We unfortunately had to cancel the final talk of 2017 by Phil Kerton of Kerton Sweet Peas who got caught up in a series of traffic problems and eventually, very wisely, gave up trying to reach Porlock. However, we have been able to re-book him for this coming autumn so fingers crossed that everything works out well this time! At the AGM in November the Chairman, Paul Murch, gave a review of the year’s events and activities. It is very pleasing to note just how many events the Society puts on, and how many additional Porlock events we participate in. The Treasurer, Rita Swindells, was able to report a healthy financial position with an overall excess of income over expenditure at the end of the year, and a little extra money in the bank!
The AGM was kept very brief and after refreshments we handed over to Caroline Clifford who gave a most absorbing and inspiring demonstration of how to make a Christmas wreath. She talked us through the kinds of plant material that can be used, including things that can be picked up on a country walk, and showed us many of the little tricks that make the job easier. The end results were just stunning. This was a really good way to make the AGM inviting and a number of members came so look out for this year’s plans!!
The first event of 2018 was the Seed Swap and Coffee Morning which, despite the weather being wet, was very successful with lots of seeds re-homed! Hopefully the winter weather will let up soon so that we can start to spend time sowing our new acquisitions!
And on 7th February we had the first talk of the year – “Charles Darwin’s Famous Plants” by Caradoc Doy. This was a fascinating look at the life of Charles Darwin, with particular reference to his time on the Beagle and the plants he recorded during those years, but also examining just how influential his work was at the time, and continues to be now.
The date and destination for this year’s outing has now been decided. The date is Wednesday 13th June and the destination is Mapperton House, near Beaminster in Dorset. Home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich, Mapperton is a glorious sandstone manor house with a romantic valley garden hidden deep among the tumbling hills and unspoiled countryside of Dorset. There are fifteen acres of gardens which descend from the croquet lawn, through the formal topiary down to the wild garden. There is a café serving light lunches and a shop with gifts and plants. For more details the website address is http://mapperton.com/.
The cost will be £21 (for non-RHS members) or £14 (for RHS members) per person which includes the coach, entry to the house (by guided tour only) and entry to the gardens. The coach will leave Porlock at 9.00am, returning for about 6.00pm. To book seats you will need to pop into the Visitor Centre (Monday – Friday 10.00-12.30; Saturday 10.00-1.00). We are asking for the full amount to be paid up front please. Please join us if you can – it will be a lovely day out!