Percy Picton Memorial Lecture – Christine Walkden


We are delighted that Christine Walkden has agreed to deliver the 31st Percy Picton Memorial Lecture on the 2nd October 2017.

Whilst Christine is well known for her horticulture based media work, having presented on BBC Gardeners’ World, Christine’s Garden and Glorious Gardens from Above, plus countless other television and radio appearances, she also works freelance as a plantswoman and horticulturalist.  She works for a number of horticultural colleges and professional trade organisations; leads garden tours and field trips all around the world and has written many books on a wide range of gardening topics.  All of which means that her lecture entitled ‘The Life and Times of a Gardener’ should be fascinating.

The lecture is held annually by Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society to raise funds for the Percy Picton Memorial Fund.  The charity gives financial support to local horticultural students.

Tickets for the lecture are £12 per person which includes refreshments.  Tickets can be purchased from Old Court Nursery and  John Goodwin Estate Agents both in Colwall.

The lecture will be held in Colwall Village Hall with refreshments available from 7pm and the lecture commencing at 7:30pm.

We do hope you will be able to join us for what should prove to be an entertaining evening.




September meeting – Autumn Containers

At our meeting on the 4th September Mark Moir, of Newent Plant Centre, will demonstrate how to plant up Autumn Containers though probably without the pumpkins.

The meeting will commence at 7:30pm sharp with complimentary refreshments available from 7:00pm.  Visitors are always welcome and are charged £4 per meeting.  Annual membership is £12 which includes all standard monthly meetings with the exception of the October Percy Picton Memorial Lecture.

Talking of which don’t forget you will need a ticket for the 2nd October meeting at which Christine Walkden will be giving the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture.  Her topic is ‘The Life and Times of a Gardener’.  Tickets are £12 a head and can be bought at the September meeting, from John Goodwins in Colwall or from Old Court Nursery.



Troy Scott Smith – Percy Picton Memorial Lecture 3rd October

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The 30th Percy Picton Memorial Lecture on the 3rd October will be by Troy Scott Smith, head gardener at Sissinghurst.  Troy will be talking not only about Sissinghurst but two other gardens he has worked at.

Tickets are £10 each which includes refreshments and proceeds go to the Percy Picton Memorial Fund, which supports horticultural students.  Tickets are available from Old Court Nursery, Colwall and John Goodwin Estate Agents, Colwall.

The lecture will be held at the Elms School, Colwall and will commence at 7:30, with refreshments from 7:00.

We look forward to welcoming you on the 3rd October.

Percy Picton Lecture – John Massey

masseyThis year’s annual Percy Picton Lecture on the 5th October will be delivered by John Massey, the well known owner of Ashwood Nurseries.  John’s subject will be ‘Inspirational Mentors and Their Plants’ and having heard John speak before I am sure it will be a very entertaining evening.

The Lecture is a ticketed event with monies raised going to the Percy Picton Memorial Fund which provides support for horticultural students.

The price of a ticket is £10 and they can be purchased from either Old Court Nurseries, Colwall or John Goodwin Estate Agents, Colwall.

The ticket price covers the drinks reception which commences at 7pm, with the lecture starting at 7:30pm and this year the lecture will take place at Colwall Village Hall where there is plenty of parking.

In addition to the lecture we will be holding the annual Ernest Ballard Aster competition.  You are invited to bring along a vase, however large or small, of vases.  This is a fun competition and we would love as many people to enter as possible.

Review of March’s Meeting

Visitors are always welcome on the first Monday of the month at Colwall Village Hall WR13 6EQ. We meet for 7.30pm when there is a talk given by a person well versed in their speciality. Arrive early, meet the members and enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee.

On Monday 2nd March we welcomed Pauline Pears who gave a very personal, humorous and instructive talk on why she would have five specific vegetables on her desert island. Drawing on her experience as a garden advisor to Garden Organic and an allotment holder for twenty years, we were enlightened on how to maximise the harvest potential of her famous five. The talk was illustrated with pictures of her allotment by Prickly Pears Productions (no evidence of such in the presenter).

