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Gardeners find time to chat, visit and share tips

The approach of autumn means the Interesting Gardening Club, based in Ribérac, Dordogne will be starting up again and it welcomes all local gardeners whether they have acres, woodlands and lakes, or a simple cottage garden.

Running since 2004, it is a friendly group with plenty going on and aims to support and encourage gardeners, and to promote an exchange of current and traditional gardening ideas.

President Cilla Pickett has been a member for five years and said: “It is a good club with around 70 members.

“We meet on the second Thursday of every month and have a speaker on gardening subjects with a varied range of topics. Recently we had a good talk on ‘no-dig gardening’ which really interested our members.

“Related subjects like organic and permaculture methods are all popular.

“We also have people who have unusual garden experiences from living elsewhere, for example in India.

“This is always followed by lunch and everyone brings along dishes and it is always delicious as I find gardeners tend to be good cooks.”

The club also organises visits to gardens, arboretum and nurseries, picnics in members’ gardens, plant and seed exchanges and one-off events like a garden question time and, in Sept­ember their first mini-horticultural show with a harvest lunch.

Two special interest groups run from April to September. One is for roses, which grow well in the area, and the other for vegetables, so people can exchange tips and ask for advice.

Mrs Pickett said that for newcomers it can be a great help, as they often say they cannot grow anything on a limey soil, with long, dry summers.

Membership of the club is €20 a year - see interestinggardeningclub.com

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