February AGM

Tuesday 2nd February 2016

A warm welcome to all our members was given by Jenny Padfield to start our new gardening club year. We were given a lovely reminder of all the wonderful speakers, trips and activities we had over the course of 2015 from Mick Poultney’s compost tips, Foraging, Invasive Species and garden history with Nathalie Mignotte to trips to the Bristol Botanics, The Lavender Farm all ending in our alternative Christmas gathering!

Jenny had prepared the accounts for the year with her usual eye to detail, with every penny accounted for and balancing. If anyone would care to view the accounts they are more than welcome. It was noted that membership levels are down and this needs addressing if we are to go on, but our visitor numbers are up. The plant sale was a huge success and we are looking forward to doing it again this year on 8th May. Another point made was that speakers fees are steadily increasing with travel costs being the most increased cost. It was observed that we need to ensure a balance in our spending month on month to keep a healthy bank balance, but also agreed that the club money should be used for the club as much as possible rather than gathering interest in the bank.

An interesting point was made, that in order to be more attractive to a wider audience we could alter the name of the club to The South Bristol Gardening Club. This was met with much approval and will hopefully help our drive for new members.

Many thanks are given to Jenny Padfield and Celia Williams who after years of service have stepped down from the organising team. They have really done an incredible job over the past few years, facing some challenges and giving us all the benefit of their time and efforts, and all our thanks go out to them.

We welcome back Wendy Desyllas, who has been on the organising team for a year now, and new team members Elaine Beckett who will become our Treasurer and Elizabeth Jackson who will be helping out as well.

Sadly, Emma Moore from the Calendula Project couldn’t join us in person but sent a wonderful update about the project and some of us will be looking forward to joining in with the project once again this year. If you want to put your name forward to grow some seeds on then please let Wendy know asap on wendy@frisbeecreative.co.uk

Our own Matthew Symonds gave us an update on the success of the European Green Capitol 2016. The Bedminster Secret Gardens was a roaring success and is scheduled for 2 dates again this year. Some gardens from last year will be open again with another 50% of previously unseen secret gardens being added to the list. £1200 was raised by the scheme last year which enabled the planting of a community orchard opposite Dean Lane Swimming Pool. Look out for more information and if you would like to get involved either contact Matthew through the club or leave him a message at the Southville Centre. It has also been confirmed that the Good Garden Awards will be going ahead again this year, with us all striving to get an award as a thankyou from the team encouraging us to keep our front gardens looking beautiful. Patchwork group are getting together to transform the disused church entrance on North Street to create a parklet!

If you haven’t seen, we have a new tea rota for this year with many gaps, so please could you put your name down to help if possible.

Many thanks to you all and see you in March!

February 4, 2016 at 7:23 pm Leave a comment

Christmas social

We are all getting very excited about our gathering on Tuesday as it looks set to be lots of fun. The mulled wine is brought, the quiz set and the craft project planned! We may even put on some christmas jingles to get you all in the mood!

Hope we will see you all there to celebrate the end of another great gardening year!

November 25, 2015 at 4:24 pm 1 comment

We are now up and tweeting!

We have now got ourselves on to Twitter so head over for all things gardeny!

October 24, 2015 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

Email problems

We have just realised that the email address we have been using no longer exists! Sorry if you have had a frustrating time trying to contact us, we are now up and running again with southvillegardeningclub@gmail.com!

October 23, 2015 at 8:16 am Leave a comment

November is coming!

Our club night on Tuesday 3rd November is going to be a good one as we are being joined by no other than Sally Gregson. Sally has a well known garden in Wookey, near Wells and has published several books. She will be telling us of Shady Ladies and Damp Damsels for you tricky garden areas where sunlight is in short supply.

Hope to see you there – tea and chat after of course!

October 22, 2015 at 6:42 pm 2 comments

Here comes the frost!

We were a very select group who greeted Jane Moore, head gardener at the Bath Priory Hotel, this month but what a great evening we had. It did feel a little early to be welcoming the winter garden but with the colder evenings, Jane’s expertise really did get us in the mood. We are welcoming a bumper year for berries in the garden, if her garden is anything to go by, and the look of her national cotinus collection backdropping wonderful mounds of frost covered shrubs really has given us a new found fervour for the frosty mornings. Although not many of us could grow something as grand as her Liquid Amber the ideas she shared for using grasses and more contained trees with interesting bark are achievable even on a balcony! I will be looking into the maples and birches next time I have a gap. She left us with the wise words that the key elements to her idea of a great winter garden are Dogwoods, Hellebores and Snowdrops, and hopefully some of us will make the pilgrimage to visit her garden on the NGS open day in April.

Margaret had kindly set up the room for us and although we were missing the wonderful cakes usually provided by Jenny we managed to struggle on with shop brought!

We really do need to focus on getting our member numbers growing as well as our gardens are, as at the moment with current numbers our little club isn’t going to be sustainable for very long. Posters will be coming with Wendy next month so if you could think of somewhere to share them that would be great, and keep mentioning us to everyone you know in the green fingered community. It really would be a shame to lose such a lovely group where we can share our passion no matter what your experience.

Next month Sally Gregson, who has a well known garden in Wookey, near Wells, and has published several books, will be telling us all about Damp Damsels and Shady Ladies. Useful for those tricky garden areas where sunlight is in short supply.

