We are lucky this year to have booked two well known speakers for the Garden Society this year, Tony Russell on ‘2000 years of British Garden History’ in February and Tom Hart Dyke with a talk entitled ‘Plant Hunter and Gardener with Passion’ in November.

 Here are some details about these two speakers which might interest you.

 Tony Russell is a BBC writer and broadcaster and former Head Forester of Westonbirt Arboretum and editor of the annual publication ‘Gardens to Visit’. He gives many entertaining talks and lectures to Garden Societies, Horticultural Societies and other clubs around the country. Many of them are about the various gardens he has visited in the UK.

 I have been fortunate enough to hear him speak twice, unfortunately the same talk, but I enjoyed it as much the second time around as the first and very much look forward to hearing him again as he is a very entertaining speaker.

 Tom Guy Hart Dyke is a renowned plant expert, plant hunter and TV personality. He

Is also patron of the British Cactus and Succulent Society and has been a great supporter and advocate of the Society.

Tom first shot to fame in 2000, when he was unfortunately kidnapped for nine months in the Colombian Jungle on a plant hunting expedition that went dangerously wrong. After Tom’s return to his ancestral home of Lullingstone Castle in Kent, he and Paul Winder wrote the best-selling book ‘The Cloud Garden’ detailing their experiences in the jungle. Tom’s jungle antics - building gardens in the mountains, much to the annoyance of his captors – cemented his reputation as a ‘plant nut’.

Since his release from captivity, Tom has been busy building the ‘World’ in his back garden at Lullingstone Castle, commandeering his granny’s 18th Century Walled Garden. The idea of the World Garden was born out of a time of despair while in captivity. His dream garden contains the plants he has collected from across the globe, planted out in their respective countries of origin.

In this fascinating talk Tom will discuss his interests and great passions with stories from an exciting (perhaps too exciting at times?). This promises to be a very entertaining evening and we are lucky to have speak to us.

 

Here are the proposed outings for 2023

Please book at the meetings or by contacting Janet for tickets.

More details will be added as the trips are fully arranged.

 

 

 

Visit to: Evenley Woods Snowdrop Walk

Date: Wednesday 15th February

Drive yourself

 

Evenley Woods, Brackley,

    NN13 5SH

 

This is an easy drive along the A43, past Brackley to Evenley where the woods are signposted down a long non paved drive.

 Park in the field and make your way to the tented café for 11.00am, about 10 mins from car to café.

 We will share coffee/tea and cake together and then you can make your own way round the woodland walks, all clearly marked with coloured posts to follow.

 Book now £12.50 made up of £7.50 for entry and £5 for refreshments.

 

Visit to: RHS Wisley

Date: Saturday 29th April

Coach booked

 

This is our annual free visit to Wisley, just the coach to pay for,  but in the Spring for a change.

More details of the day and costs to follow.

 

Visit to: Waterperry Gardens and Oxford Botanical Garden

Date: Saturday 10th June

Coach booked

 

Waterperry is only a few miles from Oxford so only a short drive further on to Oxford Botanical Garden.

More details of the day and costs to follow.

2nd July Weston Favell Open Gardens

 

August Evening visit to local garden 

(tba)

 

November Winter Lights

(tba)

 

 

 

Trevor started this method last year as a good way to water his Alpine sinks. His are planted with a mound of soil and dressing stones well over the level of the top of the sink which makes watering difficult as it tends to run off before it gets a chance to soak in, but does look good, as those of you who have seen his talk on 'Sinks and Troughs' may remember

Trevor took 4 pint plastic milk bottles and pierced a small hole in the bottom. These were then filled with water, the tops screwed on and balanced, often rather precariously on top of preferably stones or rocks in the sinks but sometimes on the actual plants and then left to drip through slowly over an hour or more. Not a drop ran away as it soaked in slowly drop by drop. Mind you your feet can get quite wet as you carry them to wherever you want to position them. I've got round that by carrying a few at a time upside down in a bucket so you don't lose any water before you get there. You may need to loosen the cap a little if the water doesn't run through.

