Welcome to our Gardening Club Rhydlewis and District Gardening Club has been around since the time of Adam and Eve. In fact, it is believed that one of our members planted and tended the very apple tree that gave rise to the pair being expelled from the garden!!

Whether this urban myth is true or not, the club is here to encourage, improve and extend the members' knowledge of all branches of horticulture. It is open to everyone and new members are all always welcome to come along.

Our activities during the year include a varied programme of talks and social events, summer garden visits, a plant sale, social gatherings/bbq and an annual open show in August.

Thursday, 31 May 2018


RHYDLEWIS AND DISTRICT GARDENING CLUB have a summer of great events on the programme, including garden visits and parties:

Judith Russill will host the party at the her new home, starting at 6pm. Bring a contribution to the supper and drinks. Further details and directions from the secretary on 01239 851096 or email ninahare00@googlemail.com

Friday, 13th July 
We’ll be meeting in Sara Redman's garden to walk around her flower beds, cut flower polytunnel, and wild flower meadow, with a talk about growing flowers for sale. 3pm at Llain Manal, Penrhiwpal, SA44 5QH, 01239 851576

31st  July 
GARDEN VISITBwlch y Geuffordd Gardens
Booking essential for this minibus trip to these award winning gardens owned by Gay Acres, who gave us a talk last year. Start-out 11am, Rhydlewis Hall car park. The trip has an inclusive price of £12 per person, to include travel, entrance fee and a cup of afternoon tea and cake. We'll take a picnic and there is shelter if the weather isn't quite perfect. Possibility of a tavern stop on the way home. Book now by ringing the secretary, Nina Milton on 01239 851096 or emailing ninahare00@googlemail.com

28th August
The schedule is now up on this blogsite; print it out and pin it up to be ahead of the game!

Friday, 4 May 2018

Growing Orchids

A big thank you to Sue Parker, and her husband Pat, for giving us such an interesting and informative talk on growing orchids for our April Gardening Club meeting.

We had an excellent turnout for this talk, unsurprisingly, with lots of interaction between our excellent speaker and the club members. We brought along our sad examples of how not to grow orchids and she explained, with lots of accomanying laughter from the club, what to do and what not to do.

Answering a request from the club, Sue also talked about the wild orchids indigenous to Wales in particular, including where to walk to see them in full summer bloom.

Sue Parker
Sue Parker is a naturalist whose fascination with orchids stems from her childhood in the Far East. The colourful wildflowers growing over her garden fence in Singapore were the kind of exotic orchids that many people in Europe now have in pots on windowsills.
The search for wild orchids has taken Sue to many countries; but, as she says, there is a very special satisfaction in finding and identifying beautiful orchids close to home ‚Äì and for the past 15 years Sue‚Äôs home in south Ceredigion has been a base for studying the wonderful wildflowers of Wales and, in particular, its wild orchids. 
Writing and occasionally broadcasting on wildlife and countryside topics, Sue is also the author or co-author of 12 books and several dozen articles. In 2014 her book Wild Orchids of the Algarve, how when and where to find them, was published to critical acclaim and is now among the bestselling nature books in Portugal. This new book follows the same proven format, with illustrated guides to the wild orchids found in Wales together with detailed information about top orchid sites and walks, the best times to visit and which orchid species are likely to be seen at each one. 
An active conservationist and newspaper columnist, Sue produced and continues to maintain the website www.waleswildlife.com which receives some 60,000 visits a year. Many of the hundreds of enquiries received through the website come via the extensive Wild Orchids section. Wild Orchids of Wales - how, when and where to find them

by Sue Parker 

"An essential guide for anyone interested in wild orchids, this beautifully-illustrated authoritative guidebook encapsulates the experience of 16 years of conscientious on-location searching, study and research in Wales."


Author-signed copies: £18-00 + £2-80 P&P using your Credit Card, Debit Card or PayPal Account all accepted via the secure on-line PayPal system. Books are sent by Standard Parcel Post (UK addresses only) and should arrive within 2 to 3 days.

