2018 AGM: Annual Newsletter


One of the key objectives of the Garden Society is to provide talks and visits that are both enjoyable and entertaining, whilst increasing the knowledge of its members. Through these meetings, we can share our own experiences as well as learn new things and I believe in these times of extreme weather changes - a summer heatwave followed by predictions of the coldest winter for ten years - this additional knowledge can prove very useful!

Our first meeting of the year met the above criteria perfectly and in an unusual way: it was an interview with Anne Wareham, during which she and members of the audience shared their extensive knowledge of gardening in an informal way. This was followed in February by Graham Gough’s talk on late season plants, giving us planting ideas to brighten up our borders in the Autumn.

At our March meeting, Chris Cronin gave a very interesting talk on the renovation of the walled garden at Croome Court that he has undertaken with his wife, Karen, over the past few years. We also had our Spring Flower and Bulb Show at this meeting, ably organised by Sally Secret and with an abundance of excellent entries, even though we had some late snow that did not help growing conditions.

In April, we held our Plant Sale which, judged by the length of the queue of people waiting for it to open, has become something of a special event in St. Briavels. The income from this event (which has averaged about £1000 each year since we started) significantly boosts the society’s funds and enables us to keep our membership fees low, whilst providing a sizeable budget for speakers. So, well done to Sue Davis, who leads the organising committee and who was supported by Sue Young and Sue Burrows and, of course, to all of you who provide plants and help on the day. Due to the recent boost in our funds, we have decided to drop the charge for teas at our meetings - so, from now on, your drink and a biscuit will be free!

Laura Wilgoss, from Wildegoose Nursery, joined us in May to describe a new, more natural, take on bedding and, in particular, the use of hardy annuals to extend the flowering season. Then, in June, Sally Nex gave us a delightful insight into what happens ‘behind the scenes’ at Chelsea Flower Show. Also in June, we held our annual members' Coffee Morning. My thanks to Sue and Mike Young,who hosted this at their home on the Fence, where we enjoyed tea and cake, as well as a guided tour of their adjacent meadow by George Peterken, our local grasslands expert.

In July, a dozen or so of us travelled just beyond Bath and spent a very pleasant day visiting the Peto Garden at Iford Manor and the Courts Garden, not to mention enjoying a very nice lunch at the Field Kitchen in Holt. Our American Supper evening was well attended, as usual, and this year we were well entertained by our very own Roy Cansdale. To show our appreciation the Society made a small donation to Roy’s preferred charity, the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.

More recently, in September, Victoria Logue gave a very useful practical demonstration of plant propagation and then we invited Pauline Pears back in October to talk about growing fruit organically. We still have our last talk of the season to look forward to, when the well known author, Bill Laws, will talk about the ten plants that changed the course of history, following the AGM.

This year, we continued our support of honey bees by awarding grants to train up new bee keepers. We managed to secure funding from the St. Briavels Wind Turbine Community Fund enabling us to award two grants. My thanks to David Broadbent for leading this initiative and to Judy Craven in supporting the selection process.

Good communication is important to the running of our society and Christine Haines continues to manage very effectively our comprehensive website which contains a host of information. Christine also coordinates communication to our members and our entries in the Village News. 

In addition to Christine and other occasional contributors to the Village News, I would like to thank Cheryl Cummings (who took over this task from David Broadbent in February) for her excellent articles on wildlife gardening for the Village News.

There are some changes happening on your committee this year with April Tremlett, Sue Young, Sue Burrows and Jackie Healy stepping down. I would like to take this 

opportunity to thank them all for their work on the committee over the past few years, as well as thanking the whole committee for their work on your behalf over the past year. 

Anne Downes has volunteered to join the committee and so we have co-opted her on, subject to ratification at the AGM. This still leaves a couple of vacancies and so if you are interested in helping to run the society then please let either myself or any member of the committee know before the AGM.

The 2019 programme is now on the website and will be available on membership cards shortly.

 Mike Weeks 



Friday, 16 NOVEMBER 2018


At this meeting, all the Officers and Ordinary Members of the Committee will retire. All members of the Committee are seeking re-election. The Officers and Ordinary Committee Members elected at the last AGM and proposed for re-election at this AGM are as follows:


Chair: Mike Weeks

Vice Chair: Sue Davis

Secretary: John Gooder 

Treasurer: Sue Davis


Membership Secretary: Annie Williams 

Programme Secretary: Christine Haines 

Member: Anne Downes

NOMINATIONS for officers or ordinary committee members should be submitted in writing, before the meeting, to the Secretary, John Gooder at:


Please give the name of the person proposed, the office proposed, and the names and signatures of the proposer and seconder.

John Gooder



The Plant Sale will be on 27 April next year

The harsh winter was a real challenge to members raising plants for our Plant Sale, and those grown from seed were particularly hard–hit. 

Inevitably, we had fewer plants than the previous year. However, the crowds still came, and we raised a creditable £906.89 (I still can’t work out where the 89p came from). This compares with a record £1380.55 last year. 

Thanks to all members who contributed plants, gardening tools, books cakes etc and ran the associated stalls on the day.

                                                                          Sue Davis


It’s that time of year – copies of the seed catalogue from Dobies have arrived and once again, society members can benefit from a 50% reduction on all seeds, and 15% on everything else including autumn/ winter/spring bedding plants, shrubs, hedging, vegetables, tools, greenhouse equipment and much more. 

I’ll bring along copies to the AGM (16 November) or you can request a copy from me at wyegardensociety@gmail.com 

Sue Davis