New members’ gallery

At this time of year we would normally be posting photos of our annual produce show so in the sad absence of that, thank you to Mark & Elizabeth, Pam, Rosalie and Sylvia, who responded to our request for photos to keep us all in touch until we can hold our meetings again. Here are a few to start, and you can see them all by clicking on http://www.cwggc.co.uk/gallery/  

Mark & Elizabeth’s radishes
Pam’s oleander

We hope that you enjoy looking at these, and will be encouraged to send in photos of your own garden, veg, fruit or wildlife during the coming months, especially as we move into the next season, and we will create more galleries to share them all. 

Rosalie’s pond
The hot border in Sylvia’s garden
Alfie!

And into the autumn…..

We have recently contacted all of our 90 members (some via their “email  buddies”) to advise that we have taken the reluctant decision that the sensible way forward in the current circumstances, with a club of our size & demographic, and with some of our planned autumn speakers unable to attend, is to cancel all our meetings for the rest of this year and review the situation in January.

We have already had some positive feedback on this decision and some suggestions which we are currently considering. We are truly sorry that we cannot all meet up at present and we look forward to the time when it will be possible. In the meantime, we hope that everybody continues to enjoy their gardens and stay safe.

Whilst we are unable to meet in person we have invited all our club members to share photographs of their gardens, favourite plants, vegetables or wildlife to keep us all connected. We gave three different ways that photos could be sent to our coordinator and we will post a few every month on our website blog, hopefully with enough for a gallery page too. To start us off, here are are a few favourites from my own garden: 

Munstead Wood, superb old rose perfume
Casa Blanca lilies by the back door, more heavenly perfume!  
Last but not least, an Abelia which is adored by bees 

June update – the next chapter!

We hope that you are all keeping well and have been able to take full advantage of the good weather that’s been with us for a while to enjoy your gardens. And we did need this recent rain!

We know that many of our members are shielding, and others are busy helping family, friends & their community during these challenging times. We’ve heard some heartwarming tales from those of you who have put out spare plants for free collection by passers-by, and been unexpectedly rewarded by thank you notes and small gifts from the grateful recipients!

Lockdown is gradually easing but we appreciate that most of you will not relish the prospect of being in a room for a couple of hours with a large group of people even when permitted. As the health and safety of our members is our priority we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel our July and August club meetings plus our August produce show. Val our programme secretary is working hard to rearrange all the speakers for the future as she had such an excellent programme for us. We’ll be contacting all members by email or phone call about this as we know that not everybody has access to the website.

 Our club has been thriving, with membership numbers at their highest, regular meetings and all events well supported. We’ve missed out on our cheese and wine evening after the AGM, coach trips, a summer social event that was in the planning and of course last weekend we were going to support Val & Steve Wroe’s garden opening in aid of the Gentleshaw Wildlife Centre  https://gf.me/u/x3mq3w 

But we look forward to brighter times – onwards and upwards as the saying goes!

COVID update

We hope that all our members are keeping safe and well. In line with current Government advice we are cancelling our 12th May AGM. The invitations and paperwork were ready for distribution but in view of the situation we will simply continue all memberships for the time being, and as garden centres are currently closed, it doesn’t matter that we can’t reissue membership cards.

Our treasurer Lesley prepared the year-end accounts which have now gone to the auditor as usual, and organised the labelling and distribution of the Bessera elegans corms which had already been purchased for our Produce Show ‘members only competition’ – many thanks too to Sophie Griffiths, Val Wroe and other kind helpers for popping those through members’ letterboxes when they were out on their essential journeys. The Show might not go ahead but we hope you enjoy them anyway.

Lesley has also contacted everybody who had paid for our first coach trip of the year which was due to take place this coming Sunday 26th April but now cancelled – thank you to her for all this hard work!!

 Our 9th June meeting is also cancelled and our Programme Secretary Val Lewis has been in touch with speakers to rearrange their talks. At present our July and August meetings are “on hold” although likely to be cancelled too. It is a shame but we must all “do our bit” and we appreciate that a number of our members may want (or have) to continue their self-isolation beyond any official lifting of social distancing.

