Let’s get together

It is no surprise that our meetings are so well attended. Not only are they interesting and informative, they are also enjoyable social gatherings.

As always, our Programme Committee has worked hard to invite speakers with very different skills, knowledge and experience and you will see below that their subject matter is not always gardening related.

So, if you are thinking of joining us, come along to a meeting and you will be made very welcome.

All meetings are in the WI Hall, North Street, Bridport and start at 7.30 pm.
Tea and coffee is served, and non members are welcome, on payment of a small entry fee.

Trekking in the Himalayas
June 20th 2019

Clive Groves

Clive Groves needs no introduction to most of you. Although he handed overall control of Groves Nurseries to his son Charlie, he still takes an active role – when he’s not off on one of his adventures.  Along with his wife Diana, he is a sponsor of our Club.

British Bees
July 18th 2019

Brigit Strawbridge

Brigit will be discussing the importance of bees; the differences between Honeybees, Bumblebees and Solitary bees; the problems they all face (focussing on habitat loss and neonicotinoid pesticides) and what we can do to help them. She especially enjoys talking about the behaviour and life cycles of our native bumblebees and solitary bees, their roles as pollinators and their fascinating relationships with flowering plants.

She will also mention her Wildlife/Bee Garden and the importance of biodiversity.

She always tries to make her talks informative, interesting and inspiring – and always finishes on a positive note.

Grasses in the Garden
September 19th 2019

Malcolm Mills

Grasses can provide amazing autumn colour and all texture in the garden. This talk will tell you all about Grasses and how to get the most out of these wonderful plants.

Growing Sweet Peas for Exhibition and Pleasure
October 17th 2019

Jim Mcdonald

Jim McDonald from Broughton, Hampshire is a district representative of the National Sweet Pea Society. He will be talking to us about the delights of growing sweet peas.

Jim has been growing for a mere 50 years and is a life member of The National Sweet Pea Society and has been chairman of the sweet pea trials at Wisley.

Jim grows on a large scale, but for those of us who don’t his talk will include tips on planting; germination; growing on; planting out; feeding and pest control.

Images of Dartmoor
November 21st 2019

Tony Burges

Tony Burges was born and bred in Devon and his passion for Devon & Cornwall was inspired while he went through his training as a Royal Marine on Dartmoor throughout his informative years.  His talk will cover the life, history and legends of the moor.

Mysterious Creatures of the New Forest
January 16th 2020

Bryan Pinchen

Bryan is an entomologist living in Hampshire.

Plant Hunters and Pioneers
February 20th 2020

Caradoc Doy

This is a welcome return of this horticulturist and authority on the history of the Veitch Nurseries of Exeter & Chelsea. This talk will give us a brief history of a remarkable nursery which sent 23 plant collectors to many countries, mainly during the Victorian period.  It highlights some of the well-known and interesting varieties introduced by the pioneering plant hunters who discovered many hundreds of new species. So successful were they that there is scarcely a garden in the British Isles that does not contain a plant derived from their introductions.

Gardening Club's AGM
March 19th 2020

Dahlias and Chrysanthemums
April 16th 2020

Bryan Madders

Dahlia and chrysanthemum expert Bryan Madders is a National Dahlia Society judge and Chairman of the New Forest & District Dahlia & Chrysanthemum Society. His illustrated talk will tell us how to successfully grow and propagate these plants that have such a profusion of colour, type and size. Bryan’s been growing dahlias and chrysanthemums for forty years.

Meetings Been and Gone

Growing Clematis Successfully by Marcus Dancer (April 2019)

Marcus Dancer is passionate about growing his own plants and enjoys propagating and producing his own stock where possible. He has been growing and producing clematis plants for 30 years.

His talk in April described the distinctive types of clematis, their flowering period, preferred soil and conditions, planting depths, feeding and pruning. Large photographs of individual flowers demonstrated the huge range of form and colour available throughout the seasons, a number of which are heavily scented.

Spectacular South African Flora by Rosemary Legrand (February 2019)

At the Club’s February meeting the Chairman announced that monies from the Plant stall at the Show on March 30th will be donated to Age Concern UK – Bridport branch.

Rosemary Legrand captivated members as she shared the wonderful sights and sounds of South Africa with music and vibrant  photographs. On a self drive tour, which began in Cape Town,and continued up the West coast, then south east through vast vineyards,to the Indian Ocean, concluding the holiday on safari in the Shamwari game reserve. Gardens visited varied from Nelson Mandela’s tiny plot on Robben Island to the vast Kirstenbosch gardens boasting 19,000 species.

Rosemary’s wonderful photography included miniature blooms rooted in improbable dry rock clefts, and huge swathes of glorious wild flowers, to the herd of elephants they chanced upon when rounding a bend in the safari park.

Whilst imparting her considerable botanical knowledge, Rosemary’s talk was also greatly enhanced by the many illustrations of the fauna, both birds and animals, which she delighted in sharing with us.

The Winter Garden by Roger Hirons (January 2019)

After a glorious sunset we met for our first meeting of 2019. Roger Hirons got us off to a wonderful start to the year speaking on “The Winter Garden”. Years of experience and study at such prestigious establishments as Pershore and Hilliers, came across in a tide of knowledge and enthusiasm for plants. Beginning with guide-lines on garden planning Roger used examples from his array of lovely plants to illustrate his points, showing large colourful photographs  portraying variants of evergreen foliage; flowers and berries produced; striking silhouettes of bare winter boughs; and stand-alone specimen trees.

Laughter was evoked when Roger enacted, with our chairman, a conversation between St. Francis and God, who had not understood the human obsession with lawns. St Francis explained “humans sow grass seed, pay to fertilise it, when it grows they cut it off and pay someone to take it away”. Hmm . . . point taken.