Gardening club



The Chantore gardens in Bacilly surround a very pretty pink manor house which at certain times of year is open to the public. We couldn’t access it today but we did enjoy a walk around the extensive gardens admiring the majestic trees and landscaped grounds.

     I was fairly impressed on arrival to find a very friendly reception from a group of staff and a composting toilet!

     The Peacocks put on a beautiful display for us, there were 3 pairs I think, their calls resonated around the grounds all afternoon.


A very pretty stream runs through the grounds and we followed the arrow markers over a little bridge to walk alongside it admiring the plantations of azaleas and rhododendrons.

     There were strategically placed benches to sit and enjoy the view of the lake and the stone bridge over the stream complete with a very elegant swan who trailed us all the way along the lake hoping for a treat!

The somewhat dilapidated orangerie was very pretty but in need of some TLC then the sloping lawns led us down to the stream and the path to the beautiful hydrangeas and a ‘secret’ dolman type cave. The pathway then leads around the paddock where we could see the horses grazing and a lovely view of the house framed by the trees.


We had a pleasant afternoon and some cake sitting in the lee of the chateau, as it was a bit windy, we couldn’t help wondering how much the garden has to offer once the hydrangeas and spring plantings are finished. Has anyone visited the chateau in a different season? Tell us more if you have.

Julie Turpin


Gardeners corner

Decoding the Mathematical Secrets of Plants’ Stunning Leaf Patterns

A Japanese shrub’s unique foliage arrangement leads botanists to rethink plant growth models

The spiral pattern of an Aloe polyphylla plant at the University of California Botanical Garden. (Stan Shebs via Wikicommons under CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Maddie Burakoff

JUNE 6, 2019

To the untrained eye, plants may appear to grow rather impulsively, popping out leaves at random to create one big green jumble. Take a closer look, though, and you’ll find that a few curiously regular patterns pop up all over the natural world, from the balanced symmetry of bamboo shoots to the mesmerizing spirals of succulents.

In fact, these patterns are consistent enough that cold, hard math can predict organic growth fairly well. One assumption that has been central to the study of phyllotaxis, or leaf patterns, is that leaves protect their personal space. Based on the idea that already existing leaves have an inhibitory influence on new ones, giving off a signal to prevent others from growing nearby, scientists have created models that can successfully recreate many of nature’s common designs. The ever-fascinating Fibonacci sequence, for example, shows up in everything from sunflower seed arrangements to nautilus shells to pine cones. The current consensus is that the movements of the growth hormone auxin and the proteins that transport it throughout a plant are responsible for such patterns.

Leaf arrangement with one leaf per node is called alternate phyllotaxis, whereas arrangement with two or more leaves per node is called whorled phyllotaxis. Common alternate types are distichous phyllotaxis (bamboo) and Fibonacci spiral phyllotaxis (the succulent spiral aloe), and common whorled types are decussate phyllotaxis (basil or mint) and tricussate phyllotaxis (Nerium oleander, sometimes known as dogbane).