Gardeners Question Time

Want to know when to prune your fruit trees, what has eaten your prized plant, why your seedlings have died, the best plants for dry shade? Then come to our Gardeners Question Time on Monday 15th May and pose your questions, thorny or otherwise.

Questions will be answered by a panel of local horticultural experts chaired by Reg Moule, BBC Hereford and Worcester’s gardening guru.

The cost of the evening is £4 per person and all are welcome.  Doors open at Colwall Village Hall at 7pm with the actual question time session starting at 7:30pm

So why not come along, bring some friends, and get your gardening conundrums answered – probably!


Annual Show – Schedule now available


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.

February Meeting – Beneath the Trees

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Our talk on the 1st February is by Julian Sutton, of Desirable Plants, whose subject is ‘Beneath the Trees: non-woody plants for the woodland garden’.  Julian’s intention is to talk of a modest range of immodestly interesting plants from a hard won collection.

As normal the talk will commence at 7:30pm in Colwall Village Hall.  However, come early to benefit from the complimentary refreshments (from 7:00pm) and meet other gardening enthusiasts.

Annual membership runs from January to January and is £12 per year.  Visitors are always welcome at £4 per meeting.

We welcome members and visitors from across a wide area across Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

Programme for 2016

We are pleased to present the programme for 2016 which we hope members, and visitors, will find interesting and enjoyable. As ever meetings are held at Colwall Village Hall and start at 7:30, with complimentary refreshments available from 7:00.  Annual membership, due in January, is £12 and visitors pay £4 per meeting.

Monday 4th January
History and restoration Painswick Rococo Gardens – Paul Moir
Since 1987 Paul has had responsibility for the transformation of an overgrown jungle back to an 18thC Pleasure Ground depicted in a painting of 1748

Monday 1st February
Beneath the Trees: non-woody plants for the woodland garden – Julian Sutton
Sarah and Julian sell Desirable Plants. Julian’s bold intention is to talk of a modest range of immodestly interesting plants from a hard won collection.

Monday 7th March
Loosening up in the garden – Mary Keen
The garden designer and writer explains, as we get older, how to stay in touch with the times; moving towards naturalism being more fashionable than high maintenance horticulture

Monday April 4th
The wonderful world of perennial violas – Jack Willgoss
Wildegoose Nursery holds the UK’s largest collection of perennial violas. Jack will cover their history and cultivation
and offer his top twenty recommended varieties.
The Michael Jefferson-Brown
Spring Flowering Bulb Competition (see Notes)

Monday May 2nd
Within these walls – Steven Desmond
The mysteries of the kitchen garden; Steven Desmond is a Chartered Horticulturist with long experience of the
walled kitchen garden and its working practices.
Annual Plant Sale prior to the meeting

Monday May 16th
Gardeners’ Question Time
(WCHS edition)

Monday 6th June
The greatest gardening tips in the world – Steve Brookes
Steve, a BBC radio & TV gardening presenter, will reflect on 35 years’ collecting amazing, innovative and eco-friendly tips for growing healthier and more productive plants

Monday 20th June
Evening garden visit
Local and social (See Notes)

Monday 4th July
Orchids in the home, their care and re-potting – Ian Parsons
Ian has developed skills over 45 years cultivating these plants; his talk will inform us on how to keep them flourishing.

Tuesday or Thursday 12/14th July
Coach outing to Coventry and Warwick
Depart Village Hall 9am; return for 5pm
(see Notes)

Monday 1st August
Look at That! – Rob Cole
Since 1998 Diane & Rob run Meadow Farm Garden &
Nursery. Their travels to other gardens often brings a surprise,
of one sort or another

Saturday 6th August
73rd Annual Summer Show (see Notes)

Monday 5th September
A complete guide to clematis – Peter Skeggs-Gooch
Surrounded by clematis from the age of five, Peter is hoping to pass on his enthusiasm for the genus with this colourful illustrated talk.

Monday 3rd October
The 30th Percy Picton Memorial Lecture (See Notes)
Troy Scott-Smith – Sissinghurst
In May 2013 Troy became Head Gardener at this iconic garden; his thoughts on development and ideas for all gardeners will make this an intriguing evening.
The Ernest Ballard Aster Competition (see Notes)

Monday 7th November
Easy alpines & low growing perennials – Julie Ritchie
Julie runs Hoo House Nursery and will show a range of small plants grown for year round interest, but without
the need for too much fuss

Monday 5th December
7pm Annual General Meeting
Followed by Mistletoe matters – Jonathan Briggs
Jonathan has studied mistletoe for over 30 years. He will review its biology, history, traditions, commercial
and conservation value, plus its management and future.

Monday 2nd January 2017
I’m not much good at gardening – David Morgan
David is the N. G. S. County Organiser for Worcestershire. Also a gardener who, with wife Di, have opened their
garden for the last ten years.


