Winter Gardening Weekend 16th 17th and 18th Feb 2018
Held at the Tysul Hall, Llandysul (nice and warm) SA44 4QJ
Well that time of year is here again – The annual Winter Gardening Weekend has come round.
Years ago, back in the 1990s, we decided that we needed to do something in February. I can remember it well…. cold, wet and miserable with few jobs to do and no customers. We had some lovely Hellebores and a few other choice bits and pieces that we needed to sell, but apart from the market stall in Carmarthen we had no customer base (only the really keen garden in February!). So we decided there and then to do a two day event in the local Village Hall. It was all done in two weeks, we rang all the gardening clubs, sent out as many letters as we could, printed leaflets, begged and borrowed equipment from schools, organizations and anybody we could find – and so the Winter Gardening Weekend had begun!
It was to be an event to kick start the gardening year and as such we invited other stands – nurseries, NCCPG, Yellow Book, HPS, Botanic Gardens and Aberglasney. The whole idea was to have a vibrant forward looking free show. It was a core principle that is still going despite repeated calls to charge an entry fee (although we do rely on people’s generous donations J).
As an added benefit we would lay on a series of talks (also free) throughout the two days to make the whole show a good experience. The speakers were amazing all giving their time for free to help us along.
The only small hiccup was that we rang to confirm when we could arrive at the hall and were told that there had been a slight error and the management had double booked – we couldn’t get in until 10.00 at night!!!! (we were due to open at 10.00 the next morning). As you can imagine this threw us into a total panic, how were we going to get six lorries full of plants delivered and set up in time? “Let’s work through the night” piped up one keen member of staff!!! – and this is what we did – the show must go on. The rest as they say is history. After an exhausting night with food laid on by Gayle in her slow cooker, we were ready. We did manage a couple of hours sleep and the doors opened on time. Now 20 odd years later it’s still going!
One of the main features of the show is the stage. Originally, we didn’t use this at all. On the second and third years Llandyfriog flower club decorated it with some amazing floral structures. Sadly, the club has now closed and we started to do it ourselves.
This has now grown to be a major part of the show, people coming from far and wide to see ‘what the theme is this year’. It has become a challenge to get a better theme than the year before. This year’s theme is a closely guarded secret, not even known to all the staff!!!
Our range of plants at the Hall is larger than ever before. Each year we change the layout to get a few more in and this year is no exception. As well as our usual selection of Hellebores in larger pots we have a good range of smaller Hellebore plants in a multitude of colours.
Also for the ‘budget’ gardener we have a huge range of smaller well grown cottage garden plants, alpines, herbs and shrubs in 9cm pots priced at £1.70, £1.99 and £2.99. These are a real bargain and are even cheaper if you buy in multiples.
Larger pots of cottage garden plants and shrubs are there in abundance. We also have fruit bushes, potatoes, onions and shallots.
The talks this year are looking good with many renowned speakers talking on a wide range of subjects, Hellebores, grasses, herbs, vegetable growing, both traditional and organic, as well as stunning talks from Joseph Atkin and Will Ritchie from Aberglasney and The National Botanic Gardens respectively. These are all free, more details here on our website https://farmyardnurseries.co.uk/winter-gardening-weekend-2018/ there are also short glimpses of past years to give you a bit of a feel for things. Details are also at www.llandysul-ponttyweli.co.uk/index.php/en/llandysul-gardening-weekend-2018 and do ‘Like ‘ our facebook page. It’s great for keeping up with what’s happening! https://www.facebook.com/Farmyard-Nurseries-380998835244905/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
There is always a good supply of snacks, tea, coffee and cakes from a local supplier, as well as our plants there is a selection of other interesting stalls – Bespoke hand-made pottery from JonathCox, Stunning painted and stained glass from Cariad Glass, Willow structure from West Wales Willows, Black Cat Woodcraft with wildlife structures, Mary Rose with her enchanting cards and poems, wooden items from Jason Wilkins and Lindsey Jones selling beautiful wild flowers, This year is looking very promising and certainly worthy of a visit.
As this is now a community run event it is partially funded by Llandysul Community Council and we would like to give them a huge thanks! It is much appreciated and the show wouldn’t go ahead without them. Also a massive thanks to Anne Jones and Suzanna Van Eeghen the people who drive us and make this all possible.
Finally thanks to all our amazing staff who give their all to the cause, thanks folks!
Hope to see you all there!!! Thanks for reading, Richard