4th April 2022 - Lordington Lavender
good turnout for this month's talk by Andrew
Elms of Lordington Lavender.
regaled us about the trials and tribulations
of running a lavender farm.
farm grows arable crops and had a dairy herd
until 2000, when Andrew decided to try a new
venture, selling the herd and moving to lavender.
is very much at the heart of the enterprise.
He still grows arable crops of conservation
grade - cereals for Jordans, wheat and malting
barley and oilseed rape for biofuel. There are
also wildflower crops for the wildlife.
Andrew's passion is now for lavender. He started
out in 2002 with 5 acres and, having ordered
a supply of Mailettle plants (a French variety
of English lavender) to cover his 5 acres, was
shocked to take delivery of 25,000 plants! It
took his family and friends a week to plant
using an old cabbage planter belonging to a
first harvest was cut 2 years later and from
initially selling just the essential oil, the
business now produces a wide range of products
including soap, lip balm, shampoo, hand cream
and dog shampoo.
environmental conservation initiatives have
resulted in nesting barn owls, masses of insects,
butterflies and bees and 12 red listed species
lavender farm is open to the public for 1 week
in July, just prior to harvesting, when the
lavender is at its very best.
7th March 2022 - Rewilding at Knepp
people eagerly awaited Penny Green's talk about
the rewilding of Knepp. After 2 previous postponements
it was certainly worth the wait.
is 3500 acres of weald clay with hundreds of
laggs (water meadows) which had been intensively
farmed for over 200 years by the Burrell family.
When the present owner, Charlie Burrell, took
over at the age of 21 he continued this tradition.
Then, 20 years ago, it became clear that this
was not a sustainable or productive use of the
land and the idea of rewilding was born.
began with different areas of the land being
systematically taken out of production and slowly
the vegetation started to grow wild, trees took
hold and as more animals were introduced it
transpired that the billowing hedgerows protected
the new saplings from being eaten by the large
herbivores. The reintroduction began with fallow
deer and moved on to long horned cattle (cattle
closely related to ancient breeds), Tamworth
pigs, red deer and Exmoor ponies. These large
herbivores are nature's chainsaws! There was
no longer any need to prune or clear the vegetation.
The nature of their grazing produces a perfect
habitat for many other creatures and drives
the wilding of the landscape
acts as the apex predator as wolves are no longer
present and cattle, pigs and deer are culled
to provide income for the project.
are now over 3,000 species recorded at Knepp
of which 1800 are insects. Major successes have
seen the huge growth in numbers of nightingales,
turtle doves, and purple emperor butterflies.
Owls, 17 species of bat, ravens, 62 species
of bee and 30 of wasps. The list goes on. The
recent reintroduction of storks has seen them
breeding in the UK for the first time for hundreds
of years. Beavers have also been a recent addition
and, although the first attempt was unsuccessful,
it is hoped that they will be brought back to
Knepp in the near future.
was a fascinating and informative talk and we
all went away keen to visit the Knepp estate
7th February 2022 - The Secret Life of a Hedgehog
people attended the first meeting of 2022 to
hear Graham Bowring tell us about the secret
life of hedgehogs. He brought along one of the
rescued hedgehogs currently in his care, 'Harry'
was a little grumpy, but nevertheless very engaging!
gives most of his talks to schoolchildren, however,
we declined his invitation to sit around in
a circle on the floor. Graham has been a member
of the Hedgehog Preservation Society for many
years. He has permission to look after hedgehogs
and to release them back into the wild, under
strict regulations. He is caring for 15 at present.
At the height of the foot and mouth crisis in
2001 he had 120!
amused us with several tales of calls from the
public regarding hedgehogs thought to be in
peril. He also told us that hedgehogs are nocturnal
(if they are out in the daytime they are probably
unwell). They have around 5000 spikes, hibernate
for around 4 months in the winter, can walk
about 2 miles a night looking for food or a
mate and are solitary animals.
hogs killed on the road are males, out looking
for females. After mating the males leave and
the female has her litter of 2-7 babies after
3 and a half weeks. The hoglets will leave their
mother after about 6 weeks. One litter a year
is usual but sometimes a second litter can be
born in the autumn. However, in this case the
hoglets will be unlikely to survive as they
will not be fat enough to hibernate.
too soon it was time to say goodbye to Graham
and Harry, after a very entertaining evening.
