Events 2020-21

Below are details of our programme of member events through to early 2021. 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 631850.

We also run an interesting programme of coach outings!


November 27th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
AGM followed by Talk ‘Natural Gardening’ by Brian Tomsett

– the history and application of “no-dig” and other non-traditional cultivation techniques for flowers, fruit and vegetables.

December 4th(Wednesday) 7.30pm
‘Social & Christmas Supper’ (bring and share)

Pre Christmas social. Find out what the society is up to for the coming year renew your membership (if you haven’t already) and sign up to forthcoming outings. Enjoy a light hearted quiz and bring and share supper. Bring along any unwanted seeds to swap with other members.

January 12th (Sunday) 3pm
Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis
Film – Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf is one of the most influential garden designers of the last 50 years. This documentary follows him over five seasons as he designed gardens from New York’s High Line and Hauser & Wirth’s prairie garden in Somerset to his own private garden at Hummelo in Holland.  Film length 75 minutes. Upstairs bar open 2-3pm, film starts at 3pm.

Ticket price £6 plus online booking fee of £1.06.  Visit https://tiny.cc/ulrhs-film to book. Members without internet access may call Tricia Boyd on 07767 261444.

January 22nd (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Cultivating beauty and function within the Organic Kitchen Garden’ by Will Livingstone

Born and raised in East Devon, Will’s energy for vegetable growing was sparked in the family allotment as a child. It continued to build through time at agricultural college and then over ten years at Park Farm, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ, with five years spent as Head Gardener.

He started Will Grow in 2018, to spread his passion for creating beautiful, organic spaces that are productive too. Veg growing of yesteryear was relegated to the margins and his quest is to bring it to the fore by encouraging the introduction (or reintroduction) of edible varieties within gardens and landscapes of all shapes and sizes.

February 26th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
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 where possible and is always interested in growing something different and unusual but garden worthy.

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.

March 25th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Star Plants for Small Gardens’ by Matthew Wilson

Garden Designer, regular panellist on Gardeners’ Question Time and former curator of RHS Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr – Matthew will be looking at great plants to create the biggest impact in even the smallest of spaces.

Matthew Wilson is an award-winning garden and landscape designer, writer, radio and television broadcaster and lecturer. He has extensive garden design experience having worked on a wealth of projects – from small urban gardens to masterplanning estates. After spending ten years with the RHS as curator of Hyde Hall Garden, he became RHS Head of Gardens Creative Design. At the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show his ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’ garden won the prestigious People’s Choice Award.

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.

April 22nd (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘British Owls, their Natural History and Practical Conservation’ by Chris Sperring (with live owl!)

Chris Sperring is a professional wildlife conservationist working for Hawk and Owl Trust. He also presents and broadcasts on TV and radio, lectures on a wide range of subjects, is a wildlife photographer, and writes articles for magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he studies and conserves even more wildlife, writes music as a guitarist for the environment/wildlife rock band Raptor and always enjoys a good debate!

Also at the April meeting will be the Chairman’s spring flower competition. There are two classes:

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

Bring along your entries on the night from 7pm.

May 16th (Saturday) 9.30am -11.30am
Plant Sale & Coffee Morning

Raising funds to support our events. Please bring donations of plants or home produce (cakes, jam, veg) to sell.

Cost £1. Contact Robin Britton on 01297 631850 for more details.

May 27th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Nature in the Garden’ by Paul Rendell

Paul Rendell, also known as ’Dartmoor Paul’, was Head Gardener at Devonport Dockyard but his love for Dartmoor led him to look for work away from the city. His boyhood explorations had already provided him with a knowledge of the moor that only a few possess and his interest led to a second job: leading guided walks and giving talks.

Paul has been a Dartmoor National Park Guide for over 21 years and is a member of the Moorland Guides. He has written three books about Dartmoor and is currently working on his fourth.

His talk ‘Nature in the Garden’ will look some of the wildlife that can be found in your garden, and explains what is good, what is bad and how you can help to keep the good wildlife. Paul’s books will be on sale.

June 24th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Unusual Herbaceous Perennials’ by Peter Cantrill

Peter from Dayspring Nursery, Exeter, supplies plants to National Trust gardens and has a lifetime’s experience in the business. His horticultural knowledge is second to none, and he will bring a selection of his favourite seasonal plants from his nursery and tell us all about how to grow them. Peter will also bring a selection of plants to buy at the end of his talk.

July 11th (Saturday) 1pm – 5pm Summer Flower and Produce Fayre

Lavender-themed classes in the Horticultural Show, games, live music and entertainment, steam train rides, family dog show, 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 631850.

July 29th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk & Display ‘Snakes Alive!’ by Dave Marsh

Take a close-up look at these compelling serpents in this talk and display of snakes and exotic reptiles by Dave Marsh of World Life. All tickets £3.00 from Uplyme Post Office and RNLI Gift shop or ring Brian Cursley 07831 533580. Profits to Lifeboat Week.

August 26th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Carnivorous Pitcher Plants’ by Suzanne Gale

Bridport Fly Catchers grow mainly American pitcher plants (Sarracenia) and sundews – plants that look fabulous and do a good job catching all types of flies. They attend many local shows and fairs and have several medals for their displays. Suzanne will cover the history and cultivation of these plants and how useful they can be to the organic gardener. Plants for sale.

