Gardening Group News

Hi everyone,

There will be a short meeting on Friday 20th February, 10 .30 am at Wedgwood,  for those of you who have overwintering Sweet Peas in the glasshouse.  You need to bring some long life fertiliser such as Osmocote and some pea sticks.  Your Sweet Peas need food  and support. you can then take them home and start to harden them off for planting at the end of March, weather permitting.  If you can’t make the Friday then contact me for a date and time the following week.

If anyone wants to sow Sweet Peas this week , then bring along your seeds, compost, 9cm pots.

Just a reminder of our first full monthly meeting on Friday 21st March at 10.30am at Wedgwood, hoping to see as many of you who can make it.

I shall be confirming numbers, ‘?Tuesday or Friday options’ and dates for the three gardening related  coach trips on offer this year for all U3A members.

I have also received our 2 NGS Lancashire Garden Open booklets, keep an eye open for more at garden centres you visit!  We can start looking at car-share visits for private visits or joining an Open Day in Lancashire.

I will be showing you how to take root cuttings, weather permitting and discussing any problems or hopefully successes you have had overwintering plants during the wet,wet ,wet weather!.

Regards Sue Watson


We had 15 members present.

Sue Watson, Dave Smith, Pat Beddows and Olive Langdon will meet before Christmas to arrange some coach trips to be open to all U3A members, in 2020, based on the groups ideas.

Members Sweet Pea seeds were sown, and left at Wedgwood to germinate and overwinter in the greenhouse.

The next meeting will be on Friday 20th March 2020 at 10.30am at Wedgwood (probably). We meet on the third Friday of the month.


Sue Watson, Pat Beddows and Dave Smith met to decide on possible coach trips for the Gardening Group and others in 2020. Unfortunately Olive was ill.

1 Coach trip to Windermere, to include a visit to Holehurd Garden, Windermere for those who want this and to go in April when the Alpines will be at their best. TBA for a Tuesday or Friday in the last two weeks of April. Pay in full by end of February.

2 Coach trip to Harlow Carr, the RHS Garden near Harrogate, comprising a whole or part day in Harrogate. TBA on a Tuesday or Friday in the first two weeks of May. Pay in full by end March.

3 Coach trip to Arley Hall and Blubell Cottage Nursery and Garden, Cheshire. TBA on A Tuesday or Friday in second or third week in July. Pay in full by end of May.

Signup sheets are out at Coffee Mornings or let me know.

All the above to include all U3A members, family or friends

See you at our first monthly meeting for 2020 on Friday, 20th March at 10.30am.

Sue Watson

Hi Everyone,

Would those of you who have photographs of any garden group activities in 2019 please send them to Mike Ellis to put on the new website to:

The garden visits in August have been cancelled due to lack of interest.

The car share visit to the open day at Sefton Park, Liverpool, L8 3SD is going ahead but we do need more people willing to drive.  This is on Sunday, 8th September, 12 to 5pm.  There is a signup sheet at Coffee Morning or contact me on email.

The date of the next meeting at Wedgwood is 23rd August at 10am.

Regards Sue

1. Garden Visits
Unfortunately the coach trip to Trentham Gardens has had to be cancelled due to too few members wanting or able to go. Mini bus prices for long distances are too high.

We discussed other venues to visit in August, and chose Ness Botanical Garden and/or Gresgarth Hall in Caton north of Lancaster. A sheet to choose either was circulated. More members chose Ness.

Dave Smith offered to contact both venues and there will be sign up sheets for both at the Thursday meeting. Again we will be dependent on having enough people to drive us there.

For September it may be possible to go to an Open day at Sefton Park on Sunday, 8th September, four venues full of September Colour. There will be a sign up sheet at the beginning of August.

2. Plant and Gardening Queries
Unfortunately it was raining hard during the course of the meeting so we were not able to get into the Rainbow Garden as planned to ask questions on the plants there.
Members discussed a variety of problem plants and told of successes this year.

The next meeting will be Friday, 23rd August at 10am at Wedgwood, Shore Road.

We have two new members this month which brings our group number up to 31.

As there are now only 22 members signed up to go on the trip to Trentham Gardens, the total cost is £28.00. Can you please pay Dave Smith on Thursday at the Coffee Morning. If you have already paid the deposit the amount to pay is £13.00.

