With most Welsh Government pandemic restrictions now having been lifted, we’re pleased to announce our autumn programme. Many of us are very much looking forward to meeting in person again. We’re aiming to hold most meetings in Little Mill Village Hall NP4 0HE, along with the usual raffle, members’ plant stall, and refreshments. The programme also includes occasional online meetings using Zoom as these have proved very popular, particularly with those who are unable to travel, those who’ve joined in from all around the UK and speakers we’d like to feature who live far away.
For all meetings, we’ll be taking advance bookings and payment only at least for the rest of this year. For September, we’re not yet aware of revised capacity (a matter under review with the hall manager) but other risk mitigations will include good ventilation and facemasks still being required. Advance booking means we will be able to get in touch with those who’re coming more easily if anything changes.
Coming up first, onSaturday 4th September at 2.30pm: ‘My Favourite Gardens’ by Stephen Anderton, the well-known author, broadcaster and The Times garden correspondent. Stephen lives nearby, high up behind Sugarloaf Mountain, and was formerly a professional gardener and National Gardens Manager for English Heritage. He is well-travelled and, with impressive knowledge of gardens and gardening, it should be fascinating to hear more about his favourite places. (Please note that this talk replaces that previously advertised.)
The cost will be £3 per person for HPS members and £5 per person for non-members, plus (optional) £1 for each raffle ticket. The funds raised go towards the cost of our speakers and improving our future programme as well as towards our raffle prizes.
To book your place/s for the 4th Sept talk, please reply to this note asap. Please do not pay though until we have confirmed your reservation. Places will be limited, so entrance will be for those with confirmed and paid bookings only. We expect to have enough capacity but if oversubscribed, priority in booking will be given to HPS members in the order of when we received their booking requests, then payments.(In the unlikely event that place/s have to be withdrawn, or the talk is cancelled or moved to Zoom, those who’ve booked and paid will be notified by email and, where appropriate, a refund or carry forward of payment arranged.)
Thinking now of our other events, thank you to those who’ve booked their places for the Summer Tea for members and their friends at Llanover House later this month. With high demand, all places have now been taken for what promises to be an enjoyable afternoon. Details and directions to follow soon. (If you’ve not booked your place and would like to come along, please reply to this note and we’ll add you to the waiting list in case of some late cancellations or non-payments.)
Here is the rest of the programme so far – please note we will be opening the bookings for each talk about three/four weeks beforehand and will not be taking reservations before each ‘Advance booking’ email goes out.
– Saturday 9th Oct at 2.30pm: ‘The world of bulbs’ byRob Evans of Pheasant Acre Plants, Gold Medal Award winner at RHS and regional shows. Pheasant Acre Plants near Bridgend specialises in the supply of Gladioli corms, Dahlia tubers, plugs and plants, and bulbs for all seasons. A selection will be on sale at the meeting.
– Wednesday 27th Oct at 7.30pm, online only, using Zoom: ‘A Tale of three gardens’ by Troy Scott Smith, the well-known head gardener, garden writer and lecturer. One of the country’s leading head gardeners, Troy will be returning to Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent at the end of August. He is currently at the privately owned Iford Manor Gardens in Wiltshire and was previously at Bodnant Gardens and Sissinghurst. There’ll be much of interest when he shows us all these wonderful gardens and discusses his experience and the gardening challenges ahead.
– Saturday 13th November at 2.30pm: ‘The Castle Gardens, St Fagans’ byCeri Goring, the Gardening Conservator at St. Fagans. This is one of the most important historic gardens in Wales: with an underlying Tudor structure, the layout is now predominantly Victorian and Edwardian, retaining much of its structural planting. It is now within the National History Museum of Wales.
– Saturday 11th Dec at 2.30pm: ‘Willow weaving workshop’ by Amanda Rayner of Wyldwood Willow.Those of you who’ve been members for while will know that we usually do something seasonal and different for the festive season. This workshop should be fun as we all create something to take home.
– Saturday 15th Jan 2022 at 2.30pm, online only, using Zoom: ‘Protecting the UK from plant pests and diseases’ by Nicola Spence, Chief Plant Health Officer, Defra. All of us have a part to play in being aware of the increasing threats to plant health and how we can do our bit to help the country’s response.
