Kew Guild

Coronavirus update

In view of the exceptional circumstances brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve decided, very reluctantly, to postpone our spring/summer events programme. Unfortunately this includes the annual dinner and, most likely, the Ireland trip. I’m really sorry that we’ve had to take this action but the safety and welfare of our members is paramount and this cannot be assured for the foreseeable future.

All being well, we aim to re-arrange these events to take place either later in the year or in 2021; we’ll email you regularly with updates. For those booked onto the Ireland trip we’ll be in touch with you separately.

Once again, apologies. Please stay safe and well.

All the very best, Dave Simpson, President.

Save the Date…

Annual Dinner 2021

The Kew Guild Annual Dinner in 2021 will be held on Thursday 20th May 2021 in Cambridge Cottage.

The Kew Guild Annual Dinner 2020 POSTPONED

The Kew Guild President, David Simpson, is reluctantly postponing the Kew Guild Annual Dinner to be held at Cambridge Cottage, 37 Kew Green, TW9 3AB on Thursday 21st May 2020.

The Dinner provides the perfect opportunity to renew old friendships, make new friends, catch up on news, and meet the current Kew Diploma students and Guild Committee members.

The Guest Speaker will be, Dr Tim Utteridge Head of Identification & Naming at Kew. He is an entertaining speaker and will talk about the work that he and his team are doing in SE Asia.

In addition to this special occasion all day free admission to Kew Gardens has been agreed for all applicants. The President with the assistance of Tony Overland has arranged a menu with an excellent selection for you to choose when applying for your tickets. We have agreed with the caterers that the event will be at the same price as 2019. There will be a cash bar to purchase drinks throughout the event. The current students will organise a cash raffle to help support student travels. There will be no reserved seating.

Any member requiring financial assistance to facilitate attendance at the Dinner should contact Awards Scheme Chairman by Tuesday 31st March.

We look forward to meeting you all at what will be an excellent occasion for the Guild. Please click here for the application form to reserve your place[s]

Yours sincerely,

Dave

David Simpson President 2019-20

Rockcliffe and Highgrove Gardens, Gloucestershire

The Kitchen Garden at Rockcliffe, Hertfordshire

11-12 APRIL 2019
Peter Styles

This was a two-day event suggested by Martin Staniforth. The planning of the Rockcliffe and Highgrove visit had been much anticipated and was long in its making. Royal Household protocol and other events at Highgrove meant that we only received approval shortly before the event, but we were not disappointed.

Rockcliffe

Thursday morning saw 20 members and guests gathered in the car park at Rockcliffe House to meet the owners Emma Keswick and her husband Simon. Kew Graduate Thomas Unterdorfer was the head gardener here until last year and Amy Newsome, student in Kew Diploma course 56, also trained at Rockcliffe.

The 8-acre garden is a personal triumph for Emma, who created the garden and whose design philosophy can be described as organic. Emma is also a garden designer in her own right, trained in horticulture at Merrist Wood and in garden design at the English Gardening School. One her of her earlier commissions involved the first Maggie’s Centre in Edinburgh in 1996. The centres are named after Maggie Keswick, Simon’s cousin, also a garden designer, who died of cancer but left behind a legacy of cancer centres dedicated to a new approach to patient care. Maggie was supported by her husband, the late architect Charles Jencks of Garden of Cosmic Speculation fame – such are the common threads that bind us all together in life.

Throughout the garden there are references to Simon’s old school Eton – in the gate to the formal terrace and another reference in the pennant-shaped Dovecote weather vane. The Dovecote is a magnificent Cotswold stone structure, sitting high up in the garden and entered through a gate from the Kitchen Garden. The path is lined each side with topiarized doves creating a wonderful quirky approach.

To the rear of the house Emma has created a ‘ha-ha’, forming the boundary to the garden and allowing an uninterrupted view to the surrounding Gloucestershire countryside. A double row of Beech obelisks draw the eye across the lawn to the ‘borrowed landscape’. The view is punctuated with a striking bronze statue by Nigel Hall, aptly named ‘Southern Shade’.

