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A miscellany: talks and teas


HPS Talk in Uppingham

The Rutland Group of the Hardy Plant Society will recommence its programme of monthly horticultural talks on Tuesday September 9 at 7.30 pm. The venue is the Uppingham Methodist Church, Orange St, Uppingham, LE15 9SQ. The speaker will be Ian Cooke and his subject is ‘So Very Versatile Perennials’.
Ian has been involved in all aspects of plant propagation, garden construction, design, plant selection and education. He has received numerous awards from the Royal Horticultural Society for displays at their shows.
Admission £3-00 members, £5-00 visitors (includes light refreshments).


Interesting talks in Lincoln

Our member Erica McGarrigle (who is one of the Lincolnshire publicity officers for the National Gardens Scheme) tells me she has a friend called Jill Hughes who helps to run the Lincoln Book Festival. On Tuesday 30th September (Day 2 of the festival, entitled The Power of Plants and Gardens) there are talks by Margaret Willes (The Cottage Garden – fact and fiction) and Jennifer Potter (on the extraordinary influence of plants). They thought our members might be interested to know about this event. You may already have heard about it, but if not, you can find further details and book tickets online at

‘Tuesday will be an evening ideal for enthusiastic gardeners as our two speakers discuss the power of plants and gardens taking us through the history of gardens as well as the story of the seven flowers that shaped the planet.’ The day will be chaired by Susan Rhodes MBE, a horticultural historian, involved in garden restoration.

“Margaret Willes unearths lush gardens outside workers’ cottages and horticultural miracles in blackened yards, she reveals the ingenious, often devious, methods used by determined, often obsessive and eccentric workers to make their drab surroundings bloom. From the fashionable rich stealing gardening ideas from the poor to the competitive alehouse syndicates, she discusses the ways in which the cultivation of plants plays an integral role in everyday British life.”

Margaret studied architectural history and has a background in publishing (setting up the National Trust’s own book imprint); her books include The Making of the English Gardener: Plants, Books and Inspiration 1560–1660 and most recently The Gardens of the British Working Classes.

“Jennifer Potter’s latest book Seven Flowers reads like a detective story. As she tracks her septet across the globe, we discover where and when they originated, what power or influence they have exerted over the affairs of mea and how they acquired it, revealing some astonishing truths! Here are he flowers of healing, delirium, and death; of purity and passion; of greed, envy and virtue; of hope and consolation; of beauty that drives men wild …”

Jennifer is a horticultural historian, Consultant Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and author of both fiction and non-fiction which include a biography of the John Tradescants (father and son) and The Rose: A True History. Seven Flowers and How They Shaped Our World is her latest book.


Tea room at Rasells

My goodness! I see Rasells Nursery in Little Bytham now has a tea room!


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