Compost - News and articles to enrich your gardening experience

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  1. Sweep leaves from lawns and paths and net ponds before leaf fall gets underway.

  2. Dig over soil and leave for frosts to break down. Fertilize if necessary.

  3. Plant wallflowers, pansies and bulbs for spring display and any bare root shrubs and roses.

  4. Take hardwood and semi-hardwood cuttings of favourite shrubs.

  5. Scarify and aerate the lawn. Prepare ground for any new lawn.

  6. Pruning: tidy up hedges, prune fruit trees.

  7. Cut down and divide perennials.

  8. Clean and repair greenhouse if necessary.

  9. Provide windbreaks for plants that need protecting. More tender species may benefit from horticultural fleece. Also wrap up pots or put them under cover for protection, before cold weather sets in.

  10. Decide on any changes to planting scheme and prepare spaces where necessary.

Garden Tasks for Autumn

Gardening Club News

Considering how unpredictable the recent weather has been, we were extremely fortunate to have a good dry day for the Silverstone Open Gardens event at the end of June.  Six gardens were open and we were able to enjoy an array of different styles including courtyard, vegetable and fruit plots, pretty planting on a small scale, patio terrace beds of perennials, newly planted rose bed, arboretum paddock, low maintenance areas, wildlife ponds, a garden with ‘rooms’, cottage garden planting, and a garden evolving from a paddock with mediaeval fishponds and hard landscaping from recycled bricks and sleepers!  All seen in a delightful afternoon’s wander round the village, stopping off for refreshments at the Church rooms with the opportunity to purchase a great selection of plants.

The event, with Church plant sale, raised an amazing £813 for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Northampton, so huge thanks must go to those opening their gardens – your efforts in making your gardens look splendid are greatly appreciated.  The refreshments raised a substantial amount for Church funds, and it is always satisfying for the whole village to come together on these occasions.

The village centre plant containers are brimming full with summer bedding and are now a superb splash of colour.  A watering/dead-heading rota is in place, so thank you to those who have offered to be included - the whole village is able to enjoy the fruits of your labours!

2021 sees the Silver Jubilee of the Gardening Club.  It is 25 years since a group of like-minded garden enthusiasts came together and held their first meeting.  Over the years, members have been given the opportunity of listening to many experts on gardening and related topics, watched demonstrations, and have enjoyed visits, weekends away, and excellent social occasions. To mark this special anniversary the Club intends to have a commemorative tree-planting this autumn and members will be updated in due course.

With the announcement that Covid-related restrictions are to be lifted, the Club is hoping that the presentation on ‘Small Garden Design’, booked for September, can go ahead.  We already have speakers booked well into 2022, ever optimistic that our programme can resume – we plan and patiently wait!

Please keep an eye on our website ( for relevant information and Club contact details.

Heather Illingworth

Chairman - Silverstone Gardening Club

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Beetroot Bonanza?

This recipe from the late Antonio Carluccio is so simple but delicious. He stresses that the beetroot must be very fresh and small – perfect if you are growing them.


Beetroot Salad With Mint


             16 small beetroot

             20 mint leaves



             4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

              1 tbspn white wine vinegar

              salt and pepper


Cook the beetroot in plenty of boiling water until the tip of a knife enters the beetroot easily (about 30 mins). Drain well.

When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into thin slices. Put in a bowl with the mint.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, toss together with the beetroot and mint and serve.

An article by Bloms Bulbs

Useful information on Daffodils

Daffodils are so well known that there is a risk that they can be overlooked or taken for granted and that we forget the range of shapes, sizes, and colours available. Indeed, they are one of the most versatile and impactful of all our spring flowers. They are almost indestructible, will increase year on year, and should last a lifetime.

It can often seem quite daunting to choose just the right plant given the enormous range available. An important starting point is a location, this will determine the height of the bulbs that you want to choose from.

An often-overlooked consideration is the light aspect. Daffodils can be planted in full sun or semi shade but wherever they are planted the buds will always open to the side where there is warmth and light. Give this careful consideration, you do not want your daffodils turning their back on you.

I have found the best planting time to be from late September until the end of October. The cooler soil temperatures work against pests and diseases but there is still sufficient warmth to ensure maximum root development. The bulbs can be planted later but they must be stored properly and kept cool. A healthy bulb should be solid and relatively heavy for its size.

Daffodil bulbs vary greatly in their size due to the many varieties available. As a rule, they should be planted at a depth twice their size but if you are in any doubt plant deeper rather than shallower. Shallow planting is one of the main reasons for daffodils growing blind. Given their diversity they are suited to all soil types but will not tolerate being waterlogged. Plant in full sun or semi shade, dappled shade will keep the flowers fresh for as long as possible.

It is a good idea to start preparing the ground as soon as you have space available, giving it time to settle before planting. Add plenty of leaf mould and a top dressing of bonemeal after planting and again in February.

Daffodils are ideal for planting in grass, for many this is where they are at their best. Choose from the earlier flowering cyclamineus, triandrus and poeticus daffodils. This will allow you to cut your grass earlier, approximately six weeks after the bulbs have flowered. Plant overlapping drifts of similar varieties, marking out the drifts with sand before planting.

Don’t forget pots and containers. Daffodils are ideal for these, especially the smaller varieties. We see pots of bulbs being offered everywhere in the spring, often poor quality at expensive prices. It is very easy to plant your own in the autumn, either directly into your container or in to pots to sink into containers once growth starts to emerge.

I was once told “only friends of the devil can grow parsley” This was a bit disconcerting at the time as I had a huge bed of it! However, since then I’ve not had so much success, but this video clip by Sarah Raven might help any having similar problems:


Also there is an article all about herbs on the Garden Reads Page.

Roses From My Garden

An exhibition of enormous photographs by Nick Knight open now until 31st October


This exhibition of Nick Knight’s large-scale, painterly photographs displays the rose as an enduring symbol of beauty.

British fashion photographer, Nick Knight’s constant desire to experiment, push boundaries and challenge his audience has led him to take up a new subject, the classic rose – but expressed in an entirely new way.

His ‘Roses from my Garden’ series is inspired by the work of 16th and 17th century still life painters like Jan Brueghel the Elder and Jan van Huysum, but these large-scale works could not be more contemporary, dramatising the timelessness of nature.

Nick Knight cuts selected roses straight from his garden and arranges them specifically, using only daylight to illuminate his subject. Photographed on an iPhone, the digital images are enlarged and filtered through software that uses AI to infill the space between pixels. What appears at first glance to be a historical approach to flower photography is actually at the very cutting edge of imaging technology.


Suttons Seed Catalogue 2021

All members are entitled to a discount from the

2021 Suttons Seed Catalogue.

The discount code is available from the

Club Secretary:

A discount on many items is offered on production of your membership card at the following:

Linnell Bros

Silverstone Fields Farm

Towcester Road, Silverstone

01327 354422

The Bell Plantation

Watling Street, Towcester

01327 354126

Preston Bissett Nursery

Bushy Lane, Preston Bissett

01280 848038

Whilton Locks Garden Centre

Whilton Locks NN11 2NH

01327 843100

Useful Links to websites that may be of interest:

Just click on what interests you and it will take you straight to  the relevant website