The garden is famous for its planting and the use of colour, yet despite the early Spring visit, we were able to appreciate the form of the individual garden spaces or rooms. This has been achieved by the skillful use of clipped Yew and Box hedges and which provide all year round structure to the garden. The formal pool garden was particularly impressive with an early showing of colour from a magnificent stand of the tired Cornus controversa ’Variegata’.

At the end of our tour we were treated by Emma to coffee and biscuits in the Orangery. This is truly an iconic garden and we thanked Emma for her hospitality with a copy of the Kew Guild book.

Rockcliffe Gardens 2019
Kew Guild members visit Rockcliffe Gardens 2019 L to R: David Priestley, Bryan Howard, Veronica Priestley, Peter Styles, Jean and Rob Peach, Emma Keswick, Brian Phillips, Jenny Edmonds, Wendy Staniforth, Sylvia Phillips, Linda Baharier, David Edmonds, Liz Styles, Tony Overland, David Hardman, Jan Overland, Joan Howard, Martin Staniforth, Peter Turski.

Highgrove

On Friday morning, armed with the requested various forms of photographic identification we gathered in a car convoy at the entrance to Highgrove. In the event the security guards were happy for your President to vouch for the good character of the whole group!

Debs met us armed with a large piece of Flowering Cherry, which Leo Pemberton was able to identify. Our first plant ident test for the morning!
Debs Goodenough, head gardener, although with a very busy schedule for the week, was able to generously give her time to host the morning. We were extremely lucky to have such an exclusive tour of the gardens.
Debs was an international student at Kew in 1985 before moving to Ventnor Botanic Gardens. Debs has been at Highgrove since 2008 and heads up a team of 11 full time gardeners.

Security protocol is strict at Highgrove and sadly we were not allowed to take photos or to use recording equipment. This was understandably but a shame as there were many photo opportunities. Highgrove, an 18th century house and gardens, is the family residence of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall The Prince acquired the estate in 1980 and set about transforming it into his own personal space with energy and artistic flair.
The gardens are filled with many treasures – plant and sculptures gifts to The Prince from around the world, each given its own space to form a unique feature within the gardens. There is, for example, an elephant-themed area.

The Prince has a real ‘hands on’ approach to his garden, which is a reflection of his own eclectic and often whimsical taste. His commitment to organic and sustainable gardening is much in evidence. There is so much to see in a garden of this size and complexity. One favourite was the Stumpery which also contains the National Collection of Hostas and a magnificent Gunnera stone tower water feature. This would be one feature to come back to see in Summer when the Gunnera is in full leaf. The Sundial Garden has a feature hedge of clipped Yew with windows framing busts of HRH The Prince of Wales. We were told that the delphiniums, extensively planted in the garden, are one of the Prince’s favourite flowers.

The dramatic scale of the Thyme Walk drew us at once. An informal paved walk with 20 varieties of thyme, marjoram and primroses form a link to the main house. Planted each side there are lines of pleached Limes framing the view to the house and providing a dramatic backdrop to the Golden Yew topiary. This ancient topiary has been clipped into magnificent and fantastical forms. Sir Roy Strong had an involvement in the redesign of this space. The Prince is keen to allow the thyme, marjoram and primrose to seed themselves into the paving thus creating a living carpet.

We were delighted to be shown a new garden in construction. A formal garden with clipped Box and Yew and with each bed a different colour scheme grading though the colours – almost like a living colour wheel. The Prince, with his love of watercolour painting, has a keen eye for the use of colour in his planting schemes, very much in the styles of Gertrude Jekyll.
As we toured the garden, we happened upon our old Kewite friend Alan Titchmarsh who was delivering a presentation that day. There were hugs all round.

