New Year 2022 newsletter

In this issue:
  • Message from our new Chairperson
  • Message from Tricia Boyd
  • Introducing Joanna Benke-Smith
  • Introducing Fiona Walker
  • Talks and events 2022
    • Daytime events
    • Trips 2022
    • Summer Flower and Produce Fair
  • 2022 subscriptions - due now!
  • Rosemoor Glow Trail photos

From our new Chairperson

A new year is the chance for new beginnings and resolutions, and here at the Society it is no different. We have a new President, Rose Mock, who was our secretary for over 10 years and myself, the new Chairperson. I have written a short biography with photograph further in this newsletter, and to avoid confusion, I am the one on the left! 

The committee has worked hard to organise a variety of speakers and coach trips for 2022, and the events brochure has been printed, so we hope to see you at one of our events during the year. We have purposefully chosen gardens to visit that are within an hour or so’s drive of Uplyme to make them accessible to more of our members.
2022 is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy we have chosen ‘Trees’ as our theme for the Summer Show. We have guest speakers who are tree experts and gardens to visit that have beautiful autumn tree colour. We will also be working with the local schools and encouraging our young people to grow a tree from seed. What could be more rewarding than that?
Joanna Benke-Smith, Chairperson

From Tricia Boyd

Welcome everyone to a special edition of our newsletter to kick off 2022. We’re starting our new programme of talks, events and outings. These can be found in our printed programme and on our website but we are highlighting some of the slightly different things we’re doing this year. We also take an early look at our Summer Flower and Produce Fair.
This is a good opportunity to introduce you to Jo Benke-Smith, our new Chairperson, and to Fiona Walker, our Vice-Chair and co-ordinator for our summer show.  Many of you will already know Jo and Fiona but if you don’t, you’ll now be able to recognise them and they’d love for you to say hello at our events.
Tricia Boyd, publicity officer

Introducing Joanna Benke-Smith, Chairperson

I moved to Uplyme 7 years ago with my young family and shortly afterwards, having worked in aviation for almost 30 years, decided it was a good time to hang up my flying goggles, get a dog and buy a greenhouse. In that order! 
My passion for gardening was kindled by watching Geoff Hamilton on Gardener’s World, rushing home from work on Friday evening so as not to miss the programme. Like Geoff, I have a ‘can do’ approach to my garden, and my husband is always thrilled when I approach him with my latest garden adventure.
I am very much looking forward to being the Society’s Chairperson. The last few years have taught us that we need to be flexible and it has been interesting trying to find innovative ways to keep in touch with all or our members, keeping our monthly meetings going and as a result our Society is thriving.
This is very much your Society. We have a great team of people on the committee and we would welcome any ideas or suggestions that you have with regards to speakers or gardens we could visit. As another garden presenter once said, you need to visit other people’s gardens to become a truly good gardener.

Introducing Fiona Walker, Vice-Chair

My love for gardening and cooking go hand in hand and started at a young age when I was often found making mud pies in my parents’ back garden! Encouraged by my Granny to help in her garden, I enjoyed harvesting vegetables, fruits and nuts as well as rose petals which I turned into perfume.
Nowadays, I can be found clearing brambles and weeds from our woodland garden in a bid to find the many plants and trees that have been struggling to grow. The creation of an area for a vegetable plot, with some fruit cages along with nut trees, remains high on our agenda.
Our horticultural society, through meetings, trips and talks, affords me the chance to mix with growers & gardeners with far greater experience and knowledge.

I hope that I will soak up this knowledge and, having put it to good use, celebrate successes by entering classes in our society’s Summer Show.


Talks and events for 2022

To improve the experience of talks in the village hall we’ve recently invested in a new screen and projector plus new headset and hand-held microphones.  This will give much better visibility of slides etc. from the back of the hall and make sure everyone can hear our speakers. We’ll be inviting people to use the hand-held microphone when asking questions so that everyone in the hall can benefit. Finally, we’ve adjusted the room layout so that we have two aisles in the seating, meaning that fewer seats are located together and generally giving more space.
For 2022, we have a wide range of talks and events lined up, from local plantspeople and wildlife experts to published authors and skilled artisans.  Full details are in our events programme. In this newsletter, we’ve pulled out some of the changes and different ideas we’re pursuing this year. (Of course, all activities are subject to change if prevailing Covid restrictions dictate.)
In January we’re starting off with a Zoom talk on January 26th. These proved very popular during lockdown and several people asked for them to continue in the future. One of our Zoom speakers was Bob Brown and we’ve invited him back this year. Zoom talks give us an opportunity to book speakers from further afield who would not be able to appear in person and it means we can spend our money on the speaker rather than travel and accommodation costs. We thought we’d experiment with a Zoom talk in January when the weather is often at its worst and the nights are long. However, for those who prefer to meet at the Village Hall or who don’t have good broadband we’ll try and see if we can connect from the hall. More details about whether we’ve succeeded will be in the Zoom invitation going out later this month.

