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.

Monday, 21 November 2016

More Wonderful Images of our Rhydlewis Harvest!

A big thank you to Jane Cain for these wonderful photos of the Autumn Show. And congratualtions to all the gardeners who grew this beautiful produce, and created the fantastic art work (presumably when it was raining!)

Saturday, 17 September 2016

The Rhydlewis Gardening Club Autumn Produce Show

On the last Tuesday in August, the club, and other gardeners, showed the results of their summer's hard work at the  Autumn Produce Show. Everyone who exhibited needs to be congratulated. They brought the fruits of their gardening labour; the harvest they reaped, and it made a wonderful display. 

Apart from the individual prizes, there are five awards – cups and shields presented to the very best gardeners this year. 

So congratulations to these excellent gardeners:

Challenge Cup - most points gained in the vegetable classes - JANETTE SHARMAN

   Challenge Cup - most points gained in the floral classes - DILYS DAVIES

Rose Shield - Overall winner of class 30 - Vase of roses - three stems any one variety - SARA REDMAN

D&G Williams Shield - Most points in the Homecraft classes - VICKY WADE

JT Memorial Shield - Best exhibit in class 10 - 3 cooking onions - CARRIE DAVIES

That evening, the Village Hall looked terrific and everyone enjoyed the colourful display of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and home crafts, as well as the auction, raffle and refreshments...and catching up with everyone else...
Please don't forget that the next meeting of the Rhydlewis Gardening Club – Clwb Gorddio Rhydlewis – is on September the 27ths, hall open from 7pm, prompt start at 7.30pm for Helen Warrington of Ty Cwm Nursery in Llanybydder, who will be telling us the secrets of 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Fantastic Visit to Caer Hir Gardens.

This year's GARDEN VISIT  was to Cae Hir Gardens, in Cribyn.

14 of us attended, umbrellas at the ready as the weather was a bit threatening, but we didn't need them. 

Before we started strolling through the gardens, we were given a short talk by Stuart, the son of the originator of the gardens as they are todayFirst opened to the public in 1989, Stuart told us that Cae Hir has become one of Wales' best loved gardens. 
The Akkermans family first moved over from Holland in 1983 and Wil Akkermans wanted the garden  to be a love affair between nature and nurture, blending the wild and the cultivated, of using ordinary materials in extraordinary ways and of thinking 'outside the box' in its approach to garden design.

Although his father hasn't retired as such, Stuart and his wife now care for the gardens and have introduced more floral planting, against the backdrop of trees and shrubs used by Wil. 
But Stuart admitted that passing the garden on to the next generation has not been easy for Wil. As he has said, “Every plant, every stone, has passed through my hands”. However his children grew up at Cae Hir and love it as much as he does, and although their ideas might sometimes be different from those of their Father, with give and take and understanding the transition has gone remarkably smoothly.

We all loved the way the garden was a 'single planting', as Stuart said...his father didn't want the 6 acres to have 'separate garden rooms' but be enjoyed in a continual way as one walked through the various sections. 

Afterwards, just as the rain came down, we ate at the Ffostrasol Arms, and had a jolly good chat about the gardens, gardening, and just about everything else.

Thanks to Rita Hyde for all the wonderful photography

Monday, 4 July 2016

The Autumn Produce Show 2016




The Produce Show is on TUESDAY 30th AUGUST 2016

at the


STAGING FROM 3.00pm UNTIL 5.00pm: Judging from 5.00pm: 

OPEN TO ALL EXHIBITORS – Entry Fees – per category:
Members of Gardening Club – Free
Non- Members of Rhydlewis Gardening Club – 10p per entry
Mike Sinnott – Vegetables, Fruit and Flowers
Sue Wright - Homecraft
  • Vegetable Challenge Cup - Awarded for the most points gained in the Vegetable and Fruit classes (1 - 26)
  • Floral Challenge Cup - Awarded for the most points gained in the Flowers and Floral Art classes (27 – 37)
  • D & G Williams Shield – Awarded for the most points gained in the Homecraft classes (38 – 54)
  • Roses Shield – Overall winner of Class 30
  • J.T. Davies Memorial Shield – Best exhibit in Class 10


