Tintern Garden Club

Annual and Monthly Reports

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Garden Club update, August 2021

In August the Garden Club does not have a meeting, instead they organise and run the Village Show. This was held on Saturday 14th August on a very pleasant day and was well attended by visitors to the village as well as local residents.

Despite the difficult weather conditions this year, there were plenty of exhibits in most classes and in all sections. The flowers looked lovely and the vegetables of good quality. The handicraft section had more entries this year – possibly because of lock down- but it shows what a talented crowd live in Tintern! The cookery classes were mostly well entered – cakes, preserves, bread, eggs -but no quiches this year! The children's classes suffered from the lack of Brigade entries as they are not meeting at the moment because of Covid.

The trophies were awarded to the following
  • Flower section Judith Dudley
  • Vegetable section Colin Dudley
  • Handicraft section Carolynn Blythe
  • Cookery section Sue Hassell
  • Childrens' classes Eden Wheeler
  • Best in classes for flowers, fruit & vegetables Judith Dudley
  • Best in classes for handicraft & cookery Christine Bradshaw
  • Peoples Choice was equal first for Christine Bradshaw, Carolynn Blythe & Marion Derrett

The Garden Club says a huge thank you to Lindsay Cobb for organising the show this year. Also to be thanked are all the members who helped out in any way to make the show such a success. Not to be forgotten are the many people, both members and others, who put in entries as without these the show would not happen!

The next meeting of the Garden Club is a garden visit to Clouds Rest at Brockweir on Friday 17th September. We will be meeting at the garden at 6.00pm. (earlier than usual because the nights are drawing in). For more details please contact Liz Greatorix-Davies on 012910689861 or Colin Dudley on 01291689636.

For details of the Garden Club, please contact Colin Dudley, Parva Farm Vineyard. 02191689636 parvafarm@hotmail.com

Judith Dudley
Garden Club update, July 2021

At long last we have been able to have a proper monthly meeting in the Village Hall! As expected, the weather on the evening was beautiful but that meant we could open all the windows and with everyone wearing their masks and socially distanced, we felt safe as well as happy that we could get together once more.

Our speaker was Dino who gave us a fascinating talk about the history of orchids' rise to fame in the Victorian era but also spoke about the destruction caused by plant hunters then and also now as “orchidmania” has taken off in Asia and collectors are still paying huge prices for rare species. These orchids are being collected by local forest dwellers for the plant hunters and of course, they are not being paid much for them. The plants' habitat is also being destroyed in the process- much food for thought. The talk was accompanied by some very interesting slides.

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The next big Garden Club event is of course the Village Show. This is being held on Sat. August 14th in the Village Hall. It is open for all village residents to enter. Schedules are available from Lindsay Cobb, Quay House, Tintern. email lindsaycobb1@btopenworld.com

Entry forms need to be with Lindsay by Wed.11th August. We are hoping some of the covid rules will have been relaxed by then and that we will be able to serve teas in the afternoon. Viewing of the entries is from 2.30pm.

For details of the Garden Club, please contact Colin Dudley, Parva Farm Vineyard. 02191689636 parvafarm@hotmail.com

Judith Dudley

Garden Club update, June 2021

The Garden Club seems to have been dogged by bad weather recently! The May garden visit to Pilstone House had to be postponed because of the rain and then, when it was held the following week, the weather was dull and cloudy most of the evening with a shower at the end of the visit. However, everyone enjoyed the visit to what was a lovely garden with an interesting history.


Our June meeting was the annual Garden Party held in a member's garden. This year it was hosted by Liz Greatorex-Davies at The Poplars, Whitelye. After a week of beautiful weather, the Friday dawned cold and dull but fortunately the rain held off and the party went ahead with 17 members attending. Liz showed us around her garden and wild flower meadow which had a profusion of flowers, particularly orchids which were lovely to see. We all admired the vegetable garden which was already producing plenty of peas and broad beans with other crops well advanced. Everything was very neat and tidy, making many of us think that we must try harder! Our thanks go to Liz for her hard work in organising the visit.

For our July meeting we are back in the Village Hall so it will probably be hot and dry! Our speaker for the evening will be Dino Zelenika talking about orchids. Liz will be sending out the details nearer the time and collecting names of those who would like to attend.

The show schedule for our Village Show on August 14th has been circulated. If anyone (garden club member or village resident) would like a copy, please contact Colin Dudley on 01291689636.

Judith Dudley
Garden Club update, April 2020

As reported last month, our meetings have unfortunately been cancelled until further notice. However as many of our members have gardens and the weather has been so good, we are guessing that they are taking advantage of the current situation and growing as much as they can this year. Colin, our Chairman has a few tips to help, especially those who do not usually make much use of their gardens.

