Clent Gardening Club

The April meeting of the club welcomed guest speaker Tamsin Westhorpe from Stocktonbury Gardens near Leominster to present a talk on “My Life as a Gardening Editor”. Tamsin was the editor of “The English Garden” magazine for 20 years but now works full time at her nursery.

Tamsin began her talk by advising that she was the middle child of three sisters and, whilst her sisters were fairly good academically she was not so gifted. During her teenage years, therefore, she was at a loss to develop a career until she got a job working in a garden owned by an elderly gentleman in Bournemouth and a love of gardening was born.

Later on she became involved in journalism by accident but judging from the quality of her talk she clearly possessed a gift for writing.

She gave an insight into the pressures of meeting deadlines and producing quality articles for her readers. She explained the importance of a good magazine cover to attract readers as the cover is the first selling point and she showed some examples of good covers and some not so good.

Tamsin embellished her talk with some fine photographs and she also explained how costly it was to engage professional photographers and also the difficulties of ensuring that published photographs had not been used before either in her magazine or elsewhere.

A healthy number of sales were also required due to the costs of production including photographers’ fees and the costs of hiring shelf space in various retail outlets.

She completed an excellent talk with a series of photographs of some fine English gardens and related one tale of an exclusive hotel chain which owned a hotel in a magnificent garden which she wished to photograph. The hotel was initially reluctant to grant access as they were concerned that guests would be photographed who were not necessarily staying with their correct partner!! Common sense prevailed when Tamsin explained that it was only the gardens which would be photographed!

An excellent talk was well received by all present and this was a goodly turnout attended by a number of visitors from Belbroughton Horticultural Society with whom this was our annual joint meeting. The vote of thanks to Tamsin was given by Alan Starling the Belbroughton Horticultual Society chairman.

After the usual break for tea, coffee and a fine selection of cakes provided by the Clent Gardening Club members Tamsin was invited to draw the raffle before the chairman reminded members that the next meeting on May 25 welcomes Carol Smith to present a talk entitled “How to create a low maintenance garden”.

All are welcome at our 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 the chairman Martin Grange 01562 883009/07917 184762.