The monthly meeting was held in the village hall on Tuesday April 14th. at 7-30pm. It was an open meeting and so ther were several visitors and 1 new member. The President welcomed everyone and the meeting began with our traditional singing of Jerusalem.

In this month’s W.I. news Littleton’s programme was highly commended and also our W.I. banner was requested for display at the 3-Counties Show. Future items were mentioned including a visit to Batsford Arboretum as we go to press to see a flying display by the birds of prey. Members were asked to make/donate a cake for the stall at the Craft Show on May 23rd.

Steve Felix from Blenheim Nursery was our speaker. He has been interested in horticulture since he was 10 years old and completed a 4year course at Pershore College. Blenheim grows everything on site. They have a contract with Alcester to decorate the town and are very proud that Alcester is the best in the county and also best in the country. This year they have a contract with Stratford-on-Avon who has decided on a blue and orange colour scheme. Good luck to them in the coming year.

At times there are 142 baskets hanging in the greenhouses which are watered twice a day. Steve recommends that the baskets need to be decent ones. It’s better to have 1 planted well than 2 planted badly. Quality NOT quantity. Also the compost must be a good one (capillary action) not peat. Plant from inside the basket to outside. The way he described it was “It’s like a Sunday lunch, they must all be ready at the same time” Baskets with good-sized squares are helpful. “Forget the holes and put the plants where YOU want them. Symmetrical.” The moss must be moist.

Steve mentioned black caviar seed to feed his plants and Tomorite helps towards producing the bright colours. If white fly appears on the plants, cut off the tips and washing up liquid is very useful and works well. Lobelia helps to fill any gaps there may be. Surfina is a top seller as it tolerates the weather. The top of the basket plant a trailing geranium with a single flower and if it is going outside, trim off the flower so that the buds are formed outdoors.

Campanula will with stand wind, begonias are better than bizzie lizzies because they are self cleaning. Fuchsias and nemesias are popular.

Trim the flowers back to encourage growth. Trim the moss to neaten and improve the look of the basket as a whole. Then it’s time to water the finished product but it is not ready to go outside yet.

Remember “Cast not a clout ‘til May is out”

Steve was thanked for his eye opening planting a basket and hopefully we have all learnt from his demonstration. He made it look so easy. Thank you Steve.

May 12th. The meeting will be in the village hall and the subject is Resolutions, Legal Solutions. Our speaker will be David Tudor. The competition will be anything beginning with R.


Littletons WI