Daytime social events

Social contact has been very limited for many over the last couple of years so we’re laying on a daytime social event on Saturday February 5th, with a coffee morning at the village hall. We held a coffee morning for new members and summer show helpers as another experiment back in October which went very well, so we’re extending the idea for all members. Please come along. See our leaflet/website for more details.
Our plant sale and coffee morning this year is on Saturday May 14th but we’ve introduced a slightly later start time. The event runs from 10am till noon so this should give more time for setting up and we hope people will stop for a coffee and chat.
On Saturday July 9th we have our Summer Flower and Produce Fair and this year our theme is 'Trees'. There are plenty of classes related to trees so peruse the show schedule when it’s published and see if something takes your fancy.  Two of our talks this year also pick up on the theme of trees. Eminent botanist Sir Ghillean Prance speaks on the topic of ‘Glorious Trees’ in February, while Steve Cleverdon shares his passion for Japanese acers in May.
The final item to bring to your attention is that we have moved our Autumn Show to a Saturday morning in early October. We very much hope that this fun, informal show will make a fine spectacle and be easy for people to attend on a Saturday morning. Our chosen date of October 8th should be late enough for autumnal bounty to be in evidence yet still early enough in the season for our gardens to have avoided being wrecked by gales and lashing rain!

Trips 2022

This year we have worked hard to keep most of our coach trips within an hour’s travel time of Uplyme Village Hall. This should make Covid restrictions such as masks bearable while still giving us plenty of interesting visits. We have a great mix of modern and traditional gardens to visit, both privately owned and National Trust. This year we’ve added a trip to Rosemoor Flower Show, which should be a great day out in August and we have one shared cars trip to a no-dig flower farm.  We conclude our year with a trip to Bath to enjoy the Christmas market and light trail.
All the details are in the programme and on the website - so please have a look.
This year we have in total 25 talks, events and outings for you to enjoy. The sub-committees for the summer show and for talks and trips work very hard to deliver an exciting programme for us all to enjoy so please support these events with your usual enthusiasm.

Summer Flower and Produce Fair 9th July 2022

Our summer show bounced back last year after months of Covid uncertainty and was very well received by all who attended. This year we’re hoping to do equally well.

Our theme this year is ‘Trees’ and we will be looking to support The Queen’s Green Canopy which is encouraging us to ‘plant a tree for the Jubilee’. Please review the show schedule when it is published as we have plenty of classes that celebrate trees in all guises, across flowers and foliage, floral art, home produce, craft and photography sections. We’re also hoping local schools will exhibit their experience of growing trees from seed.

 Lewesdon beeches - Lois Wakeman

Of course, our high quality, locally made refreshments always feature strongly at the show and we expect 2022 to be no different. The Covid restrictions last year forced us to take a look at how we organised the serving of food. Some of the changes we made were very successful and we may adopt those as part of our regular organisation in future.
Last year there was a move to complement our local charity stalls with more stalls from local artisan makers. We’ll be continuing that trend this year.
We’re looking forward to returning to a full show schedule this year. With nearly 150 classes to enter, it would be great to have your support, so please enter what classes you can.

2022 subscriptions

This year we are encouraging as many people as possible to pay for their 2022 subscription by online bill payment. At only £6 per person it represents excellent value: non-members pay £3 per event (in addition to any trip fees), so you'll quickly recoup your subscription!

If you aren't already a member, you can send our membership secretary Monica your details using this online form.

To pay online, please give your name as reference and use the following details:

Lloyds Bank: Sort Code 30-90-37 Account Number 00590002
Account Name: Uplyme and Lyme Regis Horticultural Society
If you do not use online banking, payment can be made by cash or cheque at Uplyme Village Hall on the following dates:
  • Saturday 8th January 9-10am
  • Saturday 22nd January 10-11am
  • Saturday 5th February 10am-12noon (when we shall be holding a coffee morning open for all members, at which potato tubers for the potato in a bucket competition will be available at £3 each)
On these dates, everyone can collect their membership cards/2022 programmes, regardless of payment method. 

If you have any queries about membership please contact Monica Mellor, or 01297 442193.

Rosemoor Glow Trail

We resumed our trips at the end of last year and in November went to Rosemoor to see their spectacular Glow Trail. Thanks for Jenny Harding for sharing images to give us all a flavour of the event!
Visit the web site ...
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