Party Time – and a Great Start to the Gardening Year THIRTY FIVE club members and their guests gathered at The Ragged Cot on February 16 for our annual dinner, postponed from January 5 because of the first of this winter’s heavy snowfalls. It was a jovial occasion and everyone agreed that the food and the company were excellent.

Our evening meeting on March 2, featuring renowned plantswoman Derry Watkins, creator of the Special Plants Nursery and gardens at Cold Ashton, attracted a large audience. US-born Derry is a most entertaining and witty speaker and peppered her well-illustrated talk on unusual and long-blooming flowering plants with amusing anecdotes from her career in horticulture. Derry is a great advocate of growing more tender plants which generally have much longer flowering periods than hardy varieties. Several months of interest can be expected rather than the typical two or three weeks that many hardy plants give.

Our next meeting on April 6 (Eastcombe Village Hall at 7.45pm) is the annual bring-and-buy plant sale. Please contribute excess seedlings and those rooted cuttings that you now have too many of – or perhaps that house plant that you’d like to pass on. Wherever possible, please label your plant.

At the meeting we will offer pelargonium plugs to members for growing on and entering in the special class at our show in September. We look forward to a riot of colour and we encourage members to enter other classes too – look at our website ( to see pictures of last year’s show.