December 2021 - Paul Abbot
our December meeting, old friend of Angmering
HC, Paul Abbot, came along to talk about 'Christmas
plants around the world' and regaled us with
some of the myths, legends and folklore surrounding
the plants that are traditional in different
parts of the world.
are all familiar with the holly and the ivy
of a European Christmas, along with the traditional
amarylis, poinsettia and, of course, the Christmas
Tree, commonly seen in Britain. But the New
Zealand Christmas tree, or Pohutukawa, is not
so well known!
are many slightly eccentric traditions also,
including the Mexican Radish Festival! And wheat
is traditionally used in Eastern Europe for
Christmas decorations. Mostly the plants used
are associated with rebirth and renewal, so
coming out of the darkness of winter into the
spring - something we are all looking forward
very interesting talk was followed by mince
pies, Christmas cake and a glass of fizz.
November 2021 – Lesley Baker 'Out on a Limb'
is a locally based tree surgeon and entertained
us tonight with tales of her working life. From
her somewhat unusual choice of career - there
were not many females in the business when Lesley
started - to some of the more interesting and
quite hilarious situations that she has found
herself in while tending to local trees.
is a difficult and dangerous job - as witnessed
by some of the equipment Lesley demonstrated
to us. For example, 'Big Mary' is a huge chainsaw
which many of us would struggle to pick up,
never mind wield in anger at a mature tree!
coffee Lesley engaged us in a game of 'match
the tree', giving out logs, pictures of leaves
and names of trees which we had to match up.
I'm pleased to say that most of us got at least
some of the answers correct!
October 2021 – Martin Jarvis
a very long interval we were all happy to restart
our meetings today, in a new venue and on a
new day. Much has changed since March 2020!
last meeting was almost hijacked by the speaker
being unable to attend due to a bereavement.
On that occasion Martin Jarvis, a long time
member of the group and local nurseryman, stepped
into the breach. And once again this evening,
we are indebted to Martin who has come to our
rescue after our speaker fell ill.
our much delayed AGM, Martin spoke about his
life in horticulture. From the influence of
Rudolf Steiner, a notable proponent of biodynamic
farming and organic, holistic gardening, on
his grandparents and parents, through his own
career, which culminated in his running the
family business today.
Nursery began as an 8 acre site in Dappers Lane
in 1948, growing mushrooms. Today it is 4 acres
and specialises in herbs, both culinary and
medicinal and stocks about 200 varieties. Martin
also sells farm produce and so was able to remain
open during the lockdowns of the last 2 years.
This was a boon to business and turnover increased
3 fold! Things have settled down now and life
is not quite so hectic at Culberry!
brought along many of the plants that he produces
and talked about their uses. A good many of
these were snapped up at the end of the evening.
February 2020 – Paul Dalby
people, including several visitors welcomed
Paul Dalby, an expert in the growing, exhibiting
and judging of dahlias. He has exhibited dahlias
told us how dahlias originated in Mexico where
47 species have now been identified in the wild.
They were brought to Europe by the Spanish in
the 18th century, originally as a food source.
National Dahlia Society directory now lists
15 classifications of dahlia, including pompom,
ball cactus, star and decorative, and very many
more varieties within the classes. Paul recommends
propagating from cuttings, taken in the early
spring when the tubers begin to sprout. He explained
how to produce perfect stems for exhibiting
– quite a performance! We will probably stick
to growing as many (possible not perfect) blooms
of this beautiful flower instead.
December 2019 – Christmas flower arrangements
our December meeting we had a Christmas theme.
Mince pies and Christmas cake followed an inspiring
demonstration of Christmas flower arrangements
by Julie Waters from Bud & Blooms in East Preston.
stepped in at the last minute to save the day
after our original speaker couldn’t make it,
and she showed us how to make a Christmas wreath,
a table decoration with candles and a small
table arrangement using all the left over odds
and ends! - nothing was wasted.
all looked remarkably easy – years of practice!
But I’m sure some of us will have had a go at
our own decorations.
November 2019 – Maggie Haynes
came to talk to us about the Tuppenny Barn.
