Celebrating over 60 years of cultivating knowledge and friendship


Monday, 15 December 2008

Christmas Luncheon

A visit to St Johns Nursery Barnstaple for Coffee preceded the Christmas Luncheon held at The Imperial Hotel, Barnstaple.

After the meal we moved into the lounge for a festive prize draw and social chat:

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Christmas Social Evening

The Christmas Social & Prize giving evening was a great success at The New Hall.

The evening started with the tradional Quiz to guess who was who of the committee's baby photos was won by Peter Billing and caused great discussion and amusement.

The Best Decorated Parcel Competition was well supported and won by Mrs Pat Cyprus.

A box full of gifts were delivered to Age Concern, Tiverton the next day.

Runners up made by Rachael Hart & Emma Nichols

The Prize winners were given their cups and trophies by our President, Lady Amory.

After a scrumpious supper provided by Mrs Barbara Chamberlain, the entertainment was supplied by local barber shop quartet Inachord.

Here are some photos of members enjoying the proceedings.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Christmas Coffee Morning

Members and visitors enjoyed refreshments and chat at the Christmas Coffee Morning.

Sue taking a look at the things for sale

Carol, Mary & Olive ready for business!
Maggie selling bulbs for the Spring Flower Show's members competition

Thursday, 20 November 2008

November Talk

November saw John Langston & Mike Burgess from Secret Seeds of Cove give a new talk entitled Wildlife & Wildflowers in the Garden.

They explained that every garden needed "friends" to help create habitats and happy plant life. Using digital equipment they illustrated their talk with photographs taken on their travels and at Cove. Photos of amphibians like the common toads and frogs, water birds like the kingfisher and moorhens.

They said how they had developed a bog garden at Cove which was loved by the local wildlife. They explained how the good guys of the garden helped eliminate pests. The centipede, ladybird and hedgehog were all fine examples of the good wildlife found in the garden.

They told a story of how they had an unwelcome visitor in the form a roe deer had trampled the plants at the garden centre when he had come to see the willow deer that is on the grass verge next to the road by the entrance! Another time they had a visitor to the tea room - a tawny owl was found and the only way he could have gained entry was down the chimney.

One of the projects at the garden centre was the woodland garden which was being developed with plants for a source of nectar for insects. Bird boxes were erected but the birds seem to prefer to nest in the boxes near the buildings rather than in the woodland.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

With Sadness

It was with much sadness the Club learnt of the sudden death of our friend and regular coach driver on our garden visitis, Colin. We send our deepest condolences to Colin's family.
Pictured here with his coach on our tour of Scotland in June of this year. He brought much sunshine and fun to all our garden visits and he will be sadly missed.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Garden Visit to Westonbirt Arboretum

October's garden visit to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is one of the most spectacular tree gardens in the world. An historical collection of over 3,000 different trees and shrub species many of which are rare or endangered in their native lands. Covering six hundred acres, the arboretum is an inspiring place to relax, get back to nature and indulge your senses...

It was a fabulous day with the rain staying away until the journey home. The Acer Glade in particular was full of autumn colour.

The Arboretum hires out motorised wheelchairs for those who need help seeing all there is to see!

The colour of the leaves were a photographer's delight.
And so to the lovely tearoom for a piece of goey cake.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

October Talk

The October talk saw Roger Avery give a talk for the RSPB entitled "Birds, climate change and us". He started by discussing climate change and how it had been happening for hundreds of thousands of years and it was nothing new. He said that experts are divided as to whether it is man made. The impact is measured in changes in the cycles of sunspots. He explained how computer models are used to simulate reasons. Nature is not static and that the changes in numbers of birds, plants and animals occur over hundreds of years.

He illustrated his talk with a digital slide show. He showed photos various birds including the turtle dove and said that this birds are now rare in Devon but the reasons for this are unknown. Other garden birds are affected by the changes in gardening methods as the hobby increased in popularity since the 1950's. The increase in the use of slug pellets was a problem but as companies changed the formulation of slug pellets, the numbers of these birds are increasing again.

