Time to think about getting ready for the Show!

Our major event of the year – time to start thinking about your entries!

Have you remembered the 2018 Summer Show and Country Fayre?

On Saturday July 14th from 1pm-5pm 

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, ponies and llamas, 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.

Download the schedule here (PDF file) or visit the show page for more information

Part Profits to Uplyme Village Hall and Hospice Care.

summer show poster 2017


Upottery Open Gardens, 1 July 2018

Open Gardens Upottery Sunday 1st July 2pm to 6pm.

Entry to 6 gardens £5 per person.  Plant sale, teas, ice creams.

Tickets and maps and parking at The Manor Room (Upottery Village Hall EX14 9PL).

Free taxi service between gardens.

Proceeds to Manor Room Building and Improvement Fund.

Cerne Abbas Open Gardens, 16-17 June 2018

An invitation to members:

“On the afternoons of 16th and 17th June we will be opening about 25 private gardens to raise money for our local Cerne Valley Scout Group and for Dorset County Hospital Cancer Appeal. Gardens will be open from 2-6pm.

There is good free parking (DT2 7GD) open from 11am, excellent plant stall and teas available in the church and from village businesses. Adult tickets (allowing entry to all gardens) are £7 and accompanied children are free. This is a wonderful opportunity to share our historic village and we hope you will be able to attend this quintessential English Event.”

Find out more: http://www.cerneabbasopengardens.org.uk/

Garden Competition, May 2018

The Dorset Wildife Trust says:

Currently our 2018 WILDLIFE FRIENDLY GARDEN COMPETITION is open for entries until the END OF MAY 2018 and I wondered if members would like to enter?

The competition is FREE to enter and  the application form can be found online here: https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife_gardening_competition-2018.html

All you have to do is tell us about your garden or community space and if you can, send us some pictures too!

There are several categories available to enter: Large, Medium, Small, Rented or Community. We are also looking out for new, innovative ways to do things in the garden!

Once you enter we will get in touch  to give you a date when our judges will visit you to score your garden. We give feedback to all gardens once the competition is finished.

The competition is sponsored by the GARDENS GROUP and will culminate in an AWARDS EVENING AT CASTLE GARDENS, SHERBORNE IN JULY which every competition applicant is invited to. Winners of each category will receive a wooden winner’s plaque and a bag of goodies from the Gardens Group.

This year our speaker at the awards evening is  NEIL LUCAS from KNOLL GARDENS talking about his experience of wildlife friendly or ‘naturalistic’ gardening at Knoll Gardens. Neil is the leading expert in grasses in the UK and has been on the committee for the RHS for a number of years and is sure to give an entertaining talk!

A special garden open in Musbury, 12-13 May

The garden at Musbury  Barton, near Axminster, EX13 8BB will be open on Saturday and Sunday, May 12th. and 13th., from 2.p.m to 5.p.m. in aid of Send a Cow.   (www.sendacow.org)   The garden was started in 1947 and has been developed ever since. Trees and shrubs are well established – some of them rare and unusual.  The garden has never been professionally designed. It has grown and changed  to suit the owners’ tastes.  It aims to provide colour and interest all the year.

There will be Teas on the Terrace and plants for sale.  This is a glorious, five acre garden in a wooded valley complete with stream.   Due to its steep paths and steps, wheelchair access is limited to the terrace from which there are fine views of much of the garden.

3 miles S of Axminster off A358. Turn E into village, follow yellow arrows. Garden next to church, parking for 12 cars, otherwise park on road in village.   Entry £5 – under 14s Free.   Dogs on leads welcome.


 It is 30 years since the first load of 25 pregnant cows were put on an aircraft and sent to Uganda where they began what has become the massive transformation of the lives of over 1 million people.   The charity has changed and developed over the years but the core value of giving a Hand Up – not a Hand Out has never changed.   As part of our celebrations of this anniversary we have several fund raising events arranged here, in Devon, where it all began in a Lapford farmhouse.

We don’t ask communities what they need – we ask what they’ve got. We help them identify and value resources they already have: their land, their families, their communities and capacities. Together, communities build a vision of a better future. Then, through training in farming, and by tackling social issues such as gender inequality, we enable them to acquire both the hope and the skills to get there. We are well known for delivering distinctive programmes that blend gender equality and social development training, alongside farming systems and business development.

For more information about Send a Cow visit www.sendacow.org

Meet the Plant Doctor, 12 May

Roger Hirons will be talking about

‘Steps to make the garden easier, giving you more time to enjoy it’

r hirons

Roger Hirons

Roger Hirons is The Plant Doctor.  Dorset born and bred, he has over 35 years’ experience in the horticultural industry and is a popular and enthusiastic speaker and broadcaster on all things plant-related.  Originally qualified at Pershore College of Horticulture, he spent many years running plant centres.

As well as practical and labour-saving ideas he will bring plants that will help you achieve good results with minimum effort. Some plants will be for sale after his talk.

At Chideock Village Hall, Saturday 12th May, 7.15 for 7.30 start

All welcome – members £4.00, non-members £6.00

A joint event by Chideock Society and Chideock Village Hall. We advise that cars are parked in the village car park next to the village shop and pedestrian crossing, or in North Road by the church, as there is no car park at the Village Hall.

Don’t lose touch!


In May 2018, new EU privacy regulations are being introduced to tighten up on how your data is used and it affects the newsletters you receive from us. As a result of this we need to make sure we are sending you our newsletters with your explicit consent.

If you don’t want to miss out on Horticultural Society news, please click the link in the April newsletter to confirm and/or update your email preferences. You will be able to opt in or out of our mailings or change your email address. Please remember that you can always unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of any of our newsletters.

If you take no action, you will stop receiving our newsletter after May 2018. We hope you take a few moments to review your email preferences.

Early spring news from the Chairman

Following on from the appropriately themed ‘Bog Gardens’ talk at one of the wettest times of the year, we offer you this engaging speaker:

Wednesday February 28th at 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 www.elderfarm.co.uk

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.

Future dates for your diary:

  • Our first outing is on March 13th (Tuesday) to NT Killerton, Exeter.
  • Wednesday March 28th 2018 at  7.30pm – TALK & WORKSHOP – ‘Willow Weaving’ with Jennie Knight of JK Willows nr Axminster. You need to book for this one! Includes the Chairman’s spring-flowering bulb competition.

See the Events and Outings pages on the web site for more details.

Special offer for Society members

Ashridge Nurseries are currently offering a 10% discount for members of gardening clubs, groups, and horticultural societies. Why not visit the Ashridge website for a lot of useful advice about all manner of gardening topics, as well as your chance to save?

The 10% discount code is HORT10 (you can enter this at the checkout stage).