden has been created as a place for a romantic dinner, and features include a pine tree, rocks, a small body of water with a bridge and overhung by a willow tree, and a tea house.
The Witches of Macbeth Taking inspiration from the witches in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, this garden is an imaginative depiction of the witches’ home.
Layers & Links This secluded, sociable space is designed to celebrate and mirror the diverse and dynamic cultural make-up of modern Britain. Linked across various levels, the surfaces and sculptures reflect different cultures, and the planting draws on horticultural influences from over the world.
Vestra Wealth's Jardin du Gourmet This contemporary garden features a sunken dining terrace with a floor of planked Irish limestone. The retaining walls around the terrace are all at seating height, for ease of access in order to pick the array of fresh herbs, salads, vegetables and fruit that grow under a canopy of fruit trees. At the back of the garden there is a fully functional kitchen for cooking delicious evening meals. At the opposite end, there is a fire pit with a mini water cascade that fills the watercress rill beneath it.
The One Shows Garden This family garden, designed by The One Show competition winner, and provides a view of a garden from a child’s perspective.
The garden is designed to be viewed from below, as though seen from the floor of a forest. The plants and sculptural features are large and towering, to make the viewer feel small and child-like again.
The Garden Pad The Garden Pad has been designed for a bachelor who enjoys the finer things in life and wants a contemporary space for relaxing and entertaining, both during the day and at night.
The Singing Tree This unusual garden, is designed for relaxation and meditation, and uses modern state of the art equipment via sensors and/or smartphone technology which generates  soundscapes and colourscapes and the back wall screens, when people move around within the garden.  At night the gardens comes alive with hidden lighting.
A Moveable Feast This edible garden has been inspired by the Army Wives and is designed to be transported wherever they get relocated, making use of inexpensive, colourful containers. The planting scheme features the ingredients needed for a feast, whilst a river of yellow planting symbolises the ribbon of hope used by military families when a loved one is away on duty.
Bugs In Boots Designed and built on a budget of £13,000, Bugs in Boots is an ecological space created with insects, birds and other wildlife in mind. It is designed to flood in heavy rainfall, allowing water to permeate slowly into the soil.
The Ecover Garden (left) The inspiration for The Ecover Garden is the fundamental principle that water is life. We depend upon our aquatic environments, but they are under threat from pollution, including waste plastic and toxic residues. The Ecover Garden is all about solutions and symbolises the numerous ways in which Ecover’s products are sustainable and can aid the recovery of our water systems.
The Native Shower  The focal point of the design of the garden from New Zealand is the outdoor shower. When in use, the shower is transformed into a water feature. Excess water is channelled into a surrounding water system made from recycled glass bottles.
Ashes to Ashes There has been a great deal of worrying publicity about Ash dieback in the UK recently, but we can draw a parallel with Dutch elm disease to offer hope for the future. Just as some cultivars of elm have survived; it is possible that Ash dieback may not necessarily signal the complete demise of the species. This garden portrays an apocalyptic scene, but from the devastation a spiralling glade of new growth emerges. These are elm trees propagated from healthy, native UK stock – the trees are alive and well and represent the future.
There is no doubt that Ash dieback is pretty catastrophic; but then so was Dutch elm disease … it’s not necessarily the end of the story, though.
Tip of the Iceberg  Inspiration came from Japanese gravel gardens and often seeing fridges dumped at the tip. Although the garden could be seen as just another ‘fridge mountain’, the design highlights the reality of our resource-constrained world and shows that something striking and beautiful can be created from the debris of modern life. Given a new lease of life as building blocks and planters, each fridge represents an alpine habitat, filled with blue and white flowers basking in their cool surroundings.
Falls the Shadow The inspiration for the garden is sight and the way in which we see. Although our eyes receive images, like a camera obscura, it is our brain that makes sense of these images and the world around us. The elements within the garden represent the seeing parts of the eye.
I disappear Inspired by the Metallica song I Disappear, this garden is designed to show that by producing our own crops, we can be self-supporting and also contribute to purifying the atmosphere. The garden draws attention to the continued loss of allotment land to development and building projects. A seated person breaths in the purified air created by plant photosynthesis.
The Claw The focus of this garden is a huge grass claw rising from the ground, scratching at the earth as if the world is self-harming. It has talons created from sculptural dry stone and its surface is covered in shaggy field grass. Where the claw tears through the ground, blood red flowers and plants seem to ooze from the earth, representing the destruction that nature can cause. The garden has been inspired by images of holidaymakers on beautiful beaches before the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 and the flash floods that swept through the peaceful Cornish village of Boscastle in the height of summer. Nature’s awesome power cannot be predicted or contained, and so you never really know when you will see the claw.
The Clints and Grykes Garden This garden was inspired by the quarrying of limestone pavements, where the shapes of grykes (fissures) and clints (slabs) are formed using concrete from more sustainable limestone aggregate. The flat, pale grey surface of the pavement hides its planting until you stand directly over it.
Spirit of the Land  The  designer is inspired by her Japanese culture. She believes that Shinto spirits exist in natural environments and that they should be respected, not thoughtlessly destroyed.
Celebrity Hen Houses. 