  1. 4 White Potatoes
  2. 4 Coloured Potatoes
  3. 3 Carrots – (any one variety)
  4. 3 Beetroot – (any one variety)
  5. 3 Courgettes – (any one variety) each not exceeding 15.2cm (6ins)
  6. 1 Marrow
  7. 4 Dwarf Beans
  8. 4 Runner Beans
  9. 4 Pods of Peas
  10. 3 Cooking Onions 
  11. 5 Shallots
  12. 4 Tomatoes
  13. 5 Cherry Tomatoes
  14. 1 Cucumber
  15. Collection of Vegetables – 5 varieties (tomatoes can be included)
  16. Oddly Shaped Vegetables
  17. Longest Runner Bean
  18. Collection of Culinary Herbs: Names to be listed
  19. Parsley – 4 cut stems in a vase
  20. 3 Cooking Apples (any one variety)
  21. 3 Eating Apples - (any one variety)
  22. 3 Pears - (any one variety)
  23. 3 Plums - (any one variety)
  24. Gooseberries – 1 dish not less than 10
  25. Collection of Fruit – 5 varieties
  26. 3 Rhubarb sticks – to include approx. 7.5 cm (3ins) of leaf

  1. Vase of Dahlias – 3 heads of any one variety
  2. Vase of Hydrangeas – 3 heads of any one variety
  3. Vase of African Marigolds – 3 heads of any one variety
  4. Vase of Roses – 3 stems of any one variety
  5. Vase of Sweet Peas – 5 stems of any one variety
  6. Vase of Cut Flowers – not more than 6 varieties
  7. A Pot Plant in bloom
  8. A Pot Plant grown for its foliage
  9. Tree or Shrub – 1 cut stem for autumn flower, fruit or foliage effect

  1. A basket flower arrangement for the Queen’s 90th Birthday – not to exceed 24ins (60cm) overall
  2. A seasonal arrangement incorporating a tea cup and saucer. Size optional.  (Can include fruit and vegetables)

  1. 1 Welsh Pastie – Short Crust Pastry 
  2. 1 Quiche – Maximum 12 inches
  3. 1 Bara Brith
  4. 5 Chocolate Chip Cookies
  5. 3 Brown Hens’ Eggs
  6. 3 White Hens’ Eggs
  7. Jar of Jam – Stone fruit
  8. Jar of Jam – Soft fruit
  9. Jar of Marmalade
  10. Jar of Honey
  11. Jar of Chutney
  12. Jar of Pickles
  13. 1 Bottle of Homemade Cordial
  14. 1 Bottle of Country Wine
  15. A Hand Knitted item
  16. An Article of Patchwork
  17. Any Handmade art or craft on the theme of ‘Hedgerows’ (Any medium)
  • Entries in the flower, fruit and vegetable classes, unless otherwise stated should consist of one variety
  • All arrangements to consist of fresh or dried plant material unless otherwise stated
  • Stalks should be left on tomatoes, and where applicable, on fruit
  • All exhibits must have been grown by the exhibitor (not applicable to the floral art section)
  • For the purposes of the show, “vase” means any suitable container for displaying cut flowers and “pot” means any suitable containing in which a plant can grow
  • Help will be given with staging and classification if needed
  • Rhydlewis Gardening Club cannot be responsible for anything left in the hall after the Show. If necessary, label vases and containers.
  • In the event of a dispute, the committee reserves the right to inspect gardens and, if necessary to disqualify.