1/The first is to remember that it is still only April and it is quite possible for us to have frosty nights well into May so don't be in a hurry to plant out anything that is susceptible to frost.

2/If you are growing vegetables, sow a few at a time over a few weeks so that they don't all mature together.

3/The soil has warmed up well now but may also be rather dry for seed sowing so water the furrow where you are going to plant, before you put the seeds in and keep it moist.

4/Keep an eye out for slugs, especially if it rains as they will be delighted to chew off all your lovely, new, green seedlings! Look out for slug hiding places such as under stones or pieces of wood or long grass at the edge of the bed.

5/ Things like bean and courgette seeds can be planted in pots on a windowsill or other protected place and planted out once the danger of frost has passed. The plants are then large enough to stand some chill and also are less likely to be eaten by slugs.

6/ Rabbits seem to be making a come back this year so it may be necessary to protect your plants from them.

Plant Swap Shop
It quite often happens that when we grow plants, we end up with more than we need. If this happens to you, please bring the excess up to the vineyard and we will organise a swap shop - with proper social distancing of course. To find out what is here, ring Judith on 07484 670302 and arrange a time to visit.

We hope everyone is enjoying their gardens at this lovely time of year. Home grown vegetables are the best and they save you from going shopping!
Report on February 2020 Meeting

The February meeting was held in the Village Hall and despite the unpleasant weather was well attended. Our speaker, Mr. Den Bannister, fought his way over the Severn Bridge from Slimbridge to give us an excellent and moving talk entitled “Slimbridge Remembers”.

This was nothing to do with the wildfowl wetlands but was about the way the village of Slimbridge commemorated 100 years since the Armistice. He told us how the idea of some sort of memorial developed over time to involve the whole community and ended up with being on National television and having the village roads gridlocked because so many people came to see the “Wire Soldiers” which had been created by a local artist and displayed in the graveyard. (Can be found on the internet at “Wire soldiers”.)

Following the talk, Colin, our chairman announced the winners of the evening's competition which was for “Something made of wire”. This was won by Carolyn Blythe who had made a lovely group of guinea fowl. Lindsay Cobb was second and Christine Bradshaw third.

The next meeting will be on Friday 20th March in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.The advertised talk about “Unusual Gadgets” has unfortunately been cancelled and replaced by a talk by Phil Ashford about the involvement of Gloucester in the tobacco trade in the 17th century. The competition will remain the same which is “An old or useful gadget”.

Non members are always welcome to attend the meetings at a charge of £2.00. Please contact Colin Dudley on 01291689636 if you require any information.

Judith Dudley
Report on The Annual General Meeting 2019

The AGM of the Garden Club was held on January 17th at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

Colin Dudley, our chairman, spoke of the interesting and varied speakers and events we had had during the last year.

Bernard Bradshaw (treasurer) then gave his report of the finances which apparently are in good order and the club membership has risen to 37 so things are looking bright for 2020.

The show secretary's report was also very upbeat as he reported that there had been 300 entries in the Village show last August and several of these were from non-members. The show this year will be on August 15th so as not to clash with Chepstow show. Dave Tuffrey who has been doing a sterling job as Show secretary for the last few years is retiring.

The following officers were elected :- Colin Dudley (Chairman), Sue Hassell (Vice chair), Bernard Bradshaw (Treasurer), Liz Greatorex-Davies (Programme secretary), Lindsay Cobb (Show secretary), Judith Dudley (Publicity officer).

The programme for 2020 was handed out and it looks as though Terry Morrison has done a great job finding some interesting speakers and gardens to visit. Terry has been programme secretary for the last five years and is now retiring so a small presentation was made to her to thank her for all her hard work.

The competition results for the monthly competitions were announced. The overall winner with 14 points was Judith Dudley and she was presented with a Portmerion photo frame.

Colin announced that the Nurtons (Wye Valley Sculpture Garden) will be opening in February to show their snowdrops. It was decided that Garden Club members would visit on Wednesday 5th February at 2.00pm so any members who are interested in seeing the snowdrops can meet there.

There being no more business, the meeting closed at 8.30pm and was followed by tea, biscuits and a chat.
Report on November 2019 Meeting
For our November meeting of Tintern Garden Club, we were joined by Bob Train to teach us all about ‘Garden Photography’. By showing us a fabulous collection of his photographic work, we learned all about composition, focus, cropping and combinations. Bob explained the importance of encouraging the viewer’s eye to go on a journey through the photograph and the joy of experimenting to find the right balance from different levels and and angles around the garden. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing his photos showing the changing seasons of the glorious gardens he had visited. So if you see lots of Garden Club members laying down in the muddy leaves this month to capture that special autumnal shot from a hedgehog-eye view, you’ll know where they got the idea!

