2019 Calendar


Tuesday  April  9th,  7.30 pm  Bradfield Village Hall   

This year we start our season off with a talk from Derry Watkins. Many of you will remember her from our visit to her garden and nursery in 2016 and a number will be reminded of it by the wonderful and interesting plants that they bought. The inspirational garden that she has created on a hillside just north of Bath is in some ways more evocative of the Mediterranean and Southern Hemisphere than its Wiltshire location implies. This is because Derry loves to travel and collect plants from different countries. The fact that she then finds out which ones will succeed can give confidence to those who want to follow her ideas.  Her talk is on New Plants Introduced from Around the World, and you can see more about her garden at https://www.specialplants.net/about-the-garden/.

The added incentive to come to this opening meeting (if one were needed!) is that she will be bringing plants, seeds and accessories from her Special Plants Nursery for the sales tables. Her catalogue is at https://www.specialplants.net/plant-catalogue/


Tuesday  May  14th,  7.30 pm  Bradfield Village Hall

This month we have Helen Picton coming to talk on Daisy Days. Helen gained a first class honours degree in Botany at Reading University before returning to the family business at Old Court Nurseries. This is the leading nursery growing  Asters – more commonly known as Michaelmas Daisies. They have specialised in breeding and growing these spectacular autumn flowering plants for over 100 years and with three generations of the family. As holders of the National Plant Collection of Asters at the Picton Garden there is no one better qualified to come and extol the beauty and joy of growing these plants that will extend the season of interest in your garden.

Helen will be bringing plants from Old Court Nurseries and says that it is the perfect time for planting asters! See http://www.autumnasters.co.uk/ for more.


Tuesday  June  11th,  7.30 pm  Bradfield Village Hall

Matt Biggs is paying us a return visit for our June meeting. As one of the regular panellists on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time he needs little introduction. He trained at Pershore College and Kew Gardens and has been involved with a number of TV gardening programmes as well as writing books. His subject is Lessons from Great Gardeners which promises to unlock the secrets gained from some of the best garden practitioners throughout history. His latest book Lessons from Great Botanists has just been published.

Plants will be provided by a regular to us, Paul Barney of Edulis Plants. This is one of our local specialist nurseries located near Pangbourne. He has been to us on a number of occasions before, and always brings an interesting and varied selection of plants. For full details about the nursery, look on his website, https://www.edulis.co.uk/

Thursday June 20th

MAIN COACH OUTING.      Departing Bradfield Village Hall 9.20am. Cost £30

Weir House, Old Alresford, Hants. This is a spectacular riverside garden with a sweeping lawn backed by old walls, yew buttresses and mixed perennial beds. There is also a contemporary garden around the pool area, a bog garden, a vegetable garden and wilder walkways through the wooded areas. Bring your own flask of coffee for morning refreshments and a picnic lunch which we can eat in the garden. The NGS listing can be found at https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/14406/ if you would like to see more.

After lunch we will go on to Sandhill Farm the home and garden of Andy McIndoe who gave an inspiring talk to us last June. He says, “Our garden is around 2 acres in area, a sloping hillside on light, slightly acidic, sandy soil. The planting is naturalistic with a large area of meadow and a wide variety of trees, shrubs and perennials.  We are particularly proud of our flowering dogwoods which are a wonderful sight in early summer.” When we get there Andy will give a guided tour round the garden and there will be tea and cakes before we leave. His website is at http://www.andymcindoe.com/visit-us/

We should be back at the Village Hall by 6.00 pm.


Tuesday  July  9th,  7.30 pm  Bradfield Village Hall

We have a change of speaker this month: Timothy Walker will be giving a talk on South African plants, entitled “From Diaz to Diamonds” – it’s about the Western Cape region, and Namibia.

Englefield Garden Centre http://englefieldgardencentre.co.uk/ will be providing the plant tables for this month so it will be an opportunity to fill any gaps that you might have.


Thursday July 25th or Friday July 26th    –   cost £10 including guided tour and homemade tea and cakes.  Meet at 5.00 pm

Venue Old Camps, Headley.  https://www.oldcamps.co.uk/ We have booked both evenings as there is a limit of 30 per visit. Use own transport but please share cars where possible. If you are travelling from Newbury along the A339, once you are in Headley, turn left immediately after Headley Tyres and before the central traffic island onto a gravel track. Take the right-hand track and drive to the end through the gates and into Old Camps.

This garden featured on Gardeners’ World in September 2018. It is a breathtaking garden set over an acre, which benefits from panoramic views of Watership Down. Surprises await, ranging from traditional herbaceous borders through desert/prairie planting, an enchanted knot garden, potager to exuberant subtropical schemes; featuring bananas, cannas, hedychiums and more. Enjoy teas surrounded by brugmansia, figs and citrus.


Tuesday  August  13th,  7.30 pm  Bradfield Village Hall

For our final talk of the season we welcomeback Marcel Floyd. He is a flamboyant personality and a dynamic speaker who will be talking to us on Climbers. He comes from Floyd’s Climbers and Clematis Nursery http://www.floydsclimbers.co.uk/ and is an expert on any vertical planting, and this talk should be a real inspiration on how to maximise the use of space in your garden.

He will also be bringing plants to sell so if you missed him at the Hampton Court Flower Show you will have an opportunity to find something to cover that wall or tree or trellis!


Tuesday 10th September,  5.30 pm

Members’ Only Garden Party.  

This will be at Winchcombe Farm, by kind invitation of Nick & Laurie LeRougetel.

As well as the social aspect of our end of season gathering the garden has a wide range of interesting plants that have been chosen with a plantsman’s eye.

Entrance is by pre-ordered ticket, cost £3.  Drinks and refreshment will be provided.

Parking is available but members are requested to car share where possible.