Potatoes - Always wash the potatoes carefully trying not to break the skin. Choose even sized tubers of similar shape. Discard any tubers with slug damage. Try to use potatoes that have no scab marks. 
Carrots - Wash the roots carefully with a soft cloth and plenty of water, trying not to damage the skins. Check the roots for any slug or worm damage and discard. Choose roots, which are roughly the same size and shape. Cut off the leaves to about 3-4 cm (1"/1½”) above the top of the root, and tie together with either raffia or garden string.
Beetroot - Wash the roots carefully with a soft cloth and plenty of water, trying not to damage the skins. Choose roots, which are roughly the same size and shape. Retain full length of tap root.
Courgettes - These need to be even sized ideally with their flowers still attached. Cut the courgettes with a knife leaving a small piece of stem. Check schedule for size requirement.
Marrows - Need to be cut leaving a small piece of stem. Stage directly on the show bench after wiping clean.
Beans - Whatever type of bean you are showing, (dwarfs or runners), make sure they are young as the Judge will snap them just to see if they are stringy. They need to be the same length and shape, and have a little bit of stalk left on them. Make sure the beans have no brown marks or slug holes. 
Peas - Peas should have nice full pods, and should all be the same length. Always cut the stems a little away from the pod and handle the peas by the stem. Ideally pea pods should retain the "bloom".
Onions –Onions need to dry off, so they need to be lifted fairly early and put somewhere for the skins to dry. Rub off the loose skins when the bulbs are dry. Cut the stems leaving enough to be able to turn over and tie with either raffia or garden string. Don't tie the onions too early as the stems shrink if left to dry out. Very carefully slice the roots off close to the bottom of the bulb. Choose even sized bulbs that are of the same shape and size.
Shallots – These are treated the same as onions. Make sure the shallot has only one bulb, as sometimes there is a little bulb hiding under the skin. To exhibit shallots, they should be put on a container of dry sand.
Tomatoes – Select ripe but firm, richly coloured fruit of even size. Cut the tomato stem leaving a little stalk and the green bit on. Wash the fruit well to remove any water marks before staging your fruit. Stage on a plate with stalks uppermost. The same applies to cherry tomatoes.
Cucumbers - Select fresh, young, straight fruits of uniform thickness, with short stems and flowers still attached - retain waxy bloom.
General - Pick fruit as near to show time as practicable - retain stalks. Do not polish fruits - leave the natural bloom. Do not select over-ripe fruits.
Apples - Select large, solid unblemished fruits of shape and colour typical of the cultivar with stalks intact.
Pears – Select large, solid unblemished fruits of shape and colour typical of the cultivar with stalks intact.
Plums - Select large ripe, but firm fruits of good colour, with stalks intact. 
Gooseberries - Select large ripe fruits of good colour with stalks. Stalks should look green and fresh and all point one way when staged.
Rhubarb – Rhubarb is always pulled not cut. Trim the leaves to the requirement in the schedule.
General - Select flowers in good fresh condition and free from damage due to weather, pests or disease. There should be no marks on the petals or leaves. Select flowers with straight stems, and the same size. Flowers should be displayed in a vase having a greater height than the width measurement of its mouth.
FLORAL ART - Check schedule for class requirements. 
Baking General – Check schedule for class requirements. All items will be cut and tasted. Marks are also given for presentation as well as uniformity, taste and flavour. 
Welsh Pastie – known is an Oggie – is made with Welsh lamb and leeks. See also notes under baking general.
Quiche – A generous amount of filling and the pastry evenly cooked throughout. Please state what type of quiche you have baked. See also notes under baking general.
Bara Brith - This ‘speckled bread’ is a fruit loaf made with tea. Some recipes contain yeast and others not – both will be acceptable for this competition.
Chocolate Chip Cookies –See also notes under baking general.
Eggs - Eggs should be of uniform colour and size.
Preserves General – The flavour, consistency and colour are all judged together with the overall presentation. Jars must be filled to the top (this prevents mould forming). Jars can either be sealed with a twist off lid OR have a waxed disc (smooth side down), and a cellophane top. After filling and cooling the jars should be cleaned and polished with a clean cloth to remove fingerprints and any spillage. All jars should be labelled, and state the contents plus the day, month and year of making.
Jams – Jams are a mixture of fruit and sugar. They should be clear and bright, characteristic in colour and well set but not too stiff. See notes under preserves general for tips on pots and labelling.
Marmalades – Marmalades are a jam like preserve based on citrus fruits. It also generally includes the peel. See notes under preserves general for tips on pots and labelling.
Honey - Clean jar and screw top lid. The honey should be clear and free of impurities. 
Chutney – Chutneys are based on almost any combination of fruit and vegetables but always contain acid (usually vinegar), spices and sugar. Jars of chutneys should be allowed to mature for a few weeks before use to produce a mellow but flavour full of character. See notes under preserves general for tips on pots and labelling.
Pickles – Salt or brine is used to extract water from large pieces or whole vegetables. They are then packed in a vinegar which can be plain, spiced or sweet. See notes under preserves general for tips on pots and labelling.
Homemade Cordial – A cordial is a sweet flavoured fruit drink which is diluted with water for drinking. It should be in a clear glass bottle with a screw top lid and an airtight seal.  The colour should be bright and the bottle filled to within 2.5 cm from the top.  The consistency should not be thick or clotted but a genuine pouring consistency.  The flavour should stand a dilution of 1 part cordial to 5 parts of water for drinking.
Country Wine - A Country wine is a beverage produced by fermenting the juices of fruits, vegetables or flowers. It will be judged on flavour, body, clearness and colour.
Handicrafts – These must be the exhibitor’s own work and have a tidy finish and be fit for purpose.  Recycled materials may be used where appropriate.

