Gardening Club

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The Wootton Courtenay Garden Club was established to provide opportunities for villagers to enjoy talks and discussions on gardening topics, and to arrange visits to interesting local gardens.   It also holds its annual Flower and Produce Show during August.

The club warmly welcomes everyone who has a garden in the village, whether they are experienced enthusiasts or those who want to learn a little more.  It particularly welcomes new members, and offers friendly and enthusiastic support to beginners and experts alike.

The club is now affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the club is currently holding talks via Zoom only.

Annual Membership cost £10 per person –  waived for 2021

Visitors are welcome to attend meetings at £3 per person – waived for 2021

Membership forms are circulated in January but can be obtained, with other club information, any time from Marion (details below).

Marion Jay     01643 841486

Peter Stenner              

Peter Clapham
Lucy McQuillan
Nigel Humphries

Programme 2020/21

The programme of talks had to be suspended during 2020, due to Covid 19.  Nurserywoman Sally Gregson will be giving a talk via Zoom in October (see below), and if this proves popular we will arrange another Zoom talk for early spring.  Subscription fees have been waived for 2021, as a gesture of goodwill in light of the current difficulties.

All talks begin at 7.30pm unless otherwise specified


Zoom Talk by Sally Gregson – The Winter Garden

Having trained as a mature student at Hadlow College in Kent, Sally moved to Somerset at the end of the 1980s and set up her own small nursery: Mill Cottage Plants, near Wookey, which specialises in hydrangeas, plants for shade, and the famous Benton irises. 

Sally is currently writing a book on The Winter Garden, and in this talk she will be giving advice on how to structure your garden for winter interest, using evergreens, shrubs with coloured bark, early spring bulbs, flowering shrubs and herbaceous plants.  As we’re all spending lots of time at home these days, it’s a talk which should help brighten our lives.

21st JANUARY 2021

AGM – probably via Zoom

Details and agenda to be announced closer to the time.


Zoom Talk by Michael Brown – What’s Your Poison?

Michael is known as The Historic Gardener, and gives talks, displays and advice on gardening throughout history, from the Romans to modern times. He has provided displays for many National Trust and English Heritage sites in appropriate period costume, and he created the medieval gardens at Prebendal Manor at Nassington, Northamptonshire.

This talk will describe how poisonous plants have been used over the centuries; to remove unwanted rivals, as aphrodisiacs, for pest control and as a method of foretelling the future or speak with the gods.  Be warned, many of these plants may well be growing in your garden!  This promises to be an entertaining and intriguing lecture.


Zoom Talk by Gilly Hayward – Pruning: Why, When and How?

Until recently, Gilly Hayward co-owned Moor Plants, an independent nursery in Ashcott, Somerset, with her sister Jenny Hayward-Karlsson.  In this talk she will be dispelling some of the mystery surrounding pruning, and explaining when and how to tackle it.  Anyone with an overgrown garden will benefit from this talk, but it is also useful for those of us who grow roses, clematis and hydrangeas.


Nigel Cox – Pest Control Without Chemicals

Nigel Cox teaches horticulture at Cannington College, although of course since lockdown 2020 he has been lecturing remotely from home.  With the recent flourishing of wildlife-friendly gardening, the idea of organic pest control is one which should interest us all.  In this talk, Nigel will explain how we can all manage garden pests and diseases organically, using simple and inexpensive methods.

If, thanks to the vaccine, we are able to meet in the hall by midsummer 2021, this talk will be given in person.  If not, it will be via Zoom.

Visit to Broomclose, nr Porlock (date TBA)

Broomclose is a large and varied garden, set around an early 1900s Arts and Crafts house with a breathtaking outlook to the sea.  With original stone terraces, a Mediterranean garden, long herbaceous borders, a camellia walk, a meadow with bee hives and a vegetable garden, there is something for everyone to enjoy.  The mild maritime climate favours unusual sub-tropical trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.

Owner Nicky Ramsay will be on hand to guide us round her garden, telling us something of its history and how she has managed and developed the garden.  Nicky is an experienced gardener and is passionate about her plants, so there are many unusual gems to be discovered here.