Towards the end of the tour we were handed over to gardener Ashleigh Davies, a graduate of the Kew Diploma 2015. Ashleigh invited us to see the Kitchen Garden, with its extensive production areas and the collection of rare breed chickens – all ready to provide the Prince with those famous boiled eggs we often hear about. The area is enclosed with a Celtic knot hedge – an idea that the Prince picked up on one his many travels. The hedge is woven with Ash, Sycamore and Oak into an attractive and biodiverse living feature. It was heartening to hear of the deep trust that the Prince has with his head gardener, even when travelling he is keen to have a regular update from Debs on what’s happening in the garden.

All too soon it was time for us to thank Debs and leave her to her busy day ahead – but not before we manged to capture a photograph of Leo Pemberton and Debs together. Highgrove is a garden to return to in the Summer when in full flower.

The Kitchen Garden at Rockcliffe
Leo Pemberton with Highgrove Head Gardener, Debs Goodenough

Gardens in South Hertfordshire

Hatfield House

8th – 9th June 2019

Peter Styles

This was a weekend event that was originally organised by Bob Ivison in 2018 but was postponed to June 2019. 26 members and guests gathered at Capel Manor College on a damp Saturday morning . Our spirits were immediately alighted by our host for the morning Dr. Stephen Dowbiggin, past Principal of the College. His enthusiasm was palpable – clearly a man who although retired still retained a great love and interest in the students and the future of the College.

Capel Manor is an extraordinary Institution. 60 gardens and landscapes spread over 30 acres and it’s easy to forget that these wonderful grounds support no fewer than five individual Schools and Colleges including, Arboriculture, Agriculture and environmental, Conservation, Royal College of Animal Management and Saddlery, plus of course its Higher Education Course-in short, the very epicentre of learning excellence.

Capel Manor
Dr. Stephen Dowbiggin addressing the group.

Since its establishment in 1968, hundreds of students have passed through its doors, many going on to establish successful careers in horticulture, garden design, floristry, equine and arboriculture. Alumni include garden designers Anne-Marie Powell and Kim Wilde.

The Which? magazine has its garden trials here such is the College’s high esteem in the horticulture world.

The history of Capel Manor dates back the 13th century. There is very little evidence of the original estate layout today. The historic Gothic elements seen in the gardens today have been skillfully created to provide a theatrical backdrop to the gardens, so much so that they are in great demand for regular wedding events. The central elements to the estate are the Georgian house and Victorian stables.

There are Royal connections aplenty – HRH Prince Charles is a frequent visitor and both HRH The Queen and Princess Diana have opened display gardens – Stephen entertained us with a few ‘Royal’ anecdotes.

After a splendid lunch at the College Refectory we assembled at Myddelton House garden in the afternoon to meet our host Bryan Hewitt, Senior Gardener. Bryan is a man of many parts, not least an expert on the Gothic horror actor Vincent Price, and is also an author to boot. Bryan made us feel very much a home and is a natural raconteur providing us with a veritable smorgasbord of good stories as we toured the gardens.

Myddelton House and Gardens, built in 1818, are managed by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. Myddelton was the home of Edward Augustus Bowles – ‘The Crocus King’ and Bowles dedicated his life to maintaining and developing the Gardens. Myddelton was also at one time the plant base for the London School of Pharmacy and a vivisection centre.

Members listen to our Host Bryan Hewitt, Senior Gardener
Myddleton House and Gardens

Apart from Crocus one of Bowles‘ passions was for plants with contorted stems and foliage. He created a plant ‘Lunatic Asylum’ – one of the original plants featured here is Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’. Bowles was also an accomplished artist and author.

One of the highlights of the eight-acre garden is the Victorian glasshouse with its four climatic zones and there was a further surprise discovery for us – the original early Victorian Enfield Market Cross which Bowles rescued and erected as a central feature in the Rose Gardens. To these features we can add an extensive heritage kitchen garden and the cut flower beds.

Bowles’ plant hunting trips to the Pyrenees inspired him to create a fine Alpine Meadow which features his signature Crocus and other choice bulbs The recently renovated Rock Garden with its Japanese-style pagoda was of considerable pleasure to Bowles who helped with its construction. On his death his ashes were scatted here.

