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Julie Haylock

Award-winning garden designer and good friend of The Gardens Group, Julie Haylock from Yeovil-based Sandhurst Garden Design, will host a Border Design and Planting Workshop at Castle Gardens in Sherborne on Wednesday 6 September from 10am – 3pm. After her recent win at Taunton Flower Show with her Homeward Bound garden, we’re incredibly excited to listen to Julie’s insights into the design process for gardeners of all abilities, while discovering her tricks of the trade. Julie will be offering expert advice on how to implement these new skills in any gardens, while taking questions from attendees throughout the day.

Tickets are £75 per person, which includes lunch in The Walled Garden Restaurant and can be purchased from Castle Gardens, or by calling 01935 814633. Space is limited, so advanced booking is essential.

Mike

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We’re delighted to hear Tracey Sergeant from Hazelbury Bryan Gardening Club won a voucher for Castle Gardens with her vibrant Petunia at their annual flower show last week. Since starting the Flower Show Forum, we’ve wanted to identify ways to inspire more people to take an interest in gardening and keep the traditional flower show alive, so it’s always great to hear about the successes at local flower shows and seeing the fantastic plants the gardeners have worked hard to maintain.

Mike

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Mini beasts, creepy crawlies and slithery snakes took centre stage at this year’s Bugfest, the south west’s biggest bug event, which was held at Brimsmore Gardens on Tuesday. From cockroaches and scorpions to spiders and pythons, gardeners of all ages had the opportunity to hold these unusual and mysterious creatures.

Bugfest’s display of snakes, spiders and mini beasts is seriously impressive and not for the faint-hearted! We thoroughly enjoy putting on events like this, they’re a wonderful way to engage younger gardeners with these creatures in a fun atmosphere, which will not only make them less fearful of creepy crawlies, but also give them an insight into how their actions impact upon our wildlife’s survival.

For more information on what’s on at our gardens centres this summer, click here.

Mike

Summer collage

The summer holidays are in full swing and we’ve got a whole host of fantastic events for budding growers and experienced gardeners alike. Get up close and personal with magnificent birds of prey on Saturday 12 August when Sharandy’s Birds of Prey returns to Brimsmore Gardens. This wildlife fun continues over at Poundbury on Saturday 19 August with Hedgehog Day, an entire day dedicated to our prickly friends to raise awareness and funds for Hayley’s Hedgehog Rescue and our Children’s Summer Gardening Day takes place at each centre on Thursday 17 August where we will have bulbs to plant and pots to fill. Finally, don’t miss Brimsmore Gardens’ Summer BBQ on Thursday 17 August, where everyone is welcome to join the feast of fresh ingredients from the local area.

For more information on what’s on at our gardens centres this summer, click here.

Mike

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We’re delighted to announce Julie Haylock of Sandhurst Garden Design, won gold for her show garden as well as being presented with the Western Daily Press cup for Best Show Garden at this year’s Taunton Flower Show. Julie’s traditional cottage garden, which was sponsored by The Gardens Group, aimed to attract local bees, birds and butterflies with its wildlife friendly theme.

The garden was called ‘Homeward Bound’ and told a lovely story of an injured bird being nursed back to good health before being released into the wild, which is depicted by the wonderful willow sculpture created by Elaine Marks of Martock. The nectar rich plants were buzzing with life and bursting with colour as Julie used Agastache, Dahlia, Verbena Bonariensis, Crocosmia and many more to interpret her theme.

At The Gardens Group, one of our biggest aims is keeping traditional flowers shows alive and giving gardeners the right tools to take part and achieve their goals, through initiatives such as the Flower Show Forum, so we’re thrilled to see Julie win big for her wonderful creation once again.

Mike

St Nicholas CofE School moth count

Surveying moths is a really rewarding hobby and is vital for monitoring biodiversity in our countryside and gardens, so earlier this month, pupils from St Nicholas Church of England Primary School in Henstridge kindly allowed Stephen to lay a moth trap in their learning garden overnight. The following morning, they were all amazed to discover that the trap had attracted 39 Macro moth species, including the Elephant Hawk Moth, Flame Shoulder and Willow Beauty, and 16 Micro species, including Udea prunails, Hysopygia glaucinalis and Anania lemnata (small magpie), giving the children an opportunity to learn about the various species around and also demonstrating to Stephen which species are present in the region.

Stephen is always looking for new sites to carry out moth surveys, so if you’d like to know how many moths visit your garden at night then please do get in touch by calling 01935 814633.

Mike

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On Thursday 20 July, Cookbook author, writer and lover of all things West Country, Christine McFadden hosted a fascinating talk to raise money for Yeovil Community Arts Association. The morning was filled with inspiration, as Christine revealed her latest food enthusiams, must-try recipes and passion for Dorset.

Following Christine’s talk, Farm Shop manager, Kate Soan, hosted a Cheese Discovery, where guests were treated to a tasting session of local award-winning cheeses. If you were unable to attend then fear not, as Kate will be hosting another Cheese Discovery session on Wednesday 20 September.

Thank you to all that attended and donated to Yeovil Community Arts Association. For more information about events at The Gardens Group, please visit www.thegardeneronline.co.uk/events.

Mike