Shelford Garden Club

Shelford Garden Club          

Are you interested in gardening? Do you live in the South Cambridge area? If the answer to these questions is Yes - why not join the Shelford Garden Club!

What you get for just £5 annual membership fee, due on April 1 for the coming season 2017-2018

  • We hold a series of six interesting talks during the autumn and winter months

  • We visit other gardens during the summer

  • This summer we will be visiting :- Peter Beales Roses, Sea Mere Gardens and Feeringbury Manor Gardens

  • There are opportunities to attend meetings of other Garden Clubs and Horticultural Societies and enter in their Shows

  • Mr Fothergills gives members a reduction on seeds and other items from their annual catalogue

  • Opportunity to read the RHS monthly magazine “The Garden”


    If you want to find out more, come along to one of our events. Alternatively you can contact:

     Chairperson -

    Membership Secretary –




      Programme for 2017-18

    October 10th     History of the Apple by Joanna Crosby  Bring apples for identification

    November 14th  Virgins, Weeders, Queens –Lady Gardeners by Twigs Way

    December 12th    Fun With Herbaceous Plants by Richard Ayres  MBE   With Christmas            Refreshments

    January 9th 2018        Potatoes by Mike Day

    February 20th     Getting To Grips With Pruning by Nigel Start

     March 13th         AGM   Pests and Diseases by Geoff Hodge

They meet in Shelford School Hall at 7:30 for homemade refreshments.  The talk then follows at 8 pm.





Robin Carsberg returned to speak about some of the best gardens to visit in the south west.

BICTON PARK BOTANICAL GARDENS, near Budleigh Salterton in Devon

reflect nearly three centuries of changing horticultural styles with a diverse collection of gardens. They began as a landscaped garden, which reputedly took its inspiration from Versailles. The borders and flowerbeds with brightly coloured displays of bedding plants were 19th century additions. So too were the American and stream gardens and the hermitage garden, with a lake and water garden. Bicton was one of the first gardens to have fountains and water features powered by electricity instead of gravity tanks. The pinetum has many fine old established trees including a giant weeping sequoia, which resembles a wizened old man. A Victorian fernery has been re-established among the rocks around the shell house. A notable feature is the palm house, built in 1825 and constructed with a fine metal framework and glazed curvilinear roof. A more recent addition is the Mediterranean garden with drought tolerant plants and paths made of crushed shells mixed with sand.

FORDE ABBEY at Chard in Somerset is a former Cistercian monastery with a mixture of architectural styles, set in a varied and attractive garden. The great pond at the top of the garden has three lower ponds linked by cascades. A columned temple with metal filigree dome, frames a view of the abbey seen across the long canal, which is lined with herbaceous plants and topiary shapes. There is a rock garden and bog garden with gunnera and blue Himalayan poppies. Douglas firs, cedars and redwoods create an atmosphere of timelessness. An extensive working walled garden provides kitchen produce.

MAPPERTON GARDENS at Beaminster in Dorset are set in a valley below an old manor house with a courtyard of roses and clematis. The garden drops down in a series of Italianate terraces with clipped yew hedges and topiary shrubs linked by flights of stone steps. At the top end is an orangery with terracotta pots and below an octagonal pool with central fountain. Beyond is a pergola covered with vines, wisteria, roses and honeysuckle. Below that the garden gradually becomes less formal eventually merging into an area of trees and shrubs.

ABBOTSBURY SUB TROPICAL GARDENS, near Weymouth in Dorset lie in a deep, sheltered valley to the north of Chesil Beach. The mild, moist microclimate has enabled the establishment of many colourful exotic and tender plants to produce a jungle glade. There are rare trees, bamboo groves, bog gardens and a Mediterranean bank. A magnolia walk leads out of the garden to a high point with spectacular views over the Jurassic coast.

KILLERTON GARDEN at Broadclyst, near Exeter in Devon has one of the best collections of trees, originally obtained from some of the first plant hunting expeditions abroad.  The garden has some of the oldest giant redwoods in Britain. Other trees include Japanese species of cedar, walnut and zelkova and cork oaks. Large numbers of rhododendrons, azaleas and cherries provide colour in spring. Near the house is a terrace of Mediterranean plants and a rock garden is planted with maples, ferns and primulas. A rustic thatched hut decorated inside with fir cones and acorns has a floor made from cobblestones, log sections and deer knucklebones and was originally built to house a black bear.

                                                                                                                               Helen Chubb

The World through Plants – The Eden Project

 Robert Brett has worked at Kew Gardens, Cambridge Botanic Gardens, the Eden Project and RHS Hyde Hall Gardens.

The Eden Project was conceived by Tim Smitt to encompass biodiversity, sustainability and education by creatively engaging with people and also promoting a catalyst for change. The project had European funding, as one of the aims was to provide all year round and not just seasonal employment in Cornwall. It involved the regeneration of old china clay pits near St Austell, with a landscaped area, which followed the existing curves but also had hidden views. A vast amount of locally sourced soil was brought in to improve the china clay, which was mixed with 10% shredded lignite clay, 65% sand and 25% composted green waste and worms. The first few months proved very demanding due to non-stop rain, washing the soil down the slopes, which was solved by using hessian to stabilise the sides. The runoff collects in a central lake and underground tank, as the pit sits below the water table and excess water needs to be pumped out.

 Eden’s characteristic bubble dome structures consist of hexagonal and pentagonal inflated plastic cells supported by steel frames. The Tropical biome houses plants such as bananas, coffee, cocoa, rubber and giant bamboo and the high humidity is maintained using heated recycled rainwater. Aerial walkways and a platform enable visitors to experience the rainforest canopy from above. The Mediterranean biome houses warm temperate and arid plants such as olives and grape vines. Outdoors, the temperate regions of the world are represented with a range of plants such as lavender, hops, hemp and sunflowers as well as vegetables and salad crops. Paths lead upwards to the rim, where native plants represent wild Cornwall.

Sculptures and artworks attract attention such as the WEEE Man, a towering figure made from old electrical appliances, representing the average electrical waste used by one person in a lifetime. The Core provides an education facility with classrooms and exhibition areas, demonstrating the interdependence of plants and people. The soaring timber roof is clad with recycled copper, and the design is based on the plant geometry of opposing spirals found in some seed heads like sunflowers. To attract visitors all year round an arena stage provides venues for concerts and festivals and the lake is frozen in winter to provide an ice rink. 

Eden has been involved with social programmes helping people to take action and run projects in their communities. They have also run projects with homeless, disadvantaged people and prisoners helping them create gardens and grow their own food. The Eden project has also established several global links – one supporting rural producers across southern Africa.

Over 600 people including 150 volunteers are involved with the Eden project. It has been successful in attracting 1 million visitors a year and in the first ten years it has been estimated that 1 billion pounds have been put back into the local economy.

                                                                                                                                    Helen Chubb