Air Mail Post and Packing charge to other Eurozone Countries is £5-50 - single copy orders only:

 Delivery to address outside Europe

Air Mail Post and Packing charge to destinations outside Europe is £8 - single copy orders only:

Note: you do not need a PayPal account to pay using your credit or debit card. Once you will click "Buy Now " You will be redirected to PayPal for payment. The first option (orange button) will be to pay with a PayPal account, and the second option (white button) will be to pay direct using your Credit Card / Debit Card.

Sample pages

More about this book

More than 300 colour photographs of the orchids, both in their natural settings and as stunning close-up pictures of their flowers, ensure that readers will be able to identify the orchids they find on countryside rambles.
Wild Orchids of Wales - how, when and where to find them, by Sue Parker: 
ISBN: 978-0-9934502-1-1; 192 pages, full colour, Hardback binding. RRP £20.00

Review comments

'This is an excellent guide to the orchids of Wales in a convenient portable A5 format... It has a comprehensive section covering all of the recorded orchid species, illustrated with photographs of the highest quality. ...it is the attention given to where orchids grow and where to find them that makes this book especially useful... The book is clearly produced by someone with a deep and detailed knowledge of the area and its conservation. Highly recommended for anyone living in or visiting Wales who has an interest in orchids or indeed more general natural history.'
Mike Gasson, in Journal of the Hardy Orchid Society... January 2017. 
'The First Nature team has come up with yet another gem. For anyone interested in orchids, their habitats and where to find them in Wales, this is a must read!' Iolo Williams
(Original review in Dutch) 'This is a beautifully produced book about the wild orchids in Wales... It will be more a help, when back home or in the hotel, to give a name at the orchid flowers seen or photographed in nature. For those who know little or nothing about orchids, this book is an interesting and useful acquaintance. For people more experienced with orchids this book will certainly be a good first aid in the identification of an orchid species observed in flower.' Rik NeirynckRead the full review (bilingual Dutch/English) here...

More about this book

Wales with its rich botanical heritage and centuries-old traditions of plant hunting (Snowdonia was a favourite haunt of Charles Darwin) is still one of the most orchid-rich parts of Britain, with 32 species and several distinctive subspecies. This in part is due to Wales‚Äôs very varied range of habitats, but another major factor is the priority that Wales has given to safeguarding its wildlife and wildflowers. Nowhere in Europe has such an abundance of nature reserves and other sites with protected status for their national and international conservation value. 
Wild Orchids of Wales is much more than a fully illustrated identification guide; it is also a celebration of the Nature Reserves of Wales. The author has dedicated this book to ‚Äò‚Ķthe individuals and groups of volunteers without whose tireless efforts in all winds and weathers the environmental riches of Wales, from small community sites to great nature reserves, would not be so accessible and bring such joy to so many people.‚Äô 
For newcomers in particular, wild orchids can be hard to find and even harder to identify. Wild Orchids of Wales solves these problems. The book includes easy-to-follow introductions to the biology and habitats of orchids; illustrated descriptions of the orchid species, each with distinguishing features highlighted; and a unique guide to more than 50 of the top orchid sites throughout the country, including GPS data, map references and detailed directions. Also included are tips for photographing flowers. More than 300 colour photographs of wild orchids, both in their natural settings and as stunning close-up pictures of their flowers, ensure that readers will be able to identify the orchids they find on countryside rambles. 

Wild Orchids of Wales - how, when and where to find them, by Sue Parker

Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Rhydlewis Gardenin Club Spring Show 2018

We were all on tenterhooks about this year's Spring Show: after heavy falls of snow all the way through March, what would people have left in their gardens to exhibit? But

Squirrels' Larders
miraculously, most of the flowering bulbs seemed to recover, as if they'd just had an extra-deep slumber for a couple of weeks, allowing our master arrangers to come up with wonderful fantasies such as class 17A floral arrangement entitled, ‘A Squirrel’s Larder’. 