A stand of Japanese Knotweed was an unusual find for us. Bowles was a great admirer of this invasive plant and specimens are maintained to educate visitors on identification how this weed can be kept in check. I remember planting Japanese Knotweed in my own Richmond garden back in the late 1960’s because of its architectural qualities and easy cultivation made it a firm favourite for a budding landscape designer. I may have been responsible for spreading Japanese Knotweed throughout the Borough!
Throughout the gardens there are plants discovered by Bowles and which bear his name. Hebe ‘E. A. Bowles’, Helleborus ‘Bowles Yellow’, Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’ and Viola ‘Bowles Black’ were noted. There are more than 40 plants named after him and a Bowles Corner at RHS Wisley has been dedicated to his plants.

New additions to the gardens, funded by the Heritage Lottery and opened in 2011, include the Bowles museum and a fine Bowles tearoom which we were able to enjoy after our extremely entertaining and informative garden tour by our host Bryan Hewitt.

We all enjoyed a superb evening meal at the Pied Bull in Enfield on Saturday night and on Sunday morning, with the sun shining brightly, we gathered at Hatfield House where we were met by our host Andrew Turvey Head of Gardens and Estates. Andrew maintains the gardens and estate with a staff of 10 – no small feat given that the gardens cover 42 acres.
Hatfield House built in 1611 by Robert Cecil- son of Lord Burghley, is a splendid Jacobean house. It Is the home of the present 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and has been in family for 400 years. It embraces a diverse portfolio of property, which we were informed by Andrew includes TV and film production facilities as it is so close to Pinewood and Elstree studios. Recent productions include The Crown, Paddington2 and Transformers.

We commenced our tour poising in front of Hatfield House. Behind us, forming an impressive backdrop, was the water sculpture. Suitable titled ‘Renaissance’ it was commissioned by Lord Salisbury and designed by Angela Connor, the world famous sculptor.

Hatfield House
L-R: David and Veronica Priestley, Rob Peach, John Isaac, Jean Peach, Christine Waddell,
Leo Pemberton, Simon Owens, Marilyn Owens, Bob Ivison, Graham Bull, Andrew Turvey,
Peter Styles, Peter Sedwell, Teresa Ivison, Sue Dunnell, Elaine Sedwell,
Penny Hooper, Jan and Tony Overland, Carol Hart.

Hatfield defines the very essence of English history. It was in the medieval parkland in 1558 that the young Princess Elizabeth heard of her accession to the throne. An Oak planted by HRH The Queen in 1985 marks the spot and replaces the original veteran Oak. There are many other fine veteran trees throughout the estate which we were able to inspect including the famous Lime Avenue. Andrew explained that he is collaborating with Barcham Trees on the propagation and planting of new trees to the Avenue.
There was so much to see in one day, but highlights included the Sundial Garden, Commissioned to celebrate Hatfield’s 400th anniversary. We entered the Garden through Box tunnels which opened out onto a paved area surrounded by raised rose beds and blue and white delphinium and iris planting. The unique Longitude Timepiece appropriately locates Hatfield as the centre of the world.

The sheer scale of the 16-acre landscaped Broadwater lake is breathtaking. We were informed that the island has been recently planted with twenty species of Oak.

The East Garden, another highlight, was laid out by the 5th Marquess and contains parterres, topiary drums and octopi shapes, and some very unusual planting.

Hatfield is a place to return to time and again and we all thanked Andrew for his wonderful tour and presented with a copy of the Kew Guild book.

Featured image: Hatfield House, Renaissance Water Sculpture.

GREAT PAGODA AND AGIUS EVOLUTION GARDEN

Kew Pagoda Dragon

KEW – SATURDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2019

Report by Peter Styles

As part of the AGM festivities at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew we were invited to view the recently completed Agius Evolution Garden which replaces the old Order Beds. Those of us who were horticulturists and students at Kew will well remember working on the old beds.

