OUR September speaker was Marion Stainton whose topic was Murder, Mystery and Plant Potions in your garden.

This was both amusing and informative with a reminder that not all beautiful plants are necessarily welcome in our gardens.

The list of plants, with deadly or debilitating properties, was presented with historic anecdotes.

These included, yews were supposed to draw poison from a churchyard; foxgloves flowers resemble the human throat that gave rise to the Doctrine of Signature. One example well known is Mandrake (look it up).

At one time physicians experimented on poor people who attended for free treatment; most died.

As an example of plant naming, what we know as Deadly Nightshade, as Bella Donna, was given to ladies to enhance their beauty by dilating their eyes. Large eyes were considered extremely beautiful.

Planting a box bush near the front door of your house kept witches from your garden; they, the witches, were kept busy counting the branches. Much, much more lore was given including Witches Brew (don’t ask) and which plants were used by Dr Crippin in his infamous act.

October 1 is the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture at the Elms School. World renowned gardener Fergus Garret will speak on Succession Planting in the Mixed Border. Reception from 7pm.; tickets must be purchased beforehand and might still be available from Old Court Nursery and John Goodwin in Colwall.

On November 5 Val Bourne an award-winning garden-writer, photographer and lecturer will talk on The Winter Garden. Val gardens her 1/3 acre garden without chemicals.

Visitors are always welcome on the first Monday of the month at Colwall Village Hall WR13 6EQ. We arrive from 7pm and a talk is given by a person well versed in their speciality at about 7.40. Arrive early, meet the members and enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee. While sipping your drink of choice browse the Information Table; the plant sales tables will return in the spring. Come and make/meet friends and discuss your gardening interests and challenges. There are many experienced and knowledgeable gardeners who are happy to answer questions. Membership is £15 whilst visitors pay £5.