These were designed by a range of celebrities, including Kate Humble, Sophie Conran, Deborah Meaden and Philippa Forrester. 
After the show they were auctioned off for charity, with the proceeds going to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the Addington Fund, which supports British Farming.

Driftwood was another offering – absolutely delightful items made entirely of driftwood.
No-one will forget the pony!

As the name implies- they are heavily decorated, detached residences, with pointed roofs & raised on legs – perfect for the discerning Chicken in your life…..

Items Wanted for our Blog

I would be delighted to receive snippets of information, recommendations (and warnings!), questions etc.etc. from our members to post on this Blog.
I would love to include photos of your gardens, plants etc. (but not your grandchildren!)

Here is the email address:-


AGC Christmas Lunch - Unmissable!!

Our Garden Club Christmas Lunch will be on  
Tuesday, 10th December, 2013 at 1pm at Loreno, Competa.
(This restaurant is on the left, opposite the playground as one enters the village from the lower road. )

The three course meal offers the following choices;
Sopa Picadillo  /    Lentegas   /   Paella
Estofada de Terneza   /    Chuletas de cerdo   /   rosada
Flan  /   Natilla   /   Melon

The cost is only 11euros per person to also include, wine, beer and water.
Please email cindyjones19@hotmail.com to reserve your place, by Friday 6 December.  
I do not need to know your choice of food only that you are coming, you can pay on the day!!!!
Thank you

Recommended Viveros

Carol reports -
I read on Digame about a Vivero, Viverosantabarbara near Granada. 
Please recommend that Club members look at this site and try it. 
The  vivero has just sent me 15 young cypress plants at .25c each - a bargain eh!
 I'll keep people posted on progress. 
The site is not that easy to negotiate and I ended up emailing but got a friendly and helpful response.

Financial Report as at 12 November, 2013

Brought Forward                                                                                           497.36

November Raffle                       26.00
Annual Subscriptions               240.00

Summer Picnic Wine                                            57.55

Carried Forward                                                                                             705.81  
(very healthy but has to last us for the year!!)

Please Note :- Your Annual subscriptions are now due!

Recommendation for Excellent TV Series -

Carol writes....
"Alan Titchmarsh's Garden Secrets" programme on BBC2 on Sundays at 09.00am (10.00 our time). 
It's a series of 4 programmes and there's only 2 left but some people may be able to catch last Sunday's on iplayer.

Monday, 4 November 2013

AGC Meeting Tuesday 12th November 2013

The next AGC meeting will be held at 
                       11.00 am on Tuesday 12 November at the Salon de Actos, Còmpeta. 

We are delighted to welcome Olgi and Gill who will give us a talk and slide show following their trip to the Hampton Court Flower Show in July this year.

Those of us who know Olgi and Gill well will know that this will be a lively and interesting session and we look forward to seeing you all again.

Here's the website if you wish to do some preparation.....

Please be advised the small €10 Annual Subscription is due at this Meeting

Friday, 18 October 2013

Recommendatiion re Trees

Just thought I would share this.
I have often looked for trees to plant in our country finca. Pine, Eucalyptus etc
Normally these trees are quite expensive from the local viveros.
I am pleased to report a thoroughly efficient and very cheap nursery which can supply all sort of small
nursery grown trees at -very- reasonable prices.
I discovered it online and I bought 300 3ft trees including -same day- delivery to my door for 80Euros.
Do the math. 
I thought the service, price and quality of the trees was excellent.
Prices are from  just a few cents a tree.
The trees are
professionally grown for the forestry industry so the quality control is second to none.


Antonio will respond. 

Be glad to answer any questions
kenseal at gmail dot com

(Editor Writes :- This is the latest of several items of interest to AGC members that I have published in the Digame Blog. If you have not subscribed - take a look

Jane )

Subscriptions Please November 12th

Just a gentle reminder to all Garden Club members that your annual subscription of €10.00 per person, is due at our next meeting on Tuesday  12th November.

Thank you.  Cindy Jones, Treasurer.

