Gardening Group Leader - Claire Riley


The group meets 10.30 am to mid-day on the last Friday of each month at the Centre de Loisirs, Eymet, except during school holidays. Parking is adjacent to the centre.

Meetings are varied with Slide Shows and Talks on a wide variety of subjects, Garden Visits, Question and Answer Sessions, Seed Exchange and an annual Picnic and Plant Exchange.

The membership consists of people with varied interests and passions relating to all aspects of Gardening and Flora but with one thing in common, to share knowledge and to learn from others.

New members are always welcome.


For further information Contact Claire Riley


Gardening Group Programme 2018/2019

Friday, 26th October. Monbazillac Tour and wine tasting (CDL closed for Toussaint   holiday). Meet at Monbazillac at 10.30am
Friday, 23rd November, 10.30am, Center de Loisirs, Eymet – External Speaker The Open Gardens Scheme, France
Friday, 14th December, 10.30am, Center de Loisirs, Eymet – Christmas Meeting with mulled wine and mince pies. Demonstration of how to make your entrance hall floral display by Miriam Hammond
Friday, 25th January, 10.30am, Center de Loisirs, Eymet - Annual Raffle
Friday, 22nd February, Annual Gardening Group Luncheon – venue tbc
Friday, 29th March, 10.30am, Center de Loisirs, Eymet – The Spring Challenge
Friday, 19th April, CDL closed due to holidays (external event)
Friday, 10th May, Garden Visit and luncheon at Chartreuse du Colombier
Friday, 17th May, The Plant Swap and Iris Collection chez Hazel Vincent
Friday, 28th June, The Gardening Group Picnic chez Riley

Please bring your gardening queries along to the meetings for our Question and Answer time.


Past Events

19th October 2018 Monbazillac Tour and wine tasting

Dear Members
We had the most fabulous morning at the chateau Monbazillac on Friday 19th October.  Our tour guide was extremely well informed on the history of not only the Chateau, but also the furniture and the ancient artifacts, and afterwards we tasted two of the delicious sweet wines they produce in the vineyards.  Thank you to all those who were able to make it.  
Please remember our next meeting is on Friday 23rd November, 10.15am at the Centre de Loisirs (CDL) Eymet.  We have a speaker coming to talk to us from the Open Gardens Scheme.  So hopefully some of our group may be inspired to open for this charitable cause.
Jill Burgess and Marina Braney have offered to serve coffee/tea so don't forget your mug and please bring along any plants you have spare for the plant sale table.
Our Christmas meeting will be at the CDL on Friday, 14th December, 10.15am, and our very own Miriam Hammond will be demonstrating "A Designer Christmas Tree".  Make a note in your diary folks.> Looking forward to seeing you soon.
P.S. I hope that you all saw the information on the ACFAA’s Christmas party on 8 December.  Look forward to meeting you there with your friends.

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28th September 2018 Meeting: Potato Challenge Results and Harvest Festival.

Our meeting on Friday 28th September, at the Centre de Loisirs, was a reunion of old and new members and the results of The Potato Challenge and Harvest Festival. Here are some photographs from the mornings celebrations. Congratulations to the winners.

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30th March 2018 Meeting: Potato Growing Competition

Just a reminder that we meet on Friday 30th. March at the Center de Loisir, Eymet at 10.15am for coffee and our meeting will begin at 10.30.
Potato Growing Competition: I will bring along the potatoes and the pots to grow them in.  Each potato will cost 1 euro and you can purchase more than one if you wish.
Each person will be responsible for the growing medium and at our September meeting, after the summer break, we will bring in our pots, containing the harvest, and see who has managed to grow the most potatoes in one pot.  1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes will be awarded.  Anyone wishing to join in the fun, but is not able to be at the meeting on Friday, please contact me and I will ensure a potato is saved for you!
We will also have a short demonstration on sowing seeds of various varieties to get us motivated, and hopefully we will all have something to bring to the plant exchange later in the Spring.
Please remember to bring your favourite mug for coffee/tea.
See you Friday everyone.


December 2017

Dear Members

I would like to report on a spectacular end to the gardening club calendar for this year.

Not only were we provided with the most delicious mulled wine, prepared by Carol & Gerry Steel, but we were also witness to the creation of a stunning Christmas table center by flower arranging expert, Miriam Hammond. Miriam studied floral art for 4 years and is a member of the National Association of Flora Art. Whilst working here magic, she regaled us with the preparations for the celebration of the opening of the Commonwealth Games, in Westminster Abbey. The Queen and other important dignatories would be in attendance. She explained that all through the night a team of 40 carefully selected flower arrangers worked at their allocated floral display. The Abbey lit only by candles and the lights from the street reflecting against the stained glass windows of the Abbey. The sound of rustling leaves and blooms being precisely placed, not heard above the rehersal of the organist. I for one, and I am sure all of us were transported into Abbey. Not only was Miriam tasked with constructing a huge African theme column of foliage and flowers, but she was also asked to make a corsage to be presented to her Majesty and one to the Commonwealth President. I was left wanting to hear more and I think we all want to learn more from Miriams hidden talents. I can feel a Summer workshop coming on !

