Programme for 2018

Talks are in Bruton Community Hall at 7.30 with coffee/tea being served from 7.15.  Everyone welcome.

Visits must be booked.  Click here for the booking form.


SATURDAY 13 JANUARY  Winter Lunch at the Shepton Montague Inn  


MONDAY 22 JANUARY  AGM followed by a talk ‘The Remarkable Trees of Stourhead’

by Emily Utgren, who worked at Stourhead for many years.


MONDAY 19 FEBRUARY.  Gardens in France - A talk by Christine Stones and a tour through nine centuries of stunning gardens.

Christine worked as a BBC producer and presenter before doing a Masters in Garden History in 2004. She has visited and recorded over 160 gardens worldwide. As well as articles on Garden History, Christine has also written and lectured on Oral History and compiled the Sherborne Oral History collection.


TUESDAY 20 FEBRUARY, 2pm  Visit to Nynehead Court, Wellington, TA21 0BW  

Book by Friday 2 February to ensure you receive a cream tea.

Continuing our successful visits to view snowdrops in situ, this year we are going to Nynehead Court where we will meet Justin Cole, head gardener, for a tour of the gardens which also includes a famous ice house, sculptures, a pinetum and a parterre. Afterwards we will enjoy a cream tea. Don't forget to wear warm clothes as it could be cold!

Cost: £9.50 members and non-members, including your cream tea.

Directions: 46 miles. Roughly 1 hour and 5 mins. Take the A303 to the Ilminster bypass A358 and then on to the M5 until junction 26. Take the A38 Taunton Road followed by Nynehead Road and then turn left into Nynehead Hollow.  Start looking for brown tourist signs as you get nearer to your destination.  

There is plenty of parking, but car sharing is always a good idea.


MONDAY 5 MARCH, 10am for 10.30am Visit to Forde Abbey House & Gardens TA20 4LU

At 10.30am we are having a private tour of the house which can only be booked on certain days.  Afterwards we should have the garden to ourselves. This is where we should be on time to see all the varieties of spring bulbs.  The cafe is open all day.

Cost: £11 each for both the house tour and the gardens

Directions:  33 miles. Roughly 53 mins. Leave the A303 at the turning for Crewkerne where you should take the turning for Chard, signs to your venue/4miles south east of Chard.


MONDAY 19 MARCH. Perennial Kitchen Gardening – a talk by Stephanie Hafferty.

Stephanie is an organic kitchen gardener, chef, writer, teacher and blogger living in Bruton. She grows using no dig methods, creates seasonal plant-based recipes for Charles Dowding’s gardening course lunches and is the kitchen gardener at Hauser and Wirth. Previous gardens include the edible garden at Hadspen House, the Bar Garden at The Chapel and a no dig garden at Stavordale Priory.


MONDAY 23 April. A Passion for Climbers – a talk by Jane Lindsay and/or Toni O’Connor. Jane and Toni run Tynings Climbers based in Tickenham, N Somerset. They are Chelsea Gold Medal winners and hold the National Collection of Passiflora, Jasminum, Thunbergia and Mandevillas. They will bring plants to sell


TUESDAY 24 APRIL, 2pm  Visit to Minterne Gardens, Minterne Magna, Dorchester DT2 7AU

Minterne House is between Sherborne and Dorchester. It has been owned by the Churchill and Digby family since 1620. Visit the Himalayan garden and the wild woodland gardens and admire azaleas, rhododendrons, small lakes and trees of many varieties.  Weather permitting tea is served on the terrace, please mark on the booking form if you would like to order a tea.

Cost: £6

Directions: 24 miles, 45 mins

Head to Sherborne and from there take the A352 for 8.3 miles when your destination is on the left.


MONDAY 30 APRIL, 6.45 Evening visit to Castle Gardens for a talk and 25% discount.

There will be short talk with tea and coffee provided.  Then shop till you drop.  Please do not arrive before 6.30 pm to allow staff to have a break after the centre closes at 6.00pm. The talk will be at 7.00 pm with power shopping before and after.  Please bring your membership card or speak to a committee member.  Booking essential.

Directions: Follow signs to Sherborne Castle once you get to Sherborne. The Garden Centre is by the gates to Sherborne Castle.


SATURDAY 12 MAY from 9.30am. Plant sale and coffee morning

In the Community Hall.  This is both a money raiser and shop window for the Society. Please support it and bring as many plants, seedlings, produce and cakes etc as possible.


THURSDAY 7 JUNE, 11.00am  Visit to The Manor House, Cranborne BH21 5PP

June has been chosen as, weather permitting, there will be a notable display of

roses.  However, the garden has a variety of interesting features including a

vegetable garden, an orchard, a cottage garden, a north garden, vistas & magnolias

(although these may have finished).  The cafe will be open for teas, coffees and lunches.

Cost: £5 members and non-members

Directions:  51 miles. 1 hour 30 mins. Take A359 towards Dropping Lane (B3081) turning right at Le Newborough Way and then at the roundabout onto the Salisbury Road, still B3081.Continue until at the roundabout you take the 5th exit A30/A350 and then a right turn to Salisbury A30. Back to A3081 at Higher Blandford Road, left onto A3078 and destination on the right of the High Street, after you pass through the Square.


WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE  2.00pm.  Visit to Jekka’s Herbetum, Jekka’s Herb Farm, Rose Cottage, Shellards Lane, Alveston, Bristol, BS35 3SY

This will include a talk from our host, Jekka, who will also give us guidance about herbs for all sorts of places as well as those for culinary or for medicinal purposes. Jekka has built up the largest collection of culinary herbs in the UK (300) and has a broad knowledge about the history of herbs. There will be opportunities for questions and we will finish with refreshments (tea, herb teas, coffee and homemade cakes).

Cost: £7 members, £12 non-members

Directions:    52 miles, 1 hour 23 mins. Join the M4 at junction 18.  At junction 20 take the M5 exit to Bristol West and then at junction 16 follow the signs for the A38 Filton/Thornbury.  At the roundabout take 3rd exit to Gloucester Road/A38 and in 3.7 miles turn onto The St.  Continue onto Shellards Lane and your destination is on the left.


MONDAY 2 JULY, 6.45pm  Annual Garden Supper at Homeacres, Alhampton,

Shepton Mallet BA4 6PZ, kindly hosted by Charles Dowding and Steph Hafferty.  Charles is a member of our Society and an acclaimed innovator of no dig, organic growing.  It is a great opportunity to see how his original, weed free methods give superb results in his productive garden.  Steph has offered to do the catering of the snacks for which she has a remarkable reputation. Wine and glasses will be provided.

Alternative date in case of bad weather (at least 24 hours notice will be given):

Thursday 5 July.  Please share lifts if possible.

Cost:  £4.00 members, £6.00 non-members, including a glass of wine and nibbles.

Directions:  5 miles. About 11 mins. Leave Bruton to pass Wykes Farm and to the end of the road. Here go left onto the A371, then right marked Alhampton and Ditcheat. Follow signs for Alhampton and before the Inn turn left on No Through Road, just before the White House.  Pass the tin chapel on your left then Homeacres is third on the left, set back from the road.

There is some parking at Homeacres which you are welcome to use but you can also park in the lane, keeping tight in, or in the village and walk up the lane.


SATURDAY 18 AUGUST  The Society’s 94th Annual Show

2.30 pm – 5.00 pm at Fitzjames Sports Hall, King’s School, Bruton

Show schedules can be picked up at the plant sale and after that from Bruton shops, library and community office.  Do consider putting in an entry and of course come and support the show on the day.


WEDNESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 12.00 noon at Haskins Garden Centre, Longham, Ferndown BH22 9DG for lunch and then 2.00pm at Knoll Gardens, Staplehill, Hampreston, Wimborne BH21 7ND for a guided tour and talk by the owner of the gardens, Neil Lucas.  

Arrangements have been made with Haskins Garden Centre, just a little further down the road from the entrance to Knoll Gardens, for us to have lunch there at about 12.00 noon.  Please mark on the booking form if you want lunch so we can give them an idea of numbers a couple of days before.

At 2.00p.m. We meet Neil Lucas who will give us a guided tour around Knoll Gardens. Mainly grasses and other autumn plants, it is a real favourite of Jennie’s and will surely give you easy care ideas for your own gardens.  There is a friendly and helpful nursery there too if you wish to make a purchase.  There are toilets, but the tea, coffee and biscuits are self-service.

Cost: £7 members, £10 non-members for guided tour at Knoll Gardens

Directions:38.5 miles 1 hour 11 mins to Haskins garden centre

37.8 miles 1 hour 10 mins to Knoll Gardens

These directions will take you to Haskins Garden Centre, but you will pass the sign post for Knoll Gardens before you get there. From Patwell Street/B3081, left onto Dropping Lane/B3081. In approx. 10.5 miles at the roundabout take the 2nd exit to Newbury/B3081, then at the roundabout the 4th exit to Shaftesbury/B3081, then at the roundabout the 5th exit A30/A350. Take the 2nd exit Salisbury Rd/A30, left to Higher Blandford Road/B3081. In approx. 4 miles turn onto Ham Lane/B3073 and at the roundabout take the 2nd exit.


MONDAY 24 SEPTEMBER.  Gardening on a Slope – a talk by Michelle Wake.

Michelle has degrees in both Engineering Production and Garden design. She has taught garden design courses at Merrist Wood College and is a visiting lecturer at Inchbald School of Garden Design. She is lead designer at Greenwave Garden Design.


MONDAY 22 OCTOBER.  Alternative plants in alternative places – a Gold Club talk.

Examples of clever thinking and unusual twists on old favourites e.g. sedum hanging baskets


MONDAY 19 NOVEMBER.  Thorngrove - Past, present and future – a talk by Caroline Bottomley.  Caroline is manager at the Thorngrove Garden Centre, Gillingham. Formally owned and run by Scope, but now owned by Employ my Ability, a charity based in Dorset which oers hospitality, horticultural and retail training to students with learning disabilities and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. She will bring plants to sell.


PLEASE NOTE:  All the directions are taken from the Greenflag website, but you may be familiar with other ways to get to your destination. Please check with your own directions or use your satnav.



Stavordale Priory, Charlton Musgrove:  Michael Le Poer Trench has confirmed that Bruton and District Horticultural Society is on the list for a visit in 2018, which is likely to be around June time.  

Somerset Lavender, Faulkland: We hope to visit the Lavender Farm on either 11, 12 or 13 July. More details in due course.



Please use the booking form to book your garden visits. Make your own transport arrangements for all visits. Please join forces with your friends for transport whenever possible – some gardens have limited parking. If you have difficulty in finding transport, let us know.  Members are welcome to bring friends who are not members.  Click here for the booking form.