The Donheads Gardening Club Calendar Page.
Click Months below for Club Activities for 2018

Monday 13th February 2017

Lois Philipps - Down to Earth

Lois will show us how to look after and to love our soil - from testing to feeding. This is a hands-on Talk where Members are invited to bring along a sample of your own soil and Lois will guide you through examining soil texture, soil structure, pH testing, phosphate and magnesium. She will then give advice how to improve your soil and thence the garden.

Monday 11th December 2017

Christmas Get-Together and Christmas Wreath demonstration.

Our Annual Seasonal Get-Together. A social evening with Nibbles & Dribbles

Plus a seasonal demonstration by Debbie Lovell on making a Christmas Wreath, to help the refreshments go down.

You're welcome to bring your own 'tipple' although some will be provided and plates of food would be gratefully received.

Monday 13th November 2017

Nigel Hewish (Kingston Maurward) - Penstemons & Salvias

Nigel is Head Gardener at Kingston Maurward. His talk on Salvias and Penstemons will be topical as both of them will be in full flower now (as long as we have had no frost) and they certainly help to extend the Autumn Colour Season. Plus tips on propagation and also Winter care.

Monday 11th September 2017

Katherine Crouch - New Tricks for Old Gardeners

Katherine gives a very lively performance. She will show us new ways to garden in retirement, often suggesting innovative ways around old problems. She will then give a demonstration of useful tools and techniques to make gardening easier. A fun noisy evening.

Thursday 20th July 2017 - 2.30pm. - Cottage Row, Tarrant Gunville (Carolyn Pawson)

Cottage Row is a mature 1/2 acre partly walled garden. It is a sophisticated cottage garden reflecting Carolyn's love of unusual plants, structure and an artist's eye for a sympathetic colour palette. Roses and clematis abound with yew/box hedging, a tree house, kitchen garden and the sound of water, with bees and butterflies abounding in this tranquil spot.

Monday 8th January 2018

Brigit Strawbridge - Solitary Bees

Brigit Strawbridge returns to give us a Talk on Solitary Bees. Those Members who came to Brigit's first talk with us will understand the enthusiasm and excitement for her return. She is a lovely, very dear person and sunshine and knowledge pours out of her in a delightfully infectious way. There is absolutely nothing she does not know about bees and you will definitely leave the Hall humming! The clarity and sharpness of Brigit's stunning photographs are something to behold. So do come and bask in some summer sunshine for an hour or so in January!

Thursday 6th July 2017

Garden Visit to Harvard Farm - Dilly Hobson

This is Jake Hobson's Mother's Garden and Jake, who gave us a talk at the club in November 2016 illustrated with many photos of Harvard Farm, cut his 'eye-teeth' on topiary on her hedges.

Tuesday 13th June 2017 - 2.30pm

Garden Visit to Stavordale Priory

A return visit to Stavordale Priory an opportunity to re-visit or catch up on what you missed when we went in 2015. This is the most stunning garden, with colour, form, scent and definitely the wow factor at every turn, as well as the odd Elephant! You will definitely return home stimulated and buzzing with new ideas.

Please note that this is instead of our usual
Monday Monthly Meeting.

Monday 8th May 2017

Annual Discount Evening at Castle Gardens (Sherborne).

Our annual visit to Castle Gardens, Sherborne for a short talk, Tea, Coffee and Biscuits and the opportunity to buy with a priviledged 25% discount.

Please don't arrive at Castle Gardens
before 6.30pm.

Monday 9th January 2017

Mike Burks of Castle Gardens - Propagation

This is a Practical Talk requested especially by some Members. Mike will be taking us through a hands-on guide on how to raise your own plants from young plants or from cuttings. So, if there are any favourites in your gardens you would love to have many more of, come along and see how to make this possible.

Monday 13th March 2017

AGM plus The trials and tribulations of creating a new garden in Semley - Rosie Catherwood

Rosie has her own Gardening Blog and many wonderful photos and short videos of how she has created her 'new' small garden in Semley. She will cover dealing with the clay, the view, the encroaching countryside and the wet, as well as the construction of arches, pond etc. This will be a light hearted romp through her experiences to date which I know Members will enjoy, even those lucky ones on the greensand of The Donheads.

Monday 10th April 2017

Chris Ireland-Jones - Bulbs through the Seasons

Chris will be giving us ideas of different bulbs we could be planting now to extend and enhance our summer displays in the garden and also make suggestions for the Autumn extending the season with colour and form. Chris will be bringing some of his top quality and unusual Bulbs for sale. An opportunity not to be missed.

Monday 12th February 2018

Matthew Reese - Creating an English Garden

We have Mat Reese talking about Malverleys in Newbury, where he is Head Gardener. Since first meeting Mat and heard his Talk on 'Creating an English Garden' (aka Malverleys), he has become something of a celebrity in the horticultural world and now writes for Gardens Illustrated. So we are very lucky to have him in Donhead St. Mary. Again with wonderful photographs, he will explain how he has developed the gardens at Malverleys it is a fascinating story. It was recently featured in Gardeners World and much admired by Monty. Once again it promises to be a great evening, so do come and join us.