Our host for the event was Kew’s Director of Horticulture, Learning and Operations, Richard Barley, who kindly gave up his Saturday morning to show us around the Garden.

Agius Garden Welcome
Richard Barley talks to members and guests.

Completed in mid-2019 the Garden covers 1.3 acres and is filled with about 700 species and varieties of plants. Divided into a series of rooms the design has been skillfully conceived by Richard Wilford, Kew’s own ‘in house landscape designer’. The planting follows a natural evolutionary trail, unlike the former Order Beds with their formal plant classifications.

The plant evolution story starts 350 million years ago. Ferns, Cycads and Equisetums form some of the first plant groupings in the Garden, moving through Magnolia and Palm species and finally to the main flowering plants species and families. Each section of the Garden tells a different, interesting story, which is well supported with first rate interpretive information.

An opportunity in the creation of the Garden has been taken in the use of DNA plant analysis to inform the plant groups. This has revealed some interesting plant relationships .Peonies for example are not related to Ranuculus despite their similar flower structures. They are in fact related to Saxifrages.

The Garden was generously funded by Kew’s then Chair of Trustees, Marcus Agius and his wife Kate de Rothschild Agius, sister of Lionel de Rothschild, whose hospitality we all enjoyed in our visit to Exbury Gardens in May 2017 (Journal number 122).

We thanked Richard Barley for a fascinating insight into plant evolution and the way that Kew is engaging more on a plant science level with the visitors to Kew.

The event then continued with a visit to the recently restored Great Pagoda, a much loved Kew icon, reopened in 2018 after many years of closure. Organised by Bob Ivison, ten members and guests were allowed free access to the Pagoda, courtesy of the Historic Royal Palaces who manage this fine 18th century structure. 253 steps were climbed to the top. Looking out from the top storey across the Arboretum one feels that there is scope for some of Richard Wilford’s magic to rework the shrub island beds!

One interesting fact about the famous finial dragons that adorn the roof is that there are only 8 dragons traditionally carved from African cedarwood – the other 72 are produced by modern 3D printing with a plastic material!
Some of us concluded our very informative morning with a splendid lunch at the new Pavilion restaurant.

Visit to Stourhead Gardens, Saturday 4th April 2020 POSTPONED

Winter scene across the lake towards the Pantheon

Stourhead Gardens, near Mere, Wiltshire BA12 6QD
A one day visit

The first visit of 2020 for the Kew Guild is to be to the world famous Stourhead Gardens in Wiltshire, 25 miles south of Bath and off the A303. This classical gem of a garden is usually visited in the summer and autumn but we will be visiting this amazing garden as it awakens from its winter slumbers. Its magnificent stands of mature trees, its powerful landscape and sumptuous buildings need to be enjoyed before the summer crowds arrive!  I am also advised that the wild Narcissus will be in full bloom!!!

Stourhead was described as ‘a living work of art’ when first opened in the 1740s. Meandering paths offer vistas through trees to classical temples and surprises at every turn.

Narcissus and the Palladian Bridge
Liriodendron tulipifera on island in the lake

Henry ‘the Magnificent’ (Henry Hoare II) was one of a small group of early eighteenth-century ‘gentleman gardeners’ using their acres to create a particularly personal landscape which expressed their hopes and beliefs about the world and their journey through it. His vision was, “recreating a classical landscape, dependant on water”. The centre piece of the garden at Stourhead is the lake, which dictates the path you take and the views you enjoy. The damming of the river and the creation of the lake was an ambitious undertaking which Henry and his architect Henry Flitcroft planned before work began on the garden buildings such as the Temple of Flora, Pantheon and Grotto.

Plans for the day

Arrive at 10.30, meeting in the car park and then entering together we will take coffee in the café, where we will meet our garden guide. The guide will be with us for approx two hours to walk us around the main parts of the garden.

After this tour we will collect back at the National Trust restaurant at lunchtime for a bite to eat.