AGC Accounts

                                                                                  Costs                         Receipts    

Brought Forward                                                                                          629.08

Lunch for Speaker May 2013                            15.00
1/4 cost for printer cartridge refill                         7.24
Raffle Tickets                                                      5.22
Summer Picnic Costs;  Music                          100.00
Wine ; Water ; Plates & Candles                      72.76

October Raffle                                                                                              28.50
2 Subscriptions 2014 ; Sue & David Butler                                                   20.00
Auction of Wine left over from Summer Picnic                                              20.00

Carried Forward                                                                                                                497.36

submitted by Cindy, Treasurer

Thanks AGC from CUDECA & MacMillan Cancer Support

Cindy Jones wishes to thank the Garden Club for kindly lending the water urn and mugs for her recent Afternoon Tea in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support and Cudeca Cancer Care.  The successful event raised €1,056 to be split 50/50 between Cudeca and MacMillan.

Thank you also to the garden club members who supported the event and to those who couldn't make it, but stopped me in the street and made donations.  You are all so kind, thank you.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Biggest Poinsettias in the Campo ?

We offer 2  pics of our poinsettias.

Many friends from the AGC may be  interested in the size of them
A few facts
 Average height soil to plant top 7 foot 6 inches.
 They were cut back to the wall height and have grown 3 feet 4 inches since they were cut 4 - 5 weeks ago.

Steve & Jackie Weir

8th October 2013 - AGC visit to Finca el Cerrillo, Canillas de Albaida

Nearly 30 members joined the tour of Sue and Gordon Kind's wonderful hotel and garden.  At Gordon's suggestion we started by meandering through the olive grove "Wild Garden".   We had heard that there would be a surprise in store as we walked down the gently sloping ground and - there it was - a magical evocation of a childhood fantasy - a three-storey Tree House artfully and skillfully constructed by Gordon in the wide branches of an ancient olive tree.  A truly impressive sight.

The hotel was delightful - each courtyard and corner a revelation.  The 200 year old former farmhouse and olive mill is situated on a steeply sloping site which has been terraced to provide planting beds for a full display of summer flowering Lantana, Bougainvillea and Plumbago.   Other beds contained mature cacti and succulents; the whole surrounded by trees providing shade and some intimacy to the various tastefully arranged seating areas around the garden and pool. 

Gordon and Sue have worked extremely hard to create an astounding haven of peace and tranquility, full of wonder and surprises.  It really has to be seen to be believed and many hotel guests stay time and time again - they are taking bookings for 2015 now!

After the tour we enjoyed tea and coffee courtesy of the hotel and Greg auctioned 5 bottles of white wine left over from the summer picnic.   Jane Kirk bid a very generous (considering she doesn't drink!) 20E (to go to AGC funds).

Cindy conducted the raffle - a purple Cordyline australis won by Bernie Marsh and Jo Robinson received her prize for winning last month's word search - a quiz devised by Jane.

Next month Gill and Olgi will be giving a talk and slideshow following their visit to Hampton Court Flower Show in July this year.  Venue to be confirmed, but probably at the Centro de la Juventud.

(Editor Writes - I  have no photos of this visit. If anyone does - please email them to me please . Jane)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

October Meeting of the AGC

The October meeting will take place on the 8th Oct. at 11.00am, and will be a garden visit at
The Hotel Cerrillo just on the other side of Canillas de Albaida.
This is a stunning garden, full of inspiration, and well worth a visit.

How to get there:- For those coming from the Competa area, go to Canillas de Albaida and turn left at the mini roundabout. At the bottom of the hill turn left out of the village to the juction. Bear right and follow the road, over the bridge at the bottom and up the other side. The Hotel entrance is on the left about 150 metres from the last sharp, uphill, right-hand bend.

For those coming from Archez:
- go past the restuarant El Curro, turn right to Salares and Sedella, and continue up to the top of the hill. Just before the road goes over the other side, turn right to Fogarate. After 50metres, take the right hand fork in the road, to Canillas, and follow for approx 1.5/2kms. The entrance to the Hotel is on the right.

There is plenty of parking, with an overspill on the side of the road.
Unfortunately the Hotel is unable to accomodate teas and coffee, so after a good look at the garden, we will adjourn to Greg and Carols house for coffee, tea, (and Bikkies), for the raffle, auction of bottles of wine, the library etc.
We look forward to seeing you, for a wonderful tour around this lovely garden

Here is a link to the lovely hotel :-          http://www.hotelfinca.com/

Frost Flowers - Quite a Phenomenon !

Frost Flowers
It is as beautiful as it is rare. A frost flower is created
on autumn or early winter mornings when ice
in extremely thin layers is pushed out from the stems
of plants or occasionally wood.
This extrusion creates wonderful patterns which curl
and fold into gorgeous frozen petioles giving
this phenomenon both its name and its appearance.

