Events 2018-19

Below are details of this year’s programme of member events. Non-members are warmly welcomed at our events for a £3 fee each time, unless otherwise stated.

The venue for our meetings is Uplyme Village Hall, Lyme Road, Uplyme, Lyme Regis, DT7 3UY (unless otherwise specified).

Directions: the Village Hall is in Uplyme on the B3165 between Hunters Lodge and Lyme Regis. Driving from Hunters Lodge, the hall is on the right after the mini roundabout and the filling station. There is parking in front of or behind the hall.

For more details please call chairman Robin Britton on 01297 442794.

We also run an interesting programme of coach outings!

October 24th 2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Talk – ‘Japanese Gardens’ by distinguished speaker Nick Wray

Over a thousand years of gardening traditions have created a unique garden style that is far removed from to our western tastes in garden design and the choice of plants. This lecture looks at the history and evolution of Japanese gardening styles and highlights some of the key features and links between gardens and Japanese culture. The lecture focuses on gardens in Tokyo, Nara and the cultural capital city of Kyoto.

A short biography of Nicholas Wray MHort. RHS, F.I.CHort.

Nicholas Wray is a professional horticulturist and educator who has worked at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden for thirty two years. He has travelled widely studying plants in the wild, in particular the flora of South Africa. In 1992 he became a co-presenter on BBC Gardeners’ World working for three years alongside Geoff Hamilton. In 1998 he was appointed South African plant consultant to the Eden Project and in 2002 he became a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture. He is currently responsible for developing, and curating the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, the first new university botanic garden in Britain for over forty years. A former member of the RHS Tender and Ornamental Plant Committee and now member of the RHS Herb Advisory Group, he has judged at many RHS shows including Chelsea. In 2016 he was awarded the RHS Associate of Honour for services to horticulture and education. He lives with his wife Lisa and two children in Bristol.

November 28th 2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Society AGM followed by Talk ‘ Foraging from the Garden’ by Anne Swithinbank, horticulturalist, writer and broadcaster. Anne will be talking about how to turn your plot however small into a miniature forest garden with soft fruit, rhubarb, herbs, edible flowers and a few veg. Edibles are as ornamental as any other plant, especially purple-flowered and podded peas, rainbow chard and coloured kales. Anne will also talk on what she grows in her garden for culinary use and explain how this creates more relaxed planting which is wildlife friendly

December 12th 2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Event TBA

January 23rd 2019 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Talk  ‘Artificial Flowers – Past and Present’  by Jackie Nicholls

An entertaining light-hearted talk about artificial flowers – their history and how they are made, by Jackie Nicholls of Ashville Design near Chard.

Jackie is an award-winning floral designer, speaker, teacher and demonstrator.

In August 2016, at one of Europe’s biggest events, The Great Dorset Steam Fair – as seen on BBC One’s Countryfile by 6.7 million viewers – Jackie won the Rural Craft Marquee Audrey Lander Memorial Silver Salver for The Most Colourful and Artistic Craft Display. Her exhibit of artificial flower arrangements was chosen over hundreds of other exhibitors.

She was selected again to exhibit at the prestigious 2017 Taunton Flower Show and also at the Garden Festival at Forde Abbey.

In June 2017 at Axe Vale Gardening and Craft Festival, Axminster, Devon, her artificial floral display won first prize and a cup for the Best Craft Stand.

February 27th 2019  (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Talk ‘The Otters Return to Southern Britain’ by Graham Roberts

The talk will be split into three sections. The first will cover the ecology and distribution of otters both locally and nationally. The second stage will cover the demise and pressures on otters and the final section covers aspects of a conservation success story and the challenges this now presents for the future

Graham is a retired Ecologist and worked for 25 years for The Wildlife Trust in Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and the IOW. For many years he worked as a Water for Wildlife Officer promoting otter recovery in the South East of England. More recently, his remit broadened considerably into river and wetland habitat restoration and included national work on chalk rivers particularly.

March 27th 2019 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Demonstration ‘Hanging baskets and containers’

A practical ‘hands on’ demonstration of planting up containers and baskets.Talk TBA

April 24th 2019 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Talk ‘Plants of the Woodlands, Meadows and High Alpine Peaks of the Dolomites’ by Paul Cumbleton – a travelogue about a visit to the Dolomite Mountains in Italy made in 2016 and showing a selection of the plants and scenery encountered. Wherever possible Paul tries to link the plants shown in the wild with details about their cultivation in the garden so people can see how “growable” or not the plants are.

Paul Cumbleton was head of the Alpine Department at RHS Wisley Garden for 11 years before taking early retirement and escaping to the country in rural Somerset. He has grown alpines for over 30 years and also has particular interest in Pleione and the winter-growing South African Bulbs. He has written articles for the AGS journal, The Plantsman, The Garden magazine and other publications and his regular blog about his team’s work at Wisley was widely read and appreciated.

Past outings:

Wednesday January 24th 2018, 7.30pm

TALK by Terry Underhill ‘Bogs and Ponds: utilising wet areas’ – wildlife habitat and areas for interesting plants.

Terry Underhill is a broadcaster, qualified gardener -horticulturalist (practical and scientific) with a lifetime’s experience and interest in all aspects of gardening, natural history and the environment.  Terry says ‘A natural or man made pond is one of the most important habitats we can have in our gardens for wild life. Such an area when associated with boggy area allows gardeners to grow a wonderful range of spectacular and interesting plants.’