We will post further updates on this blog and at some point contact all members by email,letter or telephone. In the meantime we hope that you can all continue to enjoythe health & wellbeing benefits of gardening at home, until we all can meet again.

 

April Meeting Cancelled

Following the recent Government announcements, we regret that our April meeting is cancelled. We will consider other pre-arranged future events and issue further updates. In the meantime, we hope that everybody stays safe and well to enjoy their gardening which we all know is so good for us!

2019 Garden & Home Produce Show 10th August

Home Grown Flowers Classes

When we were inundated with rain the day before our show, having had to change the date, and the morning itself started under threatening black clouds with strong winds forecast, we admit to being apprehensive! However as one of our members said, you can’t keep a good gardening club down, and the show was well supported by both exhibitors & visitors. We had similar entry numbers to last year & an excellent standard of exhibits. We feel as if we’ve come of age now that we’ve had several successful years in a row!  

June receiving the Tom Ethelstone Memorial Trophy

The exhibits in the Home Grown Flowers classes looked particularly stunning against the light of the windows – please also have a good browse through the gallery page. Competition was close and Martin Plater won the Lewis Cup for the highest number of points in the vegetable classes, with June Morris retaining the Tom Ethelstone Memorial Trophy for the most overall points. The members-only class 37 Fuchsia “Dollar Princess” was won by Derek Roberts who is currently deciding which of the two donated prizes to accept…the other one will be retained by the club for a future competition. Our Honorary President Mrs. Maureen Hemingsley was able to attend for the presentations & had some luck in the raffle, which also included generously donated prizes.  

Winning fuchsia in the white bucket container at the rear

Members & visitors enjoyed hot drinks & homemade cakes before battening down the hatches & braving the gale force winds to make their way home. A very big thank you to everybody who helped & supported this event.  

Open Gardens Weekend

So much for “flaming June”!! The heavy showers on Saturday afternoon & gloomy skies on Sunday morning impacted on the number of casual visitors but despite this we raised £1600 from programme sales, refreshments donations & the plant stall, which will be divided between the village hall and gardening club.

Eileen & Stan’s cheerful pot of violas 

 We are delighted with this figure and also that everybody seemed to have such a good time as summed up by this feedback received via our contact page: “We thoroughly enjoyed touring the open gardens. Whether large or small, formal or with an element of randomness, all were a credit to the gardeners and their ‘helpers’. Whatever your tastes in gardens there was something for everyone and we particularly liked the ingenuity demonstrated dealing with the differing shapes and contours. And the abundance of wild flower areas for bees and butterflies was noteworthy. Well done!”

Ros’s striking elephant by her famous pond!

Visitors commented too on the warm welcome that they received as they walked round, and many thanks go to all our garden owners & everybody who helped or supported the event in any way. Cannock Chase MP Amanda Milling enjoyed a couple of hours between showers visiting several of the gardens and made some purchases at the plant stall to take home.  

Admiring the surroundings of Bill’s wildlife pond in between the showers

There are additional pictures on the gallery page but as we didn’t have an official photographer and  everybody was rather busy (!!) doing other things please do let us know if you have any snaps that you would be willing to share. We hope that other garden owners living in Cannock Wood & Gentleshaw will be inspired to join in what we aim to make a biennial event, with the next in summer 2021. 

Annual Show 8th September

We held our annual Garden & Home Produce Show in the village hall on Saturday 8th September & were delighted that we had even more exhibits than last year (269!) despite rain all day after the summer drought which has been a challenge to all gardeners! The judges & the visitors who came along in the afternoon were impressed with the display & high standards so thank you to everybody who entered & helped. June Morris won the Tom Ethelstone Memorial Trophy for the highest number of points overall, which was presented by Sue Ethelstone who had travelled down from Yorkshire for the event (top photograph). Ivy Evans won the Lewis Cup, presented by Val Lewis, for the most points in the vegetable classes. Congratulations to them both & to all the individual class winners, & well done everybody for making it such a super day! We all enjoyed looking round in the afternoon & the opportunity to have some homemade cake with their cup of tea or coffee. Please check out all the photographs on our gallery page.