My Famous Women Gardeners

Not long after Sylvia’s open evening we had a beautifully illustrated talk from Howard Drury of Kings Heath on “My Famous Women Gardeners” at our regular August meeting. These were all women who had influenced his career, ranging from his mother in the early days when he started selling lettuces at age 6 to the local shops, through many well known horticulturalists such as Margery Fish & Vita Sackville West to the more contemporary such as Carol Klein & Christine Facer Hoffman (who had an eminent career in medical science before turning to garden design). Some of his photographs were accompanied by classical music & others by his anecdotes from his career, trips & shows. After drawing the raffle Howard had the unenviable task of judging the excellent entries for our competition which was a poem about women gardeners composed by members, eventually choosing Anne Wallbank’s “In Memory of Beth Chatto” as the winner.

As the competition entries didn’t lend themselves well to photography, the snaps shown are Howard with our programme secretary Val Lewis (who finds us all these marvellous speakers) plus Stan Griffin & Vicki Newman from Craig House Cactus who gave a presentation to us November 2013. They won Gold at this year’s Chelsea then Gardeners World in June. There’s also one of the acidanthera bulbs that we gave out earlier this year to be grown for the members’ only class in the produce show in September. The very warm weather appears to have brought them into bloom sooner than anticipated but all members were asked still to enter them even if they’ve finished – and of course enjoy the beautiful display & perfume in the meantime! The last photo is the start of the second flush of roses which has been delayed due to the weather (works both ways) but hopefully bodes well for the show. Full schedules were available at the meeting & can also be collected from our secretary & on the day – the list of classes is on the show page.