Meetings are held at either Fowlmere Village Hall (FVH) or Thriplow Village Hall (TVH) and commence at 7:45pm on the first Thursday of each month except January – no meeting and September – Annual Show unless otherwise advised (check website for garden Soiree in Summer 2017). £2 admission for visitors at most meetings.

Date Event Location
2nd February   2017 Group Fun Quiz and AGM – Glen Link

This is a very popular and enjoyable evening. Firstly we hold our AGM with the promise that we will not persuade anyone on the night to ‘join the committee.’ Then, over a glass of wine and a nibble or two we will pit our wits in groups to answer mostly general knowledge questions tinged with gardening know-how. Not onerous at all but a splendid opportunity to meet fellow club members. Our quiz-master will be Glen Link, a long-standing, loyal member of the Club.

2nd March The forgotten gardens of Easton Lodge Claire Matthews

Easton Lodge was a Victorian Gothic style stately home to the west of Great Dunmow, Essex. Once famous for its weekend society gatherings frequented by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), it was one of many country houses destroyed during the 20th century. Part of the west wing still stands; and the Grade II listed gardens designed by Harold Peto have been largely restored by a team of enthusiastic volunteers and opened to the public. Claire will bring us up-to-date with the latest developments. Have a look at the website which contains delightful video tours of the

6th April Getting to grips with pruning – Nigel Start

I cannot improve on Nigel’s own words – except to say that he has a fine reputation as a speaker! “I suppose you can describe me as a local lad made good. After doing A levels at the Cambridge Grammar School for Boys, I joined the Plant Breeding Institute at Trumpington, took a degree in plant sciences, and felt privileged to spend most of my career there in various roles. After taking ‘early retirement’ when the business relocated, I started my own garden design/landscaping business. This still keeps me very busy as a practical ‘garden rescue’ service, which I combine with gardening talks in the evenings, playing the guitar and caring for grandchildren.”

Nigel sounds a lovely person!

4th May Make your garden count – David Hack

David tells us “Domestic gardens are an increasingly important habitat for birds and other forms of wildlife. In the UK, gardens comprise around 10% of the total land area and are a major contributor to urban green space. Increasing pressure on countryside habitats has led to many bird species using gardens for all or part of the year. This talk shows how householders can attract a wide range of species to their gardens throughout the year.”

David will promote the Garden BirdWatch (GBW) Scheme, which is the largest citizen science project of its type in the world. Thanks to the efforts of GBW members more is known about the ecology of UK gardens than is known about the garden ecology of any other country in the world. All the photographs which David uses have been taken in his own suburban back garden which is just 30 feet square. This promises to be an inspiring talk.

1st June Winning Ways on the Show Bench – Robin Carsberg

Have you ever come to our Annual Show and wondered ‘why did that one win’? or ‘why did I come second’? Robin will have the answers. A qualified judging member of the Essex Guild of Judges will explain the rules and regulations, the do’s and don’ts, and some of the expert tips to enable you to come away with a share of the prizes.

You will remember Robin’s excellent presentation on New Zealand flora a year or so ago so you will not be disappointed by this return visit by a popular local speaker.

16-19 June Weekend visit to Derbyshire

This tour is now open to non-members so do have a look at the details on our website. We welcome anyone who appreciates gardens and the company of gardeners!

6th July Dove House Soirée

This year we are pleased to be able to hold our soirée in Fowlmere. Rosemary and Barry Jones have invited us to sip a glass of wine or two whilst wandering around their lovely garden in Rectory Lane. Entry is by ticket available at the May and June meetings of the Gardening Club.

3rd August  Plant histories – Andrew Sankey

One of our favourite speakers returns to talk about Plant Histories. Most of the plants we grow are not actually native to Britain: so where did they come from, why were they imported and when? We are promised a fascinating talk with a display of plants to guess when they first arrived. We are promised a few surprises!

16th September Annual Show

Doors open at 2.00pm with presentation of awards at 3.45pm.

Schedules will be available from Thriplow Village Shop & Guidelines from  this site: ‘Welcome’ and ‘Active Items’


22rd September Annual Dinner – The British Queen, Meldreth
5th October Fun with perennials – Richard Ayres MBE

Richard has had a long and distinguished career as a gardener. He served as the head gardener at Anglesey Abbey for over 40 years and more recently at Kirtling Tower. He is especially well known for his drifts of beautiful white snowdrops at Anglesey Abbey and has had the honour of having a snowdrop named after him. Be assured that you will enjoy this talk given by a master of his trade!

2nd November   Puddle Paddock – Sue Stephenson

A light-hearted look at the Stephenson family’s life  and how they came to arrive at Puddle Paddock in 1997 with animals and plants in abundance.  Sue is a self-confessed plant person and gardener with a long-suffering husband.  (We know a few of them!)

A talk which has been highly recommended by some of our members.

7th December Salads all year round – Mike Day

Two or three years ago we welcomed Mike Day and thoroughly enjoyed his most professional talk.

Mike grew up on a vegetable growing farm and after reading for a degree in agriculture spent over 40 years at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany – the independent, not-for-profit plant research and information centre based in Cambridge. Here he specialised in vegetables. He has served as a member of the RHS Vegetable Trials Panel and the RHS Trials Advisory Committee. So who better to talk to us about growing salads all year round!

Join us for our splendid annual Christmas buffet – full of seasonal delicacies and a glass of wine!