Stone Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society

Incorporating The Garden Club


Welcome to the website / blog for Stone Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society and Garden Club.

It is the place to find out about our meetings, and  events including shows, plant sales and trips.

We will be holding a full programme of meetings in 2023 at Christ Church. Meetings open at 7.15 (usually) for a 7.30 start. We are also continuing with the Tender Shoots Garden Club Network. Please contact them via their website or Facebook pages for details to join the Zoom meetings.

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Urgent Update

With the weather and the distance our speaker would be traveling we have decided to CANCEL to-nights meeting due to be held at Christ Church Centre, Stone.

THE GOOD NEWS— the meeting will now be held on:- THURSDAY 30th MARCH at 7-30pm with our planned speaker Don Witton and we hope you will all be able to attend.

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Our talk last month on Forest Fires from Dr Peter Thomas was fascinating and very informative – it turns out the fires in forests are indeed ‘a good thing’ and we need to manage our forests in a more sustainable way to prevent these fires from becoming uncontrollable.

Our next evening meeting will be on Thursday March 9th at the Christ Church Centre in Stone, starting at 7.30pm when our speaker will be Don Witton with Once Seen, Never Forgotten – “Whether it is unforgettable garden scenes, beautiful flower blooms, bizarre plant names or hilarious horticultural encounters, this talk has an eclectic mix of images caught on camera during my garden and wildflower travels around this country and further afield.”

Bugle (Ajuga reptans) – a wild flower and sometimes a garden flower but it’s name has nothing to do with musical instruments.

There are several updates so keep scrolling for events in no particular order . . . .

Also coming up this month are two Zoom talks via the Tendershoots Garden Club Network (see their website for details on how to join in)

March 20th Monday – Peter Moore – ‘Plant Breeding’- It’s extremely likely you will already have one of his plants growing in your garden.

March 27th Monday – George Hargreaves – Notable Botanic Gardens of the UK

Spring is definitely on the way as the Plant Hunter Fairs are back too. First is Saturday March 25th at Sugnall Walled garden near Eccleshall. 10 – 4pm; admission £1. The following day (Sunday 26th) is one at Arley Hall, Northwich; 10 -4 again and admission £2.

Those of you who came on our trip to Ashwoods Nursery and John’s Garden in September may be pleased to know that our trip has helped raise money for their charity of 2022 – The Albrighton Trust – We are pleased to announce that the total raised by the Ashwood Charitable Trust for our 2022 Charity of the Year, the Albrighton Trust, is an amazing £26,895.10! Thank you to all of our customers and friends who have helped us raise this amount through purchasing tickets for Hellebore Tours and Garden Tours, visits to John’s Garden and many kind donations. You may also like to know that The Albrighton Trust gardens are open to the general public to visit all year round. For more information about visiting the gardens and seeing what fantastic facilities the charity have to offer, visit

We have had a plea from The Dorothy Clive Garden –

We are looking for gardening volunteers to help keep our Garden looking beautiful for our visitors.

Do you have a few hours to spare? Are you interested in gardening? (not essential). If you would be interested in helping out we will be holding a volunteer social event in our Tearoom on Wednesday 8th March at 11.00am. Why not come along for a cup of tea and a cake, chat to other volunteers and find out how you can help out.

If you aren’t able to attend on the day please get in touch at We look forward to meeting you.

If you are closer to another garden that is open to the public they too may require volunteers (indeed many gardens rely on them) – it is always worth asking!

Finally did you know that 6th – 12th March is Cultivation Street Week ? It is all about community gardens, school gardens, allotments etc. Have a look on the website to find out more.

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February – AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Stone and Chrysanthemum Dahlia Society will be held on Thursday 9th February, 7.00pm at Christ Church Centre, Stone ST15 8ZB for members only. Tea/coffee will be served from 6.30pm.

Our speaker for the evening (at 7.30 – guests welcome) will be Dr Peter Thomas from Keele University with a talk about Forest Fires.

At this meeting we will have no plant sales table. These will start again in March when our speaker will be Don Whitton with “Once Seen, Never Forgotten”.

Further details of these and all our talks and events are on our Programme and Events pages.

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Happy New Year

We are busy finalising our 2023 Programme of talks, trips and other events and they will be appearing on the relevant pages in the next few weeks.

Our next talk will be on (note the date – we got it wrong earlier!)

THURSDAY 12th JANUARY  7-30pm will be a ZOOM meeting in conjunction with Tendershoots – full login details on the TSGCN website.

       Speaker Doug Stewart “Ten Must Have New Plants”

The next few months have been planned and confirmed starting with our AGM –

THURSDAY 9th February  7-00pm AGM with meeting to follow at 7-45pm

       Speaker Dr. Peter Thomas  “Forest Fires”.

THURSDAY 9th March 7-30pm Speaker Don Whitton “Once Seen Never Forgotten”

THURSDAY  13th April  (no evening meeting) Spring Bus Trip – members will receive details soon via email.

Full details will be on the Programme and Trips pages once confirmed.

From all the messages received the December meeting was a great success, thanks to Peggy and all who helped, and as for the parking machine . . . !! A report has been sent in and we are hopeful that it will be in working order by February.

We look forward to seeing you in the coming year.

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Seasons Greetings

The Garden Club Committee would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on January 10th when Doug Stewart will tell us about Ten Must Have New Plants. Further details will be in your subscription emails which will be arriving in the next week or two so please look out for them – remember to check your spam folder too. Next year’s programme will be on the website shortly.

Photos from our Christmas meeting are now on the Photo Gallery page.

We have also had Christmas Greetings from the Dorothy Clive Gardens with a notice about opening times and days –

Wishing everyone a “Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” from all the Team at the Dorothy Clive Garden.

