Review

Reviews here of mostly past events, presentations and visits.

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    Professional beekeeper “The Bee Farmer” David McDowell gave a fascinating talk to Ticknall Garden Club on beekeeping and the life cycle of bees on 9 April, 2024. In the UK there are 4 main types of bees – honey bees, bumble bees, solitary bees and wasps. Sadly the number of DEFRA-registered hives in the UK…

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    Julia and Elaine know how to entertain an audience as Ticknall Garden Club discovered when they attended their March meeting. They are a couple of larger-than-life personalities who have developed a loyal following on Radio Derby and their podcasts under the striking title of The Potty Plotters. They challenged the audience to answer questions in…

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    On 13 February 2024, Steve Lovell gave us an interesting talk on his approach to garden design after spending many years as a garden designer based in Lincolnshire. He encouraged us to think beyond flowers and look at ‘plants’ from the perspective of their foliage, structure, colourful stems, berries, seedheads and bark when choosing trees,…

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    Geoff Hodge is a knowledgeable horticulturist.  He is a freelance writer, author, radio broadcaster and gives talks on many gardening subjects. At his presentation to the Ticknall Gardening Club on 14 November 2023, Geoff started by telling us about Global warming/climate change.  He described how we would all have to change the way we garden.…

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    Does anyone remember a film called ‘A Man for all Seasons’?  If not, the title describes Adam Frost.  It Is hard to believe that Adam is dyslexic, ran away from home at 16 and came second in an interview to work for Geoff Hamilton.  When Adams talk for Ticknall Garden Club began, I found I was utterly…

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    Dierama plants have the reputation of being difficult to grow. Ruth Plant came to the July meeting of Ticknall Garden Club hoping to persuade otherwise. She has a large collection of dierama growing in her Stafford Garden. In fact, she now cares for the National plant collection. They are evergreen, clump forming plants with long…

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    All the best things come in little packages, so they say and Rodney Young aimed to prove it when he came to the June 2023 meeting of Ticknall Garden Club. He has perfected the art of growing bonsai trees over many years and the examples he displayed were impressive in shape and variety. The art…

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    Neil Timm came to the May meeting of Ticknall Garden Club on 8 May 2023 to talk about a rather underrated group of plants, the world of ferns. They are quite unlike any other plants in that they do not produce flowers and seeds but spores. On a warm summer’s day their fronds bend and…

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    Steffie Shields MBE is a lecturer, photographer, historic/landscape/ conservationist consultant and a writer for consumer magazines. She is very passionate about her subject. So much so she has written a book about Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown called Moving Heaven and Earth. I thought I knew a lot about Mr Brown but after Steffie’s presentation to Ticknall Garden Club…

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    Darren Rudge is not only a Horticulturist but also a horticulture lecturer, writer andbroadcaster. So, as they say, ‘he knows his subject’. Darren has an easy going and refreshing style. At the March meeting of the Ticknall Garden Club he was able to convey a subject that can be complex so easily to an audience.…

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    Karen Gimson made an unscheduled return visit to Ticknall Garden Club on February 14th. She is well known for her gardening chats on Radio Leicester and her column in Garden News. While knowledgeable on all garden matters, she is particularly interested in the use of garden flowers to decorate the home. She devotes two greenhouses…

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    Karen Gimson came to talk to Ticknall Garden Club at their November meeting. As well as being a garden designer she broadcasts on gardening topics at Radio Leicester and writes articles for Garden News. Her wide experience was very evident as she interspersed her talk with very practical advice. She set out to show that…

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    The origins and history of Catton are rich with stories of valour, intrigue, conquest, love and loss, much of it evoked by the many paintings in the Catton Collection. The Horton family and their descendants have been at Catton since 1405 when it was purchased from the descendants of the Norman Nigel D’Albini. He had…

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    Chris Beardshaw proved to be a popular speaker at Ticknall Garden Club’s October meeting. There was a full house to hear what the well-known gardening personality had to say. He believed that gardening links lives together; giving satisfaction and a purpose to life. He would also show how driving ambition can achieve success against all…

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    Ticknall Garden Club was treated to a highly entertaining presentation at their June meeting. Doug Stewart travelled from Beverley in Yorkshire to convince us that keeping houseplants was a rewarding experience. He pointed out that it can evolve into a long-lasting love for gardening as happened in his own case. He started by explaining how…

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    Philip Aubury came to Ticknall Garden Clubs meeting in May to reassure his audience that there is plenty of scope for planting even without a garden. He included the use of gro-bags, pots, hanging baskets, plastic bags, raised beds and window boxes with lots of useful advice along the way. Tomatoes are ideal subjects for…

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    Malcolm Dickson from Hooksgreen Herb Nursery near Stone came to talk at Ticknall Garden Club’s April meeting. He traced his progress from selling bedding plants on market stalls to establishing a successful Nursery selling herbs. During that journey, he was the first to introduce, the now staple, cosmos to the gardener. Along the way, he…

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    Nick Bailey, a familiar face on Gardener’s World, attracted a sell-out attendance at Ticknall Garden Club’s March meeting. He came to talk about the place of perfumed plants in the garden. His first task was to explain why plants might have a scent at all. Mainly it is there to attract insects for pollination purposes.…

