Zoom Lectures from other Gardening Societies

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

Below are details of Zoom lectures organised by other gardening societies.

Plant Heritage

Plant Heritage have arranged a number of Zoom talks over the coming weeks. Full details can be found here.

Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society

The NNHS have arranged monthly Zoom talks. The next one is being held on 25th January at 7.00pm and is a talk on the Gardens of East Anglia by Simon White. Full details can be found here.

Lincolnshire Hardy Plant Society

Lincolnshire Hardy Plant Society have arranged a number of Zoom talks over the coming weeks. Full details can be found here.


Special Lecture: Fergus Garrett, Great Dixter - Designing with Plants

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

This is a ticketed event also open to the public – bookings in advance. 

Tickets are now available and can either be purchased online here for payments by debit or credit card or by contacting Linda Hall on 01379 641519 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to pay by cash or cheque.

Nurseries present on the day will be Panache Plants (https://www.panacheplants.co.uk/), The Plantsman's Preference (https://www.plantpref.co.uk/) and Richard Mountstephen Sundries and Plants.


Cost is £3 and must be pre-ordered and paid for in advance

Heinz tomato soup and sandwich £3

Please choose 1 sandwich from following selection:

  1. Roast beef, rocket and horseradish – brown bread
  1. Spicy chicken and romaine lettuce – white bread
  1. Tuna and sweetcorn – brown bread
  1. Cheese and tomato – white bread
  1. Egg mayonnaise and cress – brown bread
  1. Egg mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce on seeded gluten free bread
  1. Roast chicken, tomato and lettuce on seeded gluten free bread


Chestnut Farm - A Garden For All Seasons

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

Chestnut Farm

A Garden For All Seasons

Open by arrangement from February (Snowdrops over 100 varieties all separately labeled) ‘til October (Nerines Cyclamen Colchicums etc) supporting  National Garden Scheme and other charities. Any number from 4-20. Relax with a cup of tea in the new garden room.

Preferably Thursdays 2-5 pm according to season.

Chestnut Farm will be open Sunday 7th  March for St Johns Ambulance 11am-4pm, admission £5

Grassfield parking subject to weather conditions.

Refreshments will be available

All arrangements subject to current Covid rules.  To book or any queries please phone Judy Wilson on 01263 822241 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Instructions for using ZOOM

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

Instructions for using ZOOM

Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool that allows users to meet online with or without video. Any device such as PC, laptop, Ipad or smartphone can be used.

Downloading Zoom

You can either download Zoom when you join your first meeting or download it beforehand by going to this site:


Click on the Zoom Client for Meetings button.

If you are using your smartphone to use Zoom you will need to go to the Google App Store and download Zoom from there.

 Connecting to a Meeting

1. For the ZOOM meetings you will receive an email with a link to the meeting. It will cover topic, time and have a link to join the meeting. When you click on the link, Zoom will ask you to launch the meeting or download and run Zoom. When this is completed, you will then be allowed into the meeting by the host.

2. When you have joined the meeting and ZOOM is operating, scroll to the bottom of your screen to access the Tool Bar. Click on the appropriate icon to turn On/Off Muting or On/Off Video. If you are using your phone for the Audio, you have a different icon. When not speaking, mute yourself. The host can mute everyone if necessary. Computers pick up background noise which can be distracting. The Participants icon shows the number of people in the meeting. Clicking on this icon brings up a display at the right of your screen that lists the meeting participants and the current status of the Audio and Video for each person. There will be a selection of Non-Verbal icons at the bottom of the list that can be used to communicate with the Host or other participants. You can use the “Raise Hand” tool to let the Host know you would like to speak or the “Yes” and “No” icons to respond to general questions.

 3. The “Chat” tool is a way to communicate without speaking. Click on the “Chat” tool - a Chat window opens on the right below the list of participants. You can select to whom the message is to be sent. You can select an individual or the whole group for your message.

 4. You can leave a meeting at any time by clicking on the “Leave Meeting” tool at the far right of the Tool bar. This brings up a dialog box where you can confirm that you want to leave the meeting. The host will end the meeting.


1. Do I have to have a webcam to join on Zoom?

While you are not required to have a webcam to join a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, you will not be able to transmit video of yourself. You will continue to be able to listen and speak during the meeting, share your screen, and view the webcam video of other participants.

2. Why is my video/camera not working?

If your camera is not showing up in the Zoom Settings or it is selected and not showing any video, these tips can help you troubleshoot why it is not working.

