Hilltop Gardening Club Report with a talk by Mandy Bradshaw - Beyond the garden gate

ON NOVEMBER 6, our members had a new experience in that we were meeting in the afternoon in Eastcombe Scout Hut instead of attending an evening meeting in Eastcombe Village Hall.

Jane Randall, our programme secretary, thought that a large majority of our members would prefer to turn out in the afternoon rather than on a cold dark night and many of them agreed with her.

The ‘Hut’ proved to be a good venue and we will have two more meetings there this winter.

The speaker was Mandy Bradshaw, a journalist who specialises in all matters to do with gardening.

She has a website called “The Chatty Gardener” and she is the Garden Journalist of the Year 2018 in the property Press Awards.

Mandy began her illustrated talk on Cotswold Gardens by saying that the term ‘Cotswold’ was used loosely and included areas of the countryside nearby.

We are fortunate in having some of the best gardens in the country such as Hidcote and Highgrove.

The latter she called a ‘Marmite’ garden, you either loved it or hated it!

One of her favourite gardens is Highnam Court just outside Gloucester.

When Mandy showed a slide of the terrace with tall obelisks, a voice from the back of the hall said “I designed those”.

It was Robert Bryant, our president!

The Cotswold Wild Life Park is now becoming known not only for its animals but also for the gardens which are being developed to link up with the animal exhibits.

Some of the gardens mentioned are the products of garden designers, some have a long history but others result from gardeners passionate about certain plants.

Mandy and her lovely photographs made us realise that we may have seen some of our Cotswold gardens but there are many more to explore made easier by using the ‘Yellow Book’ published by the National Gardens Scheme.

For further details of our activities go to hilltopgardeningclub.org.uk