By Chris Elliott……..

I have had the opportunity in the past to go along to a few Ozanköy Gardeners Forum meetings to write reviews and always have found them and the members very interesting.

barbara-burtonBarbara Burton who organises the events, published the following forum report in Facebook including notes by Patricia Ann Jordan QEQM who runs the very succsessful website, The Garden Club of Cyprus.

“Hello all members of Gardeners Forum.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday the 25th January at The Courtyard Inn Karakum. Please be there by 10.15am ready for a prompt 10.30am start.

Patricia made these notes following our last meeting in December:”

“At the meeting in December, we discussed the following items at some length. 

patrica-jordan
Patricia Jordan

Banksia roses – and how to prune them and feed them. David read out a passage from an old book about their habit and care. Later at home, Patricia discovered she had a very old book written by Shirley Hibberd in 1874, stating that the Banksia rose was introduced from China in the early 1800s and was dedicated to Lady Banks. Shirley Hibberd describes the Banksia rose as having a disorderly habit of growth. He also remarked that they were suited to growing at several stations of the South Eastern Railway, where they thrived on the dry chalk, enjoying the warmth. We discussed taking rose cuttings of Banksia roses and Damascena roses. Robert Fortune also brought several fine roses back from China in 1850.

Trees, climbers and shrubs – When to prune bougainvillea and lavender – Bougainvillea is a job for February whilst lavender should be pruned after flowering. Jasminum sambac also known as Arabian Jasmine, is best grown Bougainvilleain old tin cans with earth from around the base of a carob tree. It was thought that the rusty tin might contribute to the soil by adding iron. We also discussed iron chelate’s other uses. Jasminum mesnyi – in bloom now, a non-climbing jasmine, with drooping stems, is best grown over an umbrella-shaped stand. The flowers are usually doubles and a bright yellow colour. Jacaranda tree that died – It was suggested that maybe the roots had been twisted round the pot before it was planted, which sometimes happens with plants that have been in pots for a long time, so that they are unable to spread their roots to stabilise the tree.

It is a well-known fact that plants can die because of lack of watering, as well as over watering. Remember to empty out saucers of water underneath plant pots and raise them on ‘feet’ or bricks to help drainage. Moving trees or shrubs – First, dig your eventual hole much bigger than the ball of the tree or shrub, and make sure that both hole and tree are damp. Add some bone meal or slow-release fertiliser to the bottom of the planting Mealy bugs on Hibiscushole. Do not plant trees or shrubs near cypresses hedges, but leave a space of 3 metres. Mention was made of a rampant climber called Pyrostegia.

Mealy bugs and the like – one member brought along some pesticides to deal with mealy bugs, available from Ardiç garden shop.

Spring bulbs – Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) and Paperwhites grown in pots, like to have their heads and shoulders above the soil, whilst the general depth for other bulbs is 2-2½ times the height of the bulb. Amaryllis likes to be cosy in its pot, with a finger’s width of space between the bulb and the sides. See Patricia’s Plant of the Month for December on my website click here. 

All bulbs should be fed when flowering is finished, as this is when they make the flower for next season. Do not remove the leaves until they have died down. Try www.peternyssen.com. for bulbs from UK.

Wallflowers, David mentioned many plants in flower at this time, including wallflowers. These are biennials, meaning that you sow the seed one year for them to flower the next year. In UK, usually they are discarded after flowering, but here they can be perennials, and cuttings can be taken in the spring along with those of Marguerites.

Carissa flowers Pyrostegia flowers Jasminum sambac Jasminum mesnyi Tangled tree roots

PAJ”