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Gardening Club

Following the AGM in October 2018 the Gardening Club Committee for the next year is as follows:


David Darts – Chairman. Tel: 01981 250117

Liz Goodyear – Treasurer. Tel: 01432 354670

Michelle Tydeman – Tea Rota. Tel: 01981 250159

Charlotte Marshall - Show and Competitions Secretary. Tel: 01981 251435

Michèle Byrne – Membership and Subscriptions. Tel: 01981 251650

Linda Harding – Shows and Administration.  Tel: 01432 277281

Myfanwy Davies – Tel: 01432 277231


We are now under the new General Data Protection Regulation required to have a Privacy Notice, this is now available on our website.   

The Club was formed in 1983 by local residents Stan and Margaret Baldock.

Both Margaret and Stan were professional horticulturalists and this coupled with their enthusiasm, ensured the successful launch of the Club. In the early years the Membership consisted mainly of residents of Eaton Bishop but today we can boast a Membership of 60 drawn from all corners of Herefordshire.

We meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the Village Hall at Eaton Bishop and throughout the year arrange visits by Speakers to talk on various aspects of Gardening and Horticulture. We also arrange regular visits to local Gardens and Nurseries and for the past fifteen years have organised a Club Holiday to visit gardens in other parts of the country, including two visits to Normandy in France.

Although we take our gardening seriously, meetings and visits are conducted in a

light hearted manner and we have built a reputation of being a warm and friendly club. Throughout the year we hold a series of Competitions, for Members to exhibit their various prize flowers and plants. Also, in February we hold a Photographic Competition,

We are always looking to expand our Membership so why not pay us a visit and see what we have to offer.



Report on our September 2018 Meeting

Our Meeting in September, was a joint venture, held with the Eaton Camp Historical Society and we were very pleased to host an event when our Speaker was the well-known local writer and broadcaster Jules Hudson.

Jules came to talk about his latest project, which was the culmination of some extensive research and the publication of his latest book, entitled “Walled Gardens”.

Jules became interested in Walled Gardens, when, as a young archaeology student, he was part of a team, carrying out a prehistoric landscape survey, in North Wales and for the duration of the project, camped in a crumbling and derelict walled garden attached to a nearby farm house.

Over the years he visited many walled gardens, some neglected and falling into disrepair and others very lovingly restored to their original condition. He was able to discuss the original construction and how the gardens evolved, with many of the owners and head gardeners.

From this knowledge, Jules has written a book which is not only of interest to gardeners but also to historians and archaeologists

In his presentation Jules showed us slides of a selection of gardens, mentioned in his book, pointing out many of the interesting construction features, in the gardens.

Due no doubt to his popular work in the media, Jules attracted a good audience for his talk with the Village Hall being full to capacity.

We would like to thank the Committee of the Historical Society, for their help in organising this most successful event and also of course, to Jules, for giving of his time to visit us.

Report on our October AGM

35 Members attended the Gardening Club AGM on Wednesday 17th October and were welcomed to the Meeting by Chairman, David Darts.


The minutes of the previous AGM were read by the Chairman, were accepted by the Meeting and signed by the Chairman as a true record of events.


David Darts, Gardening Club Chairman, gave a report on the events over the past year stating that again we had enjoyed a varied programme of talks, garden visits, competitions, and of course the Holiday.

He stated, that again we had some excellent speakers during the year and hopefully, we will have an interesting and varied programme of talks and visits for the coming year.

In 2017/18 we experienced an exceptionally poor winter with three significant falls of snow, followed in March and early April by virtually continuous rain, it was not really until May that we had some decent gardening weather.

What happened then, it did not rain for weeks on end, so June, July and August daily watering was on the agenda and it was virtually impossible to move plants and hope they would survive.

So not a good year for gardening.


Early in February a few brave souls, from Gardening Club ventured out into the bitterly cold weather to visit the Village of Sheepscombe, near Stroud in Gloucestershire to view the Trench Hill Garden.

We had lunch at the delightful Butchers Arms pub, in the Village before venturing up the road to Trench Hill. This is a Garden of approximately 3 acres set in a small woodland, with panoramic views, that has been successfully developed over the years by Celia and Dave Hargrave.

At this time of the year, the main interest is the plantings of spring bulbs, with thousands of snowdrops, hellebores and other spring flowering plants. A wonderful scene on a cold winters day.


Our Holiday this year was to Falmouth in late April, when we visited Gardens on the Cornish peninsular. Whilst the remainder of the UK were still suffering from the effects of the weather, we were able to enjoy five lovely days away. There were even people swimming in the sea in Falmouth and many families on the beach, enjoying the warm weather.

What was amazing about our trip was that there was still a god display of spring flowers and bulbs plus the early flowering shrubs, in all the gardens we visited.


Our Holiday for 2019 is to visit Gardens on the Isle of Wight and already there are quite a lot of people interested, in joining us for this trip.


Our Nursery visit in May was to the local P and J Plants Nursery where the proprietor Paul Gardner has been growing Carnivorous Plants for over 40 years. They currently own a National Collection of Saracenia which at the time of our visit were looking most spectacular.


Also, in May, following a visit to Gardening Club the previous month by Head Gardener Steve Lloyd, a few Members visited the Garden at Hergest Croft. What a splendid garden, right on our doorstep, situated near Kington, in the heart of the Welsh Marches, with stunning views towards the Black Mountains.


