Month: March 2012

Trugg and Barrows Garden Diary April 2012

Chiff Chaffs, Peacock butterflies, June-like sunny summer days, still no rain, hoverflies hunting on the wing, many daffs already past their best, the government telling people to go out and panic buy and hoard fuel, what a strange and unusual March it was. The warm dry weather has meant that the work has progressed well and the garden is ready for the public to view.
Magnolias in Cornish Gardens.
With all this sunshine and good weather about I felt like visiting someone else’s garden rather than my own. The flower of the moment for me is the magnolia. Because of the nationwide good weather, many are out early and the usual advantages many gardens in the sheltered southwest have in terms of timing have been eroded. Nevertheless, it was to the southwest that I went for a few days this past week. Many of the most established collections, including the National Collection of Magnolias, are there and it is always an education to see plants that are fully mature. This is possible because of the maritime climate with high rainfall and humidity and more light means that growth can be accelerated and sustained over a longer period.
The first garden visited was Caerhays which holds the National Collection of Magnolias and has bred some famous hybrids such as M. ‘Caerhays Surprise’ and ‘Caerhays Belle’ to name but two.
The garden formally extends over some 60 acres, although finding room for more than 200 magnolias takes up a lot of space so the plantings extend over 200 acres. The magnolias were interspersed with deciduous woodland that provided shelter and gave the whole place a natural feel. It should be said that, although Caerhays is famous for its magnolias, it is also host to a wonderful range of rare trees and shrubs. Nevertheless it is principally a spring garden.
There were some superb tree magnolias out. The most impressive were Magnolia x veitchii ‘Peter Veitch’ which were comparable in size to mature beech or oak trees. Also impressive were a number of Campbellii forms and hybrids.
The afternoon brought little improvement in the weather but, undaunted, Trewithen was next on the list. A much smaller private garden, it was extremely well kept. The planting here was more formal in style and it was much less steep than Caerhays! There were a number of excellent camellias here although the blooms of many C. Japonica cultivars were beginning to brown on the bushes, an unfortunate habit of these plants. I was especially impressed by a Magnolia ‘Merrill’; the fragrance was noticeable even on a wet day.
The next day of our trip took us to two National Trust gardens, firstly Trelissick, which had splendid panoramic views and was most memorable for an excellent Magnolia denudata. Luckily we enjoyed warm unbroken sunshine although I think the next garden would have stood out even in a thunderstorm. Glendurgan was a revelation! Conceived by a Quaker family and planted around three valleys, the resulting shelter offered a home to some wonderfully exotic planting. Bananas were just beginning to unfurl large leaves and mature Tree Ferns abounded. The whole garden had an intimacy and delicacy about it which is rarely achieved in gardens. As an extra treat the gardens led down to a sheltered cove bathed in sunshine. An indulgent week ended all too soon!
In the Kitchen Garden.
Several people that I have spoken to recently, who normally grow their own veg are reticent to do so this year as a hose pipe ban now looks inevitable. This I think is perfectly understandable. With this in mind, I thought it might be worth talking about drought tolerant vegetables and other ways of growing veg that uses water more efficiently.
A basic horticultural practice that enables soil to retain water is the addition of bulky organic matter to it. Organic matter is what holds water in the soil in a way that makes it easy for plants to access. Well rotted compost, leaf-mould or farmyard manure are examples of organic matter that will help retain water in the soil. This can be dug in or applied as a mulch. It is usually added in the winter, so this is something you could think about for next year if you have missed out this season.
Growing veg in bags concentrates water around the roots of plants and evaporation is reduced. Thirsty plants such as potatoes and saled crops can easily be grown in this way. Some vegetables don’t need as much water as others. Amaranth, cow beans, sweetcorn, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, chard are some examples.
The other thing to do, as I mentioned at the beginning of March, is to grow your crops before the summer heat starts. Do the majority of your planting in spring with short season vegetables. Plant lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach, beets, onions, and broccoli, all which thrive in the cooler spring weather. Keep your summer plantings to a minimum and then when the autumn arrives you can replant the same things you did in Spring. Other things you can do include watering in the evening, mulching and planting crops closer together (which reduces evaporation directly from the soil surface). Anyway, best of luck.
Conditions have been and remain just right for preparing the soil for seed sowing. I have kicked off the sowing season with varieties of lettuce, broad bean, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, mini turnip, radish, spinach, beetroot and Brussel sprouts. I have also planted shallots and onion sets. In the glasshouse, tomatoes, courgettes and cucumber are all pushing their way through the compost.
Slugs and snails are now becoming more active, so be prepared.
Please note: images have been removed from this pages because some of them may have been used without permission.

2012 Art Competition launched

The Hodnet website team is pleased to announce the launch of an art competition for young people. Open to young people aged sixteen and under, the competition has the theme “Life in the country”. Entries need to be submitted by Friday 25th May and the winning entries will be announced during Hodnet’s Jubilee Weekend event, the “Party in the Park” on Sunday 3rd June. All entries will be photographed and featured on the website.
Full details of the rules and how to enter are available on the competitions own page here.

Plant Hunters Fair

Plant Hunters Fair at Hodnet Hall

The 2nd Plant hunters fair at Hodnet Hall Gardens, Sunday and Monday 3rd and 4th June.
Gate opens 10 a.m. last entrance 5 p.m.
Entrance at the special event rate of £2.50 for adults , children free.
Nurseries and traders attending include;
Artisan Plant Supports, Bouts Violas, Chris Cooke Plants, Conquest Plants Nursery, Green’s Leaves, Hall Farm Nurseries, Hillview Hardy Plants, Holden Clough Nurseries, Mayfield Plants, Packhorse Farm Nuseries, Penmere Plants, Roseland House,, Tissington Nurseries and Woodfield Nurseries
For more information on the nurseries attending  visit the Plant Hunters Fair Website
Tea rooms open.
Full access to the renowned landscape gardens.
On Sunday local chior, Of One Accord will be performing.
On Monday, Shrewsbury Concert Band will be performing.
Free guided tours (must be pre-booked)
You are also invited to Hodnets “Party In the Park“, on Sunday 3rd June, an event to celabrate the Queens Jubilee
For further information about the gardens including directions and contact details, go to the gardens own website

Hodnet's Party In The Park

you are cordially invited to….


