Experienced and beginner amateur gardeners

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The Kilmington Gardening Club brings together both experienced and beginner amateur gardeners in a convivial atmosphere and aims to provide a range of events throughout the year to enhance members’ gardening experience. What do we do? We:

  • organise the Kilmington Flower Show, in conjunction with the Annual Village Fayre this year on Saturday, 27th July. Check out the ‘Show’ page
  • have monthly meetings with talks on Plants, Gardens and Gardeners – see the Annual Programme page
  • visit gardens both in the area and further afield – details on the website and at our monthly meetings
  • have a Spring Plant Market
  • exchange plants and ideas
  • enjoy discounts at local nurseries
  • are affiliated to the RHS

All this for only £5 per person per annum – terrific value! More information on how to join can be found here.

We are also members of the Gold Club, a group of Garden Centres – Brimsmore Gardens, Yeovil, Poundbury Gardens, near Dorchester and Castle Gardens, Sherborne. For more information about The Gold Club click here: http://www.thegardeneronline.co.uk/the-gold-club

August proved to be a changeable month but we were not downhearted as at the end of July, the sun had worked its magic for our Annual Fayre and Flower Show, which helped to make it a great success! In September our thoughts turn to autumn and all the jobs that lie ahead!

Our speaker on 13th September will focus on fungi, which tend to proliferate in the autumn. We look forward to welcoming Michael Jordan, an English mycologist (an expert on Fungi), author of The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe, and founder and chairman of the Association of British Fungal Groups (ABFG). Michael Jordan founded ABFG in 1996, having observed an upsurge in interest in mushroom hunting since presenting Mushroom Magic, a documentary on Channel 4 in 1989.

With the days growing shorter we may be thinking about slowly winding down our gardening activities, but the Kilmington Gardening Club is busy planning for next year already! Our 2020 programme will be ready shortly but you can be sure that there will be plenty of interest.

An event which has become a fixture in our local area is the Shute Literary Festival, 13th-15th September which features talks by a wealth of literary talent including poets, authors, film-makers and environmental campaigners. The KGC-sponsored talk is on Sunday, 15th September, when Isabel Bannerman will be discussing her work and her book: Scent Magic: Notes from a Gardener. Isabel was born in Paddington in 1962, the youngest of five children who lived in a terraced house in London’s Kensington High Street. She began gardening when she met Julian Bannerman, owner of Bannerman’s Bar in the Old Town, Edinburgh, when she was at University. Together they moved to a derelict baroque mansion in Wiltshire and camped whilst restoring the house and starting to design gardens and garden buildings for a living. With a lot of luck and hard work they established a practice, winning gold medals at Chelsea and working for clients such as HRH The Prince of Wales, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, George Clooney, and Sting and Trudie Styler.

Isabel has taken photographs since she was at school and began making her particular style of botanical scans in 2003. She has had four solo shows of her work, which is in the collections of Jasper Conran and Richard E Grant. She writes occasional gardening pieces for the Telegraph and Sunday Times. She wrote and photographed Landscape Of Dreams describing fourteen gardens created by the Bannermans and their way of working together. Scent Magic: Notes from a Gardener is her second book, and is the result of ten years’ researching and note-taking on her favourite subject, scent in the garden. For more information check out the website: http://www.shutefest.org.uk/

The destination for Kilmington Gardening Club’s second full day outing on Thursday, 8th August can best be described as unique! Sculpture by the Lakes at Pallington The Knear Dorchester, provides a visual feast set in a tranquil landscape. When the owner and sculptor, Simon Gudgeon, and his wife, Monique, bought the 26-acre property in 2007, it was a fishery surrounded by almost-derelict land. It now boasts over thirty beautiful, large, bronze sculptures, which are displayed around the park and in the water – their sinuous lines seeming to be absorbed by the landscape.

Indeed, Simon believes that ‘Sculpture must, above all, be a thing of beauty; it must uplift the spirit and enhance its surroundings’. There are two different parts to the park – the lakes and woodland areas and the more formal gardens. We were given a map and sent out to explore the 26-acre site as we wished so that we could experience the art and the landscape, not merely view it. There were many opportunities to stand, sit or even lie(!) (a suspended circular platform with cushions was very popular!) and gaze at the water or the sky with only the sound of birdsong for company.

The park is set beside Dorset’s River Frome and features lakes, small streams and meandering woodland paths which draw the visitor’s eye at every turn and, with light-handed management, the impact on the natural environment is kept to a minimum. Many of the plants and wild flowers lining the paths are designed to create a haven for wildlife, with helpful signs to explain which creatures benefit from the different flowers.

The more organised gardens, near the owners’ home, consist of some Japanese-style formal gardens, an herbaceous tunnel swathed in roses and wisteria, a dog cemetery guarded by stone hares and architectural beds of gravel and grasses, not to mention more beautiful sculptures. Members were very envious of the kitchen garden, (especially the water butts), which supplies the restaurant where we had lunch.

Having thoroughly explored the park, admired the sculptures and experienced the peace and tranquillity, we left feeling that our spirits had definitely been uplifted, and wended our way back to Kilmington reflecting on a magical, memorable day out!

Annual Membership

The cost of annual membership in 2019 remains at only £5 per person, which entitles you to free admission to our interesting monthly talks held in Kilmington Village Hall on the second Friday of the month. Application Form

Upcoming Visits And Events


B. J. Lewis (President)


Gill Gibbs (Chair)


Jean Falconer (Secretary)


David Bromley (Treasurer)


Beverley Perkins (Membership Secretary)


Lesley Rew (Talks Organiser)