Stafford U3A 
The University of the Third Age 

Garden Group

The group meets Monthly on the 3rd Wednesday from 10.00 to 12.00

For talks and discussions and a Swap Shop of seeds, plants & magazines
Garden Visits on various days in the month where we:
Enjoy a meal Enjoy looking at a Garden Enjoy some retail therapy



January - Garden Group New Year Lunch at the Greyhound at Burston, 12.00 for 12.30pm.

20th February - Flower Quizzes set by Norma

20th March - Monet and More Illustrated talks by Jenny & Norma

17th April - Garden Group Question Time. Panel: Tom, Jackie, Mike & Pat. Questions & queries are required in advance.

April Visit - Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and Gardens. Joint visit for the Science, Astronomy and Garden Groups. Using own transport/car sharing. There will be two organised events; you can join either or both.
11.30am - Conducted tour of the Gardens & parts of the Grounds led by a Senior Gardener.
2.30pm - Astronomy Talk: The Lovell Telescope - its history & the work it does. In the Classroom, Space Pavilion Cost per person: Entry to Jodrell Bank & U3A session fee £6.00 Astronomy Talk - £5.00, Garden Tour - £5.00

May Visit - Pat's Garden. Pat, a member of the Garden Group, will be opening her garden from 2.00 - 4.00pm. It's a mainly spring garden with many flowering shrubs. Pat's garden is wildlife friendly and has many features to attract birds, bees and butterflies; the odd hedgehog is seen and of course squirrels.
After looking round the garden, enjoy afternoon tea (tea/coffee and cakes). You can also look through a file of photographs that shows how Pat and Roy have developed the garden. Cost, to include refreshments and session fee: £4.00. Profits will be donated to Marie Curie.

June Visit - Kiftsgate Court Gardens by coach, leaving Leon's Stafford at 9.30 There will be a coffee/tea stop for 20 - 30 minutes at The Hallmark Hotel outside Stratford 12.00 The gardens open and we arrive as close to then as possible. 12.15 Welcome and short talk from Anne Chambers, who is the third generation of women who have created and developed the gardens. For the rest of the afternoon, you can choose what to do. Explore the Four Squares and Terrace, the Wide Border, the White Sunk Garden, the Rose Border, the Banks and Lower Garden, the Yellow Border, the wild Garden, Orchard, Mound and Avenue. There is a cafe serving light lunches.
Plants grown in the garden and propagated in the nursery are available to buy. The small shop next to the plant sales area offers a range of garden related gifts.
The coach will depart at 4.00 pm. Price, including coach travel, morning refreshments, entry to Garden, driver's gratuity and U3A session fee: £33.15.
Bookings close 22 May.

July Visit - Middleton Hall & Gardens, using own transport. Begin the day at 11.00 with tea, coffee and biscuits in the South Dining Room and a short introduction to Middleton Hall followed by a conducted tour of the Gardens which will last approximately 1 hour. You are then free to spend the rest of the day as you wish until the closing time of 4.00pm. There is a small cafe for refreshments & light lunches or you may prefer a picnic. There are picnic tables and plenty of other seating in the grounds. the eighteenth-century Walled Garden boasts original heated walls which are amongst the oldest of their kind and also an original bothy. The Georgian bed design is planted full of flowers loved by pollinators over the summer months. Within the walls is also a herb garden, dedicated to Middleton's two famous naturalists John Ray and Francis Willoughby and a working Smithy. The gardens contain a heritage orchard, short lakeside walk & the West Lawn with a traditional croquet set. Middleton Hall has buildings ranging from Medieval to Victorian. There is a History Room tracing the estate back to Saxon times. The oldest building on site dates back to 1285 but the foundations of other buildings are much older. Also explore the Tudor Jettied Building and Great Hall, the bedroom of the naturalist, John Ray, the Victorian kitchen and grand Georgian west wing. On the first floor is the Peel Museum, celebrating the life of Sir Robert Peel and his family. In the Courtyard is a popular coffee shop and also independent retail businesses. Price each £12.50 includes tea and coffee on arrival, introductory talk, guided garden tour, admission to the Hall, gardens and grounds for the whole day and U3A session fee. Bookings close 27 June.

August Visit - Renishaw Hall Gardens by coach with stop in Matlock. Programme for the day: 9.30 Leve Leon's Stafford to travel to Matlock, arrive approx 10.45. 13.00 Leave Matlock to travel to Renishaw Hall, arrive approx 13.30. 14.00 - 15.00 Guided tour of the gardens. 16.30 Leave Renishaw to travel back to Stafford.
Once famed for its hydro and spa treatments, Matlock is an attractive market town. Crown Square and the river Derwent lie at the heart of Matlock with small independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants clustering around Crown Square. Visit these and the award-winning Hall Leys Park with its boating lake, riverside walks and small market.
Renishaw's stunning award-winning Italianate gardens were laid out in the late 19th Century by Sir George Sitwell 4th Baronet. He was the brilliantly eccentric great-grandfather of the current owner Alexandra Sitwell. There are beatiful planting schemes, water features, ancient trees and statues and the national collection of Yuccas. After the Garden Tour, there will be free time. Relax on one of the benches taking time to take in the beauty and tranquility of the gardens. Or venture further afield through the woodland and down to the lakes and see "the classical temple" and other areas of interest on the way. The lakes are a haven for wildlife; look out for butterflies, dragonflies, and birds. Follow the path round the lake to take in the stunning views, and then up through the woods back to the lawns. And visit the Sitwell Museum to learn more about the Hall and the history of the Sitwell family who have lived here for 400 years. Perhaps the most famed of the Sitwell family was the literary trio of Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, who played a huge part in the artistic and literary world in the early part of the last century. In the Stables Courtyard, you will find boutique shops and the Cafe serving homemade food. The Visitor Centre at the entrance offers souvenirs for sale including a selection of locally sourced products and the award winning range of Renishaw wines. Plants are for sale adjacent to the Centre. Price, including coach travel, entry to Garden, Garden Tour, driver's gratuity and U3A session fee: £30.00 (RHS Members £24.00. Bring card on day). Bookings close 23 July. A booking form must be completed.

18th September - Global Parks & Gardens - Illustrated talk by Pat

16th October - Halloween Special Spooky & Weird Plants & Gardens brought to you by Norma

20th November - Research a Plant Beginning with "I,J or K"

Annual Lunch
January 2019
Jodrell Bank Arboretum April 2019
Pat's Garden May 2019 Kiftsgate Court Gardens June 2019
Kiftsgate Court Gardens June 2019 Middleton Hall Gardens July 2019
Middleton Hall Gardens July 2019 Westonbury Mil Water Garden August 2018

To find out more about this group:
Members - You can read up-to-date information in the latest edition of the Stafford U3A Newsletter in the Members' Forum. See the Notices page for how to register.
Non-members - Use the Contact Us page.

Last modified: August 18 2019 14:14:30.