AFTER summer visits to various beautiful gardens, members of the Black Pear Gardening Club met for the first indoor meeting of the winter season on Saturday 15th October.

About 70 people came to enjoy a very lively, interesting talk “Spring Cottage – Gardening with the Best Beloved” by Val Bourne, an award-winning garden writer , photographer and lecturer. She described how the house and gardens on the Cotswolds at Spring Cottage, Cold Aston, high above Bourton –on the –Water, were developed over the last eleven years. As she explained to us, her address gives some clues to the conditions that she gardens in; there is a spring running under parts of the garden and the weather is very cold at times. The “Best –Beloved” in the title turned out to be her partner Joe, not a favourite dog, cat, chicken or plant!

Val explained that she has always gardened organically and gave us numerous examples of good practice using very informative photographs, some of which will be in her next book. She shared her extensive knowledge and experience and talked about individual plants that she had found were particularly useful to encourage useful insects into the garden.

Her next book “The Living Jigsaw-the secret life in your garden”, Kew Publishing, will be available in March 2017.

The charity raffle was well supported and raised £82 for the horticultural charity “Perennial”.

Our next meeting at Powick Village Hall on Saturday 19th November at 2.30pm is titled “ The garden in winter and topical tips with Bob Hare”

Bob trained at RHS Wisley, worked as a horticulturalist and lectured at Pershore College, where he discovered several new plants. Now retired, he is an RHS advisor. We are expecting this talk to be very popular and will also be having our AGM at this meeting. 01684311297 for more information.