This month’s competition was to bring a photograph of flowers with our guest speaker acting as judge. The winner was Jackie Langdon with a beautiful picture of roses, followed by Carolynn Blythe in second place and Christine Bradshaw in third. Many thanks to all our competitors!

Our next meeting is our Christmas Party at 6.30pm on Friday 20 December in Tintern Village Hall. Join us for a festive get-together!
Report on October 2019 Meeting
On a terrible wet and windy night in October, with the rain lashing down, the intrepid members of Garden Club convened for a spooky talk about ‘Gargoyles’ by John Putley just in time for Halloween. A range of strange, twisted and gurning creatures were gathered in the Village Hall - but that’s enough about the Garden Club members, let’s turn to the gargoyles brought along by our speaker instead. John really knew his stuff and kept us thoroughly entertained with tales of gargoyles through the ages and the many different types of creatures we might see and the locations we might find them. Garden Club members will soon be seen peering up at every old church and historic building looking for gargoyles hidden in the stonework. And expect some curious looking garden sculptures appearing around Tintern next spring.

This month’s competition was to bring an ‘amusing mug’ with our guest speaker acting as judge. The winner was Sue Hassell, followed by Judith Dudley in second place and Jackie Langdon in third. Many thanks to all our competitors!
Report on September 2019 Meeting
Our meeting in September saw the start of our autumn/winter programme of talks for this year, after our summer escapades visiting gardens throughout Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire. The leaves on the trees are beginning to turn their glorious autumnal shades, the evenings are becoming darker and we knew the wind and rain was about to set in, so we huddled into Tintern Village Hall for a lesson in how to deal with ‘The Autumn Garden’ by Catherine Williams. Catherine spoke to us about this changeable season and reminded us of the list of ‘jobs to do’ to keep the garden looking its best for the autumn months, before settling it to bed for the winter! Many helpful tips and ideas were shared, many jobs were added to our lists – so expect to see the gardeners of Tintern still busy and bustling in their gardens for months to come. Don’t forget the birds, hedgehogs and small creatures who need our help to get through the autumn and winter!

This month’s competition was to bring an interesting leaf, with our guest speaker acting as judge. A real range of leaf sizes, shapes and colours were seen! The winner was Dave Tuffery, followed by Judith Dudley in second place and Carol Ostler in third. Many thanks to all our competitors!
Report on July 2019 Meeting
Our July meeting was our Garden Club summer party! We ventured out to Chepstow to be well entertained by our lovely hosts Jim and Jackie Langdon. Our intrepid members braved the forecasted rain and happily the storms held off for most of the evening whilst we were treated to a tour of Jim and Jackie’s new garden. A lovely garden with a gloriously colourful selection of planting! We then retreated to the house to tuck into our tasty summer feast of food and drink brought along by all the members. A very convivial evening was had by all. Many thanks to Jim and Jackie for hosting a great party!

Thank you to everyone who supported our Garden Club stall at the Village Fete on 29 June. We had a lovely day in the gorgeous weather, meeting lots of garden enthusiasts - hope you are all enjoying your new plants.

Our next event is our Annual Show on Saturday 10th August in Tintern Village Hall. Remember that all residents of the Tintern area are welcome to enter (not only members!) and children can join in with any category not just the children’s categories. The show covers all sorts of fruit, veg, eggs, flowers, crafts, arts, photography and homemade produce. Come and show us your makes! Show programmes have been handed out to all members, along with geraniums for the club competition - if you don't yet have yours, please contact Dave Tuffery. Please let Dave know your entries by Wednesday 7th August.
Open for public viewing from 2.30pm - 4.30pm. Everyone welcome! Lots of tea and cake and treats on sale!
Report on June 2019 Meeting
For our June meeting, the rainclouds stayed away just long enough for a gloriously sunny evening visit to Woodhaven garden. We were smitten with this colourful garden in Itton. It was surprising to discover that the garden had been developed singlehandedly by our hosts just in the past 13 years, having previously been part of a sawmill and then a breaker’s yard full of old buses and vehicles! The lovely front garden was filled with swathes of purple and white combinations of early summer flowers and a collection of cloud-like acer trees. Our knowledgable hosts then showed us round their main garden, which was bursting with rambling roses, colourful clematis climbing over arches, hidden sculptures, and huge flower beds leading down to a wildflower meadow. We ended our visit with tasty cake and bara brith on the sun terrace, whilst enjoying spectacular views across the valley.

