Blow away those winter blues

Snowdrops galore!

Colesbourne Park was the destination for our first, early trip of the year. More than 40 members enjoyed the fantastic mass planting of special snowdrop cultivars, along with other early spring planting. It was really good to be able to speak with the members of the Elwes family, who have gardened there since 1789, and their head gardener. Despite being sandwiched between Storms Ciara and Dennis, we enjoyed good, if windy, weather. Plenty of snowdrops were on sale and many of us brought some back, although I think most of us managed to resist the £120 ones!

What’s on next?

Our next event is on February 26th (Wednesday) at 7.30pm – a talk ‘How to grow Clematis Successfully’ with pruning demonstration by Marcus Dancer. Marcus will talk about all the different groups that make up the Clematis family and culminate the talk by looking at pruning in detail with a pruning demo. Plants for sale.
Marcus trained at Hillier Nurseries and has been growing and producing clematis plants for 20 years. He enjoys propagating and producing his own stock and is always interested in growing something different but garden-worthy.

Competition for summer show: One potato tuber, grown in a container, both of which will be supplied by the Committee. Available for purchase (£2.50) at the meeting.

Our next coach trip is on March 10th (Tuesday), departing at 8.15am from the village hall car park to Lanhydrock, Bodmin. This Cornish garden boasts beautiful herbaceous borders, a fabulous formal parterre and colourful gardens filled with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. Also, discover two sides of Victorian life: from the kitchens, nurseries and servants’ quarters, which offer a thrilling glimpse into life ‘below stairs’, to the luxurious family areas, elegant dining room and spacious bedrooms which reveal the comforts of ‘upstairs’ living. Restaurants/shop/plant centre/picnic areas.
Cost NT Members £18 Non NT £25. Please ring Annie Kobus 01297 443346 to book.

Dates for your diary:

March 25th (Wednesday) 7.30pm Talk ‘Star Plants for Small Gardens’ by Matthew Wilson – one of our big events which are always very popular, so make sure you book! Matthew is a Garden Designer, regular panellist on Gardeners’ Question Time and former curator of RHS Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr.
Ticket cost: members £5, non-members £8. Bookings Sue Hadcock 01404 831942.

Plug plants will be available to grow on for the Summer Show at the March and April meetings.

Coach trip April 7th (Tuesday) departing at 9.15am from the village hall car park to Minterne Gardens & NT Max Gate. On this double trip, see the gardens at Minterne landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown with a unique collection of Himalayan rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as many fine and rare trees. Small café/restaurant or bring a picnic. Then we visit Max Gate in Dorchester, designed and lived in by Thomas Hardy and his wife. He created a vegetable garden, flowerbeds, a croquet lawn and nut walk, and a pet cemetery. Self-serve refreshments.
Cost NT Members £15 Non NT £20. Please ring Jo Neave 01404 831942 to book.

Jenny Knight (who has demonstrated for the society) is running two willow weaving workshops at the Old Bakery in Branscombe. You can make a dragonfly or alternative decoration, and the price is £35 including all materials, tuition and tea/coffee. The workshops run from 2-5 and 6-9pm on Thursday 26th March. Booking in advance (please email