Category Archives: Programme

2013 programme of events


The event: AGE PROOF GARDENING with Malcolm Withnall  
Where: Vestry Hall, Marden
When: Tuesday 10th  September 2019 

Our speaker tonight is Malcolm Withnall, college lecturer, an apple expert and a distinguished writer of fruit industry books. 


Competition: A plate of seasonal produce
£10 voucher to the winner



The event:  RHS HYDE HALL FLOWER SHOW  coach trip
Where: Leave the  library car park at 9.30 and back by approx 5pm.
When: Sunday 4th August 2019  

For details see link

 The Gardens have undergone different projects since our last visit and we have never been to the flower show that has specialist nurseries, gardening sundries, expert advice, craft and gifts, live music and the chance to explore the garden in full summer bloom.

We will leave the library car park at 9.30 and should be back by 5pm.

Please sign up if you have not already done so.  £5 for members – £12 for non members. 

CREAM TEAS – Sun 21st July & Sun 11th Aug

Heather Scott and Kay East have kindly offered to hold cream teas on the 21st of July and the 11th of August.  An ideal time to view their gardens and enjoy a summer afternoon.  Full details below:

SUNDAY JULY 21st  at 2.30pm with Heather and Richard Scott 
Cream Tea in aid of McMillan Cancer Support at
3 Chainhurst Cottages, Dairy Lane, Chainhurst.    
Cost £3.50. 

SUNDAY AUGUST 11th at 2.30pm with Kay East 
Cream Tea in aid of Parkinson’s at
Fairwinds, Hunton Road, Chainhurst. 
Cost £3.50.  

These gardens are very close to each other. Taking the Hunton Road out of Chainhurst, you will find 3 Chainhurst Cottages if you turn left at the second turning into Dairy Lane. It is the last cottage in first row of cottages on the right.

Fairwinds is the house on the right in Hunton Road just beyond this second Dairy Lane turning.  

Please feel free to bring friends and family. 

MHS committee will be organising the teas but if anybody would like to help please contact Heather on 01622 820483 or Kay on 01622 820328.


Where: Balmoral Cottage, The Green, Benenden, Kent,TN17 4DL
When: Wednesday 19th & Tuesday 25th June 2019 

An artist’s garden, now 33yrs mature, with an eclectic mix of hardy perennials in a framework of topiary hedges and sentinels of all shapes and sizes. Charlotte Molesworth has created this lovely garden on a blank canvas over many years, mainly from cuttings and seedlings on a minimal budget, and now maintains it single-handed. It has good fertile soil and is sheltered from the north and east, but it is now being opened up again to the south-east to create more air flow for the boxwood. There are also beautiful established wildflower meadows. Particular attention to the needs of nesting birds and small mammals lend this  garden a rare and unusual quality.

The Garden is 100 yards down an unmade track to the west of St George’s Church.

Meet at 6pm in the Library car park where we can sort out cars.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD GARDEN – Tues 9th July 2019

The event: WHAT MAKES A GOOD GARDEN  with Edward  Flint 
Where: Vestry Hall, Marden
When: Tuesday 9th July 2019 at 7.30pm 

Edward Flint spent lengthy spells living and working at Great Dixter under the informal tutelage of Christopher Lloyd. His education was broadened working at the renowned Washfield Nursery for Elizabeth Strangman and in private gardens in the South of France, Switzerland and throughout the UK.

Since 2002 Edward has been head gardener at Tidebrook Manor. The evolution of the garden here over the past ten years is largely the result of Edward’s skill and vision, and the result is a real tour de force of contemporary garden design.

The house (not open to the public) has, in its time, been owned by Sir Rex Harrison, Sir Michael Tippett (Edward Flint reckons that the woodland part of the garden inspired his creation of The Midsummer Marriage, which he wrote while living here!) and, more recently, the former ITN Newscaster Reginald ‘Reggie’ Bosanquet.

Edward is an experienced and passionate teacher with an affable and down-to-earth style evolved over 15 years experience lecturing at the renowned English Gardening School, based at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London.  More recently he has overseen the creation and development of the ‘Art & Craft of Gardening’ course at Great Dixter, a monthly hands-on course aimed at keen amateur gardeners. These are informal, lively, practical, relevant, irreverent and fun.


SPADEWORK – Tues 11th June

The event: SPADEWORK with Jill Speed 
Where: Vestry Hall, Marden
When: Tuesday 11th June 2019 at 7.30pm

Spadework is a charity in Offham, Kent, which provides life skills, training and work experience for people with learning and other disabilities.

Their aim is to support the trainees, who use their service as they develop their independence and personal skills through social interaction with the community, providing them with the necessary tools to reach their full potential.

Trainees are involved in all aspects of Spadework. They produce the plants that are sold in the Garden Centre and the fruit and vegetables served in the Café and sold in the Farm Shop.

The trainees help to make cakes, jam and chutneys and serve customers in the Café. They also make items in craft and woodwork, which are sold at the Farmers’ Markets and in the Farm Shop. In IT, they produce information that supports the business, including producing labels, plant information sheets and weather updates that help staff and trainees to plan the week.

