Society members get smart with gardens

Jacqui Townsley, Teresa Maguire (Speaker), Rosemary Irwin
Jacqui Townsley, Teresa Maguire (Speaker), Rosemary Irwin

Members of Hillsborough Horticultural Society were brought right up-to-date on many gardening matters at their November meeting.

The speaker was Teresa Maguire, Senior Horticultural Advisor from Greenmount Campus, who spoke on ‘The Science behind Smart Gardens’.

Teresa dealt with new research topics and investigations which were relevant to gardeners.

The term used for this is ‘technology transfer’ to the horticultural and gardening community. For example, the use of biodegradable pots and various organic composts, such as mushroom compost, were discussed in detail. There were also constant pressures as far as plant disease was concerned.

The changing trends in choice of flowers were highlighted and Greenmount staff have been working recently on scented stock and oriental lilies. Heathers were not quite as popular as previously.

Teresa said that gardeners could help the environment by reducing pesticide use, using more native species and gardening on organic principles. There was a need to reduce the amount of peat being used for compost.

Teresa insisted that nettles, often regarded as weeds, were actually very good for attracting insects such as butterflies. The next meeting of the Society will take place on January 28, 2015 when Mark Gregg from Lisburn City Council will address the topic ‘Planting for the Public Realm’.

Everyone is invited and will be made very welcome.