The Swaffham Crier Online

Village Gardeners

Things aren't what they used to be, and Peter Jackson from Scotsdales, told us that the same applies to gardens.They are getting smaller and so too are lots of the things we plant in them. His talk was about the trees that the botanists and nurserymen have been trying so hard to produce and perfect for years and how they have almost succeeded.( The technology for dwarfing trees was developed here, but sold by the government-don't know which one, to the Canadians. They, not us, are now reaping the financial rewards.)Dwarf root stocks are developed and more or less any choice of tree can be grafted on-Cherry, Birch and Maple being amongst the favourites.The disadvantage of this process, is that short trees have weak roots and may last only ten years.Long lived root stocks are still being tested. and are improving all the time.

These smaller trees suit gardeners with small gardens who want them easily controlled and all singing all dancing-wonderful autumn colour,flowers, berries, foliage , winter and summer and either growing straight up or weeping! Apparently, trees like this, result in far fewer disputes between neighbours, so they also produce rows of happy gardeners.

Peter brought along several dwarfed trees and of course he showed us some excellent slides, three of which I especially liked. One was a crabapple- "Guardsman", another a dwarfed buddleia -"Buzz", growing very happily in a pot and one of a stunning row of amelanchiers.

We digressed at the end onto the wonders of mycorrhiza fungi and what they can do for your roots-but that's another story.

Margaret Joyce.

Our next meting is on the 17th May, when our speaker will be Mark Ekin talking about "Pests and diseases-their identification and control. Everyone is very welcome to our meetings.