Evesham & District

Gardens & Country

Last updated on 5 July 2020 at 15.35 hrs

Due to the Covid-19 virus all indoor activities involving social contact are suspended until further notice

Our events continue to be summarised in the Dates for your Diary table at the bottom of this page

New group members are very welcome, just email us using the pigeon.
Chas Bryer (Group Leader), Betty Ballard (Co-Leader/Treasurer)

Zoom update:

The author, gardener and speaker, Bill Laws will give our fifth virtual talk in August on "Artists' Gardens".
One aim of the group talks is to bring you a variety of subjects related to gardens and the countryside. After the beautiful photographs of west country gardens taken by Adrian James, this month we have something a little different. Artists have always used gardens as a place to work or display their work; or simply as a place to retreat. Bill Laws is a regular speaker at gardens clubs, U3A groups, history societies, literary festivals and horticultural shows in the UK and abroad.
From Barbara Hepworth’s studio garden in St. Ives and Patrick Heron’s Cornish hideaway to Frida Kahlo’s Mexican garden and Monet’s Giverny, artists have been responsible for some impressive horticultural creations. Bill Laws, author of Artists’ Gardens and Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History, shares some of his favourites examples. Members of the U3A Art Appreciation group have been invited to join us for this talk. For more information on Bill Laws and his many books, visit https://billlaws.wordpress.com/books/

Our group's first virtual Zoom presentation was given by Adrian James on 15 April and was very well received. I estimate that 30 people on 23 different devices viewed the talk. Adrian was pleased that the talk went so well.

Duncan Coombs gave our second virtual talk on "The High Mountains of China" via Zoom on Wednesday 6 May. Over 20 people viewed the very interesting presentation which followed a trip Duncan made in the Yunnan province of China which borders Myanmar (Burma). Beautiful photographs of colourful plants growing in their natural habitat, alongside details of local inhabitants and their culture, gave everyone an extremely interesting and educational afternoon.

Our third virtual talk was on 3 June and was given by Chrissy Ching on the subject of "Potagers". Chrissy is a freelance garden designer as well as a lecturer at Pershore College. The talk showed various Potagers from the original grand design of Villandry through to more local examples such as Birtsmorton Court and Barnsley House Gardens. If you have been inspired to try a potager design, or are just interested in growing vegetables, you might like to look at the following website
https://www.growveg.co.uk/guides/how-to-design-a-potager-garden/

Adrian James returned on 1 July for the talk requested by members entitled "Three West Country Gardens". Once again over 20 devices joined the virtual presentation which covered the private gardens at Marwood Hill (near Barnstaple), Mapperton Manor (near Bridport) and the Yeo Organic Garden (near Blagdon).
Marwood Hill houses the national Astilbe collection and has lakes and tree trails in rolling countryside.
Marwood House Astilbes, Adrian James Mapperton Manor, Adrian James
Mapperton Manor garden originated in the 1920's and "was rescued" in the 1950/60's by Victor Montagu. It is now owned by the Earl & Countess of Sandwich and is known for the Orangery, the Pool Garden and topiary, and the 17th century summerhouse. Yeo Organic Gdn, Adrian James
The Yeo Organic garden covers 6.5 acres and has been created recently by Sarah Mead and James Cox. There are many "rooms" (I counted more than a dozen) including the Glasshouse garden, the Accessible garden, the Veggie garden with diagonally planted veg in raised beds, the Red and Lime Beds, The Big Grass Bed, the Bronze garden with pool, Blossom Avenue, and a streamside walk with superb silver birches. However perhaps the most astounding fact surrounded the large Gravel Garden that contained grasses and perennials. To eradicate pernicious bindweed in this area, the whole area was dug to a depth of six feet before being planted. The garden is completely organic so chemicals could not be used. All these gardens are worthy of a visit when conditions allow. Mapperton and Yeo are affiliated to the RHS scheme, and all appear to be included in the 2 for 1 GW card scheme.

Click on Review of Talks to see members' comments about the above talks on a separate page.

We thank all the above speakers for giving us their time and expertise free of charge during this period of social distancing/isolation. It is very much appreciated by all who participate. After October we will begin to pay speakers once again, more on this below.

On 24 June over a dozen members joined the zoom meeting when a video was shared that explained how The Donkey Sanctuary based near Sidmouth was formed 50 years ago. If you were unable to attend, you can view the video on youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQDGf3MuupM&feature=youtu.be

The quiz on the 8 July was attended by around a dozen members who completed the 10 questions in under 15 minutes. The questions, and answers, can now be seen on the separate QUIZ page.

