Meetings & Events





At present we do not know when we will be able to meet again in person, so I have had to change some of the speakers round and the first 4 Meetings will be on Zoom and will be free to all members, their friends and visitors. The Links for the Zoom Meetings will be emailed to members

FRIDAY, 5th MARCH –Ms Christine Bartlett, Orchidmania, The Early Plant Hunters
This will begin at 7.15 for a 7.30 start.

Ms. Christine Bartlett started her private collection of over 200 orchids about 12 years
ago with just one or two as houseplants. Since then she has progressed to growing
many different species in greenhouses. Christine is a member of the Orchid Society of
Great Britain and for many years she chaired the South East Orchid Society (who
meet in Ashford). She trained with the British Orchid Council, learning how to judge
and is now qualified to judge at shows. She has a stand at the Chelsea Flower Show,
where she enjoys meeting and talking to orchid growers visiting from overseas. She
also enjoys running workshops and giving talks.


This is now an online event.

FRIDAY, 9th APRIL – Mr Steve Edney – Designing Borders for Colour Succession
This will be 7.00 for 7.15 start. (moved from June 2021)

Mr. Steve Edney has been head gardener at the Salutation Garden in Sandwich for
15 years, where he has overseen its restoration from the lowest point of the flood six
years ago to the highs of 2019 with gold medals at both Chelsea and Hampton Court
Flower Shows and the Tudor Rose for best in show. He is a member of the RHS
herbaceous committee and works on plant trials with the RHS.
Unfortunately, the Salutation Garden closed in January 2020 at very short notice but
Steve is working for the owners part-time doing basic maintenance until it is sold. He
is advising some private gardeners and is working on a large garden design project in
Steeped in the practical art of gardening, he uses direct observation to supplement his
technical skills as a grower, breeder, horticulturalist and aboriculturalist. His drive for
creativity and experimentation ensure the scope of his expertise continues to
encompass new horizons.

FRIDAY, 7th MAY – Mr George Lockwood – White Flowering Perennials and Shrubs
This is a new talk and will show many White Flowering Perennials and Shrubs some suitable for shady areas.

George learnt his trade at Capel Manor Teaching College many years ago; prior to Covid he gave talks to the general public there.
He has been a garden speaker for the past fifteen years, he is also an organic gardener, plantsman and gardening consultant. Prior to Covid he gave talks to gardening clubs/societies, U3A groups, the RSPB, the WI, conservative clubs, jazz clubs the Women’s Guild and residential homes.
When he does a consultation along with the client they go through the garden discussing plants, maybe in the wrong place, suggesting plants to replace and then with his laptop of over 6500 plants looking at what the client might like to add to the garden.
He still looks after 5 large gardens for clients which are totally organic, no pesticides or insecticides ever used.

Mr Jonathan Hogarth who was due to give us a talk in May on Small Hostas and Propagation by Aeroponics will be coming next year.

FRIDAY, 4th JUNE- Melanie Gibson-Barton – The Parks and Gardens of Flanders

Melanie will present an informative and fun talk to appeal to garden lovers and walkers – and arm-chair gardeners!  The talk was originally commissioned to provide an English gardening group with ideas of places to visit in Belgium, and her talk concentrates on Parks and Gardens in Flanders in north Belgium but Melanie assures us that we will see a wide variety of gardening in this seemingly tiny area.  We will visit hidden city gardens, the National Botanical Garden, renowned orchards, the Royal Greenhouses, a lost medieval village, traces of the First World War and even corner of Japan in Flanders.  Melanie will illustrate the distinctive style of Flemish gardening derived from their culture and popular exercise initiatives


Given the uncertainty of restrictions regarding Covid in May, when the plant sale is due to take place, your committee have decided to start selling plants from 1st April and keep going until late May when perennials and late summer flowering plants will be at their best for selling, in case we cannot hold the plant sale at Tesco.  As far as pricing goes we recommend that people make a donation which will benefit this year’s charity, The Old School House Larder. If you are unable to sell easily from home, you can take your plants to either David Eddison or Lindy Bates in Bells Lane. We will produce a list of plants for sale for members at a later date. So, get busy growing as many plants as you can.

The ANNUAL DINNER will be held on Wednesday 3 November. Details of venue,
menu and cost will be published in the newsletter.


NEW FOR 2021

We have many new members, who have small gardens and would like to take part in
shows. Therefore, they can now enter their garden in the Small Garden Competition
in the Summer Show. The maximum size of the garden is 150 square metres and if a
landscape gardener designed the garden, the member must have looked after the
garden for one year prior to entering it in the competition. The best garden will be
selected by popular vote taken during the Garden Safari. Photos will be displayed at
the summer show. More information can be found in newsletters, so watch this
Members, who have pots and/or baskets on their patios, can now enter them in the
Summer Show. Pots and baskets must have been planted by the member. Each
entry will comprise a photograph of the pot or basket, which the member will enter at
the Summer Show. The judge will then determine placings by looking at the


Penshurst Place – a weekday visit in May or June (date to be confirmed)
The trip to Penshurst Place – details below – has been rolled forward from 2020 but
will be dependent on the situation at the time.
This ‘make your own way’ trip to Penshurst Place will be arranged to coincide with the
blooming of Penshurst’s stunning 100 metre long peony border. This usually is at its
best at the end of May and beginning of June but peak flowering time will depend, as
ever, on the weather conditions earlier in the spring. Penshurst is a
fascinating property to visit. The Baron’s Hall was built in the 14th century as a country
retreat for the Lord Mayor of London. Its current owners, the Sidneys, acquired the
property and estate in the 1550s which makes the garden one of the oldest in the UK
to still be in private ownership. There is much to see in the garden with Italian, rose,
heraldic and Union Flag gardens as well as blue and yellow themed herbaceous
borders, an orchard and estate walks. The house is filled with history and worth
seeing too. There are refreshment facilities, a gift shop and plant sales.
Watch out for confirmation of the date and full details of this visit in a future newsletter.

We hope to be able to organise some ‘make your own way’ garden visits but these
will, of course, depend on the coronavirus situation and any restrictions which might
apply. There will be no coach outings in 2021.