Our next meeting is our Summer Party at 6.30pm on Friday 19th July! Come along to Jim & Jackie’s house at Ty-Melyn, Ruffets Close, Chepstow NP16 5BP. Bring food and drink to share. It should be a lovely evening!

Hopefully you are all getting on well with your own growing plans and preparing some spectacular entries for the Annual Show on 10th August. Remember that all residents of the Tintern area are welcome to enter (not only members!) and children can join in with any category not just the children’s categories. The show covers all sorts of fruit, veg, flowers, crafts, arts, photography and homemade produce. Come and show us your makes! Show programmes have been handed out to all members, along with geraniums for the club competition - if you don't yet have yours, please contact Dave.

We are always happy to see new members (the subscription is great value at just £10 per year) and non-members are also always welcome to come along to speaker meetings for a charge of £2. For more information about Garden Club, contact Colin Dudley on parvafarm@hotmail.com or 07899 980826, or come along to the next meeting to become our newest member.
Report on May 2019 Meeting
Our meeting in May saw the first garden visit of this year. Our intrepid members ventured to Whitchurch for an an evening exploration of the garden at Woodview. We enjoyed a lovely spring evening (with plenty of rain!) viewing the interesting array of hostas and wild orchids. The garden was full of intriguing sculptures and we enjoyed the collection of vintage garden tools, before tucking into some scrummy cakes from our knowledgable hosts. It was a joy to see the owl nesting boxes with young owlets tucked away inside, and the wren nesting pots being well used. A lovely start to our garden visits this year!
Report on April 2019 Meeting
After a sun-drenched and chocolate-filled Easter break, the members of Tintern Garden Club bravely struggled through the wet and windy wilds of Tintern to attend our April meeting. Gardening guru Marion Stainton spoke to us about ‘Colour & Companion Planting’ to wet our appetites for a new season of digging, sowing and planting in our gardens. Marion had some very bright and colourful ideas for contrasting and complementary combinations, using a whole range of shrubs, bulbs, climbers, foliage and perennials. She stressed the importance of planning for a garden to deliver a whole year’s worth of interest. Taking photos of the garden every few months as different plants pop up means that at the end of the year you can look back to work out where all your boring and empty bits are - and make amends by treating yourself to a shopping spree to buy lots more plants! Marion looked at spring and summer gardens, borders with winter interest, cool and hot palettes, and gave some thoughts on pictures of our own gardens. If every members’ garden has a verbena bonariensis appearing this year, it will be Marion’s influence!

This month’s competition was to bring a picture of companion planting, with our guest speaker acting as judge. The winner was Jim Langdon, with his stunning colour combination of rudbeckia and virginia creeper, followed by Judith Dudley in second place and Colin Dudley in third. Many thanks to all our competitors!
Report on March 2019 Meeting
For our March meeting, a last minute hiccup saw our new Chairman step into the breach and save the day with an impromptu talk all about Tintern’s very own vineyard. With lots of interactive props and some very sharp secateurs, Colin Dudley taught us all about his jobs through the year. From pruning vines and directing new shoots, to dealing with constant battles to save the grapes from rabbits and deer and birds and badgers and mould, to yet more pruning and tying, to finally harvesting the crop and choosing the blends for bottling. Judith Dudley gave us a very knowledgable talk about the development of vineyards through the ages, the way the spread of wine-making followed the expansion of the Roman Empire, and the resurgence of Welsh and British vineyards since the 1970s. Maybe the current vineyard really is on the site of the Abbey’s vineyard and maybe Colin and Judith are following in the footsteps of those monks tending their vines 900 years ago? After hearing about so much hard work, we all deserved to sample some of Parva Farm Vineyard’s latest batch of sparkling wine. A very merry end to a very fun talk!

This month’s competition was to bring an item decorated with birds to be judged by our speakers. The winner was Carol Ostler, with Dave Tuffery in second place and Diane Parker in third. Many thanks to all our competitors!
Report on February 2019 Meeting
Our Garden Club members were buzzing with anticipation for our February meeting. The village’s own Master Beekeeper Adam Parker gave us a fascinating talk on the life of bees, the history of beekeeping and why bees are so important for pollination and for the survival of the human race. We saw some incredible video clips of bees gathering pollen, doing their waggle dance and collecting water from ponds. With the help of a bee-flight-cam we even saw that the queen bee mates in flight with up to 13 males (who then all immediately die after their ‘bits’ fall off!). After that gruesome revelation, we sweetened the atmosphere with a tasting session of honeys from all over the world - including Indian, Finnish, Romanian, lavender, chocolate buckwheat and coffee honeys, and, of course, our very own local Tintern honey from the Parker family.