The discussion about the plans for next winter followed the quiz. It was universally agreed that the winter talks for 2020/21 should continue as virtual talks funded by a subscription from those members who wish to attend Zoom meetings.
The initial proposal is as follows. The amount of the subscription will be determined once the cost of the speakers has been confirmed. We will consider paying Zoom to remove the 40 minute limitation out of the subscription. The one-off 6 month subscription will be due in October and the amount will be set at least a month earlier, after the speaker line-up has been finalised. Best guess at this time is £15 per member. It will only apply to members who participate in Zoom meetings and talks. The subscription will allow access to all winter Zoom meetings. The meeting also decided that two Zoom meetings should be held each month: one for the virtual talk and a another (2 weeks after each talk) to meet, chat and possibly share pictures and videos. Please feel free to comment on these proposals by sending me an email asap.

Updated details on all events are in the "Dates for your Diary" section at the bottom of this page.

New ideas
Please feel free to send me any new ideas that you have which comply with the social distancing and isolation rules.

For those who would now like to go walking in the countryside, you may find the following website useful in identifying public footpaths in your area: https://footpathmap.co.uk/map/

Please continue to send me photos. Those received recently are displayed on the panels at the side and bottom of this page. Please click on them to get the full size picture. Eventually they will go on separate pages (click on Members plants and gardens). It will be interesting to see the changes that occur in the gardens through the summer.
Please note that the deadline for the U3A Newsletter is in July so photos may be sent in to the editors for inclusion.

The NT gardens and parks are open but it is necessary to pre-book tickets online. As predicted numbers are limited and sell out fast. You will need to get on the NT website very early on Friday for a good choice of time. There are some local gardens open and the NT website will have the latest availability.

Recommended videos
As a substitute for the monthly summer visits that have been postponed, here are the recommended videos for this month

1. NT Virtual Tours now available

2. Flying over Scotland to the sound of soothing music

3. Redwood Mountain virtual tours of Sequoia National Park

4. Donkey Sanctuary webcams let you see the donkeys at Slade Farm near Sidmouth

5. Heritage apples a short introduction by Wade Muggleton on Gardeners World

6. See some unusual landscaping in The Garden of Cosmic Speculation designed by Charles Jencks

Previously recommended

Yellowstone National Park, USA. Part 1 of two great videos, please make allowances for the foreign narrator's accent. He doesn't talk much! The pictures make up for it.

English Cottage and Country Gardens

Roses, Climbers and Creepers

RHS Virtual Chelsea catch up with all the videos

NT Mottisfont video of their rose collection. Lots of other NT videos to enjoy if you search the web.

Walled Garden at Croome: this website is being updated regularly to keep people in touch with their developments.

Yosemite: another great collection of videos by the US National Parks.

Anglesey Abbey: Often featured by professional photographers, visit this garden via the NT video tour.

Sunny mornings: Over 3 hours of countryside views in the morning simply accompanied by relaxing piano and guitar music.

WADDESDON NT: Discover the story of the gardens as well as special highlights with online trails, blogs and films.

GRAND CANYON IN DEPTH: a tour in 8 parts showing all the major sites on the rim and within the canyon.

Keukenhof Garden 2020 Tour: the tulips are out in the UK and Holland.

Wanderlust Keukenhof: alternatively if you want to see Keukenhof as a visitor would on a busy, sunny day, there is a virtual tour from 2019, which lasts nearly an hour.

Magnificent Colours of Wisteria: if you only have six minutes and 24 seconds to spare, there's a video to give your day a lift.

Beechgrove Garden has started again and is available on iPlayer if you missed the Sunday morning screening on BBC2.
Hugh's Wild West is also available on iPlayer.

Other videos suggested previously include:

Click on BBC iPlayer and search for "Around the World in 80 Gardens". Ten programs, each around 1 hour in length, presented by Monty Don. Also on iPlayer Heavenly Gardens with Alexander Armstrong.

Cherry Blossom: a youtube video showing the best places to see Japan's Top 10 Cherry Blossom Spots.

Please let me know if any of the links stop working.

For those of you who want to buy plants:
The situation is now much more relaxed. The following places were recommended by our members and are listed here for information only.
The Valley Garden Centre 01386 761888
Castle Nurseries 01527 853689 (local farm shop by the Lister VW garage, Evesham)
Chadbury Farm Shop 01386 446705
Sarah Raven online plants https://www.sarahraven.com/
Hoo House Nurseries 01684 293389
Cotswold Garden Flowers https://www.cotswoldgardenflowers.co.uk/
Wayside Nurseries 07816 053887 (Lee Harvey)
Fairview Landscaping http://www.fairviewlandscapingsupplies.co.uk/steppingstones.html
You can also look in the online version of Country Gardener Magazine (https://www.countrygardener.co.uk/).

Many thanks to those who emailed me information to include on this webpage.

Summer Garden Visits 2020

The garden visits scheduled for this year have been postponed due to the Covid-19 virus.

Please note that individual NGS gardens are making decisions on whether to open, which days to open, and how many visitors they can take.
The restrictions/protocols placed on NGS gardens mean that facilities and refreshments may be limited or unavailable.

