Stone Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society

Incorporating The Garden Club

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Summer is (nearly) here and earlier hard work in the garden is starting to pay off. Take a break from weeding on June 8th for our monthly talk at the ChristChurch Centre at 7.30 when Samantha Hope from Hopes Garden Plants will tell us about Plants with a Story as she shares 25 of the most interesting she has come across so far – from where they were collected, how they are pollinated to folk law and old wives tales.

Our bus trip to Coton Manor at the end of May was a great success and you can find more photos over on our Photo Gallery page.

Lots of gardens are open under the NGS scheme this month – collect a booklet at our monthly meetings or look on their website for details. If you download the NGS app onto your smart phone you can find gardens that are open wherever you may be when you go on holiday.

There are also plenty of places holding Open Gardens events this month such as the one in Eccleshall on Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th. Barlaston are also hoping to organise one later this year – see their website for details. There are many other towns and villages holding Open Gardens weekends in Staffordshire listed on the website and as we are close to Derbyshire, Cheshire and Shropshire it is worth searching those counties too..

We are blessed with lots of beautiful gardens locally that we can visit such as Trentham Gardens (pictured), the Dorothy Clive Gardens, Shugborough, Weston Park, Dunham Massey, Chatsworth, Cholmondeley Castle and Gardens, Kedleston Hall near Derby and Lea Gardens near Matlock; not to mention RHS Bridgwater.

You can find more on the Great British Gardens website.

We have two local Plant Hunters Fairs coming up this month – Saturday 10th – Sunday 11th at Hodnet Hall and Saturday June 17th at Sugnall Walled Garden (two more great gardens to visit!).

Will there be time for gardening (or even just sitting in the garden) with all this going on??

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First of all a big Thank You to all who supported our Plant Sale, whether helping or buying, as thanks to your efforts it was a great success and we had sold most of the plants by 12.30.

Our next monthly meeting is this Thursday May 11th when Maureen Sayers will be telling us why Foliage Matters. Maureen Sayer is a gardener and practising artist and designer who divides her time between the development of the garden at Southlands, the garden design and consultation service she offers and her own work which she exhibits in galleries and craft shops. In the past she was a senior lecturer in art and design. She is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Cottage Garden Society and a listed RHS speaker.

Our next trip is also this month – Thursday May 25th – when we will be visiting Coton Manor Garden in Northamptonshire. There are still a few places left so contact us via our email if you want to go.

There are several Plant Hunter Fairs coming up this month – Saturday 13th in Shrewsbury; Sunday 14th Capesthorne Hall’ Saturday 27th Carsington Water and Monday 19th Arley Arboretum in Worcestershire. See their website for full details.

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April events

Before we get to April we still have a couple of talks happening in March – our postponed March meeting is on Thursday March 30th at the Christ Church Centre as usual 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.”

And even before that, on Monday 27th we can join the Tendershoots Garden Club Network (TSGCN) for a talk on Notable Botanic Gardens of the UK by George Hargreaves who is a volunteer guide at Westonbirt Arboretum. PLEASE NOTE – this talk has had to be postponed. We’ll let you know once it has been rescheduled.

In April our usual monthly meeting (April 13th) cannot take place as it coincides with Easter – instead we have a bus trip to Bents Garden Centre and Parm Place. Members should have received all the details in a recent email.

Other events taking place in April that you may be interested in are –

April 9 – 10th Plant Hunters Fair at the Dorothy Clive Garden

April 15 – 16 Dibleys Nurseries in North Wales are holding a Virtual Flower Show (so you don’t even have to leave home!)

April 24th a talk from TSGCN by Jackie Currie – How to grow Alliums and the best varieties to choose. Jackie is a PH National Collection Holder and will take us through her collection. (This will be a Members & Affiliated Club only zoom event)

April 26th Plant Hunters Fair at Arley Hall, Northwich.

April 30th Bluebell Walk in aid of All Saints Church, Sandon. Meet at the church car park at 1.45 for 2pm. Cost £5 pp (children free) – includes tea and cake afterwards!

In other news Trentham Gardens Garden Centre (part of the Blue Diamond Group) are now recycling compost bags – you can find the container to drop your empty bags in by the entrance, just to the left next to the full compost bags.

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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!