The monthly competition was to bring along something decorated with bees, judged by our speaker. The sweet taste of success went to our winner Judith Dudley for a lovely honey-spoon, with Colin Dudley in second place and Lindsay Cobb in third. Thank you to all competitors.
Report on January 2019 Meeting (AGM)
The January meeting of Garden Club was our AGM. It was great to see so many members attending to discuss the successes of 2018 and to get ready for a brand new programme this year.

Our Chairman, Jane, reminded us of highlights over the past year, including the wide range of speakers organised by Terry, the lovely summer party at the Vineyard and the great support for our garden stall selling plants and produce at the village hall table sales and the village fete. Jane has stepped down as Chairman after a great three years and we all thanked her for her hard work over the years. Dave reviewed the successful annual show last summer and inspired us to start planning our plantings, veg growing and crafting for this summer! Bernard, our Treasurer, reassured us that our finances are in sound shape and that membership levels are hearty. The new 2019 programme will be handed out soon to all members.

Each month we hold a competition and, as they say, points win prizes! The overall winner with the most points for 2018 was Lindsay Cobb, who won a lovely scarf with a beautiful hare design. The runners up were Dave Tuffery and Judith Dudley.

The committee for 2019 is Colin Dudley (Chairman), Sue Hassell (Vice Chairman), Bernard Bradshaw (Treasurer), Terry Morrison (Programme Secretary), Dave Tuffrey (Show Secretary), Carole Ostler (Minutes Secretary) and Lindsay Cobb (Publicity Officer).

Chairman’s Annual Report for 2018

2018 kicked off with the talk & demonstration by Clyde Hoare on Basket Making. This talk prompted us to book Clyde for a half day course later in the year to make a forage basket. In March Henry Hodge gave an interesting talk about hidden Chepstow, encouraging us all to pay more attention to our local buildings and heritage. In April Marion Stainton explained how raised beds can work in gardens and we now have a couple of these that Dave constructed on the ground by the Filling Station Café. Last year tomatoes, chard, beetroot and leeks were grown and there is also a herb wheel please do help yourself to the herbs. In May we went to Coleford to look around Meadow Cottage Garden. The evening was delightfully warm so we were able to have our tea and cake sitting outside. For the Garden visit in June we went to Rockfield Park where I was amazed by their vegetables - much further advanced than mine. Also in June we had the plant stall at the village fete this was very popular with the buyers. However we do rely on donations of plants and garden related items so if you are planting up any seeds or dividing plants grow a few extra for the fete. It is a great opportunity to promote the club to the villagers and visitors and makes us a bit of money as well which goes towards the cost of the speakers.
July’s Garden Party was held at the Vineyard, many thanks to Colin and Judith for hosting this. August we had the Annual Show which Dave will talk about later. September the talk was about Fred Hando and although I was not there I gather it was good. October saw Wendy Conway come back and talk about their latest photographic trip to South Africa. We rounded off the talks for the year with Alan Parker telling us how sundials work I did not realise how decorative and varied they can be. Then in December we had our usual Christmas party.
Many thanks to Terry Morrison for providing us with such a varied & enjoyable programme, and to all of you for coming to the meetings, entering the competitions and providing the teas.
The new Garden at the hall is coming along courtesy of funding from TAP and volunteers from the village hall and garden club. We do need to work on the next phase this Spring and cut back quite a few more of the shrubs and honeysuckle so look out for dates in the newsletter.
January 2019

Show Secretary’s Report for 2018

This year’s show had a record number of entries and entrants. There were a total of 348 confirmed entries, up on last year’s figure of 295. The breakdown was:-

Show secretary's report for 2018

Only two classes did not have any entries being Ball dahlias and Short carrots.
A total of 60 people put in entries of which 21 were members of the garden club, 9 were adult non-members from the village and 30 were children. This shows that opening up the show to non-members in the rest of the village has been worthwhile as there has been a steady increase in entries in the last six years.
The room was quite full of entries with the new hall stage units being successfully used as additional table space. We also had a good number of people, both local and passing tourists who came through the door to have a look and have some tea and cake. Thanks to those that helped on the day and before with stewarding, baking cakes to sell and serving teas etc. All in all a good team effort. It was an excellent show case for the village and the talents of the residents.
The long standing judge for the cookery section, Mary Cook, has finally decided to hang up her apron and retire from judging. Apparently it was only our show that she still judged. A card of thanks signed by the members has been sent to her.
I am prepared to do another year as show secretary, if there are no other takers, but I hope that someone else will step into the breach the following year.

Dave Tuffery, Show Secretary