Gardening Club 

Held at the Village Hall, monthly on Wednesday evenings, at 7.30.

Following AGM in October 2017 the Gardening Club Committee for next year is as follows:

David Darts – Chairman Tel: 01981 250117

Margaret Reitz – Treasurer Tel: 01432 354670

Myfanwy Davies – Membership and Subscriptions Tel: 01432 277231

Val Dawkes – Garden Visits, Tea Rota Tel: 01432 277363

Charlotte Marshall - Show & Competitions Secretary Tel: 01981 251435

Michèle Byrne – Shows & Administration Tel: 01981 251650

Linda Harding – Shows & Administration Tel: 01432 277281     

Background to the Gardening Club

The Club was formed in 1983 by local residents Stan and Margaret Baldock.

Both Margaret and Stan were professional horticulturalists and this coupled with theirenthusiasm, ensured the successful launch of the Club. In the early years theMembership consisted mainly of residents of Eaton Bishop but today we can boast a Membership of 60 drawn from all corners of Herefordshire.

We meet on thethird Wednesday of the month in the Village Hall at Eaton Bishop and throughoutshe year arrange visits by Speakers to talk on various aspects of Gardening and Horticulture. We also arrange regular visits to local Gardens and Nurseries and for the past fifteen years have organised a Club Holiday to visit gardens in other parts of the country, including two visits to Normandy in France.

Although we take our gardening seriously, meetings and visits are conducted in a light hearted manner and we have built a reputation of being a warm and friendly club. Throughout the year we hold a series of Competitions, for Members to exhibit their various prize flowers and plants. Also in February we hold a Photographic Competition, and run and organise the Annual Village Show on the third Sunday in August.

We are always looking to expand our Membership so why not pay us a visit and see what we have to offer.

Our current programme is as follows:

Program of Events 2018-2019

Programme of Events 2017-2018

 18h October AGM/Wine and Cheese Social

15th November Country Cousins
Speaker: Mary Stevenson Bsc (Hort).

December No Meeting

January No Meeting

21st February Hardy Geraniums
Speaker: Julie Ritchie, Hoo House Nursery, Tewkesbury   

21st March Heritage Viola’s
Speaker: Jack Willgoss, Wildegoose Nursery, Shropshire                        

18th April Penstemons
Speaker: TBC

25th - 29th April Gardening Club Holiday to Cornwall   

16th May Garden or Nursery Visit

20th June Plants that have recently grabbed Bob’s attention.
Speaker:Bob Brown, Cotswold Cottage Garden Plants                               

18th July Visit to local Garden details TBC

15th August Garden Visit.      

19th September Speaker TBC
17th October AGM  /Wine and Cheese Social.

We will be arranging the usual “Snowdrop” visit for February/March time and Bluebells in the wild for April. Also  visits to local Gardens by Members cars and a possible coach outing is in the course of being arranged.


Competition Winners in 2017

Photographic Competition:

At the January Meeting, we held our usual Photographic Competition for the best judged photographs taken by Members.

Although the number of photographs exhibited was less than in previous years, the standard was very good. This was a close run competiton with very few points separating contestants. The overall winner was Roger Crisp, closely followed by Charlotte Marshall and Michele Byrne was in third place.

Spring Bulb Competition:

The overall winner of the “Spring Bulb Competition,” held over the months of February, March and April was Michele Byrne, followed by Chris Morris in 2nd place, 3rd was Jenny Crisp and Pam Clay was in 4th place.

The Trophy was awarded to Michele by Committee Member Linda Harding. Thanks must go to Charlotte Marshall, who was not at this Meeting, but who does such a wonderful job in organising these events.

The standard of Exhibits throughout the Competition again was very high, well done to all those who supported the event.

Mid Summer Flower Show:

The overall winner of the “Mid-Summer Flower Show” Trophy was Hilary Leyshon James,

Chris Morris was a very close 2nd with Liz Goodyear in a commendable 3rd place. Many thanks to all those that entered the competition.

The judge thought the standard of exhibits was very good.

Village Show:

Unfortunately we did not hold the Village Show in 2017.

Gardening Club Holiday 5th to 9th June - Visiting Gardens in the North Wales area.

