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Wickham Skeith Gardening Club


Gardening Club Update


Our cancelled meeting in March was to have been a talk by Anne Tweedle, from the Suffolk Group of National Plant Heritage, on their collection of narcissus. The collection is classified as an historic collection and its scope covers all Narcissus bred and introduced by Rev. George Herbert Engleheart. It is held in 8 locations across Suffolk and in September 2017 the group was granted National Collection status. They have collected 34 cultivars. Conservation is a big part of the aims of this collection and they will be propagating them and hope to have them for sale from time to time. Initially they will be for sale at Suffolk Plant Heritage group events and Plant Fairs. Obviously events are cancelled at the moment but their web site will keep you up to date if you are interested.


Rev Engleheart devoted much of his life to Narcissus, breeding over 700 named forms by the time of his death in 1936.  In 1898 he exhibited his new hybrid ‘Will Scarlett’ and sold three bulbs for £100. Today that would be the equivalent of £9500!

Although quite rare, if you fancy some, the bulbs can still be obtained at the knockdown price of £5 each!


A large percentage of the collection is Narcissus poeticus (the poets’ daffodil) these are usually the very last daffodils to flower although this year ours have come out earlier than expected. You, like me, will probably know them better as Pheasant’s eyes. Pure white petals with that startling red-ringed centre and a gorgeous scent.

They are thought to be one of the first daffodils to be cultivated and are frequently identified as the narcissus of ancient times.

We are hoping that this talk is just postponed and that Anne will be available for next year’s programme.

Rosie Bassett


Narcissus 2Narcissus 1 





Back soon (hopefully) after Coronavirus has been consigned to the history books!



 About our gardening club

Our gardening club was set up in the summer of 2012 by a group of villagers who were interested in learning more about horticulture. We aim to promote an interest in gardening through our opening meetings offering talks and demonstrations, as well as visits to gardens and nurseries.

Our annual programmes are varied and we try to include visits to gardens, national collections and specialist nurseries as well as talks on all aspects of plants and gardening.

One of our first visits was to Fernatix at Stoke Ash, they are holders of 50 RHS gold medals including quite a few from Chelsea, so many in fact that they are displayed on the walls of the toilet! We usually have a couple of local evening visits per year where we have had a private tour of Foggy Bottom at Blooms, a tour of the facilities at Howard's Nurseries showing how they produce their plants, a look around the national lilac and campanula collections as well as NGS gardens.

We also have one or two full day trips each year which go a little further  afield. Our first trip was to gardeners world live at the NEC, whilst this went down well we have found that our members prefer something not so far afield so we have recently visited Angelsea Abbey to see the winter gardens, Fairhaven Woodland Garden, RHS Hyde Hall and Somerleyton Hall where our coach conked out just as it turned into the drive and blocked all the traffic behind it!

Speakers have included specialists on trees, perennials, roses, garden design, colour, pruning, pests and useful creature – the list goes on – suffice to say that if you have any interest in gardening there will be something you like. In 2016 we organised a talk by Bob Flowerdew from BBC’s gardeners question time. The hall was packed to capacity and Bob talked and answered questions for over 2 hours.

Keep an eye on the monthly newsletter to check what's on.

The club also runs the plant stall for the village fete and organise the annual produce show at the end of August.

We meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month either in the village hall, during autumn and winter, or at local venues for our visits.

Everyone is welcome, either as a member for just £10 per annum, or as a guest. Our membership has grown over the years to include people from surrounding villages and a few from further afield and currently stands at 37.

If you would like to know more please contact Rosie Bassett at rosemary.bassett@btopenworld.com