Talks for the following months through to May 2022, a plant fair in June and a number of garden visits over next summer are currently being arranged. While we’re having a break this month from including the usual range of other links and notifications, Sarah Clay, one of our members, has sent us details of some upcoming workshops which may be of interest. Dean J. Pecketts’s new one day garden courses in September and October 2021 at Wyndcliffe Court, nr Chepstow, have been designed for all who love gardening and want to learn more, with practical demonstrations, horticultural tips and techniques explained throughout the day. For more details, see the attached flyer.
Well, that’s it for now.We look forward to seeing a good number of you on 4th September.
JacquiSecretary – Monmouthshire Group, HPS
AGM Minutes 2020
The HPS Monmouthshire Group, AGM 20th March 2021
The meeting was held online using Zoom and started at 2:30pm. All group members had the opportunity to participate and vote, including those who were unable to use Zoom. The meeting was quorate.
1. Apologies: Catherine Dooher, Maggie Harkness, Jill Hedges, Jan Eastment, Barbara Dwyer, Sue Harrison, Vron Ruth, Sally Davies, Frances Pemberton
2. Minutes of 2020 AGM were approved and there were no matters arising. (Proposer Penny Walshe, seconder Janet Hicks.)
3. The Chairman’s Annual Report was noted and accepted.
4. The Treasurer’s report was noted and accepted. The 2020 accounts were approved. (Proposer Pauline
Faraday, seconder Christine Bayliss.)
5. Election of Officers and Election of Committee: The existing Officers – Keith White (Chairman), Jenny Lloyd (Treasurer), Jacqui Warren (Secretary) – offered themselves for re-election. The motion was approved. (Proposer Pauline Faraday, seconder Penny Walshe.) The Other Committee members – Cath Mullin, Kath Weare, Mary Barkham (previously co-opted) and Brigid Hamilton-Jones (newly proposed) offered themselves for re-lection/election. The motion was approved.
(Proposer Janet Hicks, seconder Claire Rogers.)
6. Matters for consideration: There were four Committee recommendations for consideration as follows.
All were approved. (Proposer Norman Chamberlain, seconder Paddy Benyon.)
a. At the last AGM, the proposed motion was passed to suspend the group’s membership fee for 2021 (ie our local group membership fee for 2021 is £0) with the decision to be reviewed annually. The Committee considers that this arrangement is working well, not least in reducing our local admin, and recommends that it be continued for 2022. (As our local group Constitution states that only fully paid-up members of national HPS may become Monmouthshire Group members, membership of the group will be given to those who reside in postcodes NP4 to NP44 and bordering areas, who have paid their annual national HPS subscription fee and provide their HPS membership number.)
b. During 2020, electronic card payment was trialled and found to be successful when the group met in person. While event entrance fees and related payments, e.g. for raffle tickets or plants, can continue to be paid for by cash or cheque, the Committee recommends that use of electronic card payment be continued and also direct banking transfers where payment can be confirmed in advance of the corresponding event.
c. The financial position at year end shows (subject to independent review) that the Group remains financially healthy and that the programme and pricing structures led broadly to ‘break even’ across the year as planned. The Committee recommends:
i) that a similar approach be continued in 2021/22 e.g. the group to host both online and in person meetings as at the time allowed, attendance open also to those who are not members of the local group (subject to places being available), some local group ‘members only’ events, and continued attention to improving/maintaining the speaker programme; ii) if the programme and pricing structure begins to generate substantial profit then members be consulted on the most appropriate use of the additional funds.
d. As a result of changes to the national HPS Constitution, a few corresponding changes are required or recommended to our local group Constitution, a draft of which has been included in this meeting’s papers. The Committee recommends that these changes be accepted.
9. Appointment of Independent Examiner of Accounts: The 2020accounts had been subject to independent examination by David Warren. Nominations for someone to review the accounts next year would be welcome. Penny Walshe will discuss with one of her contacts.
10. Any other business: a) While additional revenue for the first few months of 2021 has been welcome, it is unclear in these uncertain times how the rest of the year is likely to develop. A number of options were discussed for use of surplus funds (if any) arising from the programme. b) It was noted that at a national level, HPS is developing an overall strategy which is expected to include, for example, increasing HPS’s public profile and hosting occasional talks by well-known presenters. c) The Committee were thanked for their efforts in maintaining and developing the group, albeit largely online at present. All present looked forward to meeting in person again before too long.
The meeting was closed at 3:10pm