AND…. Most importantly, have a go and have fun entering.  Chat to other gardening club members for advice and tips on selecting and showing your produce.  The more categories you enter, the better your chance of a win, and the more successful our club’s show will be for everyone!!

For further information please contact the club secretaries 
Nina and Jim 01239 851096; or show secretary Liz 01239 851851

Monday, 11 April 2016



Best friends Jean and Marj are both winners - OVERALL WINNER – Most Points in classes 1-21 and THE DERRICK AND BARBARA CALOW MEMORIAL CUP – Best Exhibit in classes 1-15

Our JUDGES were Roger and Eirian Spencer – Trefhedyn Garden Centre. 



  1. Primula (including primrose, polyanthus, cowslip etc) 

We always have a large number of entries of Narcissus (which includes all daffodils) at this show. In order to provide clearly defined classes, we try to use the Royal Horticultural Society classification into divisions. 
tulip and narcissus classes 

  1. Vase of cut heathers (Erica or Calluna
  2. one or more varieties
Dish of Hellebore Heads

An ‘Easter Basket’ 
floral arrangement 

    A floral arrangement entitled,
     ‘Changing Seasons’.  Size optional.


A photograph; 'any old iron'

Friday, 5 February 2016

Preserving From Your Garden

Thank you, Vicky Wade, for a very comprehensive talk and demonstration on preserving all the fruit and vegetables (and eggs!) we harvest from our garden. 

Vicky covered making jams, jellies, chutneys, pickles, and many other preserves. As this was our January talk, and Seville oranges are in the shops, she showed us, step by step, how to make marmalade. 

Vicky fascinated us all with stories of her own childhood, helping her mother in a 50's kitchen with produce from their allotment. She had many handy tips, including this one…

(Taken from the Sainsbury book of Preserves and Pickles by Heather Lambert.)

Test for Pectin
Put 1 teaspoon juice from the pan (of cooked fruit) into a small glass. Leave until cold, then add 3 teaspoons methylated spirit. Shake gently and leave for 1 minute.
A jelly like lump indicates plenty of pectin present and up to 750 g (1.5 lb) sugar can be added for each 500 g (1 lb) fruit pulp and juice;
 2 or 3 less firm clots shows moderate pectin and 500 g (1lb) sugar can be added for each 500 g (1 lb) fruit pulp and juice.
The more sugar you add the greater the yield will be without affecting the sweetness of the jam.

I have found this pectin test particularly useful when I haven't been following a recipe precisely or have an odd quantity of fruit for which I need to check how much sugar is required.

And don't forget that there are great  preserving recipes to follow in Judith Russill's book:
"Judith's Dark Secrets - in the kitchen" 
now only £2, and available from Rhydlewis House, (01 239  851748) or from the Bridge Stores.