Monday 9th October 2017

Val Bourne - The Living Jigsaw Explained

After decades of emphasis on pest control, often achieved through chemical means, gardeners are beginning to seek a new, or indeed old way of thinking: a garden whose very diversity of plant and animal life makes it healthy, beautiful and productive. Val will introduce us to the wide diversity of animals, birds, insects and even slugs that help bring a natural balance to a home garden and help its plants and flowers shrug off potential problems.

A stimulating evening ahead without a doubt.

Monday 12th March 2018

AGM & James Cross - Bishop's Palace Gardens (Wells Cathedral)

Following the AGM, James Cross, Head Gardener of The Bishop's Palace Gardens will be giving a Talk. Did you see James on Gardener's World with Alan Power? Well come and meet James in person and hear more about the fabulous Gardens at Wells Cathedral. James will talk about his work in the Gardens and his aims and current projects and how the Gardens under James and his team were acknowledged by the RHS as "outstanding and exceptionally high standards of planting and design." A visit to these Gardens is being planned in late June 2018.

August 2017 - Our Annual Holiday

No meeting this month.

Time to sit back, relax and take advantage of all your hard work.

Monday 9th April 2018

'Seasonal Spring Herbaceous Perennials' with Rosy Hardy

We are very privileged to have Rosy Hardy of Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants give us this month's Talk. You will have seen her many times on the Chelsea Flower Show coverage last year. Rosy was much in demand. Not surprising as her Nursery is recognised as one of the UK's leading independent nurseries for herbaceous perennials. The nursery not only grows quality plants, but also breed and propagate their own varieties. So we are sure Rosy will be able to answer ANY questions we fired at her. In addition the Nursery has now achieved 21 RHS Chelsea Gold Medals. Nothing but the best for Donheads Gardening Club. Rosy will be bringing lots of her plants for sale.

Monday 14th May 2018

Annual Discount Evening at Castle Gardens (Sherborne).

Our annual visit to Castle Gardens, Sherborne for a short talk, Tea, Coffee and Biscuits and the opportunity to buy with a priviledged 25% discount.

Please don't arrive at Castle Gardens
before 6.30pm.

Tuesday 5th June 2018 - 2.30pm - Garden Visit - Ryewater (Clive Farrell)

The first Garden Visit of the season. We are returning to Ryewater Nursery, the home and nursery of Clive Farrell, the famous 'Butterfly Man'. Clive has created Ryewater as a haven for natural wildlife as well as many different areas in his very own style of horticultural design. It is the most fascinating place and it will be wonderful to see it at a different time of year. The Butterfly House is sure to be full of exotic Butterflies fluttering right passed your very nose. There is much to see and certainly hear. It promises to be another fascinating afternoon.

Thursday 28th June 2018 - 11.30 - Garden Visit - Bishop's Palace Gardens - Wells - Click for details

Monday 23rd July 2018

Garden Visit - Melcombe Bingham (Pip Eastment)

A repeat visit to Pip Eastment's delightful garden in Melcombe Bingham. If you missed it last time, make sure you do not this year. A sheer delight. Some landscaping changes have been made in the garden, giving it a more secluded feel. At this time of year for our visit, the clematis (over 50) will be showing off in their full glory, along with many other cottage garden favourites.

August 2018 - Our Annual Holiday

No meeting this month.

Time to sit back, relax and take advantage of all your hard work.

Monday 10th September 2018

Gardening for Climate Change

Gardening for Climate Change. A talk to be given by Mike Burks of Castle Gardens. This is a new talk Mike is devising and whilst the President of the United States might not acknowledge such a thing as Climate Change, we all here in The Donheads know that is exactly what is happening. I am sure it will be an utterly fascinating evening where we can all exchange views and happenings in our very own gardens with Mike leading the way.

Monday 8th October 2018

Remarkable Trees at Stourhead - Emily Utgren

Emily Utgren will be giving us a talk on the Remarkable Trees of Stourhead. We have had various Speakers discussing Stourhead but as it is one of the most popular places we visit on a regular basis, we are sure more information will be most welcome. Recently the tallest Oak in the country was measured at Stourhead. This is amongst other Remarkable Trees Stourhead has and Emily, as a Gardener at Stourhead, is very much involved with the trees on the Estate.
Who better to tell us what to look out for next time we visit.

Monday 12th November 2018

Late Summer Colour - Derry Watkins

It is the greatest pleasure to announce that we have Derry Watkins of Special Plants coming to give us a Talk on 'Late Summer Colour'. Derry is internationally known and well respected in the Horticultural world. We are indeed very fortunate she has agreed to come to us. She will be bringing a selection of plants from her nursery and given the time of year, I am confident that Derry will still bring some very special plants. Derry created an amazing garden up at Cold Ashton near Bath which has been featured in many gardening magazines for it originality and also stunning plant content. It promises to be a very Special evening.

Monday 10th December 2018

Christmas Get-Together

Our Annual Seasonal Get-Together. A social evening with Nibbles & Dribbles.

You're welcome to bring your own 'tipple' although some will be provided and plates of food would be gratefully received.

Links below to list of previous activities

The Donheads Gardening Club is affiliated to:

The RHS, The Gardens Group Sherborne and the Wiltshire Gardens Trust.

We always welcome new members, please see our membership page for details.

Useful Links

Country Gardener Magazine

Open Gardens - National Directory

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