The weather forecast for our visit to North Wales was not too encouraging and although it was dry when we departed from Eaton Bishop, rain soon started to fall on our journey north to visit David Austin Roses. Despite the rain, we were greeted by the most beautiful display of their many varieties of Roses, in their well laid out Rose Garden. Our Group consisted of 40 Members and guests and following a short lunch stop at the National Trust Errdig Hall, we made our way to Llandudno, on the North Wales coast, where we stayed for four nights.

The following day, the first Garden on our Itinerary, was to  Plas Tan y Bwlch on the northern slopes of the Maentwrog Valley. In the 18th Century it was the home of the Oakeley Family, who made their fortune from the slate mines at nearby Blaenau Ffestiniog and it is now the Snowdonia National Park Centre. The Centre is surrounded by 13acres of historic beautiful gardens, where native and exotic plants, young and old, live side by side. This is a garden built into the hill side overlooking the River Valley.

For the afternoon, by which time the morning mist had dispersed, replaced by glorious sunshine, we travelled the short distance to the landscaped gardens and subtropical forests, surrounding the Village of Portmeirion on the coast of Snowdonia. Portmeirion is an Italianate Village and comprises of formal gardens within the Village as well as a 70 acre headland known as the Gwyllt “Wild” garden. The walk out along the estuary, around the headland was rather stunning.

Prior to our meal on Tuesday Evening, we all raised a glass of Bucks Fizz, to the wonderful Joan Lloyd, who was celebrating her 95th Birthday. Joan has been on all our Holidays since we started our visits some 15years ago. Her vitality has to be seen to be believed. Well done Joan, many congratulations, from all your friends in Gardening Club. Some photographs of our celebrations are shown on the front cover of this month’s 'Tracking the News'.

On Wednesday morning, we travelled to the National Trust, Plas Newydd House and Gardens on Anglesey. Plas Newydd sits majestically on the shores of the Menai Strait and enjoys breath taking views of Snowdonia. The gardens include an Australasian arboretum, an Italianate terrace garden and extensive woodland walks, leading to a rhododendron garden.  In the House, with its rather plain exterior, was a wonderful exhibition of the works and life of the American artist James Whistler.  Apparently a rather vain and unpleasant man, but a most talented artist.

What most of us considered to be the “find” of the Holiday was the Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens,
also on Anglesey. This is a beautifully restored, picturesque garden, consisting of a two acre formal walled garden with a pool; Valley gardens with dramatic rock formations; Woodland, river, waterfalls and Red Squirrels. Also, there are many interesting and rare plants. We were fortunate to see a Southern Marsh Orchid, which had never appeared in the Garden before.  This is very much a Garden on the lines of the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall and similar to Heligan, is a Garden that has been lovingly restored by the new owner, Anthony Tavenor.

We had a break from our garden visits on Thursday morning when we visited the town of Conwy, situated on the North Wales coast. Conwy Town is a world heritage site with an imposing 13th Century castle and walls. Conwy's quaint harbour, revolutionary Telford suspension bridge, it’s close proximity to Wales popular seaside resorts and the mighty mountains of Snowdonia, make Conwy a favourite tourist destination.

For our visit on Thursday afternoon we chose the little known, Bodrhyddan Hall and Gardens at Rhuddlan, near Rhyl. This is a Grade 1 listed building and has been the home of Lord Langford and his family for over 500 years. We split our party into three groups and were given a most interesting and at times most entertaining tour of the House, again another delight of the holiday which we were not expecting. The House, now one of the few remaining family homes in Wales, is set in several acres of stunning, formal gardens and reclaimed woodlands.

Sadly, on Friday we departed from Llandudno making our way home, via Bodnant Garden, at Tal y Cafn. Bodnant must now be considered as one of the finest gardens in the country, known not only for its magnificent collection of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias but also for its idyllic setting above the River Conwy, with extensive views of Snowdonia. Unfortunately, we were slightly late to see the famous Laburnum Arch in full bloom but compensated by seeing the best of their display of Roses.

As always, the rock garden in “The Dell” proved to be very spectacular and was featured recently on the television series, on new developments at Bodnant Garden.

Despite the forecast, apart from our first day, we had plenty of sunny weather for our visits to the gardens.

We returned to Hereford early evening, after what most of us thought, was another enjoyable holiday.

(To be updated)

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