AT the February meeting 46 members were transported to Japan for an hour. Frances Freeman made a presentation of her recent spring visit to Japan, lavishly illustrated by pictures of cherry blossom. The trees are decorative only, so cherries do not figure in the Japanese meals she described. Blossom time starts in the south of the country and moves north as the weather warms. Not only is the vibrant blossom celebrated, there is a spiritual significance ascribed to falling petals. The blossom period is a holiday and party time with families and friends enjoying large outdoor picnics.

Frances commented that there is little space for private gardens, so many people put flowering pots along the external boundary of their land. Public garden spaces conformed to historic design rules, which include waterfalls, positioning of large stones, shaping of trees and use of moss instead of grass for lawn spaces.

The monthly competition was three woody stems. The winner was Frances Freeman and the runner up Tessa Webb.

Our March 15 meeting in the Crawford Hall, Bidford hosts the Inter Club Horticultural Quiz, with five teams participating. There is team and audience participation and a great learning opportunity. Our April event is two visits to Shropshire Gardens. Contact Annette Haines 01789 268974 for details.