Hope you all are enjoying the early autumn colour and last shows of warm sunshine. See you all hopefully at the next club night.

Jenny, Wendy and Celia.

October 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

September News Letter!

In spite of my typo in the programme 15 or so of us assembled to welcome Nathalie Mignotte who was returning to share with us her knowledge and images of mediaeval gardens. Obviously the images were taken from paintings and tapestries of the day as none of the gardens have survived. Nathalie told us of the three main types of garden, the Hortus Conclusus, the enclosed garden; the Hortus Delicarum, the garden of pleasure and the Hortus Monastic, where the culinary and medicinal plants and cloisters were to be found in and around the monasteries of the period. Any of the gardens must have been a welcome retreat from the strife and upheaval of the time, carefully hedged around with the plentiful hazel used for hedging. We were all intrigued by the horticultural evidence from the art of the day, and definitely felt the connection with our own gardening efforts when we recognised current varieties. I just wish my school history had been as engaging as Nathalie’s presentations.

Margaret had kindly set up the room for us and Elizabeth and Elaine helped with teas and the door, so thank you to all of them. Colin was pleased to have some spring bulbs to plant after winning the raffle.

Wendy also reminded us that at this time of year we are looking to next year’s programme so if there are any special topics you’d like covered please let one of the team know so we can do our best to accommodate it. The programme is well under way, so there should be lots of fresh interest. She also mentioned the Bee and Pollination Festival at the Botanic Gardens, so hopefully some of you made it there. I went on Sunday and it was a great event on a lovely sunny day, which made a very pleasant change, given the recent temperatures.

Next month we meet Jane Moore who is head gardener at Bath Priory Hotel and will be giving us the benefit of her years of experience in keeping an all-round garden in good shape. We have to thank Matthew for this introduction, so we shall be especially pleased to welcome her. I shan’t be able to join you in October but look forward to seeing you all again before too long.

I met Ann at the Long Ashton Flower Show (wonderfully eccentric, local flower shows) and was pleased to find her looking well after her absence from club.

Enjoy your autumn efforts in the garden, I shall be wrapping up well I think and soon doing battle with leaves.

Jenny, Wendy and Celia.

September 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

July 2015 Newsletter

I know we didn’t have our usual form of meeting this month, but we have nonetheless been very active in pursuing our gardening interests.

A good number of us assembled for the tour of the University Botanic Gardens on our July club night, and we were well entertained. Derek, our tour guide, bravely took on a group much larger than he normally led but I think he was reassured by our sedate behaviour on assembly and set off with confidence. Those of us who hadn’t been there since the last club visit recognised huge progress in the garden’s development, and in spite of the almost arctic temperature (ok, I may be exaggerating but it was pretty chilly for July) we had an engrossing trip round the garden, through the evolution dell, pollinating systems, Chinese medicine and all our native and exotic favourites. Our visitors had a good evening too, and felt welcomed and included, and that’s credit to all our lovely members.

The botanic gardens will be hosting the Bee Festival again this year, which celebrates the value of bees and their role in pollination. It’s always a terrific event, so make a note in your diaries for the weekend of 5/6th September. There will be plant nurseries, bee keeping, honey products and a great deal more.

Our trip on Sunday 19th was blessed with much better weather than anticipated, which helped make it a good day out. Kilver Court is almost on our doorstep but few of us had visited; it is a great surprise and delight, tucked away behind the designer village with its over-the-top wares. The little plant centre had some interesting and less common plants, so it would have been rude not to buy at least one!

We remembered Judith Green from her club talk a couple of years ago, and the lavender farm itself did not disappoint. The rolling fields of lavender were beautiful and the whole area suffused with the scent. The legendary lavender cake and lavender shortbread went down a treat and I think quite a few of us bought some lavender goodies in her little shop. It’s free entry for anyone who wants to go back, her tour costs £2 so it’s a bargain all round.

Thanks to the plant sale we all had a fairly low-cost day out, and the club subsidised to the tune of £208, a little more than anticipated as we didn’t fill the coach, but we’ve saved money on speakers this year so there are no financial concerns. That included a tip for Mike the driver, as I was too distracted to send an envelope round; no need to reimburse.

As you know we don’t meet in August, so the team wish you all a lovely summer in your gardens, and see you in September. I shall remind you nearer the time.

Best wishes to Ann and Hazle who are both under the weather, we wish you both well.

Very best wishes

Jenny, Celia and Wendy.

July 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Lets Go Forage!

It’s club night tomorrow night and we have a great speaker again this month!

Martin from Go Forage is going to share his wealth of knowledge on urban foraging to help us identify all the tasty tit bits we are currently weeding out and composting unaware of the culinary bounty we are missing!

Come along and find out more then stay and chat with a cup of tea and piece of cake (no weeds included!)

June 1, 2015 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Botanic Garden Visit!

An extra bonus for July!

As well as our trip out on July 19th we have arranged a visit with a tour to the wonderful Bristol Botanic gardens on July 7th, our club night. The trip is completely free for members and only £6 for non-members so let us know if you want to come and we will book you on. Spaces are limited so let us know as soon as possible!

May 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment

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