ACFAA Garden Group

Contact Claire Riley

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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Future Events for 2018

26th January - ACFAA Gardening Club Annual Raffle - 10.15am Centre de Loisirs, Eymet

23 February - The ACFAA Gardening Club Annual Luncheon at Le Bristrot de Commerce, Miramont

30 March - The Gardening Club Potato Challenge - 10.15am at Centre de Loisirs, Eymet

25 May - Plant Swap and Seed Exchange - details to be confirmed

29 June - Coach Trip Latour Marliac, Les Jardins des Neuphos, Temple sur Lot


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 

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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.

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