Class 30

Sara Redman and Chair Liz Blakler
There was a fabulous display of tulips for the Members' only award: the  PAM HUFFERDINE TROPHY – Best Exhibit in class 30 - A pot of Tulips, grown from bulbs supplied last autumn. Sara Redman won this award. Sara is holding a July visit to her own gardens at Llain Manal, Penrhiwpal, on this year's progamme…A VISIT TO THE FLOWER MEADOW.

The hellebore heads looked amazing, floating in their dishes

THE DERRICK AND BARBARA CALOW MEMORIAL CUP – Best Exhibit in classes 1-15, that is the spring flower catagories, was won by Janette Sharman for her wonderful narcissi and other spring bulbs.

However, the most excitement was that a new shield had been created,  The Artisan Shield, awarded for the most points gained in the home craft and creative categories. This was won by Sophie Heath, for her delicious home cooking. It was presented to Sophie (and her daughter, Georgia), by chairperson, Liz Blackler.

A good turn out of exhibits, but more importantly, a lovely crowd of locals gathering in the evening to enjoy walking around the tables, sharing refreshments, and taking part in the raffle and auction.

Rhydlewis Gardening Club meets on the last Tuesday of each month in the village hall, and has a varied and interesting programme.  Club membership is only £10 per year, non-members £2 per meeting – all welcome.

Our next meeting is on the 24th April, at 7.30 – GROWING ORCHIDS – we are welcoming Rhydlewis-based naturalist Sue Parker, founder of First Nature, who will to talk about how to get the best indoors from these exotic flowers, and about our indigenous orchid population.

If you'd like more information please phone the chairperson, Liz Blackler 01239 851851 or the secretary, NIna Milton01239 851096, or email us at ninahare00@googlemail.com


Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The Annual General Meeting is Coming Up!

Garden Landscapes
The Annual General Meeting of the Rhydlewis and District Gardening Club is on 30th January, starting at 7.30 pm in the Rhydlewis Village Hall.

Vegetable Growing

Garden Visits 
The club is friendly and outgoing and welcomes anyone who has an interest in gardening. You do not have to live in or close to Rhydlewis. Guests are always welcome to attend our talks and visits.
Flower Gardening

This year we have a full agenda for the AGM, filled with new ideas and we would welcome your participation. 

We always welcome people who are able to offer their skills for committee work.

Practical Talks 

Show Prizes
Autumn Produce Show 
The new programme will be available at the meeting. It's packed with events this year, a varied and exciting programme.

The AGM is also a social event, with wine, cheese and nibbles after the talking has finished. 

Please bring your 2018 subscriptions; £10 per person. 
Spring Shows

We really hope to see you there, so that we continue to have a vibrant club where everyone feels they are gaining gardening friends.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Winter Delights in the Gardening Club

Hi there winter gardeners!
If your plot is now a soggy lawn with leaf-covered beds and just a few seedheads and burnt hydrangea flowers the only decoration, then bear in mind you're not alone. Apart from those clever souls who have chosen to plant mostly winter interest shrubs, we're all in the same boggy situation.

That's why the Rhydlewis Gardening Club is such a welcome break in the winter. The welcome warm, the hall is even warmer, and the tea is piping hot.

Our speaker for the 28th November 2017, Gay Acres, is kindly standing in for her friend Pat from the NGS, who is indisposed. She
will be talking about gardening in difficult places – in fact she's just won a BBC Gardening World prize for that very thing.