Thank you for all your support in 2022 and we hope to see you all at the Garden in 2023.

The Garden will be closed from Monday 19th December 2022 up to and including Thursday 5th January 2023 for the Christmas and New Year period.

The Garden will re-open on Friday 6th January 2023 from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  Our Tearoom will be open from 10am to 3.30pm and Gift Room from 11.00am to 3.30pm.

PLEASE NOTE The Garden will be open on Sunday 1st January ONLY- New Year’s Day from 10.00am to 3.00pm for those wishing to take a New Year stroll around the Garden. PLEASE NOTE the Tearoom and Gift Room will not be open.

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year either via Zoom in January or in person at our AGM in February; or even strolling round the Dorothy Clive Gardens on New Year’s Day.

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First a very big thank you to all who supported our “Gardenalia”  bringing and also buying items. We made £112-50 for the club with left over items going to Oak Tree Farm and the Norton Bridge Katherine House Hospice Shop. It was unfortunate that Byron Machin was unable to come to talk about the Red Data List but we hope to be able to rebook him again soon. However members were able to enjoy the photos from their earlier holiday to Harrogate and watched a sample of a video from the ones available from TSGCN.

Our next club meeting is on Thursday 8th December at 2-30pm “Floral Designs for Christmas” with Peggy Leslie.   

(the photo is NOT one of Peggy’s creations – Chris just bunged a bouquet sent from her daughter into the nearest handy receptacle)

Coffee/tea and mince pies will be served from 1-45pm, this is a free members event and you do need a ticket. If you were not at the November meeting and would like to attend please contact Dawn Johnson to book. Do remember you will need to pay day time parking rates, the top meter takes cards and the lower down meter coins so come prepared.

 TSGCN are holding a Zoom Christmas Quiz in the evening at 7-30pm on Thursday 8th December, if you would like to take part as an individual/member or form a team just go to the TSGCN website for the details. There are some fabulous prizes to be won!

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Our talk this month is given by Byron Machin on November 10th at the Christ Church Centre. Titled The Red Data List – a Tour of Britain’s Rarest Flora, Byron’s talk explains part of his quest to see them all, before it is too late. The Red Data list for Britain includes half a dozen plant species which represent the media’s idea of endangered species (for example the Lady’s Slipper Orchid and the Kilarney Fern) but in fact lots stand on the brink of extinction. This promises to be a very informative evening especially for those of us concerned by the depletion of our native wildlife.

Our November also includes our ever-popular Gardenalia – our sale of surplus gardening equipment as well as plants. It’s time to clear out the sheds and bring those things you haven’t used for several years to sell on to those who may be looking for just that item – from hoes to hoses and spades to secateurs!

Also in November you can join a Zoom talk via the Tendershoots Garden Club Network on Wednesday November 9th when Nancy Stevens will be giving a talk entitled “Shrubs Are Boring”  Really?……Are You Quite Sure? You can find more details on the Tendershoots website.

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Our next meeting is on Thursday 13th October at the Christ Church Centre as usual. The speaker Richard Gulliver and his wife Mavis spent 27 years in the Hebrides engaged in wildlife surveys and teaching. In 2017 they were involved in the development of ” The Botanist Islay Dry Gin” this being the subject of Richard’s talk. One we think not to miss. Hopefully the pictures of gorse and hawthorn below will make more sense if you come to the talk!

Coffee will be served from 6-45pm and please remember we now have to pay for parking with the top machine taking cards and the lower machine will still accept cash.

Tender Shoots Garden Club Network has its first Autumn/ Winter talk on Monday 17th October on “Eythrope Walled Garden” at 7.15 for 7.30. The speaker is Francesca Page-Smith from the National Trust. Eythrope forms part of the Waddesdon Manor Estate and the link will take you to a short video with highlights from the garden. As a paid up member of the Gardening Club you can log in to any TSGCN talks. See Tender Shoots web site for more information.

The ever popular “Gardenalia” will be back at the November meeting so please look out any unwanted items – more details to follow.

We look forward to seeing you on the 13th.

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September’s activities

We had a wonderful, informative and inspirational talk from Jack Willgoss of Wildegoose Nursery earlier in the month encouraging us to ‘think tall’ and go ‘higher and higher’ in our planting. Illustrated by many slides from their walled garden in Millichope Park’s former kitchen garden Jack took us through the seasons showing how taller plants can enhance our experience as we immerse ourselves in the planting. Several trays of plants were offered for sale and those trays were virtually empty by the end of the meeting – bags full of lofty grasses, asters, and Sanguisorba’s were seen bobbing home through the town.

The walled garden also featured in Gardener’s World on September 16th as Carol Klein explored the planting – worth trying to find on the BBC catch-up.

We then had a trip to Ashwood Nursery and John’s Garden a few days later and you can see some photos from that on our Photo Gallery page.

Our next evening meeting is on Thursday October 13th with a talk from Richard Gulliver on The Botanist Islay Dry Gin.

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Welcome to Autumn and let’s hope it brings some much-needed rain for our poor parched gardens. Our first meeting after the summer is on Thursday September 8th at 7.30pm at the Christ Church Centre. We will welcome Wildegoose Nursery with a talk entitled Going Higher and Higher on using tall perennials to create an immersive atmosphere in the garden as they go through some of their favourite tall and even taller perennials and grasses and how they like to use them at Wildegoose.

If you have booked a place on our trip to Ashwoods Nursery and John’s Garden you should have received an email telling you the details for catching the bus and what to do about that all-important lunch. As a reminder – the trip is the following Thursday on September 15th.

In October we have a talk on the Botanist Islay Dry Gin given by Dr Richard Ward – details on our Programme page.