July Meeting – Pin Me to the Wall…

andrew mikolajski

Our next meeting, on Monday 2nd July, is given by Andrew Mikolajski.  Entitled ‘Pin Me to the Wall…and do what you want with me‘ it is a fascinating look into the choice and management of wall shrubs and climbers.

Andrew has had a long career as author, lecturer and speaker, with over 30 titles to his name.  Recently he acted as horticultural adviser on the new edition of the RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants.  He has taught both garden design and the history of gardening.  According to his own website, it has been said of him:  “Andrew has a unique style of presentation which made his talk entertaining, informative and memorable”.  It should be a fun evening.

As always the the venue for the evening is Colwall Village Hall and complimentary refreshments will be available from 7:00pm.  Plants will be on sale before the meeting.  Anyone wishing to contribute plants to the plant stall (all proceeds going to the Percy Picton Memorial Fund) is most welcome to.

Programmes for the Annual Flower and Produce Show will be available at the meeting.  It will be the last opportunity to purchase tickets for the  Grand Day Out to Cerney House and Abbey house Gardens on July 17th.

The evening is free to members or £5 per visitor. Annual membership (which runs from January to December) is £15.

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June Meeting – Oxford Botanic Garden

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Our next meeting, on Monday 4th June, will be one of the highlights of the year, a talk by Timothy Walker.  Tim, always an engaging and entertaining speaker, was until recently the Director of Oxford Botanic Garden and his talk will take us through the 400 years of the fascinating history of both the OBG and Harcourt Arboretum, from 1621 right up to the present day.

As always the the venue for the evening is Colwall Village Hall and complimentary refreshments will be available from 7:00pm.  Plants will be on sale before the meeting.  Anyone wishing to contribute plants to the plant stall (all proceeds going to the Percy Picton Memorial Fund) is most welcome to.

Programmes for the Annual Flower and Produce Show will be available at the meeting.  It will be the last opportunity to purchase tickets for the Garden Visit to Yew Trees, Mathon Road, Colwall on Monday June 18th.  And tickets will also be on sale for the Grand Day Out to Cerney House and Abbey house Gardens on July 17th.

The evening is free to members or £5 per visitor. Annual membership (which runs from January to December) is £15.

August meeting – Quiet Roads in Cornwall

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Our talk on the 7th August is by Adrian James who will take us for a wander down the ‘Quiet Roads in Cornwall’ no doubt to find some hidden garden gems.   Adrian is a gardener and plant photographer and his images are used in magazines and advertising.

As usual the talk will start at 7:30pm with complimentary refreshments available from 7:00pm.  Visitors are very welcome and we charge £4 per ticket.  For those interested in joining the society membership is £12 per year.  Our talks are held at Colwall Village Hall.

Don’t forget our Annual Show is the following Saturday (12th August) so please bring your donations for the tombola and produce stall.  If you are planning to enter the Show, and we do hoe you will, don’t forget to make sure your entry show is submitted by 5pm on Thursday 10th August (details on the Show Entry Form)

 

June Meeting – Siberian Iris

Have you been wowed by the beautiful irises at the recent RHS Malvern and Chelsea Flower Shows, maybe you have been lucky enough to see the Siberian iris display at Bryans Ground in Herefordshire (above) and are wondering if you could grow Siberian irises in your garden? Your questions will be answered at our June meeting on the 5th June when Alun Whitehead, will be talking to us about his and his wife, Jill’s national collection at their home near Leominster.

Visitors’ tickets are £4 per person including complimentary refreshments.  The talk commences at 7:30 at Colwall Village Hall with refreshments available from 7pm.

Don’t forget your donations for the members plant stall and if you want to book a place on one of the two garden visits please make sure you register with Tim Beaumont as places are limited – more information on the visits is available on the programme

Finally, the Show Schedule for the Annual Show in August is now available, both in hard copy at the meeting and on-line from this page. We welcome entries from members and non-members, the more the merrier so why not make this the year when you pluck up courage and have a go.

 

Show Reminder and Warwick Coach Trip Review

Cynthia Bussey being presented, at the 2015 show, with the Old Court Nursery Rose Bowl for her perennial flower display

Cynthia Bussey being presented, at the 2015 show, with the Old Court Nursery Rose Bowl for her perennial flower display

Just a reminder that the Annual Show is tomorrow (13th August) at Colwall Village Hall.  We would like to thank everyone who has taken the trouble to enter something, even if its only one category and to encourage as many of you as possible to come along from 2pm onwards to see the entries and who has scooped what prize. Entry price is £2.  In addition to the entries there will be the wonderful ice creams that we have come to look forward to, produce and plant stall, tombola, raffle, refreshments and the opportunity to buy your ticket for the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture in October.

In the meantime Sidney and Veronica Benjamin have taken the time to write a review of the recent coach trip to Warwick gardens which is posted below for your enjoyment.

 

Garden visit to Warwickshire – 14 July 2016

Sidney and Veronica Benjamin

Thirty-two members of the Society went on the first organised garden visit for several years, on what proved to be a fascinating and enjoyable day in Warwickshire. We saw unusual gardens that we would otherwise have been unlikely to visit. On the way we had stopped at Russell’s Garden Centre near Coventry, also the site of John Gillies Rare and Choice Plants and Avondale Nursery, which provided a brief opportunity to buy essential plants.

