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Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity no EW64245

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Sunday, 25 Mar 2018

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This page displays pictures of some of the gardens visited by members. The most recent are at the top of the page.

Jump to 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017


Felley Priory - February 2018


Calke Abby Gardens - September 2017


BBQ and Plant swap - August 2017


Kelmarsh Hall - July 2017


Cascades Garden in Bonsall - May 2017


Member's garden - April 2017


Hopton Hall - Feb 2017


April 2016 - Long Close


February 2016 - Hodsock Priory


April 2014 - Goadby Marwood Hall


October Meeting

During the morning of Thursday, 31st October, the Gardening Group made a visit to BlueBell Arboretum and Nursery in Smisby. A guided tour had been organised and we were fortunate to have one of the founders, Mr Vernon, as our guide. His passion and enthusiasm for trees, shrubs and conifers was infectious. Members were fascinated by all we heard and saw; it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Most of the group concluded the outing by having lunch at the Smisby Arms.

Mr Vernon, next to one of his Redwood trees, introducing himself and his Arboretum

Authentic Tibetan prayer flags

Who would wear wellies like these?

General view of the Arboretum with beautiful autumnal colours


Gardening Group – July Meeting – The Gardens at Highgrove
On Tuesday, 16th July, twenty-four members of the Gardening Group enjoyed a thoroughly marvellous visit to the gardens at Highgrove. Highgrove House in Gloucestershire is the family home of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Leaving Coalville at 8 am, we travelled by coach to Tetbury, a small market town just a mile or so from Highgrove. This break in our journey gave everyone the opportunity to “stretch our legs” and have light refreshments.
The weather was ideal: warm and sunny. Tetbury looked most attractive. Many of our party visited the Highgrove shop whilst we were there. Our tour was booked for 12.05 and it was important that we arrived promptly which we did. The security arrangements are understandably strict: we were not allowed to take cameras, mobile phones, binoculars etc off the coach.
After the “meet and greet” and a short video presentation featuring HRH, our group was led on the two-hour tour by an excellent guide. She was very knowledgeable about the development of the gardens since 1980 when the Duchy of Cornwall took over the estate. The gardens were glorious. There was so much to see and admire. We were captivated by the colours and the planting schemes.
Afterwards, we were led to the Orchard Restaurant for refreshments and then there was time to browse in the shop before leaving at 3.30. Everyone agreed that it had been a very special visit and one that members will remember.

The Market Hall, Tetbury

One of Tetbury's attractive streets

The centre of Tetbury


Days Out at the NEC Birmingham for BBC Gardeners' World Live and Good Food Show Summer

Thirty-three members travelled by coach to the NEC for a great day out on Thursday, 13th June. Our tickets gave access to both Gardeners' World Live and the Good Food Show Summer so there was plenty to see and experience during our visit. The displays of flowers and plants were absolutely glorious and certainly had the "wow" factor. There were lots of stall exhibiting items for the gardener and gardens too, such as tools, furniture and ornaments.

A Display of Delphiniums

In the food halls, there were stalls showing a huge variety of food and drink from the UK and abroad. Cooking demonstrations were available and TV chefs could be spotted.

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

As usual, Stathams Coaches provided a first-rate service: we were dropped off and picked up at the main entrance.

Altogether, the day out was excellent value and particularly appreciated by those members who would be reluctant to drive themselves to such an event.


Tree-planting at the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood

On Saturday, 2nd March, members of the Gardening Group joined many other volunteers to plant young trees in the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood. It was ideal weather for being out in the fresh air. For most of the group, it was their first visit to this flagship woodland for the Jubilee which is located between Heather, Ravenstone and Normanton le Heath. We were amazed at the number of trees already planted and the extensive area that the wood will cover. The Woodland Trust organised the event and we were pleased to take part in such a positive activity. Now we can look forward to watching our small part of wood grow and develop.

Members marking out the area where we planted trees

Enthusiastic tree-planters


Birdboxes & Insect Hotels, October, 2012

We had a great time at Griffydam in October making bird boxes and insect hotels. When the rain drove us indoors what else could we do but enjoy tea and cake. Then we all headed home with our "trophies", let's hope the birds and insects like them.


Members of the Gardening Group and fellow U3A members enjoyed a trip to Kew Gardens in June. Travelling by coach, the party had an afternoon to explore some of the attractions at this marvellous venue. There was so much to see and difficult choices to be made but everyone was enthusiastic and determined to visit some of the highlights.

The Queen's garden

Magnificent cacti

A beautiful flowerbed

The Treetop Walkway

The Glasshouse seen from the Treetop Walkway

The Chinese Pagoda

Big stinky

The tropical zone in the Princess of Wales conservatory


BBQ and plant swap, Sept 2011
Rumour has it that there may have been rather more BBQ and not so much plant swap!


In glorious sunshine, eight members of the Gardening Group visited Hidcote garden on Thursday, 14th July. Hidcote, near Chipping Campden, with its "garden rooms", is widely described as one of the country's great gardens. Strolling amongst the beautiful herbaceous borders, shrubs and trees was delightful. The mellow Cotswold stone used for buildings and walls and occasional glimpses of the lovely Cotswold landscape enhanced the charm. There was so much to see and so many plants to try and recognise.

After visiting the different areas, we also enjoyed browsing around the plant sales. Everyone was in agreement that the plants on sale were of high quality and arranged attractively. No doubt each member came away with images of their own favourite Hidcote feature. Some may be motivated to find out more about Lawrence Johnstone, the American who established the original garden. Others will just hold pictures of the fabulous grounds in their memories. Hidcote had something to inspire us all.


Westonbirt October 2010


Scenes from Barnsdale, July 2010


Scenes from the Dorothy Clive Garden, June 2010




Long Whatton April 2010




Autumn colour at Smisby Arboretum, Nov 09





Little Moreton Hall Sept 09




Biddulph Grange Sept 09




The Dairy July 09




Rousham and Stowe





Some views from Lea Gardens





Some views from Cambridge





At Cambridge Botanic Gardens



At Anglsey Abbey near Cambridge




At Bodenham Arboretum - November 2008


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Page content updated 13-3-18