Eat fresh or from store is Pauline’s mantra; with little attention and a long cropping season, her vegetables choices illustrated this ethos. Specifically they are chards, beetroot and spinachbeet eaten fresh from two sowings and stored; climbing French beans fresh (always pick from the bottom), dried or “demi-sec”, leeks stand through the winter, potatoes regular picking and storage in paper sacks; pumpkins fresh and store.

The How To part included propagation with seed from The Heritage Seed Library; using fine fleece to protect leeks from the invading Wolverhampton allium leaf miner and leek moth; cooking over wintered beets in a hay box; growing leek seedlings in “soil assisted” modules; storing root crops in boxes; easy routines to help minimise potato blight. All of which means your writer will now have to rethink his veg garden but it does sound so less time consuming; nearly said easy.

The Percy Picton Memorial Fund continues to benefit from the sale of books from the library of the late Merle Stanning. The PPMF helps support horticultural students at Pershore College. The final selection will be available at our next meeting on April 6th.

The presenter at this meeting, Sally Gregson, who holds a National Collection of Epimediums, returns to delight and inform us with a talk on this beautiful species.

Come early, make/meet friends and discuss your gardening interests (and challenges). There are many experienced and knowledgeable gardeners who are happy to answer questions. Subscriptions, payable in January, are £12.00; visitors are charged £4.00.
Tim Beaumont

Percy Picton Lecture – Chris Beardshaw: A Review

Chris-BeardshawChris Beardshaw bound us to every word. His talk was in two parts. The first of which was the remarkable story of how a group of enthusiastic amateur gardeners gained a Gold Medal at the RHS Show in 2012; the second was a brief introduction to 101 plants That Nearly Changed the World.

The Furzey Garden is in the New Forrest and was created in the early 1900s by two brothers who, already wealthy, discovered gold in Australia and being plantaholics decided to create a woodland garden back home.A beautiful and informal woodland garden offering peaceful walks, exceptional trees and shrubs and views across to the Isle of Wight. Furzey Gardens Trust is part of The Minstead Training Trust who provide residential care and horticultural training to adults with learning disabilities. Having lost local authority funding the charismatic Reverend Tim Selwood, one time barrister, decided to raise the garden’s profile by going to Chelsea in 2012. Chris told of the many obstacles overcome by Tim and his colleagues; a cash shortfall of £200,000 in preparing the garden; recovering an enormous trailer with mature trees stuck going the wrong way in a Wimbledon one way street; recreating the thatched “lantern” which reflected the thatched buildings at Furzey. The lantern included the fairies front door, many more of which are to be found at Furzey and glass leaves created by the students.
Their GOLD medal shocked the local council to restore funding.

Part two included stories of how nettles kept the sock-less Roman’s feet warm; how pineapple became a marinade for gammon (after tenderising unfortunates captured by cannibals) and how carrots became orange, make fly fishing rods and might be used in the construction of warships.

Our next meeting is on Monday November 3rd at Colwall Village Hall. Mark Paviour will present The Year Round Shrub Garden. Come early, 7 for 7.30, have a coffee and make/meet friends to discuss your gardening interests (and challenges). We have many experienced and knowledgeable gardeners who are happy to answer questions. Subscriptions, payable in January, are £12.00; visitors are charged £4.00.

Tim Beaumont

Chris Beardshaw – 101 Plants that Nearly Changed the World


Our October meeting is the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture on the 6th October.  The lecture will be provided by Chris Beardshaw, the well-known television gardener and designer.  His talk is entitled ‘101 Plants that Nearly Changed the World’ and is based on his new book.  Chris will be happy to sign copies of his book and will also have books available to purchase.

The lecture will be held at the Elms School in Colwall at 7pm and the cost of tickets is £10 each and include the cost of a pre-lecture reception.  Tickets can be purchased from John Godwin Estate Agents, Colwall and The Old Court Nursery, Colwall or through the Society.

We will also be holding the annual Ernest Ballard Aster competition.  So please bring along a vase of Michaelmas daisies, preferably mixed.  The more the merrier.