Wednesday February 28th 2018, 7.30pm

TALK by Helen Kearney ‘Hedgerow Medicine’.

Helen studied for a BSc in herbal medicine and lives on a 5.5 acre off-grid smallholding where she grows herbs and makes medicines and products for sale. Hedgerow medicine is a look at the uses of common plants growing in the hedges and edges, what you can make and what conditions it can be used to treat. Find out more at

Competition for summer show:

One potato tuber, grown in a container, both of which will be supplied by the Committee. The numbered container and potato will be available for purchase (£2.50) at the February meeting of the Society, and then from Committee members until all sold. No other containers will be acceptable. To be emptied at the show and judged on quality and weight.

Sponsored by River Cottage. Two Prizes will be awarded: one for the greatest weight of potatoes; the second for best quality crop, judged by Will Livingstone of River Cottage.

Wednesday March 28th 2018, 7.30pm

TALK & WORKSHOP – ‘Willow Weaving’ with Jennie Knight of JK Willows nr Axminster.

Jenny creates stunning bumble bees, dragonflies, snails and much more which she sells locally. She will show us how to make one of them from willow and help you create your own to take home. Please book your place (£2 for materials) by contacting Jenny Harding on 01297 444034 or and bring secateurs if possible.


Also at the March meeting will be the Chairman’s spring-flowering bulb competition. There are two classes:

  •  Pot or container of flowering bulbs, corms or tubers growing in the pot/container
  •  Vase/container of cut flowers grown from bulbs, corms or tubers

Bring along your entries on the night from 7pm.

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

Wednesday April 25th 2018, 7.30pm

TALK – ‘Gardening by the Moon’ by Stephanie Hafferty Stephanie is an organic ‘no dig’ kitchen gardener, chef and writer based in Somerset.

Gardening by the moon is as old as agriculture. The talk is a practical guide on how to include an awareness of the phases of the moon in your garden, including sowing, planting, harvesting and making beneficial garden potions. It includes the results of some of her experiments as well as some lunar gardening history and folklore. It isn’t about gardening in your pyjamas!

May 19th 2018 (Saturday) 9.30am -11.30am

Uplyme Village Hall Plant Sale & Coffee morning.

Donations please of plants and produce (cakes, jam, veg. etc) Entry £1. Contact 01297 444962 for more details.

May 23rd 2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Talk – ‘Square Metre Gardening’ by Claire Hart 

Claire will demonstrate that even with a tiny patch or perhaps just a patio- one can still grow veg sufficient for a family of four! She will cover the best veg to grow in confined spaces, look at crop rotation and talk about successional sowing as well as growing vertically.

June 27th 2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Talk – ‘Michaelmas Daisies’ by Helen Picton of Old Court Nurseries Malvern

Helen Picton is the third generation to manage  Old Court Nurseries, specialists in Michaelmas Daisies since it was set up in 1906 by Ernest Ballard. They grow over 400 varieties and are internationally renowned. The nursery regularly features on Gardener’s World. Helen will talk to us about Michaelmas daisies, their rise, fall and renaissance, and you’ll be able to buy plants.

See the Picton Garden here.

July 14th 2018 (Saturday) 1pm-5pm 

Summer Show and Country Fayre  

To be opened by well-known local gardener, broadcaster and writer Anne Swithinbank. Rose themed classes in the Horticultural Show, an audience with Anne Swithinbank (questions and answers), games, live music and entertainment, steam train rides, food and craft stalls, country skills demonstrations, sideshows, games, and refreshments. All afternoon on Uplyme playing field, in the big marquee and in the village hall. Details Robin Britton 01297 442794

Part Profits to Uplyme Village Hall and Hospice Care.

July 25th 2018 (Wednesday) 6.45pm

Evening Garden Visit  to ‘Prospect House’  Axminster.

Peter Wadely and Jo Fox will give a short Q and A on Salvias for which the garden is famous. Cost £5 to include refreshments. (Non members £8)

Depart in shared cars from Uplyme Village Hall at 6.45pm. Please ring Jenny Harding 444034 or email by July 18th to confirm.

August 1st  2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

‘Snakes Alive’ – Not photographs but the real thing!

Take a close up look with this talk and display of snakes and exotic reptiles by Chris Johnson of Animal Encounters.  All tickets £3.00  from Uplyme Post Office and RNLI Gift shop or ring Brian Cursley 07831 533580. Profits to Lifeboat Week.

17th August 2018 (Friday) 5.30pm

ULRHS Members BBQ by kind invitation of Bob and Shelagh Mercer 

Event postponed for family reasons – please check back in due course for a new date.

August 22nd 2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Talk – ‘From Plant to Plate’ by Sue Applegate of Hurst Brook Plants

‘From Plant to Plate’ is an illustrated talk of the work within the UK Fresh Produce Industry to supply Farm Assured food to Farmers Markets and Supermarkets. Challenges of the future such as Food Security to provide for a huge increase in World Population Growth, Climate Change and Efficient Management of Water are also identified. A selection of Seasonal, UK grown produce will be available for sale following the talk.

September 26th 2018 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Autumn Show and Harvest Supper

Bring and Share buffet supper. Show classes that celebrate the autumn harvest – produce, flowers, preserves and baking.  You can download the schedule here (PDF) – bring your entries along at 7pm.


Gardening, social events, shows, and visits in East Devon and West Dorset

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