From an unlikely background of many years in
the army, Maggie started up the Tuppenny Barn
began as a derelict field with barn (the original
barn is now a tool shed) is now the Tuppenny
Barn Education Centre (TBE), a UK registered
charity, whose purpose is to advance education
in horticulture and sustainability.
the heart of Tuppenny Barn’s approach is the
promotion of sustainable living in all its forms.
They are passionate about food and knowing where
our food comes from.
host school trips, after school clubs, and horticultural
therapy sessions, and also provide educational
activities for the wider community, promoting
growing and cooking abilities, alongside countryside
skills like foraging, wreath making and willow
Education Centre has been designed using sustainable
principles and provides a beautiful space for
meetings, community and music events, art exhibitions
and special occasions like weddings.
shop, open every Thursday and Friday sells the
fresh organic fruit, vegetables and cut flowers
grown on site as well as bread, preserves, cakes
October 2019 – Architectural Plants
Watts, managing director and co-owner of Architectural
Plants in Pulborough, talked to us about the
development of this very special nursery. Guy
has had an interesting life before becoming
a partner in this business – including rowing
across the Indian Ocean (for which he holds
the record) and also starting the charity ‘Streetscape’.
told us about the various ways in which, mainly
large, architectural plants can be used in our
gardens, with some spectacular slides to illustrate
enjoyed the talk and many of us are looking
forward to visiting the nursery.
was followed by our 2nd, very successful, ‘bring
& buy’ sale.
September 2019 – Trip to Sir Harold Hillier
of us set off to Romsey on Tuesday morning to
visit the Harold Hillier Gardens. The day was
enjoyed by all and the weather was largely kind
to us, despite 1 or 2 heavy showers.
gardens were stunning, with far too much to
see in one visit. The long borders were especially
lovely with many varieties of perennial looking
at their best.
trees, lakes, hydrangeas and so much else to
see, another visit will be a must for many of
all had time to try the café, shop and garden
centre – and several bargains were snapped up!
July 2019 – Steve Porter
spoke about the role of horticulture in the
rehabilitation of offenders at Ford Prison.
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.
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.
a very impressive operation and an interesting
June 2019 – Open Gardens
members volunteered to open their gardens to
the rest of the club.
on this occasion, the weather was not on our
side, with persistent rain throughout the day.
few hardy souls braved the elements and enjoyed
the gardens, albeit they were not seen quite
at their best.
the following Monday, those members that had
opened were able to visit each other’s gardens,
and this was more successful, with fine, warm
thanks to those members who opened and to those
who made the effort to support them.
hope we have better luck next year!
June - visit to NGS garden
members enjoyed a visit to Plantation Rise,
the long standing NGS and award winning garden
of Trixie and Nigel.
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.
is an inspirational garden, full of colour and
intriguing ideas – some of which, I am sure,
will be copied in Angmering!
May - AGM
AGM was held at the Village Hall. All
the current Committee stood again and were re-elected
for a further year.
stood at 44 at the end of the year.
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.
April 2019 – Steve Millam
people were present to listen to Steve tell
us about the importance of soil in horticulture.
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
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!
went home a little wiser and with a little more
respect for this most mundane of garden features.
February 2019 – Geoff Hawkins
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.
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.
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.
December 2018 – ‘Deck the Halls’
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
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!
kindly donated her creations to our monthly
raffle – which boosted the takings significantly!
November 2018 – Ian Currie
is a well known weather forecaster, journalist
and broadcaster. He regularly appears on BBC
Sussex radio's 'Dig It' programme.
he spoke to us about 'Gales, Greenhouses and
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.
October 2018 – Peter Chivers
visited us from his home in Portsmouth to talk
about preparing containers for winter and spring.
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.
was so enthusiastic we had little time left
for tea! But a good time was had by all.
September 2018 - Jean Griffin
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.
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.
July 2018 Ferring Country Centre
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.
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.
the low turnout tonight (England were playing
in the World Cup!), we all enjoyed Sam’s talk.
June 2018 - Visit to Peeler’s Retreat
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
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!
2018 – Trip to Eric Wall Tomatoes
evening we visited Eric Wall’s tomato nursery
in Barnham, first established in 1977.
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!
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!
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.