It is planned that in the afternoon members of the Guild will then have available time “under their own steam” to visit either the house or further explore the gardens with the intention that the visit will come to an end at approximately at 5.00 o’clock (Gardens close at 6.00 o’clock and the House at 4.30)

It is suggested that about 20ish is a good number for this visit as this will allow everyone to hear the guides presentation and keep us in a group, which is never easy.

Some members may wish to stay overnight and I have therefore booked dinner for 7.00pm in the Spread Eagle Inn, which is on the Stourhead site. This establishment has 5 letting bedrooms and the Stourhead Gardens B&B is also within easy walking distance. There are other pubs and hotels within a short driving distance. I found Expedia.co.uk gives the best selection of accommodation in this area when a search is done for Stourhead.

There are a number of other interesting sites within the area to visit on Sunday for those planning on staying overnight.

Stourhead Admission Prices
National Trust members

  • Garden FREE
  • House FREE

Non National Trust members

  • Garden £11.00
  • House  £11.00
  • Garden and House  £17.40 (day ticket)

These costs are based on a minimum party of 15 otherwise its £18.40

Cost of guide is £3.00 per person (everyone) with a minimum payment of £45.00

Dinner in the Spread Eagle Inn

The pub provides a classic British pub menu in the evening with mains examples costing as follows:-

  • Beer-Battered Fish, Smashed Minted Peas, Tartar Sauce, Salad, Chips
    £13.00
  • Chargrilled Burger, Cheese, Pickles, Mayonnaise, Salad, Chips
    £13.00
  • 35+Day Aged Rib Eye Steak, Mushroom, Tomato, Onion Rings, Chips
    £22.00
  • Haddock, Pea & Pancetta Risotto and Crispy Rocket (GF)
    £13.00
  • Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Fennel Carrots, Celeriac Puree, Apple, Pui Lentils (GF)… £15.00
  • Seasonal Vegetable Curry, Rice, Mango Chutney, Poppadum (V) (Ve) (GF)… £11.00

Two courses can easily be achieved at under £25.00 per person.

Coffee and Lunches

Drinks on arrival and lunchtime snacks and meals will be paid for by members of the Guild as they are taken. The menu and costs of these items are at the standard National Trust rate.

What Next?

If you wish to attend this visit to one of Europe’s most magnificent gardens please advise me by email, by Sunday 23rd February at the latest, with your name and the numbers that will be attending with you on this visit and whether you will be joining us for dinner.

This is likely to be a very popular visit and we are advised that a total number of approximately 20 guests is ideal, so please get your applications in early to guarantee a place. We will be accepting applications on a “first come, first served” basis.

Once I have a more fixed idea of numbers, I can then finalise the arrangements, provide joining instructions and take payment. No money is required at the present time.

In the meantime, if you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kindest regards,
Alan Stuttard
Email. ajstuttard@gmail.com
Tel 01886 853465

Kewite-mail, January 2020

David Simpson, President 2019-20

Dear Kewites and Friends,

Many apologies for sending out our ‘turn of the year Newsletter rather later than usual. A belated Happy New Year and hope you had a good festive season. Another 12 months has flown by and already I am well into my 4th month as President.

Trustee activities

We have had a busy few months working on your behalf, with two Trustees meetings and continued bedding in of the new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) structure. This seems to be functioning well and although there a few glitches that we come across in our understanding of the structure, none are serious, and we are steadily ironing these out.

I am keen that we re-establish ourselves as the alumni association for the whole of Kew. As part of this, I am taking the opportunity to visit Kew’s various departments and publicise the Guild, which is already starting bear fruit with new members and I will continue work on it during the year.

We have also started work on a concise strategy document outlining our goals for the next five years, which will be available before the AGM in September.

Membership matters

We are pleased to welcome our new Membership Secretary, James Richardson, who is a long-standing volunteer at Kew. James can be contacted about membership matters at: membership@kewguild.org.uk. The postal address is: Membership Secretary, Kew Guild, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE. A reminder that membership runs from January to December and 2020 membership fees are now due, unless you joined between September-December 2019, in which case your membership runs until December 2020. Membership fees remain the same as last year. We are hoping to introduce direct debit in 2021.