He said that it is not only bird numbers which are affected by climate change. The same applied to butterflies, lizards and hedgehogs. He did say that it is not all doom and gloom and that some changes are happening which will increase numbers of birds. Birds that now reside in southern Europe will eventually be seen more regularly in Britain. One of these birds will be the European Bee Eater. He finished by explaining how we can help that shifting distribution. He asked that we support organisations like the RSPB and support nature reserves which help create corridors for changing climates.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Garden Visit to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens Nr Romsey

September saw a visit to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey in Hampshire.

The gardens are named in memory of their founder, the late Sir Harold Hillier (1905-1985), a member of the nursery family. In June 1953, the Hillier family took up residence in Jermyn's House, and Sir Harold set about transforming the land around his home into the internationally renowned collection of hardy trees and shrubs we have today.

Members enjoyed the gardens on a day when the weather was at first over cast but brightened with the sunny intervals later in the day.

Over 200 sculptures were displayed within the Gardens in various shapes and sizes.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Autumn Show Results

The sight that greeted visitors to the New Hall on Saturday

The Garden Club Autumn Flower Show on Saturday at The New Hall beat the recent bad weather. A record number of entries from 48 exhibitors meant the hall was bursting with flowers and foliage. A wealth of visitors and members enjoyed the colourful array of entries in all sections, despite the storms of the last week. The judges commented on the high standard of the exhibits.

The results were as follows:

Jean Webb with her arrangement 'Emerald Celebrations'

Maureen Coldham with her arrangement 'Harvest Home'

In the Decorative Section the principal prizewinners were Jean Webb, Maggie Roberts, Ros Nichols, Tim Nichols and Maureen Coldham. Jean Webb won the Award of Merit for her ‘Emerald Celebrations’ exhibit depicting 55 years of the garden club. Maureen Coldham won the special award for the novice class ‘Harvest Home’.

The winners in the Childrens’ Sections were Hugo Crawford and Toby Crawford.

Monica Seatherton Award of Merit vase

In the Cut Flowers Section the principal prizewinners were Sue Gollop, Alby Berry, Ann Crawford, Jean Bennett, Mary Smith, Peter Billing and Diane Hollis, with Peter Billing winning the Award of Merit for a vase of mixed hardy perennials.

Peter Billing with his Merit winning vase

In the Shrubs and Trees Section the principal prizewinners were Monica Seatherton, Peter Billing, Angela Moore and Mary Smith with Monica Seatherton winning the Award of Merit for a vase of mixed flowering shrubs.

Peter Billing with his Heuchera

In the Pot Plant Section the principal prize-winners were Norah Mears, Peter Billing, Margaret Grose, Ann Crawford, Sue Gollop, Mary Coles, Jean Bennett, Jean Webb and Angela Moore with Peter Billing winning the Award of Merit for an unusual coloured heuchera.

Rachael Hart with her winning fuchsia

The Members Competition for a Fuchsia called Paula Jane, provided by the Club, was won by first time exhibitor Rachael Hart who won the Sue Gollop Trophy.

John Mears with his merit winning photograph

In the Photography Section the principal prizewinners were Angela Moore, John Mears and Norah Mears with John Mears, winning the Award of Merit with her photo of ‘A Window’.

Jean Webb's winning Jubilee collection

Finally, the Jubilee Class was won by Jean Webb with 27 points for a collection including a flower arrangement, a vase of mixed variegated shrubs and a photograph. Joint second was Peter Billing and Diane Hollis both with 24 points.

Helpers Sue Sharpin and Doreen Long with a scrummy collection of cakes

The Committee would like to thank the judges, Eddie & Pat Sherwood from Crediton for their time and hard work and all the helpers and exhibitors – new and old - for a top quality show.