1. Make sure that all other programs that utilize the camera are not using the camera or are closed.

2. Restart your computer.

3. Uninstall the Zoom client and reinstall the latest version from the Zoom Download Center.

 4. Why does the link not work when I try to access the Zoom meeting?

If your link does not work please email the host (it will be the same email address as that with which the link was sent) and the link will be resent to you. Please join at least 15 minutes before the start of your first meeting to make sure you are able to join the meeting successfully, and are able to turn on your video and your audio.

 5. Can I join using my phone and not computer?

Yes. You will be given both a computer link and phone number(s) to access the Zoom meeting. You will not see the zoom screen or participants. Do not put your phone on speaker when joining by phone.

6. Do I have to get a Zoom account?

No – you do not need an account, but will be required to download the app to your computer if you are linking from your desktop or mobile device.

 7. The sound is breaking up – what should I do?

The quality of the sound and video in a ZOOM meeting is related to the quality (bandwidth) of your Internet service. If the sound begins to breakup or the video signal degenerates, then turning off your video can help. Connecting to your internet with a wired connection is better than connecting over wireless.

8. Where can I find more help on using ZOOM?

The Zoom Help Centre has video tutorials to help you get started and learn more. Find them here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us

Garden Visit: Holme Hale Hall, Holme Hale, 4th September

Written by Jan Oakley. Posted in News

Holme Hale Hall

What a treat we were in for on our last garden visit of the year. Holme Hale Hall is a fine building with a Regency façade on a somewhat older 15th/16th century house. Simon and Delia Broke, our hosts, gave us an overview of the history of the home which has been in the Broke family for a number of generations.

The gardens were designed and planted by Chelsea Gold Medal winning designer Arne Maynard in 2000, and it is a joy to see his amazing talent. Arne is both a designer and a plantsman, which has resulted in a magical garden. There was abundant colour throughout the garden which is especially difficult given that there’s been so little rain this summer and it’s September.

We were given a tour by not only the owners but also Chris their gardener with plenty of amusing anecdotes along the way, such as Arne wanting to remove the swimming pool and tennis court as he considered them ugly. We walked across the wide lawn in front of the Hall which is neatly contained in a plethora of box hedging cut in both ball shapes and cloud pruned. This was accompanied by tall grasses behind the box which swayed in the breeze.

Next, we went through a pair of gates into the walled garden which is encircled by herbaceous borders packed with interesting plants with the kitchen garden in the middle.  We then passed into the parterre where precisely clipped box hedging surrounded each bed which again were packed with many lovely plants.  There were the warm bronze colours of Chrysanthemum ‘Rehauge’ and ‘Herbstbrokat’, complimented by Rudbeckia ‘Peking’ (an Echinacea x Rudbeckia hybrid by Brian Kabbes).  Other collections featured warm pinks and lilacs including Aster ‘Coombe Fishacre’ and Althaea cannabina.  In the centre was a lovely water feature in the shape of a huge shell.

We then entered the topiary garden followed by the cutting garden filled with the most heavenly scented roses. Finally, we walked through the working greenhouse where there were not only more wonderful plants but also three laminated A3 sheets which listed all of the plants in the garden along with their picture. A much simpler way of labelling plants, and nobody can take the plant label, genius. A lovely day and a garden we hope to visit again, perhaps on our usual Saturday in future so that more members can join us.

Jan Oakley






Summer Social at Fullers Mill, West Stow, Suffolk

Written by Irene Tibbenham. Posted in News

Summer Social at Fullers Mill, West Stow, Suffolk, Thursday 6th August

After a truly sizzling day of high temperatures, twenty-nine of us spent a chilled evening armed with a picnic and prosecco at the secluded plantsman’s garden of  Bernard Tickner, nestled in the wooded area around the River Lark.  In characteristic fashion, the sales table, full of unusual and rare ‘gems’ propagated on-site, was surrounded by people passionate about plants and eager to support Perennial, a charity supporting people in horticulture; alongside visitors who’d sacrificed watching the 2nd Day of the Test match between England and Pakistan on TV, for this excellent cause.

Staff and volunteers from Fullers Mill provided sanitised, socially-distanced tables under the welcome shade of trees, seemingly pruned for this very task.  A trustee from Perennial delivered a talk describing the history and aims of the charity, sandwiched between visitors’ multiple excursions made to various parts of this tranquil water garden, which clearly was not suffering water stress - thanks to the high water table - which many of our gardens were currently enduring at this time.

Conversations around Covid-19’s impact dominated much of the discussions, with many of us grateful to be amongst familiar friends, and thankful to be living here.

Irene Tibbenham