ASTLEY HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY: Committee members had been well pleased with the very successful Autumn Show held in the Astley Village Hall .We were looking forward to the meeting on October 18 to hear speaker Helen Picton presenting "Daisy Days" She explained that she works with her Mum and Dad at the Old Court Nurseries at Walwyn Rd, Colwall on the Western Side of the Malvern Hills. Helen was a excellent speaker She told us their family history ably helped with her wonderful photographs on screen. In the early years of the 20th Century the Nursery was owned by Ernest Ballard in 1906 and her father was the Manager. However the Picton family bought the business in 1956. Helen gained a first class degree in Botany at the University of Reading. Now the 3rd Generation run the family business helped by her husband Ross Barbour.They have expanded the business over the years and are one of the first growers to specialize in breeding Asters. They have a proud history and can boast of the wonderful collection of 400 varieties of Asters. The Picton Gardens are home to the Plant Heritage National Collection of Autumn Flowering Asters. The gardens have already featured in many magazines and well known newspapers and TV Programmes. They have extensive greenhouses for the largest collection of michaelmas daisies in the world. It was interesting to note that they provide grants to students at Pershore Horticultural College.It was a fascinating talk and well presented and the nursery would be well worth a visit. At the end of the evening chairman Derek Walker reminded members to take the pots of minnow daffodil bulbs to grow on for the Spring Show 2018.

On October 20 show secretary Robin Saunders accompanied by his wife Nina and Brenda Knott joined in the assembly at Astley CE Primary School to present the Rosettes to the winners of various classes at the Autumn Show. We were all impressed by the wonderful work by the children.

On October 21we all enjoyed the Harvest Supper in the Astley Village Hall with tasty supper provided by Warwick and his helpers. At the end of the evening we enjoyed the "Music and Laughter Show " and brilliant raffle.

Social secretary Chris Russell has organized our visit to the Lake District staying at the Skiddaw Hotel, Keswick for 5 days July 8-12. Four nights with half board and Johnson's coaches. Visits to four National Trust Houses,'Beatrix Potter Gallery, Steamer Cruise etc.

Members contact Chris 01299 823769.

On a very sad note we extend our condolences to Margaret Cook, family and friends on the sudden news of the death of husband Ray. He was well respected and will be missed.

Astley Village Hall December 13 quiz followed by American supper.