In the morning we visited The Mill Garden, situated beneath the walls of Warwick Castle, on the banks of the River Avon, where the remains of the medieval bridge provide the ultimate “borrowed landscape”. The garden was started originally in the 1930s by a bank manager, Arthur Measures, who spent some 60 years extending the site and planting it. In recent years it has been tended by the next generation and is now a mature and beautiful example of the cottage garden style, with mixed plantings of shrubs, ornamental trees, perennials and annuals. Paths wind between the beds where there are many excellent examples of well designed colourful planting. And, of course, essential to all garden visits, was the plant sales area, irresistible to several of our members.

In the afternoon we visited Hill Close Gardens, also in Warwick, which, like the Mill Garden, has featured in a number of articles in gardening magazines. Lunch was provided in the extensive comfortable modern buildings and we were then given a fascinating talk about the history of the site. Originally this was constructed in a central city area, as a group of about 30 “detached” (unusually they were not attached to houses) Victorian pleasure gardens, for the use of artisans, shopkeepers and professional people who lived “above the shop” and had no other access to gardens.  These were very popular in the mid 19th century, for keeping animals as well as growing vegetables and as pleasure gardens, but by the 1990s they had been neglected and overgrown and were a target for housing development. Local people realised that the gardens were an important part of the city’s heritage, and funds were raised (particularly from English Heritage) to buy and renovate the gardens, which are now listed Grade II*. Work has been carried out, mainly by volunteers overseen by a head gardener, to clear and restore the gardens, which are now cared for by individuals, families or volunteers, preserving their original character and individuality.

The gardens are lushly planted, each in separate styles, and separated by hedges, in keeping with their Victorian origins. Many of the gardens have summer houses, which have been rebuilt in the original materials, each with its individual features, one on two stories, and another furnished with fireplace, rugs and armchairs. Over 60 varieties of original apple trees have been restored, identified and labelled. One garden holds a National Collection of Chrysanthemums. Hill Close also has an excellent plant sales area, with many rarely seen cultivars grown from the garden material, and perhaps it is not necessary to mention that these proved to be irresistible to most of us.

The return coach journey to Colwall provided a welcome opportunity for some members to rest their eyes, whilst others (mainly towards the rear of the coach) socialised rather volubly, and the opportunity to get to know other members of the society was yet another enjoyable aspect of the trip. This was a splendid day out, horticulturally and socially, for which we thank Tim Beaumont and the other organisers.

Annual Show – Schedule now available

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The Annual Show this year is on the 13th August not as indicated in the programme.

The Show Schedule is now available here

and the Entry form is available here

Why not have a look and see what you might be able to enter in August.  We welcome entries from members and non-members alike and have the ethos of the more the merrier.  So instead of just visiting the show to see others entries why not have a go yourself, you never know you might do better than you expect.

There are categories for: flowers, foliage, vegetables, baking, preserves, photography and junior classes.

The schedule and entry form will remain available on the dedicated Show page which you can access from the tab above.

Annual Show 2015

Paul Picton, President of WCHS, presenting Sara Jane Arden with the Jim Tudge Memorial trophy

Paul Picton, President of WCHS, presenting Sara Jane Arden with the Jim Tudge Memorial trophy

Despite the cool season this year the floral exhibits at this year’s Annual Show seem to have increased on last year.  The number of people exhibiting has remained the same but there was a decline in entries in the cookery section this year so we will be encouraging more people to bake next August.

Cynthia Bussey being presented with the Old Court Nursery Rose Bowl for her perennial flower display

Cynthia Bussey being presented with the Old Court Nursery Rose Bowl for her perennial flower display

Some of the prize winners such as Cynthia Bussey and Sara Jane Arden are stalwarts of the show, both entering an impressive range of high quality entries and were rewarded for their efforts.  But there were some new winners including Janet Sutton who was the first ever recipient of the Owen Evans Trophy for most meritorious vegetable exhibit for her entry in the beetroot class.  The trophy has been donated by Owen Evans who has been entering his vegetables in the show for more years than anyone cares to remember and he was delighted to be given the opportunity to present the trophy.  Other prize winners are listed below

RHS BANKSIAN MEDAL –  Mr C. J. Lane
OWEN EVANS TROPHY –  Janet Sutton
THE MILNE CUP WCHS 1-29 – Mr Ross Barbour
JIM TUDGE MEMORIAL TROPHY WCHS 30-53 – Sara-Jane Arden
SILVER CUP CLASSES 1-54 – Sara-Jane Arden
SILVER CUP 1-54 WC RESIDENT NOT MEMBER  – Owen Evans
PERCY PICTON MEMORIAL TROPHY FOR CLEMATIS – David & Diane Hodgson
OLD COURT NURSERIES ROSE BOWL FOR PERENNIALS  – Cynthia Bussey
ELMS CUP FOR SWEET PEAS –  Mr Colin Ince
HELEN PICTON TANKARD FOR VIOLA’S/PANSIES  – Mrs Faith Armitage
FLORAL ART SILVER CUP  – Cynthia Bussey
ROSE BISHOP MEMORIAL PLATE FOR DUNDEE CAKE – Mrs Joan Wright
COOKERY SILVER CUP –  Ginette Blandford
HANDICRAFT SILVER CUP  – Joan Surral
JUNIOR CUP 7 AND UNDER  – Frank Brown
JUNIOR CUP 8-13  – Holly Brown

 

My thanks to Tim Wright for some of the photos above including those of Cynthia and Sara Jane.

The Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who entered exhibits, members and non-members, without your efforts there would be no-show – so thank you very much