Spadework provides practical training to develop vocational and life skills;

  • Horticulture: nursery and garden centre work, presenting plants for sale to the general public.
  • Gardening: developing new gardens around the site for customers to come and enjoy.
  • Allotment: growing an amazing range of fruit and vegetables to sell in the Farm Shop and Café. They also sell and deliver Veg Boxes in the local area.
  • Café: making cakes, preparing food, taking food & drink orders and serving customers.
  • Farm Shop: receiving & packing customer orders.
  • Computers – IT sessions to support trainee’s holistic development of speaking, listening, literacy & numeracy.
  • Woodwork: producing articles for sale and general maintenance.
  • Art and Crafts: to sell at the Farm Shop, Garden centre or Farmers’ Markets.


Our June speaker was Jill Speed, Head of Care & Training from Spadework.  This charity, now based in Offham, was founded 35 years ago and looks after adults and young people with learning disabilities.  Originally the idea stemmed from parents in the Hildenborough area wanting to encourage an interest in gardening so the young people had something they could enjoy doing.  They started working in the community and this in turn led to the setting up of a plant nursery.  Spadework now comprises a Garden Centre, glasshouse and onsite café which is open to the public and seats approx. 40 people.  There are currently 111 trainees who take turns to learn every aspect of the running of the organisation. The veg growing area at Spadework is 1 acre, and local restaurants buy produce from them which Spadework deliver themselves. They also make cordial and create items from recycled pallet wood which are sold locally. During the winter they sell logs. They also learn to form fill & even have their own council, so they see first hand how the world of work operates.  Some trainees need 1-1 support, but the majority are able to work independently.


ORCHIDS – Tues 14th May

The event: ORCHIDS with Christine Bartlett 
Where: Vestry Hall, Marden
When: Tuesday 14th May 2019 at 7.30pm

Orchids are beautiful tropical plants which were once only available for wealthy people to buy – in Victorian times an orchid could cost the equivalent of £20,000.  Nowadays, due to modern hybridising methods, Orchids are more affordable and many people like to give them as gifts or buy them as houseplants. 

Christine Bartlett is an Orchid Enthusiast with a large collection of over 200 tropical orchids. She grows orchids both in the house and in the  greenhouse.  However, she always try to bring her orchids into the house when they are flowering because of the beautiful colours and shapes of orchid flowers – some  also have a lovely fragrance.

She is Chairman of the South East Orchid Society in Ashford, Kent. Originally joining to learn more about orchids and meet other enthusiasts, now she is pleased to be able to pass on to others the knowledge she has learnt.


Christine  started her collection of these exotic plants approx. 15 years ago.  Apparently there are around 25,000 different varieties of orchid, but Christine’s talk concentrated on Phalanopsis, the most common type, found in the UK in supermarkets & garden centres.

Orchids were originally discovered in the early 1800s by William Swainson, a naturalist, and were grown by William Cattley, a horticulturalist.  Botanist John Lindley began cataloguing them and in 1833 the Duke of Devonshire started a collection.  They were very expensive then and were auctioned on the dockside to the highest bidder, often costing £20,000.  Joseph Paxton, the head gardener at Chatsworth, built a glasshouse to keep them in and sent his staff to India to collect more specimens.  These trips were halted after 2 gardeners died on an orchid hunt, so no further people undertook the journey.  If new species were found by plant hunters, they could name them themselves.  In time, many commercial orchid hunters jumped on the bandwagon and the craze really took off. Each genre needs to be cared for in a different way and the climate of the country they originate from is important in how to look after them.

PLANT SALE – Sat 11th May

The event: PLANT SALE
Where: Vestry Hall, Marden
When: Saturday 11th May 2019 from 9.00am to 11.00am

Our annual Plant Sale will be held on the 2nd Saturday in May, just in time for you to stock up for the growing season ahead. We will have a great choice of high quality bedding plants and vegetable plants  on offer, as well as perennials and shrubs, all at very good prices. We will also have an information table for you to visit to sort out any horticultural queries you may have. In addition there will be a board of garden related items which members are offering for sale or for free.

The Plant Sale is a lively village event and the society’s most important fund raiser. We are looking forward to helping you fill your garden with colour and produce. Do come along and support us. 

All home-grown plants donated to sell much appreciated.
Cake stall by the Women’s Institute


Spring is in the air and Easter is just around the corner and at Millbrook why not go to one of their adult workshops or bring your little ones along to a fun-filled children’s event.


Easter Table Arrangement Workshop 
Friday 12th April, 6pm, £30 per person
Using seasonal natural materials, create a stunning Easter-themed arrangement for your home. Book now!

Easter Wreath Workshop
Saturday 13th April, 2pm, £30 per person
Make a beautiful Spring wreath to adorn your door – the perfect way to welcome the start of the new season. Book now 


Millbrook Minis Make & Take Workshop
Monday 15th April, 2pm Create a magical miniature Easter garden. Tuesday 16th April, 2pm Paint and make a cute bunny planter Thursday 18th April 2pm Paint a wooden bunny egg holder. 
Book now!

Our Amazing Animal World
Wednesday 17th April ,11am, 12pm and 1pm 
Meet a variety of cute, cuddly and amazing rescued animals.
Book now!