Website/Twitter

The website continues to be improved and we hope you find it useful. We welcome contributions from members which should be sent to our Secretary, Sara Arnold (secretary@kewguild.org.uk). Our Twitter account (@KewGuild) is active and if you are a Twitter user, please do follow us.

Awards Scheme and outreach

We are looking at a re-vamp of the Awards scheme to bring it more into line with the ‘public good’ requirements of a CIO. This may result in us offering a mix of awards, some of which will be for Guild members only, while others which will be available more widely. Chris Kidd, our Awards Scheme Chair, is leading our work on this.

We are also keen to encourage with outreach activities that support Guild and Kew objectives. In line with this, we co-sponsored a Discovery Day entitled ‘The World of Horticulture and its Opportunities’, organised by the Royal Parks Guild for horticultural apprentices and trainees. The event was held at Kew, with staff and former students playing a significant role.

Kew Guild Journal

The deadline for written contributions to the Journal is 31 January (apologies for the short deadline). Please send them to Sparkle Ward, our Editor at editor@kewguild.org.uk. As always, we like to receive comments (both positive and negative!) and ideas from the membership, which can be sent to Sara (secretary@kewguild.org.uk).

Please also email any ‘News of Kewites’ and photos to Pamela Holt at newsofkewites@kewguild.org.uk.

Dates for the diary

Please note that, unless otherwise indicated, details about individual events will be sent separately.

26 February. Kew students supper, Ask Restaurant, Kew, 7pm. This event is primarily for the current first year Dip. Hort, science MSc and science intern students. If any Guild members outside this group wish to attend, please let Dave Simpson know by 7 February; places will be limited for non-students!

4 April. Stourhead.
21 May. Annual Dinner, Cambridge Cottage, Kew.
1 – 6 June. West of Ireland. Please contact Brian Phillips (brian@brianandsylvia.com) for availability.
Early July. Knepp Wildland: rewilding project in West Sussex.
Mid or late August. Gardens of Kent focusing on the World Garden at Lullingstone and the Great Comp garden.
5 September. AGM, venue to be confirmed, followed by dinner/social.
22 – 23 May 2021. North Wales, based in the Conwy Valley and including Bodnant Gardan and the Ffestiniog/Welsh Highland Railways.

Finally…

A reminder that it is important we have your current correspondence address (including email). Please send any changes to secretary@kewguild.org.uk.

Also, we have a Privacy Policy in place to comply with current legislation which is now on the web site at www.kewguild.org.uk. There is a link on the website home page.

I want to thank our Trustees, Secretary, Treasurer and advisors for their hard work in keeping the Guild ‘on the road’ over the past year. I also warmly thank you, our members, for your continued and much-valued support. Floreat Kew!

All the best, Dave

AGM 2019 Summary

The Kew Guild Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 7th September 2019 in The Lady Lisa Sainsbury Lecture Theatre, RBG Kew, at 2pm

Peter Styles opened the meeting and thanked everyone for coming. The Kew Guild met five times during 2018-19 and all meetings were quorate.

  • The annual accounts have been prepared, approved and signed.
  • Membership as at 27th August 2019 was 339.
  • The Membership Secretary post is vacant and needs to be filled asap.
  • There were four events during the year plus a hugely successful Annual Dinner.
  • The Journal was published on time and on budget.
  • The Awards Scheme gave £6,195 during the year.
  • Tim O’Hare was nominated and elected as a Fellow of the Kew Guild.
  • Annual subscriptions will remain at £27 for ordinary members and £15 for students for the 2019-20 year.
  • Tim Upson retired as a Trustee.
  • Harvey Stephens has been approved as a Trustee subject to Fit and Proper Persons checks.
  • The archives are being well managed now.

David Simpson took over from Peter Styles as President for the year 2019-20. David has been a member of the Herbarium Staff for over 30 years. He thanked members for their nomination of him and said that he was looking forward to working with the Trustees and indeed all members over the coming year.