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    Gary Carroll came to the February meeting of Ticknall Garden Club to talk about geraniums. But it did not involve the bright and showy bedding plants with which we are so familiar. Gary grows 142 varieties of the humble hardy geranium at his Cranesbill Nursery in Walsall. Hardy geraniums are widespread around the globe in…

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    Ticknall Garden Club enjoyed a most interesting talk on the working life of a head gardener at its January meeting. After gaining qualifications in horticulture and landscape design, Pip Smith worked as Head Gardener at three different prestigious locations before now branching out into his own garden design business. He first worked at Winterbourne House…

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    After a couple of extremely well-attended outdoor meetings in September, when we visited the historic gardens of Melbourne Hall and November, when we were at the unique and very special Staunton Harold Church, we had our first indoor meeting since the start of the pandemic. Our first meeting was at Ticknall Village Hall and the…

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    Ticknall Preservation and Historical Society is “UP AND RUNNING AGAIN”.  Our first meeting was on Wednesday, 22 September 2021 when we visited the historic Melbourne Hall Gardens. It was a beautiful late Summer day and 29 members joined in the visit. Historian – and Melbourne Hall archivist – Philip Heath guided members on a tour…

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    Ticknall Garden Club attracted a good attendance on Tuesday, October 12th with an audience keen to hear all about plants that are suitable for putting by fences and garden walls. Janette Merilion was the speaker with all the answers. With many years experience in gardening and garden design, she was well qualified to do so.…

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    Ticknall Garden Club anticipated that an interesting evening was in store on Tuesday, November 9th when Darren Rudge came to give a talk entitled “Teabags, Bras and Tights”. They were not disappointed. His theme of sustainability in the garden and a return to many of the forgotten ways of the past met with interest and approval. …

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    Members of Ticknall Garden Club met together on Tuesday, 14th September for the first time since February 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic tragically caused the shutdown of normal social activity. A good attendance indicated that people were keen to return to some semblance of normality and they were warmly welcomed to the evening event. A…

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    There was a packed audience in Ticknall Village Hall on March 10th when Steve Hickman came to talk about The World of Agapanthus. Regarded by many as the most beautiful of flowers, all were keen to find out the best way to care for them. Steve holds the national collection of agapanthus at his home…

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    One might have thought that Sally Smith had come to Ticknall Garden Club on February 11th to convert the audience to love the weeds in their gardens, but this was not the case. With years of experience working at Ryton Organic Garden, she understandably had a forgiving attitude to them, but she showed that coping…

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    Plants, but not as we know them!  Don Billington came to Ticknall Garden Club’s January meeting and opened eyes to a group of plants that thrive with little or no root system. Called bromeliads, they derive their food from sun and moisture. They are popular as house plants but in the wilds of places like…

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    We met for coffee at the Bull’s Head, where, with the aid of a map, Janet gave us a brief history of Repton from Anglo Saxons, Vikings and their eventual settlement in 874, the changing course of the river, its mills, ferries and fords and the development of the village. This was followed by a…

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    A perennial is a plant that continuously grows throughout its life. Therefore grass, ferns, bamboo and even shrubs and trees are technically perennials. Steve Lovell, who came to talk to Ticknall Garden Club in November, concentrated mainly on what would be called herbaceous perennials. Steve Lovell came from Lincolnshire to pay his return visit to…

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    Gardeners like nothing better than browsing through a tempting new catalogue crammed full of colourful plants; some dependable traditional varieties but often something different labelled as new. We are very unlikely to wonder how these new plants come on to the market and why there is such a wide variety to choose from. A visit…

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    The secret of success in making a garden to suit alpine plants is all in the construction and the maintenance thereafter. At least this was the message that Jeff Bates was keen to get across at his talk to Ticknall Garden Club at their meeting on July 9th. Think Dovedale with its craggy rock outcrops…

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    Ticknall has been a base for chef Ig Oliver since the late ’70s, from his earliest days working at local establishments such as the Crewe and Harpur, Hardinge Arms, The Fallen Knight at Ashby-de-la-Zouch and others, but his career as a chef has from time to time taken him to many far-flung places. In the…

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    The last two talks at Ticknall Garden Club in May and June have featured two dedicated gardeners who have been very successful in their careers. They can transmit their enthusiasm for their love of plants so well that listeners are persuaded to buy plants that they never thought they needed! They both established their garden…

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    The last two talks at Ticknall Garden Club have concentrated on the small flowers that often go unappreciated in the garden. Dr Andrew Ward from Norwell Nurseries near Newark identified some of the little gems that can shine in the shade of a woodland floor. The primrose and lungwort are early flowering plants that provide…

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    It was roses all the way when Stuart Dixon gave his illustrated talk to Ticknall Garden Club at its February meeting.  Perhaps surprisingly the rose family is the biggest in the plant world and includes such diverse members as the apple, strawberry, hawthorn, spirea, lady’s mantle and cotoneaster. Examples exist in the oldest fossils on…

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