Her 9 acres, Bwlch y Geuffordd gardens, is situated high on wet moorland in the Cambrian Mountains. Described as 'a garden for everyone' it will be featured on S4C this Sunday at 8pm. You can find out more about the gardens at http://bwlch-y-geuffordd-gardens.myfreesites.net

This is our last meeting this year. We'll be meeting again in January,  for our AGM and social evening with wine and nibbles, on the last Tuesday of the month, the 30th. Do come and find out what's been going on, and what will be going on and reconnect with your gardening friends!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Gardening Club Programme 2017







Club Chair - Liz Blackler
Club Secretaries - Jim and Nina Milton
Club President - Jenny Archibald

January 31st
AGM with Cheese and Wine
Please do come along and be an active part of the annual general meeting of your gardening club.

February 28th
Ivor Mace, a well known expert show winner and grower of these lovely autumn flowers, is here to talk about how to grow these exotic flowers for the garden, for showing, and for cut flower displays.

  March 28th  
Schedule will be available from February. Staging is open for exhibits from 4pm to 6pm, when judging begins. 
Show commences at 7.30pm.

April 25th
A return visit for horticulturist and florist Alex Hayes, who will be demonstrating how to use garden flowers in arrangements, and which flowers to grow if you like to bring them into your house.

May 30th  
Hundreds of lovely plants grown by our members to raise funds for the club, on offer at very reasonable prices. Please help our funds by bringing seedlings, plants, gardening items, and gardening books for others to enjoy.

June 27th
Liz Blackler will be hosting the party at the Blue Barn, Castell Farm, Ffostrasol. Commencing at 6pm, please bring a contribution to the supper and drinks table. Telephone Liz on 01239 851851- for details.

July 25th 
GARDEN VISIT Commencing 5pm
We will visit Jennifer Matthew’s lovely garden, Moorland Cottage Plants. There is no fee, so do consider buying a plant. For details, telephone 01239 891136.  Afterwards we will eat locally - further details towards the time. PLEASE NOTE earlier start time – we will meet at the gardens at 5pm.

August 29th 
Schedule will be available from June. Non-members are
welcome to exhibit in all classes at a cost of 10p per item. Staging is open for exhibits from 3.30pm to 5.30pm, when judging begins.  Show commences at 7.30

September 26th
Andy Cook will give one of his vibrant and aromatic talks on this perennial subject. 

October  31st  
 Alison Denten, from the Ceredigion Association for Bats, will talk about local Bats, and how gardeners can help them to survive.
Nov 28th  

Pat Causton the county organiser for Ceredigion, will talk about the NGS, and advise on how to open your garden to the public.


Open to all those interested in gardening

For further information please contact the secretaries
 Nina or Jim Milton on 01239 851096

Or visit our blog at

Here you will find photos of some of our regular activities, together with show schedules, gardens, a copy of this programme and other useful links.

Subscriptions of £10 per annum are to be paid at the AGM. 
New members joining later in the year will be asked for a reduced pro rata subscription.

Visitors are always welcome and there is no charge for the first visit but any non-members who come regularly will be asked to pay a small contribution (£2) towards the meeting. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Spring Show Tuesday 28th March 2017


1st Prize Catagory 7 Vase of Spring Flowers 

1st Prize Catagory 21, A Hand Painted Hardboiled Egg



Catagory 9 Camelia, 1 bloom
Thank you all so much, you wonderful gardeners, for making our Spring Show this year extra special. The tables were teaming with beautiful plants and floral displays and it was lovely to see so many people, both exhibiting and coming to see the show.

Catagory 13 Cut Spray from Flowering Tree or Shrub

Catagory 15, Dish of Hellebore Heads


Most Points in classes 1-21 - Vicky Wade of Brongest

THE DERRICK AND BARBARA CALOW MEMORIAL CUP – Best Exhibit in classes 1-15 - Vicky Wade

 Best Exhibit in class 22   A pot of tulips, grown from bulbs supplied last autumn - Dilys Davies of Rhydlewis.

Thank you so much, everyone put a huge effort into making this a great Spring Show, especially Liz Blackler, our chair and show secretary.

See you next month for Alex Hayle's "Arranging Flowers from your Garden" and in May for the Plant Sale.