It only remains for me to thank all of you for your continued support by coming to our meetings, making coffee, moving furniture and sweeping the floor.

I wish you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.


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Safren Fleur Visit - 15th October 2017

Dear Members

I have just returned home after a most informative and enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine with over 50 gardening club enthusiasts. We watched a film and listened to a talk on the history of the saffron crocus from the time of Alexander the Great through to the current day. As there were so many of us we split into two groups and whilst Madame Forestier spoke to the first group, Monsieur Forestier gave the other group a tour of the saffron beds. We now know where it originates from, how to cultivate it, how to harvest it and then tasted some delicious recipes. We were able to buy some of the produce; chutneys, jams, liquers, etc

In May 2018 I will remind members that it is time to order your bulbs and if you are interested we can put together a bulk order as they need to be planted at the end of June, beginning of July.

I would like to thank Carol and Gerry Steel for recommending the venue and translating the finer detail.

A great turnout and a fab afternoon.


Summer Picnic - 27th June 2017

Garden Club members began arriving at 11.00am to set up their picnic aided by a cool glass of Pimms. The weather stayed fine, even though thunder storms were forecast and so we were all able to wander around the gardens and catch up with friends, before tucking in to our feast.

Some members brought along plants from their own gardens for others to enjoy and donations in the box amounted to just over 10 euros to add to garden club funds.

I would like to thank all those that were able to join the picnic and contributed to the gift purse.

Enjoy your summer and please put the inscription date of Thursday 7th September on your calendar, 6:30pm at the Centre de Loisirs, Eymet.

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Plant and Seed Exchange - 30th May 2017

26 Gardening Club members met at Hazel's for the annual plant and seed exchange. Proceedings began with a tour of her fantastic garden. With hardly a weed in sight and the plants and shrubs looking very healthy despite the recent torrential rain and high winds, we were spoilt for choice for a favourite, such is the selection of trees, shrubs and plants in this amazing garden.

We then took tea and cake on the terrace, all eagerly awaiting the signal to make a dash to the plant and seed table. Vegetables, perennials, annuals, small trees, seeds, the choice was huge. With our "booty" loaded, some very happy members headed off home to get planting.

On behalf of all of us, may I thank Hazel for hosting this event once again.


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Gardening Group outing - 25th October 2016

Undeterred by the inclement weather, 23 of us set off for Le Buisson de Cadouin on Tuesday. Our first stop, Planbuisson, a 1.5ha private garden created over the years by Michel Bonfils, filled with bamboos and grasses from all over the world. The gardener, Oliver Pianchais gave us a very informative guided tour of his spectacular collection.

We ate our picnic lunch sheltering from the rain at Lemeuil, where the Dordogne and the Vezere rivers meet. After lunch we set off for Chartreuse du Colombier, Paunat, a 17th and 18th century hunting lodge. Awaiting us was a walled garden, baroque pavilions, dovecotes, topiaries, avenues of trees and a magnificent potager of Tuscan inspiration. The garden was filled with an abundance of plants , bulbs, trees and shrubs, truly a feast for the eyes. Bernard Hautefort, the owner and creator of the garden gave us a fascinating tour of his charming garden, entertaining us with stories and able to tell us each and every plant name as we went along. Our most hospitable host then served us tea and cake in the drawing room, in lavish style! The sun came out as we headed for home, each of us vowing to return!


Visit to Chateau de la Jaubertie - 29th March 2016

 28 Members met at Chateau de la Jaubertie for a guided tour of the work and an explanation of the process of viniculture.  The vineyard was established during the 1970’s and still is owned by the Ryman family. 

The grape bushes are trained in an ark or half moon shape on the wires and the grapes are produced on year old wood.  No pesticides are used so wild flowers grow between rows to attract pollinators, with roses placed at each end of the row as an early warning sign of attack from pests or disease.Each grape colour ferments in a 16000 litre tank for 5 to 6 weeks before being stored in oak barrels for between 1 year to 18 months (depending on variety).  Around 250,000 bottles are produced annually.  We were fortunate to be able to sample the delicious selection of wine produced by the vineyard and many purchases were made by members.

 Claire Riley 

View the embedded image gallery online at:




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