Group Leader: Colin English
Venue: Verwood Hub. Fortnightly.
Day/Time: Group 1 – Monday 11:00 – 12:30
Day/Time: Group 2– Monday 2:00 – 3:30
Contact: email Colin here Tel: 07771 665581
Please Note: You can join Group 1 or Group 2 – spaces permitting
Gardening is the UK’s most popular hobby and this is the case in Verwood u3a too.
Last year we found that the ideal size for the group was about 25 members to ensure good discussions and, because of the demand this year, I will be running two Garden Matters groups.
The groups will have similar programmes but will inevitably evolve their own identities. They are open to anyone, ranging from experts to novices.
The emphasis of the meetings will be on discussion of topics of interest and all members are encouraged to take part, with even complete novices playing an important part by asking questions of those with more experience and knowledge.
Our meetings include discussions, demonstrations, presentations and even seed growing challenges. Meetings also have some regular presentations such as jobs to do, the weather and fruit and vegetables. Members with a particular interest may give a short presentation about their passion, or simply start a discussion about it – people are often surprised to find many others share their interests.
A feature of each meeting is the popular Market Place where members can donate surplus plants, seeds, pots, tools or just about anything connected with gardening.
I was surprised to find that many members were unaware of the existence of a nursery near me and we have been compiling a Directory of Local Knowledge where members can record their favourite garden centres, shops, gardens, etc. This directory will be of particular value to members new to the area.
The u3a term system means that meetings are not held during the summer when our gardens are usually looking at their best, but this gives the members the opportunity to open their gardens to the group. Garden successes and challenges are talked about, we share ideas about any problems members may have and always enjoy tea and cakes.
I joined u3a two years ago and was a bit surprised to find myself leading the gardening group last year. I have been gardening for about 50 years and growing fruit and vegetables is my main interest. I lived in Southampton for 42 years, before moving 12 years ago to the countryside outside Verwood. Since moving to a rural location, I have been surprised to have to learn so much about gardening alongside wildlife, particularly the four-legged ones.
I don’t claim to be an expert gardener, and I don’t expect others to be, but between us we have hundreds of years of gardening experience which I encourage each other to share their knowledge with the group.