Stone Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society

Incorporating The Garden Club


Welcome

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 2022 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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December

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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November

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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October

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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September

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.


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August garden visits

We have no meeting in August but there are plenty of gardens to visit both near and far – there are 12 NGS gardens listed for Staffordshire and Shropshire in the Yellow Book, or download their app onto your smart phone for holiday visits.

We have been invited to visit “Tilling Drive Allotments” on Sunday 14th August between 1pm & 3pm, this will give you the opportunity to discover one of Stone’s hidden gems and see what is involved in being a plot holder. This is the same day as the plot holders have a Flower & Vegetable Show.  Tilling Drive is off the Eccleshall Road, Stone – no postcode but you can use “what3words” to find the allotments and they are :- binders.great.player

At the end of the month at the Dorothy Clive Garden, Willoughbridge, there is a Plant Hunter’s Fairs on Sunday August 28 & Monday 29 – tickets are bookable.

You can find more links for gardens to visit on our ‘Links’ page and it would be wonderful if you could send us your photos to put on the website. Our Yorkshire holiday photos are on the Photo Gallery page.

Our next meeting is in September when we have a talk from Wildgoose Nursery on using tall perennials to create an immersive atmosphere in the garden. We also have a trip to Ashwoods Nursery and John’s Garden on Thursday 15th September and there are still a couple of tickets left – contact Helen if you want to snap them up.


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Yorkshire Holiday

At the end of June members of the Garden Club joined with members of the Hardy Plant Society for a holiday to Yorkshire to visit gardens and nurseries.

We are reliably informed that about 30 people went on the coach and came back with over 300 plants between them! Roy Alexander, a Hardy Plant Society member, took lots of photos and they have been (severely) edited down to these few for our report. We hope to have a slide show of many more of his photos one evening.

York Gate Garden also in Leeds 

Burnby Hall – home to a National Collection of over eighty varieties of Hardy Water Lilies

Opportunities for plant buying were plentiful, including at Daleside Nurseries

Breezy Knees Gardens and Nursery – 20 acres of gardens and specialist perennials nursery

and Stillingfleet Lodge Garden and Plant Nursery near York

Finally, on the way home, the group visited Don Whitton’s Firvale Allotments displaying many herbaceous perennials including the National Collection of Euphorbias, and where there was another opportunity to acquire a few more plants.

Our next meeting is in September, but before then we hope to bring you some more ideas (and photos) for gardens and places to visit during August.


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July

Our talk this month is Banquet for Bees and Butterflies given by Jane Allison of Mayfield Plants. The meeting is on July 14th at Christ Church Centre, Christ Church Way ST15 8ZB at will start at 7.30pm. Cost is £1.50 (including refreshments) and is open to all. Jane will be bringing plants to sell so our usual sales table will not be open. However – bring your purse / wallet / plenty of cash as Jane’s plants are wonderful!

Mayfield Plants is a private cottage garden nursery selling plants through Plant Hunters Fairs. All the plants grown are rich in pollen and nectar to encourage bees and butterflies into the herbaceous borders. Jane is also a garden designer.


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June events

We had a really fascinating talk on Thursday June 9th from Mike King about Sarracenias and carnivorous plants in general. A lot of members bought plants at the end of the evening from the fabulous display Mike had brought with him. There are more photos in the Photo Gallery.

Monday June 13th saw a coach full of happy gardeners on a trip to RHS Bridgewater. There was lots to see (and buy!) and we had a guided tour as well. These are just a couple of photos from the day – there will be more appearing on the Photo Gallery page over the next week or so.

This weekend sees the return of the Eccleshall in Bloom Open Gardens –

There are several other local gardens open in the next few weeks under the NGS scheme as well – check on the website or your ‘yellow book’.

Finally – our next meeting is on Thursday July 14th when Jane Allison from Mayfield Plants will give a talk entitled Banquet for Bees and Butterflies. Further details nearer the time.


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June

Our next evening meeting is June 9th when Mike King of Shropshire Sarracenias is coming to talk about his passion for those plants. There is more information on our Programme page. This photo below was taken some years ago at Glasgow Botanic Gardens and shows a few Sarracenias, and the mosses they were growing in.

We had a wonderful talk from Diane Clement about a Garden for all Seasons on May 12th and Mike King’s talk promises to be an equally fascinating evening – don’t miss it.

There are still plenty of other things to do in May before then – lots of gardens to visit locally are advertised in the ‘Yellow Book’ or look online at the NGS and download the app to take it with you on holiday. Look at our Links page for other websites with places to visit, and plant fairs to buy those hard-to-find plants.