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Celebrating the bounty of the soil, with added farm yard manure

Soil has been the linking theme for the recent talks at the Frome Selwood Horticulture Society.  

Keith Ferguson from Longhope shared his lifetime devotion to growing vegetables at the September talk, followed in October by Paul speaking for the ‘Meadow in my Garden’ company.  Not to be outdone by, Julie Richie from Devizes kept up the theme of soil when she brought her in-depth knowledge to the November gathering when she suggested ‘Plants for Awkward Corners’.

Not everyone in the 60 strong monthly audience has a garden of their own.  This did not diminish the feeling that anything was possible anywhere, given a little soil with compost, or, even better, farm yard manure.

Keith posed eight questions to consider when growing vegetables from how much you can eat, to cost effectiveness and success, to ordering of seed.  If it all proved worthwhile then some great tips for growing were shared.  Stamp in the brassicas as hard as you can to get good heads, curds and sprouts; sow close together so onions are not too big; grow pumpkin bushes rather than trailing to keep off the ground.

Wild meadow flowers featured in the next talk, which themselves are a haven of food for a multitudinous array of birds, bees and butterflies.  Sowing seeds either into a prepared soil bed or just broadcasting them widely in the wind would bring a bountiful array of flowers of all colours, shape and textures for up to four months of the year.

Flowers and established plants that would suit the most awkward corner were discussed by the proprietor of Hoo House Nursery in Tewkesbury in November.  With an encyclopaedic knowledge, and backed up by a power point display of wonderful gardens views, Julie suggested plants for beds that were dry, moist, narrow, pond side, rockery or evergreen and, of course, that would attract bees and butterflies.

The FSHS has settled into its new venue of Critchill School, where the nearly 50-year history of hospitality and friendship in gardening has continued.  New members are always welcome and are invited to either call Jane on 01373 462162 or visit the website at for more details.