What Do I Do with this Space?

This was the subject of our September speaker, Mr Darren Lerigo.

Whatever your age, everyone enjoys their personal space, and in a garden you can enjoy creating and making this space your very own.
Using a series of slides from around the world, members were shown the different “spaces” and how the individuals’ needs have been met. For example, in northern Scandinavia where they have nine months of darkness and snow followed by 24hrs of sunshine, a greenhouse was swathed in flowers of orange, red and yellow – a splash of colour.


In contrast, very little greenery was found in the Zen garden in Japan where the raked lines of stones gave the monks tranquillity and contemplativeness away from the bustle of life. A new housing estate, where the small dividing strip between drives, was transformed into a wild garden as the owner missed greenery.

Contrasting in size, even the Taj Mahal, built as a place of remembrance, was originally sited in a garden full of herbs, vegetables, flowers and trees–although in Colonial days this productive garden was been replaced with lawn. An unkempt, dismal yew hedge along a footpath between a church and its churchyard was cut back and trimmed into “odd” topiary shapes bringing a smile to passers-by. What one person thinks is marvellous another may not – eg. a £70,000 treehouse built in an oak tree for his children which was never played in as they preferred playing in the long grass under the adjacent Indian Bean Tree!.


Climate, soil type and the amount of time and money available all determines what your “personal space” will be like.


His talk concluded, enjoy your own, very personal space!


Date for your Diary:

Tuesday, October 2nd – all four RHS Gardens are taking part in the “Free Entry Day”.


Hyde Hall near Rettenden is the closest to the village, slightly further away is Wisley in Surrey on the A3.

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, October 3rd – Subject: Suffolk Wildlife: Birds, Butterflies, Wild flower and Orchids around Minsmere,
Dunwich Heath, The Blyth Estuary and the Suffolk Brecklands.


Meetings are held at The Day Centre adjacent to the car park at the top of Chapel Hill. Doors open 7.30pm for an 8pm start with refreshments available prior to meeting start. Visitors are always welcome to our meetings.

Mexico – A Land of Contrasts

After spending 16 years at Kew, our speaker, Mr Graham Pattison became Director of the Mexican Botanic Gardens based in Mexico City. He spent several years working and training local staff alongside visiting students on horticulture, plant conservation and botanic garden management, before returning to the UK to lecture, be involved with the National Collections Scheme and to renovate a garden to Grade I status.


The title of his talk was “Mexico – A Land of Contrasts” and he explained to us that Mexico is the largest of the Central American countries and its growing conditions can vary from arid deserts to high mountain ranges to coastal mangrove swamps to active volcanic areas. The Mexican flora includes over 23,000 species.

Using a series of slides members were shown some of the archaeological sites (many still being cleared of the undergrowth that has covered them), and the fauna and flora found in the different regions.


As an example of the diversity, he explained how the Quercus (Oak) family has altered and adapted to its environment – its height, shape of leaves and size of acorns – changing from the base of a mountain to the top.


Many of our garden and house plants eg. fuchsias, dahlias, orchids and cacti, originate from Mexico