The Michael Jefferson Brown Competition is for members only; there are two classes
1. Pot or container of growing flowering bulbs, corms or tubers
2. Vase/container of cut flowers grown from bulbs, corms or tubers.
One entry per person in each class.
Exhibits are judged on quality and presentation. The Trophy
will be awarded for the best overall exhibit

Evening Garden Visit
£5.00 per person; meet village Hall 5.30pm

Coach Trip
Russell’s Garden Centre, Coventry for coffee, loos, Avondale and John Gillies plants.
The Mill Garden Warwick beneath the walls of Warwick Castle. Hill Close Gardens, Warwick; lunch, guided tour and tea
Limited to 50; cost £25.00
£5.00 deposit with booking

Annual Summer Show
Held in Colwall Village Hall from 2pm to 5pm; it has open classes.
The schedule is available at the May meeting

The Percy Picton Memorial Lecture
Admission by ticket only
Reception from 7pm

The Ernest Ballard Aster Competition
A vase of Michaelmas Daisies (perennial asters) of preferably
mixed varieties. The Trophy will be awarded to the best exhibit


May’s Meeting – Cacti and Succulents



At the end of the long bank holiday weekend why not join us for a potentially prickly talk on cacti and succulents. Our speaker on the 4th May is Ian Thwaites, an International Garden Photographer of the year with a special interest in cacti and succulents. As well as photographing cacti and succulents Ian is an avid grower, shower and judge and an elected official of the British Cactus and Succulent Society. Who knows Ian might inspire you to try to grow something new and with the Malvern Spring Show the following weekend bringing lots of specialist nurseries the timing is perfect.

The talk will commence at 7:30 at Colwall Village Hall but come early as there are complimentary refreshments from 7:00 and this month there will be a members’ plant stall, all contributions very welcomed.

Visitors are always welcome at a charge of £4. Annual membership is £12 payable in January.


February Meeting – A Review

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.

The February meeting commenced with Megan Taylor announcing good news from the Percy Picton Memorial Fund.  With the proceeds of various events and particularly the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture, the fund had £2200.00 to help with sponsoring horticultural students at Pershore College.

There followed an enthralling presentation on chemistry in plants, soil and the kitchen. The talk was delivered enthusiastically by Drs Natalie Fey and Jenny Slaughter, School of Chemistry lecturers at Bristol University.  Their presentation included revealing pictures, befuddling equations (I write for myself) and Lego representations of stick molecules.  Confused?  But we did learn why Miscanthus grows in arid conditions; why roses scent; how Heleniums and sunflowers draw contaminating metals from the ground and how to use red cabbage as an indicator of acidity or otherwise.

It would be worth looking at their blog  It is fascinating.

Megan said, in her closing words of thanks, that as an ex-lecturer in chemistry, she was surprised to learn how much she had forgotten.  The talk was entitled Why is Grass Green?  We didn’t learn that.

There was an opportunity to purchase books from the collection of a well known local gardener, the late Merle Stanning.  A stunning collection gathered over many years, any one of which would enhance a gardener’s library.  The writer found a 1949 edition of The Countryman’s Breakfast Poser for £1.00.  The collection will be available at the next meeting.  All proceeds go to the P. P. Memorial Fund.

The March meeting will feature Pauline Pears who has 30 years experience with Garden Organic and is the editor of The Encyclopaedia of Organic Gardening; her talk is entitled My Desert Island Veg..

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 – Joint Programme Secretary

Programme 2015

We are pleased to publish our programme for  2015.  You will see that covers an interesting range of subjects from why we have green lawns to Islamic Gardens – they should be something for everyone.

5th January 2015 – ‘ Chinese Wilson and Birmingham Botanic Gardens’, Simon Gulliver

2nd February 2015 – ‘Why is Grass Green?’, Jenny Slaughter

2nd March 2015 – ‘My Desert Island Veg’, Pauline Pears

6th April 2015 – ‘Epimediums’, Sally Gregson

4th May 2015 – ‘Cacti and Succulents’, Ian Thwaites

1st June 2015 – ‘Microclimates in your Garden’, Nick Wray

6th July 2015 – ‘My Garden in July’, Bob Hares

3rd August 2015 – ‘ The Plight of the Bee – Flowers to the Rescue’, Marina Christopher

7th September 2015 – ‘The Invaders’, John Scrace

5th October 2015 – The Picton Memorial Lecture ‘My Inspirational Mentors and their Plants’, John Massey

2nd November 2015 – ‘Islamic Gardens’, Nathalie Mignotte

7th December 2015 – ‘Japan in Spring’, Duncan Coombs

All talks start at 7:30pm at Colwall Village Hall.

A year’s membership is £12 but we welcome guests at £4 per meeting.