AN impressive audience of forty-six attended the Club’s first talk of the year at the Villages Hall, with local nurseryman, Bob Brown talking about his Thirty Best Plants.

Bob gave us a whistle-stop tour of a wide variety of plants, with many species which were unknown to the vast majority. His favourites included some well-known ones as well such as Michaelmas daisy, eucomis (Sparkling burgundy), euphorbia (Dexter); day lilies; eryngium (Silver Ghost and Pen Blue); Dahlia (Karma Choc); Choisya (White Dazzler); Muscari, and wild geranium, Rozanne. Some of the more unusual ones he talked about were Bergenia (Overture) with red leaves; Cardamine quinquifolia (mauve ground cover); Dianthus barbatus (Green Trick) with a striking lime green furry ball of a flower; Coronilla (Valentina Citrina or Lauren Stevenson); Helleborus (Anna’s Red); and some of the new hydrangeas developed by the Japanese including Merville Sanguine; You and Me Together.

Many of the plants Bob is fond of are unusually hardy to low temperatures, and many are from Mexico. He gave a thoroughly informative talk, peppered with some very funny observations including talking about NGPs (non-gardening partners) who accompany visitors to his nursery, making comments such as ‘Where are you going to put that?’ and ‘How much have you spent?” Needless to say many of us left with at least one of the impressive specimens he had brought along with him to try out for ourselves.

Next on the Club’s programme is a talk by Simon White on Wednesday 7 March at 7.30pm from Norfolk-based Peter Beales Roses on an ‘A-Z of Roses’. Simon has worked for the nursery for over 30 years so we couldn’t ask for a better person to talk to us about a subject which is close to many gardeners’ hearts. It is some years since the Club had a talk on roses so we anticipate this will be a popular meeting.

Peter Beales Roses first opened in 1968 and have become renowned around the world for specialising in the preservation of old fashioned, historic and rare roses, as well as winning many prestigious awards, including 24 Gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Easter arrives early this year, and with it our Spring Show on Saturday, March 31. Exhibiting is open to anyone, and it’s great fun, even if you’ve never done it before! Get a copy of the schedule from our website at, email or telephone 01386 462438.