ASTLEY HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: The speaker for the meeting held on April 20 was Adrian James.

He is now located in Offenham, Worcestershire and has built up his own wonderful garden with the help of his wife which they open to the public with the NGS. He is a popular speaker throughout Worcestershire and surrounding counties.He is a keen photographer who produces fabulous plant images for magazines and he gives talks to societies about gardens, plants and travel. He had chosen to explore Bodenham Arboretum for us which is situated locally on the outskirts of Kidderminster.He explained that he would show images of the changing faces throughout the Seasons of the year.

The Arboretum was started in 1973 by David Binion and covers 156 acres with 11 pools and incorporates a working farm and animals. There is a tapestry of plantations, landscapes, gardens for all seasons and myriads of wildlife, birds and insects. In spring there are thousands of primroses, bluebells and glorious blossoms. In summer the Labernum Tunnel is majestic and there are lots of azaleas and colourful shrubs. The autumn pictures were fantastic, full of amazing colour with Adrian having captured the colours on the leaves and multitude of berries. The winter scenes were spectacular with frost on the leaves, snow covered trees and shrubs, amazing reflections in the pools.It was a real "Winter Wonderland" ready for the children to visit Father Christmas and follow the Nativity Trail.

On April 28 show secretary Robin Saunders, Nina and Brenda had been invited to join Simon Stubbs, Ali Reakes-Williams, teachers, pupils and parents for the morning assembly at Astley CE Primary School. Robin was pleased to hand out the awards, certificates and rosettes to the worthy winners for their works of art at the Astley Spring Show.Two of the winning pictures will advertise the autumn show to be held on August 13.

During the Summer months we do not hold monthly meetings in the hall just coach trips.