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 2018). £2 admission for visitors at most meetings.

Date Event Location
1 Feb   2018 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.

1 March   The delights and possibilities  of RHS Garden Hyde Hall      –     Robert Brett

After Training at the Welsh College of Horticulture and gaining an MSc from South Bank University, Robert started his career in landscaping before moving to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew where he assisted in the managing of the orchid collection.  After two posts at Cambridge University Botanic Garden and also the Eden Project, Robert joined Hyde Hall as Curator some three years ago.  Tonight we will hear about the history of Hyde Hall and Roberts’ vision for the future.

5 April  The perfect growing media  –   David Coop

  David joined Elsoms, the seed specialists from Westland Horticulture as Head of Business Development where he was a key member of their management team for eight years, delivering many significant and highly successful new products during his time there.  He is also a Director of the Crop Protection Association and Chairman of the British Ornamental Plant Producers group.  Prior to Westland, David was employed by Bayer Crop Science, working in a wide variety of strategic marketing and technical roles, based in Germany, France, the UK, and USA.

A neighbouring Gardening Club member writes:- ‘we listened to an excellent talk on “Compost” last night, delivered by David Coop from Elsom Seeds – a really good informative talk showing/comparing results using different compost mixes, an animated speaker who also gave a quiz – (with prizes!) I got the flower questions all right!  & we all came away with a pen & packet of stuff to aid water retention when we plant out.

   3 May Gods in the garden (Statues, of course!)                                                    –   Michael Brown

 ‘I provide talks and displays on Historic Gardening.    I have an MA in Garden History and worked for many years as a Head Gardener, which gives me a great deal of experience working in gardens and presenting them to the public. Later I taught horticulture at a college.  I am interested in the history of the design of gardens, but my main interest is in the plants and how and why they were grown’.

Michael, the Historic Gardener provides talks and displays on gardening from the Roman period to the 1940’s ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign. He gives a fascinating insight into the gardens, plants and tools of bygone times.

Tonight Michael will give us a talk on Gods in the garden – Why statues were placed in gardens throughout history and the myths behind them.  This should make our future visits to gardens even more interesting


  7 June  Care of House Plants     –     Andrew Harper Scott

 A popular member of the Horningsea Garden Centre for quite a few years ( under Notcutts, Ansells and now Scotsdales)

Andrew comes with a wealth of experience having been based at garden centres in Suffolk, Sussex and Buckingham as well as working in a wholesale nursery and for a landscape firm.  In addition, Andrew has completed two horticultural qualifications.

  5 July  Summer  Soiree – Redbrick 

 This year we are pleased to be able to hold our Soiree in Thriplow where Sue and Derek Pinner have invited us to sip a glass of wine or two  in their lovely garden — 1 Foreman’s Road. Entry is by ticket only available at the May and June meetings of the Gardening Club.

13 – 16 July FT Gardening Club’s 2018 Summer Tour – Kent & Sussex Houses & Gardens with return luxury coach and staying at Eastbourne Hotel

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  2 August  The gardens of Clare College     –                                                                                  Steve Elstub

 Now the College’s Head Gardener, Steve began his career in gardening as an apprentice with the Leeds Parks Department, and came to Clare after ten years at Audley End House, near Saffron Walden. Steve is particularly proud of the reputation Clare has for its herbaceous perennial planting and its many specimen tree.  He is responsible for the management and development of Clare’s Gardens.

   15 Sept Annual Show

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

Schedules  available from Thriplow Village Shop & monthly Meetings.  Guidelines from the ‘Welcome’, the ‘Active Items’ sites & here:



   4 Oct  Unusual Plants         –            Colin Ward

Recommended by the Cambridge U3A Garden Group, Colin brings a wealth of experience as owner of Swines Meadow Farm Nursery, Market Deeping. With over ten years in business, the nursery has grown into one of the UK’s most specialised growers of exotic and rare plants. There is an individuality and local knowledge you get from visiting an independent nursery.  Colin has created a microclimate on the edge of the windswept fens.  He will bring with him a variety of his plants.

1 Nov Ten Thousand Lakes of Minnesota and their plants – Andrew Sankey 

(Replacement for ‘Ponds’ by Ben Snell)

After the Programme Committee tried for some years to get a talk on ‘Garden Ponds’, sadly our Speaker has developed health problems & advised to cancel on medical grounds.

Andrew Sankey, well known to the Club with previous excellent talks, has kindly stepped in at short notice with a presentation – ‘Land  of Ten Thousand Lakes’ – taking us into the gardens of Minnesota, the native plants, growing season and the plants we grow from this state.

                        6 Dec    Christmas decorations with a Hungarian theme                  –                       Zsuzsa Serer 

             Welcoming Christmas Buffet

Herbal Haven is a specialist herb nursery growing over one hundred and fifty varieties of culinary, medicinal and aromatic herbs at the nursery in the hilliest part of Essex, close to Saffron Walden. The herbs are grown naturally and seasonally to produce strong plants that will grow on happily in your garden or home.  Look out for the stall at Saffron Walden market every Saturday.

Zsuzsa, the human dynamo, is usually busy taking cuttings but can do any job on the nursery including taking charge when needed.  Multi-talented, tonight Zsuzsa will transport us to Hungary at Christmas time – look out for gingerbread hearts and bells for the Christmas tree, satin ornaments crafted in glass, Hungarian porcelain and embroidery.

Our journal..

and then the splendid Christmas buffet!