September 23rd (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Head Gardeners’ by Ambra Edwards

Ambra Edwards is a Garden writer and journalist. This talk, based on her award-winning book ‘Head Gardeners’, examines the role of the Head Gardener. If gardens are, as Ambra suggests, our greatest contribution to world culture, why is the crucial contribution of the people who look after them not more widely acknowledged? Ambra introduces us to some of the most interesting gardeners working in Britain today – wondering why these people are so little known and so under-appreciated, particularly when their jobs demand such an extraordinary variety of skills. She also looks at the critical role head gardeners have played in Britain’s history – not just as artists, designers and engineers, but in underpinning the social fabric of their times. Her talk is illustrated with many wonderful photographs taken by Charlie Hopkinson.

October 28th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Autumn Show and Harvest Supper

Show classes that celebrate the autumn harvest – produce, flowers, preserves and baking. Judging in most classes by popular vote and not by Royal Horticultural Society rules.  Bring and share supper. Further details to follow.

November 25th (Wednesday) 7.30pm
AGM followed by Talk ‘Heritage Vegetables’ by Sally Nex

Heritage vegetables have been handed down from generation to generation, rich with history and sometimes with some quirky stories attached too. This talk explores the wonderful history, flavours and stories behind our oldest vegetable varieties, and looks at what exactly we mean by a ‘heritage’ vegetable: superior flavour? a good story? or something else altogether?

Sally started growing her own veg over 20 years ago with a few bean plants in a city garden and graduated on to an allotment. Here she found she was able to feed her family of four most of the year round. Sally now gardens an acre of windy hillside in Somerset, which includes a kitchen garden and a small flock of Dorset Down, a rare breed of sheep. Sally, who writes regular slots in The Gardeners’ World magazine, The Gardener and The Guardian, will be imparting her expert knowledge on heritage vegetables.

December 16th(Wednesday) 7.30pm
‘Social & Christmas Supper’

Pre-Christmas social. Find out what the society is up to for the coming year, renew your membership (if you haven’t already) and sign up to forthcoming outings. Enjoy a light-hearted quiz and bring and share supper.

January 27th  2021 (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Revive your Garden’ by Nick Bailey

Garden Designer, regular presenter on BBC2’s Gardeners World, author, speaker and former Head Gardener at London’s famous Chelsea Physic Gardener- Nick will talk about ’How to breathe life, style and good health back into tired gardens’. Tickets: members £5, Non-members £8. Bookings Sue Hadcock 01404 831942.

After studying horticulture at Hadlow College and achieving a 1st class honours degree in Landscape Design from Greenwich University, Nick has worked across many sectors of horticulture over the last 25 years, including nursery stock production, garden management, garden design, teaching, public speaking, writing and broadcasting. He currently has regular columns in BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine and Garden News and has written 3 books – the third being ‘Revive Your Garden’ published in 2018.

Nick is currently a regular presenter on BBC2’s Gardeners’ World. Other broadcasting work includes BBC2’s Great British Garden Revival and Big Dreams Small Spaces, as well as BBC1’s The One Show and BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme.

His work has taken him all over the world including designing and managing gardens in the UK, Spain, South Africa and Australia. Nick was also Head Gardener for London’s famous Chelsea Physic Garden, where he redesigned the gardens and diversified the plant collection.

February 24th 2021 (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘All about Watervoles and Mink – Uncomfortable Bedfellows’ by Graham Roberts

After his excellent talk on otters in 2019, we welcome Graham back.

Graham is a retired ecologist and worked for 25 years for The Wildlife Trust in Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and the Isle of Wight, for many years as a Water for Wildlife Officer promoting otter recovery in the South East of England. In more recent years the remit broadened considerably into river and wetland habitat restoration and included national work on chalk rivers.

March 24th 2021 (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘Plastics, there’s a great future in plastics!’ by Robin Britton

How plastics have transformed our world but helped the human race to foul its own nest, as well as the nests of many other species.

The story can be summarised with the famous quote from The Graduate – “Plastics, there’s a great future in plastics!”. Robin will talk about how plastics were the wonder materials of the 1970s and 80s, and how their growth has been spectacular – but our inability to clean up our own litter has brought down anger on a group of materials that still fulfil many vital roles in our lives. Robin’s talk will take us through that history and how all our lives are affected – and how we can learn to live with plastics in the future. As befits a Horticultural Society, he will cover the significant impact of plastics on the industry, and how things are developing towards a more environmentally friendly future – there is still a great future in plastics, but rather different from the one foreseen in 1970.

April 28th 2021 (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk by Lyme Regis Town Millers

The Millers will discuss the restoration of the wooden water wheel, and how grain is turned into flour at the mill. Flour and kits for sale.

June 23rd  2021 (Wednesday) 7.30pm
Talk ‘The Scented Garden’ by Jeremy Wilson

Jeremy Wilson is a life-long professional gardener, working as head gardener in many parts of England before settling in Kingsbridge where he runs a camellia nursery. Fragrant plants are top of his ‘must-have’ lists. His talk concentrates on more unusual varieties, and on his own favourites. Plants will be for sale.

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

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