Gardening Group 2017 schedule

K & D U3A Gardening Group Programme 2017 

We meet on the last Wednesday of the month

Meetings: 2.30-4.30pm at Kibworth Grammar School Hall (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 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. Please note no refunds will be given for cancellations within one month of the Visit/Coach Trip date.

25 January Meeting: Talk on How Plants Get Their Names

2.30pm at KGS. 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. We will also have a horticultural quiz with prizes. Admission is £3.

22 February Half Day Coach Trip to Cambridge University Botanic Garden

9am Leave KGS. On arrival you are at leisure to explore the renowned Winter Garden, which offers a masterglass in combining foliage, flowers and fragrance for seasonal interest; as well as the heated Glasshouses with stunning plants from around the world. You can also visit the Garden Cafe which serves homemade food and hot drinks and the Gift Shop. We start back at 2pm. The cost is £14.

29 March Meeting: Talk on Leicestershire & Rutland Walled Gardens

2.30pm at KGS. Guest speakers, Stephen Barker and Sue Blaxland, from the Leicestershire and Rutland Garden Trust will talk about restored walled gardens in these counties. We will also watch Mary’s fascinating 2015/16 DVD of past visits. Admission is £3.

26 April Half Day Coach Trip to Grimsthorpe Castle, Park & Gardens

12 noon Leave KGS. Tea/coffee and biscuits are included on arrival, before a 1 hour private guided tour of this magnificent Tudor castle. The house is surrounded by a series of lawns and small formal gardens including rose, topiary and ornamental kitchen gardens and herbaceous border overlooking the landscaped park. The gift shop, which also sells cold drinks and ice creams, will open for our visit. We start back at 4.30pm. The cost is £22.

31 May All Day Coach Trip to Hidcote Manor Garden

9am Leave KGS. This is one of England’s great Arts & Crafts gardens, famous for its rare trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders and unusual plants from all over the world. After a short Introductory Talk on the garden’s history, planting style and restoration, you are free to explore the grounds and visit the gift shop, cafes and plant sales centre. We start back at 4pm. The cost is £22 for non-NT members; or £11 coach fare only for NT members.

14 June Visit to Haddonstone Show Gardens, East Haddon, Northampton NN6 8DB

2.15pm Park at the Red Lion Hotel car park in Main Street for an Introductory Talk in a private room, before walking or driving the short distance up to explore the Gardens. Free catalogues, show garden maps and books about Artificial Stone (normally £15) will be available with a box for voluntary donations to Haddonstone’s chosen charity - the NGS. We will return to the Red Lion for Tea/Coffee and homemade cakes at a cost of £7.50.


28 June Half Day Coach Trip to Broughton Castle and Gardens

9am Leave KGS. We will have coffee on arrival, before an Introductory Talk in the Great Hall, followed by a private guided tour of this moated medieval manor house, home to the Fiennes family since 1447. You are then at leisure to explore the Ladies Garden, South and Battlement Borders, which should be in full bloom; also visit the church, shop and tea room. We start back at 3.30pm. The cost is £20.

26 July - Half Day Coach Trip to Kathy Brown’s Garden at Stevington Manor

12 noon Leave KGS. After Kathy’s Introductory Talk, we will have a Guided Tour of the 4.5 acre garden featuring late flowering clematis, colourful containers, formal white regal lilies, prairie plantings, wild flower meadow and white stemmed birches under planted with acanthus spinosus. Then enjoy the included tea/coffee and home- made cakes, followed by time to visit the gift and plant shop. We start back at 4.30pm. The cost is £18.

30 August All Day Coach Trip to Wightwick Manor & Gardens

9am Leave KGS. Tea/Coffee is included on arrival , before a private guided tour of this Victorian manor house filled with Pre-Raphaelite art and William Morris furnishings. Then explore the 17 acre gardens, laid out by Arts & Crafts designer Thomas Mawson. Its ‘rooms’, marked by clipped yew hedges, feature classic herbaceous plants and fragrant roses with pools and orchards beyond. There are a gift shop, plant centre and tea room on site. We start back at 3.30pm. The cost is £21 for non-NT members; or £11 for NT and NACF (Art Fund) members.

27 September Visit to Knighton Park, Leicester LE2 3YQ

2pm Meet at the award-winning Sensory Garden in this beautiful 78 acre park. This oasis of calm and sensory stimuli was designed, developed and is maintained by the park’s Gardening Club members and Head Gardener. After an Introductory Talk, explore the colourful shrub borders, pond, Heath Gardens and many stunning trees. Tea/coffee and home-made cakes are included, before departing at 4.30pm. The cost is £3.

25 October Half Day Coach Trip to Holdenby House & Gardens

12 noon Leave KGS. From Elizabethan England’s greatest mansion to royal palace and prison, Holdenby was restored in the 1870s. We begin with a private guided tour of palace’s magnificent ground floor rooms. Although many plants in the 20 acre Grade 1 listed garden will have gone over, it will be interesting to see the layout of the original Elizabethan Rose Garden, Tous Tous and Silver Borders, Pond Garden, King Charles’s Walk and Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden. After the included tea/coffee and cake, we depart at 4pm. The cost is £17.

29 November Half Day Coach Trip to Rockingham Castle

12.15pm Leave KGS. Experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas on a Guided Tour of the castle’s beautifully decorated rooms, blazing fires and the Great Hall set for the festivities, led by servants in period costume with stories to tell about life in the great house. Then visit the gift shop in the courtyard with its illuminated trees. Afternoon tea can be pre-ordered at an extra cost tba. We start back at 4pm. The cost is £17.

31 January 2018 Talk by Rutland Willows

2.30pm at KGS. John Burroughs and John Burghley proved most entertaining speakers when they visited us four years ago. They return to tell us about how Rutland Willows designed and built a show garden for the Sandringham Flower Show, doubtless armed with many more amusing anecdotes. The cost is £3.

Group Leaders’ contact details:

Gail Goldie tel: 0116 279 6882                         email 

Mary Franks tel: 0116 279 3110                         email

“Plants consider rain as a fine vintage wine”