Gardening Club

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 hosts an annual Flower and Produce Show in early 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 is always open to new members, and offers friendly and enthusiastic support to beginners and experts alike.

The club has become a Plastic Free Ally, supporting plastic reduction in the garden and encouraging sustainable gardening techniques, such as avoiding the use of weedkillers and pesticides. Advice on how to avoid plastics and practice sustainable gardening may be downloaded via this link:

Annual Membership cost £10 per person

Visitors are welcome to attend meetings, at £3 per person

Membership forms are circulated in January but may be obtained anytime from Marion Jay.  Alternatively you can download and print off the form here:  2022 Membership Form

Marion Jay     01643 841486 

Peter Stenner              

Peter Clapham
Nigel Humphries
Woody Tickner

Programme 2022

Although it is hoped to hold talks in the Village Hall, please check individual event listings: under certain circumstances, talks will be held via Zoom. Subscription fees are due in January.

All talks begin at 7.30pm unless otherwise specified

18th JANUARY 2022 – 7.30pm

AGM – via Zoom

All club members are invited to attend the AGM. As the Omicron variant has caused fresh concerns about personal contact, the meeting will be held via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to members before the meeting.  

The AGM Agenda is available here. The Chairwoman’s Report may be read here.


Dr Andrew Ward

Zoom Talk – Perennial Pleasures

Dr Andrew Ward of Norwell Nurseries in Nottinghamshire is an entertaining and hugely experienced speaker. Norwell specialises in hardy perennials and shade-loving plants, and the nursery is accompanied by a one acre garden featuring more than 2,500 different species and cultivars, many rare and unusual.

Following requests from WCGC members for a talk on drought-tolerant plants and/or boggy gardens, Andrew’s Zoom lecture will cover plants which thrive in difficult situations with minimum attention, but which also have real impact in the garden. Perennial Pleasures also addresses aspects of the impact of climate change, focusing on the increasingly variable conditions imposed on our gardens and how we can adapt our planting palette accordingly.

For those of you who need inspiration for difficult areas in your garden, or who are simply looking for herbaceous perennials with staying power, this is the talk for you.

26th APRIL

David Usher

Gertrude Jekyll: Her Plants and Designs

David Usher was Head Gardener at Hestercombe for 18 years, where he led the project to restore the world-renowned Lutyens-Jekyll gardens according to Gertrude Jekyll’s original design, from the many drawings that were available to him. This talk gives an insight into Jekyll’s designs, including the Great Plat at Hestercombe, and looks at her painterly approach to colour in the garden, which is still influential today. A fascinating talk on an extraordinary woman.


Seedling and Plant Swap (Members-only event)

2.00pm – 4.00pm at Forge Cottage (Lower Town)

The Seedling Swap is a chance for Club members to exchange their surplus seedlings and small plants for something else. This year Roz Griffin has kindly agreed to host the event at Forge Cottage. There is no charge to attend and all members are welcome. Vegetable seedlings, ornamentals, the odd plant you don’t have space for – bring them along. Make sure you label your seedlings and plants, as we’d like to know what we’re letting ourselves in for! If you don’t have anything to swap, come along anyway and take home something new for your garden. Refreshments will be provided.


Self-Drive Visit to Tiverton Castle and Gardens

£15 per person. Members Only.
Booking Essential. Tour starts at 2pm.

Join us for a personal guided tour of Tiverton Castle’s walled gardens, castle and private house. The beautiful walled gardens enhance the romantic ruins of the castle and cover three acres, which includes interesting and rare plants, an orchard and kitchen garden. Recently restored are the steps leading down to the River Exe and the woodland garden.

The private tour will take us through over 900 years of history, encompassing architectural ages from the medieval period through to WWI, and including the Civil War Armoury. Our tour also includes the private residence within the courtyard, South Court, built in the 1600s. After the tour, teas/coffees and cake will be served in the Guard Room and we will have the opportunity to wander around the gardens.

Please note that the tour of the castle at Tiverton is not suitable for those with mobility issues, as there are narrow corridors and stairs. The garden is flat, other than the steps down to the woodland gardens and the river.

£15 per head, payable in advance (price includes refreshments). To book, please email Woody at – places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment (although there will be a reserve list).

Payment by cash or cheque only please, cheques made payable to ‘Wootton Courtenay Gardening Club’. Please put your payment in an envelope clearly marked with your name and drop it off at Woody’s house, which is ‘Little Close’ (right-hand side, on the road leading out of Wootton Courtenay towards Dunster).

Directions to Tiverton Castle will be emailed to you once your payment has been received, along with any other useful information about the trip.

28th JUNE

Ben Candlin

UK Subtropical Gardening

Fancy creating your own subtropical garden, surrounding your terrace with huge leaves and exotic blooms? This talk kicks off with a run through the history of subtropical gardening in the UK, from its Victorian origins through to the present day. Ben will then recommend a variety of winter hardy plants which can be used to create a subtropical or exotic effect in a British garden, and explain how best to grow and display them.

Ben runs a small mail-order nursery in Exmouth, specialising in aroids (the giant, smelly Amorphophallus titanum in Kew Gardens is one such plant). His nursery stocks an exciting selection of rare, unusual and inspiring plants, designed to make a statement in the garden. He is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker, and he may bring some plants for sale, too.