Gardening club


April 11th 2024.

The amount of plants that were brought to swap and give away unfortunately vastly outnumbered the attendees on this sunny afternoon, after perusing a table full of plants and choosing what we wanted, everyone headed up to my polytunnel for a look around.


My space is still mostly taken up with over-wintering pots and hanging-baskets which I’m busy preparing to put out on the terrace once the risk of frost is past. My several clematis are going crazy after the mild weather we’ve been having, with the temperature climbing to 30* in there!


Garlic planted in November in one of the spare beds is coming on well and bulbing out nicely, in a month I’ll be desperate to get it out and fill the bed with peppers.


I think Spring is my favourite season, so full of new life and colour after the drab winter.

The Wisteria is about to flower and the iris stems are forming after the first flush of spring daffs and tulips have given it their all, the forget-me-nots are already carpeting the edge of the drive and very pretty in pink and blue they are too!

The Aquilegia are making an early appearance, not all of them quite open yet, a vey welcome splash of colour in my front beds.


We have started preparing the veggie garden for the arrival of a new inherited polytunnel, I intend to cover it in insect proof netting and grow brassicas and fruit bushes under it. I’m so fed up of feeding birds and caterpillars all year and having little to show for my hard work when it comes time to cook the dinner!

a garden tour we retired inside for tea and cake and to make a list of gardens
we would like to visit this year, if you have any
suggestions please let me know.

are a few to get us started;

first visit will be the Jardin
Botanique d’Haute Bretagne at Le Chatellier on Thursday  the 9th May. The most comprehensive garden
in this area, a superb afternoons walk in inspired surroundings. The cost is

 There is a restaurant, ‘Le Caisse Grain’, on site where we ate
before last
years visit, 20 of us enjoyed a lovely
lunch before our garden tour, I will book the restaurant for midday, please
contact me as soon as possible if you wish join us. The menu is available
on line on the restaurant site. If you
don’t want to eat there, meet us at the front entrance at 2pm.

The second visit will be on Pentecost Monday the 20th at Jardin de Cassel in Isigny le Buat cost; 4€, this is a delightful garden normally but this will be a special ‘Jardin en Fete’ opening with artisans, musicians and craft stalls and usually a food truck. There is also a shop on the premises and is always a lovely afternoon out. (please see the advert below)

 Our June visit will be to the Christian Dior garden/museum in Granville, the garden is small but delightful and free to visit. There is a café in the grounds or you can take a picnic, the house and museum is optional and costs 10€ you must book online and choose a timeslot as it gets busy. The display changes every year and this year is ‘Couturier Visionnaire’.

 I suggest carshares if we can as parking can be difficult. Meet at 2pm near the front door or Ducey roundabout carpark for carsharing at 1pm.

For all visits, please can you email me or message on the Whatsapp group so I know who to expect and we know who to wait for. I do hope you can join us at least  for the first visit, it’s spectacular!

                                                                                 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).