Reports from recent club meetings and events
The club doesn’t hold a normal monthly meeting in January instead 20 members sat down to lunch at the Franklands Arms. This was an enjoyable event and the club would like to thank the staff at the Franklands for their friendly accommodating service.
In December the club held its annual Christmas party. The hall was decorated for the occasion and music played. A competition ‘Guess the committee member’ from their baby photos was attempted before sitting down to a hot supper of jacket potatoes with a choice of coronation chicken, vegetable chilli or cheese and beans accompanied by mixed salad. This was followed by either banoffi pie or apple and blackberry crumble and then coffee all of which was enjoyed by members. Next on the agenda was a table quiz followed by the heads or tails game and we finished with our traditional group singing of the Twelve Days of Christmas. A very enjoyable evening.
Our November meeting saw a change to the advertised program as sadly Martin Duncan, head gardener at Arundel Castle, was unable to be with us due to ill health. We were fortunate to find a last minute speaker and consequently enjoyed a talk from Michael Joseph on ‘Art in the Garden’ . Michael is a man of many talents, he draws paints sculptures and writes and is described as an Artisan Artist.
He began his talk by questioning us on the different elements of art starting with Line Shape and Form and stating that once you really start thinking about this there are over 30 elements that contribute. He said that when he starts a painting he waits to see what develops as he has nothing in mind to begin with. His sculptures could be inspired by a piece of tree root for example. He showed pictures of various structures he had erected in gardens as well as pictures he had painted. Showing us his own garden and that of his brother who lives in Amberley and opens his garden for Amberley Open Gardens he showed how plantings can enhance both the house they surround and the garden itself. A mundane outlook can be brought to life by, for example, planting a tree of a particular shape. Michael is a man with vision and very talented. In the shot below he is sitting in front of one of his metal sculptures which he asked us to interpret.
Our October meeting was well attended and our speaker was Charlie Harpur from Knepp who spoke to us on the rewilding of Knepp and his part in the process as Head Gardener. He illustrated his talk with images of Knepp showing how it was 20 years ago as agricultural fields and how it is today with trees and scrub which provide home for various animals, many wild and some introduced such as Tamworth pigs, old English long-horned cattle, Exmoor ponies and red and fallow deer. Charlie’s task was to turn the walled garden into a natural area doing away with the lawn and swimming pool, the neat gravel pathed vegetable garden and replacing them with natural planting to encourage insects and butterflies. Not a project for the tidy gardener!
Charlie was thanked for his enthusiastic talk and members were encouraged to pay a visit themselves and see for themselves.
Our second Plant Sale of the year took place on Saturday the 14th of October and thankfully it was a dry day and attended by several local residents. It wasn’t a complete sellout but we were able to add funds which will be used for speakers at our monthly meetings.