The highlight of our Garden visits occurred in July when we paid a late afternoon, early evening visit to the splendid Stockton Bury Garden just north of Leominster. After all that dry weather it rained, a lovely fine drizzle, enjoyed by gardeners but not what you want when you are viewing gardens.

Following our tour of the Gardens we enjoyed a delightful meal, in their Tythe Barn, in celebration of our 35th Anniversary.


The Chairman again expressed disappointment that for the second year running, the annual “Village Show” normally held in August each year, did not take place. This has been run for many years, mainly by persons residing outside of Eaton Bishop and he thought that this was something that should be taken over and run by local residents.

This situation had been put to the local Parish Council and other local organisations but without any positive response.

He stated that it would indeed be a shame if the Show was permanently discontinued, as “Village Shows” were considered to be part of our heritage and visiting judges always considered the Eaton Bishop Show, was as good as any, in Herefordshire.

The Chairman concluded his report thanking the Committee for their hard work over the year and for the continuing support of the Committee and Members.

He stated that for our first Meeting for the coming Season, which was a joint meeting, with the local Eaton Camp Historical Society, the Village Hall was filled to maximum capacity to listen to the presentation and talk by the well-known local writer and broadcaster, Jules Hudson on “Walled Gardens”, the title of his new book. If this support continues through the year, the future of Eaton Bishop Gardening Club will certainly be secure.


Margaret Reitz presented her Report of the Club Accounts for the Financial Year to 31st August 2018. Margaret advised that money in the Bank at the year-end was £ 256.10. Money in Petty Cash was £114.01. A small loss of £63.02 had been recorded during the year. This was due to the ever-increasing cost of Speakers and our falling Membership.

Margaret announced that Subscriptions for the coming year, would rise to £10 per person to cover increasing costs.

Margaret advised members that she now wished to stand down as Treasurer, having been in office since 2005. She stated that she appreciated the support she had received over the years from Members.

David Darts thanked Margaret for her excellent work as Treasurer of the Club and presented her with a gift on behalf of the Club.


In addition to the resignation of Margaret Reitz, as Treasurer, Val Dawkes had also advised that she wished to step down from the Committee, after again, many years’ service. They both stated that they would continue their duties, until new Committee Members had been appointed.

In the absence of any other nominations, the remaining Members of the Committee had agreed to continue, for another year and were elected “en bloc”

The chairman again thanked all Members of the Committee for their valuable work in running the Club.

The Election of Officers was proposed by George walker and seconded by Adrian Goodyear and carried unanimously.

There being no Other Business the Meeting closed and was followed by our usual Wine and Cheese Social.


Report on November Meeting.

The Speaker at our Meeting in November was Marion Stainton from The Brookes Garden and Nursery at Pontrilas. The title of her talk was “Murder, Magic and Plant Potions”, in your garden.

Marion told us how many common, wild and garden plants were used in the past for medicinal purposes and it was through this use, that many plants derived their common names. The term “medicinal plant” includes various types of plant used in herbalism

Certain herbs improve the immunity of the person, thereby reducing conditions such as fever. Some plants also have antibiotic properties. Turmeric is useful in inhibiting the growth of germs, harmful microbes and bacteria and was widely used as a home remedy to heal cuts and wounds.

She also went on to point out the fascinating world of poisonous plants stating that Laburnum seeds are renowned for toxicity and how many people know that deadly ricin comes from the common castor oil plant or that elderberries and elderflowers are toxic when not ripe. Foxglove, Hemlock, Cuckoo Pint, Monkshood and Deadly Nightshade were also mentioned as common plants to be handled carefully.

Marion’s talk proved to be quite a fascinating topic and she pointed out that many books had been written on the subject. Her talk was illustrated with some excellent slides from her computer.


Future Events.

We are not holding Meetings during the months of December and January and our first Meeting for 2019 will be held on the 20th February, when our visiting Speaker will be Rev. Ian Skinner.

The title of his talk and presentation will be “Iona to Holy Island, a Pilgrimage Walk”. Visitors and Guests are most welcome to attend, what should be a very interesting evening. The Meeting will as usual be held in the Village Hall at Eaton Bishop and commence at 7.30pm.

Also, at the February Meeting we will be holding our usual Photographic Competition for the best judged Photograph taken by Members.

There will be THREE CLASSES and Members can submit up to TWO photographs for each Class.

Class A. View Through a Gateway

Class B. Rural Scene.

Class C. Through Glass.

There will be prizes for first, second and third places in the Competition, with a Trophy being presented to the overall winner.


At our Meeting on 20th March our Speaker will be the local historian and author Bill Lawes and the Title of his talk is “Miss Jekyll’s Daisy Grubber” which will be a light-hearted look at our favourite garden tools.

We will also be holding our Spring Bulb Competition at this Meeting

The Schedule for this is as follows:

  1. Dwarf Narcissi – 5 or more stems of one kind in pot or vase.

  2. Daffodils or Narcissi Long Trumpets – 5 or more stems of one kind in pot or cut in vase.

  3. Daffodils or Narcissi Short Trumpets – 5 or more stems of one kind in pot or cut in vase.

  4. Dwarf tulips in pot – 3 or more bulbs of one variety, in flower.

  5. Dwarf Iris – in pot and in flower.

  6. Polyanthus or Primula – 1 plant in pot and in flower.

  7. Vase of mixed spring flowers.

  8. Any other bulb or plant in pot or vase, in flower.

Prizes will be awarded for First, Second and Third places overall, in the Competition, with a Trophy being presented to the overall winner.

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