Date of next meeting: Saturday 5th September 2020, venue to be confirmed.

For Peter Styles’s report on the visits to the Agius Garden and the Great Pagoda, click here

AGM 2018 Summary

Peter Styles and Jean Griffin

The Kew Guild Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 8th September 2018 in The Mansion, Wakehurst Place, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6TN, at 2.45pm

The President, Jean Griffin, welcomed everyone to the first Annual General Meeting of the Kew Guild CIO.

Further to the previous AGM, members voted 30/0 to confirm their agreement of the transfer of operations from the ‘old Guild’ to this new CIO.

The Kew Guild CIO met three times during 2018, the first meeting of the new CIO being in January. Meetings were well attended, and the meetings were quorate in accordance with the new CIO (three or one quarter of trustees).

Members who passed away during the 2017-18 Guild year are: Margaret Benham, Viscount Michael Blakenham (ex RBG Kew trustee), John Brookes (Honorary Fellow), Geoff Collins, John Halhead, Norman Hickman, Michael Lycett and Ron Rule. Members present stood for a minute silence in honour of those passed.

  • The annual accounts have been prepared, approved and signed.
  • Membership: 309.
  • The Membership Secretary post continues to be vacant and needs to be filled asap.
  • There were two events during the year – Bodenham and the Isles of Scilly, plus another hugely successful Annual Dinner.
  • The Journal was published on time and on budget.
  • Awards Scheme: A total of £10,908 from the five named Funds and General Funds was available. In total £9,302.80 was awarded, leaving £1 605.20
  • Mike Fitt OBE was nominated and elected as a Fellow of the Kew Guild.
  • Consideration to be given in the future to offering Trustee and Officer roles to Fellows.
  • Marcella Corcoran to receive the George Brown Memorial Award.
  • A review of the Award Scheme is to take place and comments were invited from members. Martin Staniforth and Sylvia Phillips made some suggestions which will be taken into consideration.
  • The President thanked everyone involved in the changeover to the CIO.
  • Annual subscriptions will remain at £27 for ordinary members and £15 for students for the 2020-21 year.
  • David Hardman, Pamela Holt, Sylvia Phillips and Susan Urpeth retired as Trustees.
  • Peter Styles and David Simpson were elected as Trustees subject to Fit and Proper Persons checks.
  • There are NINE trustees for the Kew Guild CIO year 2018-19:
    Margaret Jean Griffin, Stewart James Henchie, Harold Graham Heywood, Chris David Andrew Kidd, Frederick Anthony Overland, David Alan Simpson, Alan James Stuttard, Peter Styles and Timothy Upson.
  • Officers for the Kew Guild CIO year 2018-19:
    Honorary Secretary VACANT
    Honorary Treasurer VACANT
    Membership Secretary – Nomination of Jean Griffin
    Honorary Journal Editor VACANT
    Events Officer VACANT
  • There were no nominations, other than Jean Griffin as Membership Secretary and therefore members were asked to approve the following remaining in place:
    Consultant Secretary: Sara Arnold
    Voluntary Treasurer: Linda Baharier
    Journal Editor: Sparkle Ward
    Voluntary Events Co-Ordinator: Brian Phillips
  • Members present voted to accept new Membership Secretary, Jean Griffin; To accept Sara Arnold, Linda Baharier, Sparkle Ward and Brian Phillips remaining in their roles.
  • Peter Styles took over from Jean Griffin as President for the year 2018-19. Peter said he was honoured to become President and hoped that the year would bring more interaction with students and Kew in general and to carry on the hard work on the constitution and rules. He added that he had attended the Students Award Ceremony at Kew yesterday and the Director in his address had particularly mentioned that the Kewites he encountered on his many trips abroad gave great store to the continued lifelong friendships that they forged at Kew. This is why the work of the Guild is so important.
  • Date of next meeting: Saturday 7th September 2019, in The Lady Lisa Sainsbury Lecture Theatre, RBG Kew, at 2pm.