Gardening – Spring is on its way


Things to do in March


March is a busy month with most herbaceous perennials showing signs of growth and some shrubs requiring pruning.

Now is the time to prune those shrubs which like Buddleia, will flower later in the year on new growth. Plants which flower on the previous year’s growth, for example Forsythia, should be pruned immediatley after flowering.


March is also the beginning of the mowing season, necessary to keep your lawn in good condition. Before cutting my lawn I spend a couple hours raking off the thatch and worm casts. This ensures the grass sits up for the mower. I adjust the mower blade height so that just the tips of the grass are removed then neaten up the edges and around trees with the strimmer. At the end of March I scarify the lawn and fill in any bare patches with grass seed .


March is when I awake my Banana plants which have been sleeping wrapped up in a corner of the garage. They have been showing signs of growth and the largest plant at over 5ft  has continued to grow throughout the winter producing two new leaves.  Another of my favourites, the Lemon tree,  has rewarded me with 5 lemons and has continued growing in the warmth of the garage.  This proves the benefits of wrapping your tender and tropical plants with horticultral fleece .

I am happy to answer questions on most Tuesday mornings or over the phone. Alternatively add a comment below. Happy gardening .  Norman Conway.


March 2013 Newsletter

click on the pages below to see a larger version

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Spring Walks

Thursday, 21st March
A walk from the Hesketh Arms in Rufford starting at 10.30. This walk is about 5 miles long and takes us through Mere Sands Woods.
Lunch if required at the Hesketh Arms. Park in the car park, or if coming by bus, the 2A leaves Ormskirk bus station, Stand 6 at 9.48 and arrives near the pub at 10.13.
Thursday, 11th April
A linear walk from West Kirby. Meet at Maghull Station for the 9.45 train or meet us at Central Station, Wirral platform at 10.20.
Thursday, 9th May
Coniston Walk (by coach)
Names are now being taken at the walking desk together with a £5.00 deposit.
Leave from Central Square, Maghull at 9.15. Cost £14.00.

Welsh Language

Our new beginners are coming on board and we’ve room for a couple more if you have a fancy to learn this amazing language. Join us for a taster any Thursday you like or give me a call for further information. We’ll be celebrating St David’s Day soon and the Welsh class would like to say ….. ‘Pob hwyl ar Dydd Gwyl Dewi’ Jane 526 2530

New group for collectors

Stan with part of his collection

Are you a collector?
Stan Wilson who showed part of his fine collection of bottles and jars last Tuesday morning is hoping other members will come forward to share collections of special interest. If you are a collector or were inspired by the display last week you may be interested in a new group for collectors that Stan is thinking of starting. If so contact Stan on 0151 526 5830.

Nordic Walking

As an active Nordic Walker and member of the U3A,  I have been promoting Nordic Walking, as a healthy form of exercise and social activity, which I believe will be of interest to our members.

As a result of the encouraging response to the taster session, which took place on 27th November 2012, a free course was arranged through Stephanie Boote, Co-ordinator of Sefton Active Walks, in order to train our members in Nordic Walking Technique.  The course was advertised at our coffee mornings and took place over the four week period commencing Monday, 11th February 2013.  It was held at the Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull, exclusively for members of the Maghull and Lydiate U3A.  The sixteen places available on the course were quickly filled and there are may others who missed out.   A further course will be available for those who were unable to attend this course.  (Please contact Stephanie Boote on 0151 934 2824 for details)

Now that I have received my training as a Volunteer Nordic Walking Group Leader with Sefton Active Walks, I intend to launch our own Nordic Walking Group, for those members who have attended the courses and have received their accreditation.

Due to the fact that participants will require Nordic walking poles for the walks, we will have to rely on Sefton Active Walks to provide us with their poles on loan.  Some members may wish to purchase their own poles of course and may use their £5 gift voucher, which they will receive together with their FREEDOM cards on completion of their course, towards the cost.

In order to decide a suitable day of the week on which to hold our walks, together with other matters, I will be inviting all those who have completed their course, to attend a meeting at 10.3am, during the coffee morning, at the Baptist church on Tuesday, 5th March 2013, in order to discuss this.  It is my aim to get the new group up and running the following week.  The walks will be local at first and will last for approximately one hour, including warming up and cooling down exercises.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stephanie Boote of Sefton Active Walks Nordic and all the instructors, also the Maghull and Lydiate U3A committee,  for their help and support in making this new group possible.  Also our members for their participation and enthusiasm.

Happy Nordic Walking

Ian Gent