December Meeting

Joff Elphick gave a great talk entitled ‘Crayfish on the Lawn’

Joff began with a run-through of his career explaining that as a student he worked for Mary Keen then, for one day a week, at the rose garden Moor Wood.

After college he did some work at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and 5 years at Barnsley House for Rosemary Verey’s son: when working at a Bibury garden he discovered it had been designed by Rosemary!

Joff is now based in Cirencester working at Barnsley, Bibury and Meysey Hampton; he also hosts a garden podcast.

Joff’s amusing talk covered a selection of topics including plant recommendations, moths encountered in his garden, fasciation, interesting sights and observations and people.

Amongst the plants he thinks should be more widely grown we met the pretty annual, Trachymene (Didiscus) ‘Blue Lace’, shade loving Lamium orvala and pretty pink Valeriana pyrenaica.

We were shown the twig-like peppered moth, privet hawk moth and the rather attractive but destructive box moth.

Joff explained that the flattening of stems and flowers, fasciation, could be caused by bacteria, virus or genetics , showing in the annual cock’s comb, Celosia, as coral-like and stable.

We learned the true story of Judith Hann and Rick Stein’s dog, were introduced to the first Turkish snail in Gloucestershire, white ice wool or frost beard and the film that Joff shot which 2 universities wanted.

Pam Ayres popped up with a poignant extract from her book ‘The Last Hedgehog’ and the fritillaries in North Meadow got a mention.

As for the crayfish in the title, you shouldn’t have missed the meeting!

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