There is still time for others to join the trip. You may want to invite friends or family to join you. The more who come and the cost will come down!

I shall be collecting money for the 11th July Samlesbury Garden Visit too. this costs £6.50. Can we all meet at the big car park in Tarleton at 1.10pm. We are booked in for 2pm.

We discussed group visits to gardens: Harlow Carr had to be cancelled because we had too few drivers and it proved too late and expensive to book an eight seat minibus.

A group visit to an NGS garden has been booked for THURSDAY 11th JULY @ 2pm. This is Mill Barn, Samlesbury, Preston, PR5 0SS. This is a car share, so we hope to get enough drivers. The cost is £6.50, which includes a drink and biscuits.

Trentham Gardens is our group visit in August 9th.

The practical gardening session covered demonstration of:
1. Looking at Biennials eg Angelica gigas, and members took home some which had been sown fresh last September to pot up and grow on ready for planting out this Autumn or next Spring.
2. Deadheading plants which set copious seed before they are ripe unless you want to collect the seed, in which case it must be ripe.
3. Keep an eye on plants whose roots travel rapidly underground and quickly become thugs.
4. Prune Spring flowering shrubs after the flowers have finished.
5. It’s not too late to do the Chelsea Chop on Late Flowering Perennials.

The next meeting will be on 19th July at 10am at Wedgwood, Shore Road.

May News

HI Everyone,
1. Yellow ICE cards and new Membership cards were checked and members reminded to renew their U3A Membership for 2019-20 with Elaine Moon.

2. Coach Trips: Dave Smith,who has taken on the job of organising coach trips for us, put forward three options for day trips this summer : Trentham Gardens, Brantwood, Coniston and Ness Gardens. The popular choice was for Trentham Gardens. Dave will do a sign up sheet for Trentham Gardens on the 9th August at 9.30am. the coach trip will be open to all U3A members, so if you want to go then sign up and pay quickly. I don’t know the price yet but it will be value for money!

3. Propagation: We learned how to tackle overgrown, old Heucheras, and make cuttings from them, how to split rootballs of perennial plants to rejuvenate and make more plants, how to cut back alpine plants and how to divide up congested pots of bulbs. Some members took home their efforts.

4. Since the meeting I have put out a signup sheet for Jackie Iddons Open Garden on the afternoon of 19th May. This is just to facilitate car sharing if needed. The cost of entry is £3.50. I am not collecting money, pay when you get there.

I have also booked a garden group meeting to an NGS garden in Mawdesley on the 7th June at 2pm,.The cost is £7 to include afternoon tea. There will be a signup sheet out on Thursday, 16th May. Please pay me (SW) on signup. This will be a car share trip.

There is a Flower Show at Harlow Carr, the RHS Garden at Harrogate, I am wondering how many of you would like to go on Friday, 21st June, tickets are £10.62, free to RHS members, and this also allows you entry to all the Gardens. Depending on numbers this can be a car share or a bus. I will put out a signup sheet to ascertain interest on Thursday, 16th May.

NEXT MEETING: Friday, 14th June 2019

March News

Hi everyone,

I would like to invite you all to the meeting on Friday morning at 10.30am in the greenhouse, at Wedgwood, as planned in September last year.

As most of you, but maybe not all, will know, we will be without Denis who died on the 18th March. He did say to me to carry on without him with all the things I have planned, because he knew that all our family and friends will help me, and they have all been amazing.

So hoping to see as many of you as can make it on Friday morning,

February 2019 news

Hi everyone,

I am asking just  those of you who are growing Sweet Peas at Wedgwood to come to a meeting  in the greenhouse on Friday 15th February at 11am.  This is to collect your plants and take them home.  Denis and I are going on holiday and I’d rather you are looking after them at home than leave them unattended here.  

Also, Dave Smith has organised a coach trip to Bodnant Garden in N Wales on the 26th April.

The cost is £27 for coach and entry.  If you are a National Trust or RHS member then you can deduct the cost of entry: £12.50.  There is a signup list at Coffee Morning.

There will be a full meeting of the group on 29th March at 10 .30am at Wedgwood.

Sue Watson