The Donheads Gardening Club - Page reproduced from the Donhead Digest.

October/November 2018

Celebrate Harvest & Plan for Spring

The long hot summer has produced a bumper harvest this year, not only of fruit and veg but also an abundance of flowers & plants. Don't despair, our simple guide will try and help you store and preserve these in some way to ensure you can still enjoy what a wonderful summer we have just had.There are six really easy ways to preserve your harvest, just find the method that suits you and your crop.

1. Bottle - Flavoured Vinegars & Oils to be used for dressings
2. Conserve - Jams & Preserves, perfect for toast
3. Freeze - Keeps up to 6 months in its natural form
4. Pickle - Pickles & Chutneys - Nothing more rewarding than serving with sliced meats
5. Dry Intensifies the flavour to make useful store cupboard ingredients
6. Store - Keep in a cool, dark place to provide food for the Winter

September is also a good month to take stock and plan ahead for next year's flower & vegetable displays and to also harvest their seeds that so many of our plants have set or are in the process of setting.
With this in mind we would like to ask both our members and (non-members*) to collect the seeds from their favourite flowers, fruits and vegetables and to keep them in a dry and cool place ahead of the DGC Seed Swap at our AGM next March.
The best way to collect and dry seed is too store them in a clearly labelled envelope and to leave them in a safe, cool dry place over the winter. If you have space in your fridge then this provides the perfect environment for them.
Each of us can then have a go at growing flowers, vegetables and fruits that our friends and neighbours have enjoyed so much this season.
I for one will definitely be bringing along Dahlia seeds which I will collect, it is fun to grow them and you never know what you will get. Sometimes you get a beautiful flower, worth preserving and keeping in which case you can take cuttings to clone, or as the tuber grows they can be divided.

Daffodil Bulb Competition
If September wasn't a busier month for celebrating harvest, then planning your best ever bulb display should be completed now. Planting bulbs is a magical gardening task, knowing that the transformation that they will bring come Spring.
Here at the Donhead Gardening Club we know how magical this task is and why we would like to invite both our members and (non members*) to grow the best potted daffodil bulb.
We will judge both at our March meeting to see who has the earliest flower and again in our April meeting to see who has the best bloom.
At our next meeting in October we will distribute two varieties of daffodil bulbs:
King Alfred (early flowers between March and April)
Golden Aura (flowers between April and May)

Non Members
The Donhead Gardening Club meets on the 2nd Monday of every month in the Donhead St. Mary Village Hall from 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Our meetings finish by 9pm.
Visitors and guests are more than welcome and all we ask is for a £5 donation per meeting. If you would like to join then our membership is £15 per year to include all talks, discount evenings and vouchers with our partners Castle Gardens, Sherbourne. For more information please contact our Secretary: Vicky Daniels on 01747 828161

Louis Parker & Kevin Wood

The Donheads Gardening Club is affiliated to:

The RHS, The Gardens Group Sherborne and the Wiltshire Gardens Trust.

We always welcome new members, please see our membership page for details.

Useful Links

Country Gardener Magazine

Open Gardens - National Directory

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