Events

Grace and Flavour and Plant Passion

8th August 2024, 11:30 - 16:00

In the spring of 2008, the congregation of St Mary’s church in West Horsley devised a project to benefit the whole community and they set up this garden project.  It was a three-acre derelict walled garden but it is now a thriving garden growing vegetables and flowers.  In the afternoon, we will  enjoy a talk by Claire at Plant Passion.  She has been in horticulture for over 25 years including as the plant centre manager at RHS Wisley.  She will tell us about the history of the farm followed by a tour and demonstration.

One Sunday morning in  2008, the congregation of St Mary’s Church, West Horsley, was set a challenge, namely to devise a project that would benefit the whole community. For Su Johnston, the inspiration came while listening to a radio programme about a group of people growing their own vegetables. Soon, amid a flurry of fact-finding, the perfect location presented itself and, in a story that could be straight out of a film, the Grace & Flavour Community Garden was born.

“It was a three-acre, derelict walled garden in the grounds of a nursing home belonging to the National Trust,” says Su. “You couldn’t actually see the walls because it had 30 years’ worth of fly-tipping, brambles and nettles at head height, but we just knew it was the right place for us. And so the seeds of Grace & Flavour were sown.”

Now we have the opportunity to visit this amazing project. You will be astounded at what this group of committed volunteers has achieved.

Plant Passion is our second venue. Claire had been in horticulture for 21 years in late 2012 when she decided that she’d rather like to set up a flower farm. With 12 years of garden centre management including 5 years as the Plant centre manager at RHS Wisley and 9 years of running her own gardening and design business she thought growing and selling flowers would be an easy continuation.

She was wrong, of course. The last 12 years haven’t been easy. Although the learning curve has been extremely steep, the seeds do grow into flowers, they get picked and conditioned in the barn and customers, both florists and locals, come back time and again. “We keep spreading the word so that more people know that there is an alternative to flown-in flowers”, she says. The scent of a barn full of sweet peas, mint and roses in the summer is enough to keep her going when her back is sore.

Our morning will start at Grace & Flavour, where we will be greeted by the volunteers with a cup of coffee or tea and biscuits.  We will then listen to a short talk about the garden, how it was set up and how it is run today before we have a guided tour of the garden itself.

We will finish at this site with a picnic, included in the cost of the event, either in the potting shed or on the patio – weather dependent.

In the afternoon we will make our way to Plant Passion for 2 pm which involves a short drive. Claire will first give us a talk about the set up and how it was created before we have a look at the growing area.  She will then give us a demonstration with some of her own flowers.

This event is largely outdoors so please dres s for the weather.  The terrain at both sites can be a little uneven so suitable footwear must be worn.  No open-toed sandals please.

The cost of this event will be £25 for members and £30 for non-members including coffee, tea and biscuits on arrival and a picnic lunch at Grace & Flavour.

Please make sure you give details of any special dietary requirements.

This is an event that is not suitable for children or dogs.

The deadline for booking is 4 August 2024.

Any enquiries please contact us at info@surreyhillssociety.org


By continuing and making a booking you confirm that you have read, understood, and agree to the Terms & Conditions specified in our Cancellation Policy and Responsibility Statement, both of which can be viewed by clicking here


Bookings

Ticket Type Price Spaces
Member Ticket £25.00
Non Member Ticket £30.00

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