The November meeting was a very special event in the club’s calendar as we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the club’s formation in 1940 by welcoming our first ever celebrity speaker in the form of Alys Fowler from Kings Heath in Birmingham and of BBC Gardners World fame.

Alys commenced her talk with a brief introduction outlining her career with the BBC Gardners World programme, firstly working behind the scenes and more recently in front of camera. Her talk entitled "How to have your garden and eat it" was the result of a Gardners World project whereby Alys attempted to exist for a six month period eating only produce grown in her own garden.

Alys has a typical urban terraced house with the usual long narrow garden and she illustrated her talk with a variety of photographs taken in her garden. She showed before and after pictures as the garden was somewhat neglected when she took it over. Her concept was to grow a whole variety of vegetables and edible plants both standard and the more exotic.

Rather than have a typical vegetable plot at the end of the garden, her vegetable plants mingle with a variety of flowers and other plants in her herbaceous borders and her photographs illustrated that this was a very attractive mix.

Her talk contained a plethora of advice on the cultivation of vegetables and she also explained that mixing flowers and vegetables significantly helped to combat pests and diseases.

Her talk was most entertaining and informative and was very well received by the Club members. A splendidly decorated birthday cake baked by our club member Jean Riley was then cut by Alys together with club president and longest serving member John Partington plus Club Chairman Martin Grange following which members enjoyed a light buffet and a glass of wine or two to celebrate our anniversary.

One lucky member went home with the evenings’ raffle prize which was a copy of Alys’ book written around her talk and which Alys happily signed.

At the end of the meeting the Chairman wished everyone a happy Christmas, there being no December meeting, and reminded everyone that the next meeting on January 22 was the Club AGM.

All are welcome to the meetings which are held at Clent Village Hall on the fourth Friday each month and anyone interested in either joining or just visiting the club can get further details by visiting our website on or by contacting chairman Martin Grange 01562 883009/07917 184762.