Sunday 3rd June 2012

Full and regularly updated details can be found here.

The fun starts at 12pm on Hodnet Recreation Ground and goes on into the night!

Climbing wall , Caving, Assault course, Craft stalls,
Commemorative souvenirs , Tug of War,
BBQ,  Bar,  Live band,
Bring your own picnic,  Village fete games,
the Social Club will be open from 12 p.m until late

a full programme will be announced soon

If any organisation would like to have a stall to raise money or canvas for new members please contact  Tel:01630 685531

Or:  email

Hodnet Housing Development – Images of proposals

A good number of people attended the  Hodnet Housing Development public meeting on 20th March in the Lyon Hall.
The architects, Donald Insall Associates Ltd, have supplied us with PDFs of the proposed plans and sketches of various aspects of it. Prints of these were on display at the meeting. Clicking on an image below will open a PDF version of the same.


More details will be posted on this website as and when we are provided with them.

An invitation to all local residents

Meres & Mosses
Meres and Mosses Housing Association, invite all residents from Hodnet and the surrounding area to a weekly get together. It is a chance to meet new people and get advice and support on housing related matters, benefit advice and any other issues that local people need support with.
The meeting takes place every Thursday from 2.00 to 4.00pm in the Meadows Community Room.
For full details please see the full entry on our Regular Events page.

Scouting For Treasure

Vehicle Treasure Hunt

The 2nd Hodnet Scout Group are hosting a treasure hunt on Sunday 25th March.
Start at Lyon Hall, Hodnet, follow the clues and answer the question to earn points and win prizers.
£5 per car
Refreshments at the scout hut on your return (please prebook to give an idea of numbers).
For safety reasons starting times will be staggered. The first car will leave at 10 .30 a.m from the Lyon Hall. To  prevent unnecessary waiting, time slots will be allocated.
To book a time slot please email Please support your local Scout Group
2nd Hodnet Scout Group
Vehicle Treasure Hunt Rules for 25th March 2012. (Updated 20th March)

1 Instructions
2 Registration
3 General
4 Etiquette
5 Maximum Time Allowed
6 Safety and Rules whilst driving
7 Scoring
8 Item Collection
1 Instructions
a Follow the designated route and obtain answers to the questions.
b The winning team of the event will be the team that obtains the most points.
c All answers must be captured on the question and answer sheets, within the spaces provided.
d Teams will start at a designated time provided at registration (see 2 Registration)
e Teams must be ready to leave at their designated time, otherwise may have to wait until a further time slot becomes available.
f Once you return, hand your question and answer sheet in to the organiser with your final mileage completed.
2 Registration
a All teams must be registered prior to competing
b Teams can pre register by emailing : where they will be provided with a start time.
c Ensure that your team name is written on each sheet.
d Each team must have a team name, this must be unique.
e The driver from each team will be the designated person to hand in the completed answer sheet.
f The driver from each team will be required to provide the team name to the organiser (unless pre registering)
3 General
a The main objective of the treasure hunt is to have fun, it has been organised as a fun and social event
b 2nd Hodnet Scout Group will be under no liability whatsoever for any losses suffered as a direct or indirect action of taking part within this treasure hunt.
c Taking part in the hunt is deemed to be an acceptance of the current rules.
d These rules are subject to change
e A current set of rules will be supplied with your question and answer sheets on the day, these will be deemed to be the current rules.
f The hunt will start at the Lyon Hall in Hodnet.
g The hunt finish is deemed to be the scout hut (but please use the Lyon Hall Car park to park)
h You will be provided with a set of questions, the current rules, a route overview map and the organisers contact number.
4 Etiquette
a This is a fun event
b Please respect the privacy of residents on the route.
c Please be aware of other drivers whilst on the route.
5 Maximum Time Allowed
a This treasure hunt is not a race.
b This treasure hunt is not a rally.
c There are no prizes to be won by accomplishing the route at speed.
d There is a maximum time allowed of 2 hours 45 minutes. – You must return within this period.
e For every 1 minute over the maximum time allowed, a 1 point deduction will be made. 15 minutes or more will result in disqualification.
f Your return time will be taken as the time you hand your question sheets back to the organiser (with a completed final mileage).
g The maximum time allowed should allow ample time to complete and gain all answers. – There is no need to exceed any speed limit in order to complete this treasure hunt.
6 Safety and Rules whilst driving
a The driver of the vehicle should not be taking part whilst on the move. There are sections on the route which require you to park the car and explore. The driver can then join in.
b Please try and indicate your intentions prior to stopping to signal to other road users.
c Please remember to leave room for other road users.
7 Scoring
a The judges decision is final
b The judges decision is final
c Certain questions carry multiple points, and there will also be bonus points available.
d In the result of a points tie, mileage will be taken into account to decide the winning team.
8 Item Collection
a Any items to be collected, are to provide bonus points.
b Any items collected will be returned to the team.
c No money should change hands for any of the items to be collected.
d Any unwanted items deemed of value, will be classed as a donation to the 2nd Hodnet Scout Group.
e The items listed that are to be collected are to be exclusive (i.e. one item collected can not count towards two items on the list)