CUTTINGS

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The Independent Online
The Electoral Reform Society recently released the result of the Royal Horticultural Society's members' ballot on the future of the Society's famous Lindley Library. The ballot attracted four times as many voters as had ever before voiced an opinion on an RHS resolution. The idea of moving the entire library to Wisley, the scheme originally mooted by the Society's president, Sir Simon Hornby, came last in the ballot, attracting 2909 votes, 18 per cent of the total. Members have been surprised therefore to find that in the stop press report on the ballot in the October issue of the members' journal The Garden, the Wisley option had apparently acquired an extra thousand phantom votes. The figure that appears there is 3909. "An unfortunate printers' error" said an RHS spokesman. Of the 16,000 votes cast, 52 per cent were in favour of libraries in London and Wisley, with all the historic, rare books and pictures remaining in London and a more practical scientific collection being built up at Wisley. Thirty per cent voted in favour of the entire collection remaining in London.

More news on the loquat front. Eric Thorpe of Birchington in Kent writes to say that 15 years ago he bought some yellow, plum-like fruit in Andorra. "The chef at our hotel said they were nefle, but since this translates as medlar, he was clearly mistaken. The chestnut-like seed has produced a 12-13ft tree which last year had a bunch of inconspicuous blossom. About a month ago, I had to prune a large branch which revealed a cluster of three yellow fruit, then ripe. Our unusually mild spring might have led to fertilisation of the blossom. We live in a fairly frost-free coastal area, but are subject to cold north-east winds."

This week, John Coke of Green Farm Plants, Bentley, Farnham, Surrey, has been holding an end of season sale of choice and rare herbaceous plants, small shrubs and half hardy salvias. Today is the last day (10am to 6pm) and plants are at a 30 per cent discount. The nursery is not easy to find: if lost, call 01420 23202.

Sandra Mogg of Miserden writes to say that the iron gate I liked so much in the garden at Misarden Park, Gloucestershire (Independent, 5 August) was made by a local blacksmith, Michael Roberts of Anvil Barn, Miserden. Any one who would like to commission something similar, call 01285 821244.

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