The last talk for the Club on 11 October was a splendid one. Victoria Logue, the owner of Whitehall Farm Plants, used her extensive knowledge and wry humour to guide us on a tour by slides through twenty gardens in South Africa. (One garden didn’t allow photographs; she had actually visited twenty-one!) The gardens were in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the climate being quite different in the two places.

The gardens varied enormously. Some could have been in England with roses and manicured lawns (that all had to be watered), others were native gardens with mostly South African plants, and others were biodynamic with planting by the phases of the moon, and with a holistic view of composting – whatever that is! All of them benefited from the bright African light and, unusually, all the plants seemed to flower at the same time, so you had borders of plant combinations you would not have here.

Many South African plants are grown in this country, but Victoria showed us that in their native habitat they grow bigger, flower for a longer time, have a stronger scent and are not subject to the vagaries of our frosty/wet/cold winters.

One plant Victoria recommended to try here was an alstroemeria called “Indian Summer”, which is hardy and good for cutting.

The enjoyment of the lecture was tinged by the knowledge that it will probably be our last one. Despite lots of desperate requests for people to come forward to take over from the present committee members, who have valiantly been in post for many years, there has been no response. The Club is left with no alternative but to close at Christmas. If you feel you can save us even at this late time, please get in touch via the contact-details at the back of this magazine.

The AGM on November 9th will be particularly important. There are some critical decisions to be made. Afterwards we can enjoy a Gardeners’ Question Time with Jon Mason, whose thirty years of experience in the plant industry will, hopefully, provide some answers. Please hand in your questions on a piece of paper at the beginning of the AGM.

If any member can’t get to the AGM but would like to go to the Christmas Feast, please contact Jenny Iles, as only members who are on the list will be catered for.

Beryl Whiteley


On Sunday 4 December at 7.30 pm, Fairford & District Choral Society will perform two contrasting choral works at St Mary’s Church, Fairford – Dvorak’s Mass in D and Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen. This will be the choir’s second concert under conductor Marysia Gorska, after the very successful performance of Messiah in May. Tickets £12 (under 18’s £5) from Blenheim Antiques. (Or visit the website for full details: