Angmering Horticultural Club.

Meetings and Activities

2nd July 2019 – Steve Porter

Steve spoke about the role of horticulture in the rehabilitation of offenders at Ford Prison.

He told us that up to 90 offenders are involved in Land Based Activities, and horticulture is a major part of this. It includes looking after the grounds of the prison as well as running a commercial horticulture business which provides an income for use in other areas of the prison.

Although at times it is a challenge to get the offenders to engage, the business provides plants of all types to up to a 100 other prisons in the UK plus it also provides 440 thousand summer and winter bedding to prisons in the SE region! and has a contract to supply bedding to Haywards Heath Town Council. And there is a shop where we can all go and try the fruits of their labours.

Altogether, a very impressive operation and an interesting talk.

HMP Ford sign.
HMP Ford wall.
HMP Ford garden.

18th June 2019 – Open Gardens

10 members volunteered to open their gardens to the rest of the club.

Sadly, on this occasion, the weather was not on our side, with persistent rain throughout the day.

A few hardy souls braved the elements and enjoyed the gardens, albeit they were not seen quite at their best.

On the following Monday, those members that had opened were able to visit each other’s gardens, and this was more successful, with fine, warm weather prevailing.

Many thanks to those members who opened and to those who made the effort to support them.

Let’s hope we have better luck next year!

Hidcot Lavender.
Long border in Flower.
June's 3 tier planter.

4th June - visit to NGS garden

15 members enjoyed a visit to Plantation Rise, the long standing NGS and award winning garden of Trixie and Nigel.

After a day of showers we were fortunate that the sun shone for a couple of hours and it was a lovely evening. Trixie showed us around and produced wonderful homemade cakes, which were enjoyed under the arbour.

This is an inspirational garden, full of colour and intriguing ideas – some of which, I am sure, will be copied in Angmering!

Plantation Rise.
Plantation Rise.

7th May - AGM

The AGM was held at the Village Hall. All the current Committee stood again and were re-elected for a further year.

Membership stood at 44 at the end of the year.

The necessary business was concluded within half an hour and was followed by a sociable hour of food, drink and a couple of quizzes, which were enjoyed by all.

2nd April 2019 – Steve Millam

32 people were present to listen to Steve tell us about the importance of soil in horticulture.

Steve has been the head of the horticulture department at Brinsbury College since 2007 and gained many years of experience prior to his return to West Sussex. He told us about how soil is formed, the important minerals, micro-organisms and bacteria it contains and how to keep the soil healthy.

Steve explained that soil is made up of sand, silt and clay and the proportions of each dictate the type of soil. It is crucial that organic matter is added to revitalise the soil and this should not be dug in but just laid on the top – a welcome bit of advice for gardeners!

Everyone went home a little wiser and with a little more respect for this most mundane of garden features.


5th February 2019 – Geoff Hawkins

Geoff Hawkins.

Geoff Hawkins spent 35 years as head gardener at the private garden, Mill Court, near Alton. On Tuesday he spoke at the Angmering Horticultural Club, in Angmering Village Hall, about the benefits of ground cover - essential in order to minimise the necessity for weeding and a must for all gardeners.

Geoff told us about the different types of ground cover including mulches of all varieties – e.g. bark, gravel, grass clippings and sheep’s wool - as well as the innumerable variety of plants that can be used. Not only low growing and spreading plants, but large shrubs which can cover an area of ground and trees such as the Acer which have a drooping habit and therefore will cover a substantial area of ground, preventing weeds from growing.

Geoff was interesting and a well informed speaker and everyone went away with a few new ideas to help reduce the amount of time they spend weeding.

4th December 2018 – ‘Deck the Halls’

Local florist Ellen Ford – ‘The Enchanted Florist’ came along tonight to demonstrate how to decorate the home for Christmas using garden materials. This was Ellen’s inaugural speaking engagement and although she was nervous we were all definitely ‘enchanted’.

Ellen’s decorations were original and exciting, but could most certainly be attempted by any one of us. A Christmas tree made from the off cuts of a large tree was especially inspired!

Ellen kindly donated her creations to our monthly raffle – which boosted the takings significantly!

Enchanted Florist.
Enchanted Florist.


6th November 2018 – Ian Currie

Ian is a well known weather forecaster, journalist and broadcaster. He regularly appears on BBC Sussex radio's 'Dig It' programme.

Tonight he spoke to us about 'Gales, Greenhouses and Global Warning'.

We have all experienced out fair share of problems as gardeners, with all three subjects! And Ian was able to explain how and why many of these problems occur, with his illustrated talk.

Ian Currie.

2nd October 2018 – Peter Chivers

Peter visited us from his home in Portsmouth to talk about preparing containers for winter and spring.

His was an entirely practical demonstration and very entertaining. Peter planted up to three different containers, showing us how he plants his bulbs (in layers) topped with a variety of winter bedding.

Peter was so enthusiastic we had little time left for tea! But a good time was had by all.

Peter Chivers.

4th September 2018 - Jean Griffin

Jean Griffin.

Jean Griffin was eduacated at Neath Girls Grammar School before starting professional horticultural courses, firstly at Studley College in Warwickshire and secondly at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Jean has spent all her life working in both the Amenity and Commercial sections of the horticultural industry, with the past 20 years working in Horticultural Education. Jean teaches people from all age groups and varying abilities. Jean is also a very popular broadcaster – notably on BBC Sussex’s ‘Dig it’ and ably entertained us with tales of her gardening life.

3rd July 2018 Ferring Country Centre

This month Sam Kirk from Ferring Country Centre gave us an insight into the excellent work done at Ferring Country Centre, which provides meaningful work experience to adults with learning difficulties, through riding therapy, horticulture and farming.

The Centre is a charity and has been running for over 30 years enjoying a very well deserved reputation for the work they do with vulnerable adults. It is well worth a visit – they have an excellent garden centre, along with the small animal farm, café and children’s play area.

Despite the low turnout tonight (England were playing in the World Cup!), we all enjoyed Sam’s talk.

Ferring Country Centre.

19th June 2018 - Visit to Peeler’s Retreat

This evening we enjoyed a visit to an NGS open garden in Arundel. ‘Peeler’s Retreat’ has been lovingly developed by retired policeman Tony Gilks and his wife.

It is a garden full of interest, with numerous beautiful plants and shrubs, ‘bonsai’ type trees, a fabulous pond and various sculptures – all home made from recycled wood. And the cakes are something else!

Peeler's Retreat garden.
Peeler's Retreat garden.
Peeler's Retreat garden.

May 2018 – Trip to Eric Wall Tomatoes

This evening we visited Eric Wall’s tomato nursery in Barnham, first established in 1977.

This was a fascinating trip to see how the tomatoes on our supermarket shelves are actually produced. And what an operation it is! Huge greenhouses produce 5 varieties of tomato - the rows of plants run to 33 miles!

All the latest technology is utilised, in an environmentally friendly manner, to produce tomatoes destined for Waitrose and Sainsburys. On a hot evening it was almost unbearable inside the greenhouses – we felt for the people who have to tend these plants and pick tomatoes in this weather!

Paul Faulkner had come to speak to us at a previous meeting and invited us along for a tour of the nursery. He made us very welcome and sent us all home with samples of their lovely produce.

Eric Wall Tomatoes greenhouse.
Eric Wall Tomatoes tomatoes.

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