I doubt it will be a surprise to read that in the current Covid19 circumstances, it will NOT BE POSSIBLE TO RESTART IN SEPTEMBER 2020. The speakers for September to November 2020 have been advised that we are having to postpone their planned talks. We have also CANCELLED all plans for a Christmas party. I am sure this is a big disappointment for everybody, but it is necessary to put safety first.

At the March 2020 AGM (which now seems years ago) I realised that it was coming round to newsletter time and wondered, after 7 years as Chair if I could think of anything different to say. As they say, beware of what you wish for!

At the March meeting we had an inkling that we may not be able to meet in April; this turned out to be the case, we had to cancel the planned visit by Anna Pavord. Fortunately a lot of members had supplied their email details, so we were able to contact people to advise that meetings and the trips which had been planned were cancelled until further notice. A brief update was then issued via email (or by post for those members who do not have email) and put on the website in June 2020.

I know that Linda and Neil Jameson who had arranged the trips had spoken to people and advised about refunds; now that we know we cannot resume in September, Linda and Neil will be arranging refunds in the next few weeks. As soon as we can say FOR CERTAIN that we can safely resume meetings, we shall be in touch. Once we are into the middle of winter, we may have a clearer idea of how the Covid situation is developing.

At this point, we are not sending out renewal forms, these will be sent out as soon as we can confirm a reopening date. When we can resume ‘normal service’ we hope to be able to offer the opportunity to pay subscriptions by bank transfer, avoiding the need for cash or cheques and postage costs. But more on that later in the year.

A copy of the list of speakers, showing the full programme which was already arranged by Sally Stanley, is attached showing you what to look forward to in 2021. As always a varied mix to suit everyone, many thanks to Sally, it is certainly not the easiest job.

If during lockdown you have ventured into the realms of email, please send your name and email address to Wharfedalegardeners@gmail.com. If however, you have received these details through the post please ensure that we have a telephone number for you, at the very least.

Life is now taking on a ‘new normal’ perspective and personally I say thank goodness for the garden, which was a safe environment in which to spend pleasurable time. I found that the list of jobs that I planned to do could wait, there was no rush, there was always tomorrow! After two months I gave up on the list and simply enjoyed pottering in the garden.

Everyone on the committee hopes you have kept well throughout this strange time, and continue to do so. As soon as it is safe for us to resume our meetings we shall look forward to welcoming everyone back. So watch out another email before the end of the year when hopefully we can issue an update which includes some positive news.

Enjoy the rest of the summer in the garden.

Very best wishes

Gillian Spencer


Wharfedale Gardeners’ Group

About Wharfedale Gardeners' Group

The group meet at Otley Methodist Church at 7.30pm on the 2nd Tuesday of every month between September and May.

There is a program with expert guest speakers to inspire and inform, an annual plant auction and a Christmas party (see events section).

We have over two hundred members, with over one hundred attending each meeting. Membership is £14 for the year, guest membership is £3 for one evening.

Affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society, the group was formed in January 1947 for the purpose of promoting and extending interest in gardening

Read about the history of the group

Check out our Facebook Group

Garden Visits

Over the summer the group runs coach trips to gardens:

All trips cancelled due to Coronavirus

 Otley Methodist Church, Walkergate, Otley, LS21 1HB


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