Conditions have to be just so ... for frost flowers to form.
Early winter is the optimum time to come across them
... as although the weather conditions
must be freezing it is vital that the ground is not,
so water can be sucked up in the stem.As the temperature gets to freezing or just below
...the sap in the stem of the plants will expand.

As it does so, the outer layer of the stem comes under
increasing pressure, and microscopically thin cracks,
known as linear fissures, begin to form. These will
finally give way under the pressure of the sap and split open.
forming cracks for the water to come out through ...
and then freeze

Water is continuously being drawn up the plant 's stem while the ground remains unfrozen.
It travels up the plants external structural axis (stem!) and reaches the split or splits.
As it does so, it oozes slowly out and it freezes. Yet more water is coming behind it....This new water reaches the cracks and it too freezes, pushing the previous slither of ice away from the stem.     And in this manner the amazing ' petals ' that you see
in these pictures are formed.

Incredibly, the frost flower effect can happen to wood
even when it has been made in to a fence or a gate,
as seen above. In this case the water is extruded through
the pores in the wood rather than cracks.The frost flower has a number of other names:
you may know them as frost castles, ice castles,
ice blossoms, or even the very scientific sounding
Yet the name is something of a misnomer: frost is
created by water vapor.
Frost flower, on the other hand, are formed from
liquid water.

If you come across one - be careful!    Rather than attempt to pick it up, if you have a camera or a phone with you ... take a picture instead.
Frost flowers are incredibly delicate and will more often  than not .... shatter when touched.

Not only that, as they are made of such thin sheets of ice, they will melt away as the sun rises higher
in the sky.
You may get frost flowers again the following day,  but unless the conditions are just right ...
the chances are... your first glimpse may be your last.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Items for Sale

Hello to All AGC members-
The two adverts on our Blog today were originally sent to the other Blog which I edit - Digame.
There are often items submitted to Digame that AGC friends would find interesting and helpful.
Subscribing is easy - honestly.
Go to the Link below and follow the instructions    To Subscribe.

Tree & Seeds for Sale

Frankincense, arabian frankincense boswellia sacra, rarely available,
its the pure bible frankincense tree.
One young tree for sale. 

Frankincense seeds, packet of 100,  for germination  you will need a
small propagator (30c) for them as they are hard to grow.

25 euro the   packet.

telephone  655848329 or email woolrychinandalucia@gmail.com

Moringa Oleifera trees

I still have a few Moringa Oleifera trees in pots for sale,
small 3.50euros
medium 4.50 euros.
The Moringa Oleifera tree is a fast growing, drought resistant tree.
Leaves good in salads, stews etc.
They can be dried to use as a tea or used as animal fodder.
Enjoys full sun, and resistant to most pests.
Lots of information on the web if you want to know more about them otherwise, telephone 655848329 or email
woolrychinandalucia @ gmail.com

Thursday, 12 September 2013

September Visit to Florymar Viveros - Report and Pictures

On Tuesday this week around 20 members visited the Florymar garden centre.  

The general consensus of opinion was that the price of plants was rather high and the members were not overly impressed.  

Our Spanish guide, however, did a splendid job trying to show us around and advise on which plants would cope with our cold,
windy conditions during the winter.

Jo and Tom were the winners of the Florymar word quiz winning a bottle of white wine.

Sue Rockall won the raffle prize - a scented yellow rose.

Final reminder for those wishing to order seeds from Chiltern Seeds, roses from David Austin or bulbs from Peter Nyssen.  Please look up their websites, make your selection and let Greg know, gregstarr4 @ hotmail.com by the end of this week.   We'll arrange to collect the money from you and then a further amount once we know the cost of postage. 

Next meeting will be a guided walk hoping to see seasonal flora of the countryside.  More on this later

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

More Information about the September 2013 Meeting

After the summer picnic 6 bottles of white wine were left over

These will be auctioned at the September 10th meeting.



Jane adds.......

A 7th bottle of wine will be the prize for the AGC Member who emails to me  the longest list of words of 3+ letters that can be found using the name of our hosts -  

 F L O R Y M A R
I'll need the answers by 12 mid-day Monday 9th 
 janekirkspain @ gmail.com

If there's a tie - winners will have to open the bottle and share. Lovely!

Want to send me your photos of your garden to enhance our website announcements ?
I may regret this.....

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

AGC Meeting - Tuesday 10th September

The next AGC meeting will be held from 11.00 am at  
Viveros Florymar on 10th September

 It's a Viveros that we seldom visit but would be worth another look.  They are prepared to offer us a guided tour (which is what Amberes, Serrano and A1 were unable to do unfortunately).

Directions: take the coast road from Torre del Mar towards Malaga.  Go past A1 and follow the road to Chilches.  Florymar is on the right next to the Repsol garage.  

There will be no library at that meeting.
Also - given the venue - we shall not indulge in the Plant Swap or Plant Sharing which usually make our meetings such fun!

If you would like to order roses, seeds or bulbs, please bring your request to the meeting or email 
Greg at gregstarr4 @ hotmail.com by Friday 20th September.

Looking forward to seeing you all again,


See their Website

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Gardening Out-takes from Digame!

Wearing a different hat - I also edit the very popular Blog called Digame  - I am receiving more and more requests for advice & information on garden-related matters - such as those reproduced below. 
If you can offer some wisdom - please do  AND visit the Digame website and Subscribe to the daily newsletter.

Container/Pot Plants - Grubs

Can your subscribers help me to identify grubs that I have found in my Containers and Pot plants. 
They are larva similar to grubs. 
They are different sizes black. grey and cream in colour with orangey brown heads.
 They are similar to Vine Weevils in that they feed on the roots. 
Vine Weevils, I believe, however are white in colour. 
Also I would like to treat the containers to destroy the grubs. 
Any suggestions on treatment please.
E Mail kevin.greensmith @ gmail.com

digametorrox @ hotmail.co.uk

 Gardening Advice Needed Please

Bignonia Ricosoleana
Help! I have a couple of these plants, one in a large pot climbing up a brick pergola column and the other rampaging down a bank with no restrictions whatsoever.
The one in the pot is wilting, and looking very sad. Should I cut it right back and let it start again?
The other one is wilting in parts. I have been spraying them with water when I am watering the garden, just to cool them down at the end of the day. The oleander seems to thrive on this treatment as it washes off the dust, but perhaps this random act of kindness is murdering them?
digametorrox @ hotmail.co.uk

Review of a new book on Succulents

This review comes from  Andrew Sloane, who visited us November last year & told us how he had designed and created his fabulous new gardens - with cacti etc.

This book on succulents is very good, especially for succulent novices. I have read it from cover to cover and have penned the attached review for the MGS magazine in January.

Timber Press...$24.95 RRP

Debra Lee Baldwin is one of California's leading lights in writing about and giving talks on succulents and this is her third book following the success of “Designing with Succulents” and “Succulent Container Gardens”.
This book has three different sections. Part 1 deals with basic growing and design techniques such as watering needs, fertilising and how to propagate through cuttings. Part 2 goes into more sophisticated design ideas for the garden, pots and also how to make succulent bouquets with practical advice about how to combine or contrast different colours, textures and varieties. Part 3 lists her 100 favourite succulent plants which she has successfully cultivated in California including a half-page description, photo, botanical and common name and practical tips about growing them as well as providing details on mature size and hardiness of each plant.
It is a very well presented book in large paper-back form with excellent photos. As I am enjoying cultivating aloes, Part 3's listing of 16 different aloe varieties was of particular interest for me, although I felt she could have explained how to grow these from seed. This defect is probably due to the tremendous amount of succulent nursery gardens that abound in California so that cultivators can buy a small plant rather than start from seed, which is not so much the case in Europe.
This is a perfect book for a novice succulent collector but also will provide design ideas and lots of enjoyment for more sophisticated succulent gardeners. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to anybody interested in learning more about succulent plants.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

AGC Picnic 2013

Over 30 members and friends attended this year's annual AGC Summer Picnic. 

This time it was warmly and ably hosted by Astrid and Peter Slater at their lovely house between Archez and Corumbela.

The guests were delighted and privileged to hear Tom Robinson play a 40 minute selection of music of different styles both on the saxophone and clarinet. 

A rare and well appreciated performance. 

We are grateful too to Geoff Murrell who provided the remainder of the live entertainment singing a repertoire of music which got us all on our feet dancing into the night. 

Each party brought picnic food which was shared providing a positive banquet - all washed down with wine provided by the Club. 

All in all another successful evening and one to be remembered.  

Especial thanks to Astrid and Peter who worked tirelessly to make the event so successful."

Murderous Mushrooms ?

 Linda Found these :-

They are tropical, deadly and spreading globally, they think through compost?

As you see it is all yellow, with strange gills and a long yellow stem.

Any information about them would be interesting

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Queen of the Night

These pics were taken over the course of two evenings
The bud starts to turn upwards then swells
The next night it will slowly open.  
They were completely open by about 11pm
Each bloom is at least 6" deep and 6" across, and smell wonderful.  
Sadly they only last for one night, but boy are they worth it !!!!
From AGC Member