It is clear that we cannot make a group garden visit as we have done in previous years. We would not be able to talk with the garden owners, buy refreshments, or chat amongst ourselves about the garden, all of which are a big part of our visits. Therefore, regretfully all our group garden visits are postponed to a later date. Some members may wish, as individuals, to make their own way to visit the gardens that do decide to open this year. Visit the NGS website to find out the latest information and buy tickets. The option of virtual tours also exists.
ngs.org.uk/virtual-garden-visits or see the National Trust website mentioned above.

Please refer to the NGS & NT websites for the very latest on all garden open days, and to book your ticket. Do not travel to a garden without a pre-booked ticket.

{Winter Program 2020/21}.
Updated information 10 July
Thank you all for your support last winter. A full schedule of speakers had been arranged for next winter but is being amended. All talks will now be on Zoom. The speakers due in October and January have postponed their talks to a later (unconfirmed) date when it can be given in person. Both these were considered "interactive" talks so are not suitable to be given as an online presentation. Fortunately Duncan Coombs and Dr Ian Bedford, from Norwich, have agreed to fill these spots. I am waiting to hear from the November speaker and this talk may also change. As stated in the Zoom section above, we plan to introduce a subscription in September/October, only for group members who use Zoom, in order to fund the winter speaker program.

Stay safe and keep in touch.
For all enquiries, or comments, please use the pigeon to send me an email. Thank you.
Chas Bryer

Dates for your Diary
Wed Aug 5th Bill Laws, a well published author and gardener, will give a virtual talk on Zoom entitled "Artists' Gardens". The Art Appreciation group have also been invited to attend this talk. More details later.
Wed Aug 19th Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm
Wed Sep 9th A virtual talk on Zoom entitled "Extending the Season" by Victoria Logue of Whitehall Farm Plants, starting at 3pm.
Wed Sep 23rd Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm
Wed Oct 14th Duncan Coombs will give a virtual talk on a subject to be decided, starting at 3pm.
Wed Oct 28th Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm
Wed Nov 11th TO BE CONFIRMED.......Capability Brown's Landscape Gardens, a talk given by Joe Tierney at 3pm. Joe previously gave a talk at the U3A Town Hall meeting on the restoration of Croome. We have not yet confirmed that Joe can give this talk on Zoom. If it is not possible, an alternative will be sought.
Wed Nov 25th Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm
Wed Dec 9th A virtual talk on Zoom entitled "The Highs and Lows of Growing Vegetables" by Victoria Logue of Whitehall Farm Plants, starting at 3pm.
Wed Dec 23rd Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm
Wed Jan 13th 2021 Dr Ian Bedford will give a virtual talk entitled "Gardens for Us and Them" starting at 3pm.
Sat Jan 23rd 2021 Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm
Wed Feb 10th 2021 Duncan Coombs will give a virtual talk on the subject "Hidcote: a garden created by Lawrence Johnston", starting at 3pm on Zoom.
Wed Feb 24th 2021 Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm
Wed Mar 10th 2021 John Medlock will give a virtual talk on the "Geology and wildlife of Namibia" on Zoom at 3pm.
Wed Mar 24th 2021 Members' meeting on Zoom at 3pm

Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.

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More Group Pages
Architecture Art Appreciation
Aspects of Modern History Badminton 1
Badminton 2 Bird Watching
Board Games Book Club
Book Friends Bookends
Bridge for Fun Brunch Bunch
China: The Country Choir
Classic Cinema Computers & Digital Media
Concert Band Concert Group
Country Dancing cancelled for now Croquet
Current Affairs Cycling for Leisure
Exploring Language Family Research
French Beginners French Conversation 1
French Conversation 2 Gardens & Country
German Golf for Fun
Home Cinema Italian Post-Beginners
Jam Session (Pop, Rock, Blues and Folk) Latin
Listening to Music Listening to Music 2
Local Amateur Theatre Local History
Mah Jongg Mindfulness
Modern Greek Needlecraft
Outings Painting for Pleasure
Papercraft Patchwork & Quilting 1
Patchwork & Quilting 2 Petanque / Boules
Philosophy Photography
Photography 2 Playreading
Poetry Putting the World to Rights
Questions of Belief and Doubt Quiz Group
Rock Band Rummikub
Science and Technology Scrabble and Upwords
Shakespeare Group Short Breaks and Holidays
Short Mat Bowls 1 Short Mat Bowls 2
Skittles 1 Skittles 2
Social Saunters Spanish - Improvers
Table Tennis Tai Chi
Travellers Tales Urban Sketchers
Village Ambles with Camera Village Strolls
Walks Over 4 Miles - Group 1 Walks over 4 miles - Group 2
Walks Under 4 miles Website Editors
Welsh for Beginners Wine Tasting
Yoga 1 Yoga 2
Yoga 3