I then found some special spiked tops with two holes at the end of the 6" spike which fit onto either 1 litre plastic bottles straight away or using an extra screw top would fit a larger bottle. These are easier as you carry them the right way up and you don't lose any water until you push the spike into the pot, trough or sink you want to water, and even better they can be pushed down to the roots of special plants to give them a whole litre of water around the root and not a drop wasted. Unfortunately I can't remember where I bought mine, possibly at Workbridge, but they have some at 'Neat Ideas' Water Spikes 6 pack for £6.99 and of course they will last for many years once bought.

Both very successful. Look for pictures in Members' Photos under Watering.

 

The Village Show was a great success, with lots of entries in the fruit and vegetable classes, a surprisingly large amount from Weston Favell Allotments in the end, after allotment holders spending weeks telling me they had nothing growing because of the extraordinary hot, dry weather!!

We had lots more entries than usual for the Children's classes which everybody so enjoys seeing but a disappointing three entries  only over all three of the adult flower arranging classes, though again the children did us proud with lots from them, thank you children.

Both Handicrafts and Baking and Preserves were rather low on entries too, but lots of beautiful flowers and plants in their classes, though everyone struggled to find many roses and dahlias.

Barbara Bream has written the article below about her impressions on the day. 

Thanks to Sue Wray and her amazing team, we had another very successful  Village  Show. Not only is it a great occasion for so many to get together but the variety of exhibits and the breadth of talent and skills is truly breathtaking.
 
The exceptionally hot summer may have limited the flower entries but there was no sign of it deterring the vegetable growers. It is always a joy to see the display of vegetables, not only for the glorious colours of red, green, yellow, purple, orange, cream and maroon, but the variety. I counted 21 in one basket alone.  Skirret, never heard of it!  A precursor of the potato apparently, the fine roots were eaten in Europe. The houseplants made a wonderful display and the flowers and beautifully scented roses that the more noble among us had managed to rescue from scorched gardens. And there is always the buzz of excitement when exhibitors see the rosettes!
 
The bakers and preserve makers delighted us with perfect sponges, scones, bread, unusual combinations in the chutneys, sparklingly clear apple jellies, creamy lemon curds and an assortment of jams..
 
With the environment uppermost in our mind, the children showed wonderful imagination with their exhibits both in recycled materials and cooking skills. Heads with painted faces and fancy hairdos made from plastic milk containers and wool. A fruit snake, rocket, a panda and a cress heads of all varieties and one in half an egg shell, hedgehog biscuits, and beautifully decorated cup cakes.
 
Who would have thought you could capture a baby hedgehog in the dark on camera or a red squirrel, grandma snapped by her granddaughter and a very stylish selfie, along with lakes and craggy scenes of of our precious British landscape.
 
As we crossed the road to see the arts and crafts another whole set of talents! I love to hear people’s comments and one lady said “it looks as if it has been lifted straight out of Harrods  and dropped into the church” yes, you guessed it, she was talking about the beautifully crafted rocking horse. The battleship also caught many people’s attention, the sugared flowers, and a Celtic Cross.  Embroidery, crochet, patchwork, knitting, a snowman, his child and dog, a hare and a beautiful framed work of handwork of a cat snuggled up on a rocking chair. Fine woodwork, exquisitely crafted wooden spoons, I was longing to pick one up but signs of “do not touch” deterred me! A wall lined with the work of our local artists. The Queen smiling with approval on it all!
 
All this and tea and cakes! Packed to the rafters people spilling outside with their tea and cake, and enjoying the company of friends, neighbours and people they were meeting for the first time. Truly a real community event and thank you again Sue and all your team who must have been exhausted, but no doubt happy, at the end of the day for the pleasure you had given to so many in your endeavours. But wait,  it was not quite the end. An auction to raise money for Restore rounded off the afternoon, with a very amusing  Graham Stoppani as the auctioneer, cajoling people to spend their money and support this very worthy cause. Congratulations to everyone who helped to make the day such an enjoyable and welcoming occasion as summer still lingered on.
 

Here is an article written for the Parish Magazine, Cornerstone, about a garden which was open for Open Gardens, ("Gardens Unlocked"), which has been completely transformed in the last five years, written in their own words.

Click on the word transformed in the previous paragraph, highlighted in blue, to read this article.