Gardening Group 2016 schedule

 K & D U3A Gardening Group Programme 2016

We meet on the last Wednesday of the month

Meetings: 2.30-4.30pm at Kibworth Grammar School (KGS)

Pay on the day

Visits: Make your own way there for times as specified

Payment due one month in advance

Coach Trips: Leave from KGS Car Park at times as specified

Payment is due two months in advance

Please put money/cheque payable to K & D U3A Gardening Group in an envelope annotated with your name, amount and the visit/trip it is for and give to Mary. 

27 January – Meeting: Spring Social

We get together again after the winter break for tea/coffee and cake, a prize quiz, free raffle and the chance to sign up for forthcoming trips. Fellow member and Lithops expert, Alan Brown, will give us an illustrated talk covering an overview of the plants and details of his trip to Etosha National Park in Namibia to see them in their original natural habitat. He is donating his fee to The Ghurkas’ charity. Admission is £3.

24 February – All Day Coach Trip to Hodstock Priory

We leave KGS at 9am to visit this 800 acre estate for a Snowdrop Taste and Tour. We will have a hot drink and biscuits on arrival, followed by a guided tour of the gardens and lunch in the heated marquee which includes hot soup and a roll, freshly made sandwiches and sausages rolls, home-made cakes and a hot drink. Then we are free to experience the woodland walk, catch the free history talk at the bonfire and visit the on-site gifts and plant shop before heading home at 3.30pm. The all inclusive cost is £23.50.   

30 March – Meeting: Talk by The Historic Gardener

Michael Brown makes garden history fun through his informative and light hearted illustrated talks. Interested since childhood, he qualified and became a Head Gardener, creating the medieval gardens at Prebendal Manor. He gained an MA in Garden History, while a college lecturer in horticulture, before transforming himself into a freelance speaker as the Historic Gardener. ‘Digging For Victory’ is the topical theme for his talk today. Admission is £3.

27 April – All Day Coach Trip to Anglesey Abbey , Gardens and Lode Mill

We leave KGS at 9.30am. You are free to explore the spectacular 114 acre garden designed by Lord Fairhaven in the 1930’s which features sweeping avenues, classical statuary and flower borders offering captivating views, vibrant colours and delicious scents. You can also visit the Jacobean-style house and wander along the riverside walk to the Lode Mill. There is a restaurant, shop and plant centre on site. We head home at 4pm. The cost is £19 for non-NT members; or £8 coach fare only for NT members. 

25 May – Half Day Coach Trip to Abbot’s Ripton Hall Gardens

We leave KGS at 12 noon. The home of Lord and Lady De Ramsey, it was recommended by Sir Ewan Harper when we visited Titchmarsh House last May. This is a garden of stylish individuality, but also of great unity. On arrival, we will split into groups for a 2 hour guided tour of the arboretum, herbaceous borders, pond, lake, plantsman’s and bog gardens led by head gardener Gavin Smith and his team, followed by tea/coffee and biscuits, before heading back at 4pm. The all inclusive cost is £19.50.   

15 June – Visit to Thorpe Lubenham Hall Gardens, Farndon Road, Lubenham, Leics LE16 9TR

At 2.30pm Sir Bruce and Lady MacPhail will give us an Introductory Talk to their 15 acres of beautiful formal and informal gardens surrounded by parkland. Highlights include mature trees, traditional herbaceous borders which should be in full bloom at this time of year; also a walled pool garden with raised beds and an ancient moat running along the driveway.  After wandering around the grounds, tea/coffee and cake will be provided. We will leave at 4.30pm. The inclusive cost is £3.50.

29 June – All Day Coach Trip to Packwood House and Gardens

We leave KGS at 9am. ‘A house to dream of, a garden to dream in’ – this delightful Tudor House, park and gardens were lovingly restored by Birmingham steel magnate, Graham Baron Ash between the wars. After a 25 minute introductory talk, we are free to explore the house; walk round the herbaceous borders, roses, kitchen garden, sculpted yew topiary, wildflower meadows and Packwood Follies; and visit the Garden Kitchen cafe and shop selling local produce and plants from the nursery. We start back at 4pm. The cost is £17.50 for non-NT members; £7.50 coach fare only for NT members.    

27 July – All Day Coach Trip to Waterperry Gardens

We leave KGS at 9am. One of the finest ornamental gardens in the country, Beatrix Havergal set up her School of Horticulture for Ladies here in 1930’s. The gardens feature herbaceous borders, formal knot, rose and alpine gardens, riverside walk and lily canal. You can choose to take a 11/2 hour garden tour, or explore on your own. The house is not open, but there are a museum, art gallery, Saxon church, plant centre, shops and a Teashop to visit. There is no concession for RHS members in the summer. We start back at 3pm. The cost is £17 including the garden tour; or £13.30 without the tour. 

31 August – Visit to Deene Park House and Gardens, Corby, Northants NN17 3EW

At 2.30pm we will split into groups to begin a 11/4 hour guided tour of the house and medieval manor, owned by the Brudenell family since 1514, Once the seat of the Earls of Cardigan, the 7th Earl led the Charge of the Light Brigade. Then we are free to explore the gardens, which include long borders, old fashioned roses, specimen trees, a parterre and topiary teapots, also the parkland beyond. You can purchase refreshments from the Old Kitchen and visit the Courtyard Gift Shop. Depart by 5pm. The cost is £9. 

28 September  - All Day Coach Trip to Trentham Gardens

We leave KGS at 9am. Alan Titchmarsh called this ‘one of the UK’s must-see gardens’. It was voted BBC Countryfile’s Garden of the Year in 2015. Chelsea Gold Medal winners Tom Stuart-Smith revived the famous Italian Gardens and Piet Oudolf created the Rivers of Grass and Floral Labyrinth. The Lakeside Walk, Cascading Weir and Woodland Trails were designed by Capability Brown. The Show Gardens offer further inspiration. You can also visit Trentham Shopping Village and eateries. We start back at 3.30pm. The costs are entrance to gardens only, £16.50; or add a 1 hour Garden Tour for £21.00.

26 October – Visit to Boughton House and Gardens, Kettering, Northants NN14 1BJ

Gates open specially for us at 1.30pm giving time to explore the landscaped parkland with its walled and sensory garden, sculptured lawns, lakes, waterways, woods and avenue of trees. At 2.30pm we have a 1 hour guided tour of the Ground Floor of this remarkable house with its Tudor courtyards and palatial French style inspired by the Palace of Versailles. Refreshments are pre-bookable at extra cost. Depart by 5pm. The cost is £9.  

 30 November – Meeting: Talk on Plant Portraits

 John Gibson is a RHS and Daffodil Society judge and speaker and member of the RHS Bulb Committee. His illustrated talk starts in deepest Winter and shows a variety of plants and flowers travelling through the seasons. Enjoy a mince pie and free raffle. Admission is £3.

25 January 2017 – Meeting: Talk on How Plants Get Their Names

Dr Richard Gornall, Senior Lecturer and Director of the University of Leicester Botanic Garden makes a welcome return to tell us how plants are named. He was our first speaker in May 2009 and we visited the garden the following month. Admission is £3. 


Group Leaders’ contact details:                              

Gail Goldie             tel:         0116 279 6882                 email 

Mary Franks         tel:         0116 279 3110                     email