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PGG AGM 2017 – Yorkshire

September 22, 2017September 24, 2017

RHS Garden Hyde HallForest and Vale HotelRHS Garden Hyde Hall
Left: Sledmere garden, Centre: Forest and Vale Hotel, Right: Helmsley Walled Garden
Book Online
Or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Tony Arnold, 119 Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2NP. For more information contact Tony Arnold – Tel: 01223 571952 Email: chairman@pgg.org.uk.

The 2017 Professional Gardeners’ Guild AGM

The 2017 AGM long weekend starts on Friday 22nd September with a visit to Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard and then Rogers Nursery near Pickering. On Saturday morning we meet at Forest and Vale Hotel for the AGM followed by a trip to Helmsley Walled Garden in the afternoon. Back to the Forest and Vale Hotel in the evening for our Gala Dinner. Sunday we meet at Sledmere for a tour in the morning before saying our final farewells.

Friday – Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard

A stunning landscape of parkland, lakes and ponds is the backdrop for a collection of more than 6,000 trees from around the world.

The arboretum as we know it today was created through the enthusiasm and partnership of George Howard (Lord Howard of Henderskelfe) and James Russell, over a period of eighteen years, from 1975 to 1992. George Howard had begun an arboretum here in 1959, but rabbits killed most of the trees, and it was not until after James Russell had moved to Castle Howard in 1968 and created the woodland garden in Ray Wood that they turned their attention to refounding the arboretum.

A large number of interesting specimens came from Hillier Nurseries in 1979 and form the backbone of the collection, but since then the majority of trees planted have been of wild-origin, grown from seed collected by expeditions to many parts of the world, but especially China. Seed or young plants have come especially from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, but we receive plants from many other arboreta in the United Kingdom too. This high proportion of wild-source material, with its genetic diversity and importance for conservation, makes the Yorkshire Arboretum a significant location, and it is regarded by Defra as a back-up collection for Kew.

Saturday morning and evening – AGM and evening Gala Dinner at Forest and Vale Hotel

A relaxing retreat from today’s hectic schedule with an enthusiastic team who will do all they can to ensure an enjoyable stay.

”The staff make every effort to welcome us and make us feel very important. The meal will be impressive with timely service and excellent presentation. William Nidfeldt
This 200 year old listed Georgian Manor House offers excellent hospitality and friendly attentive service.
Secluded gardens
Located on edge of North York Moors
17th century Georgian manor house
Both traditional and contemporary rooms available
Four-posters available
Free wi-fi
Large car park

Saturday afternoon – Helmsley Walled Garden

Helmsley Walled Garden, a tranquil and inviting space nestling at the foot of the North York Moors. Built in 1758 the garden was originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers to the Feversham family at Duncombe Park. After World War One, the garden was leased out and became a commercial enterprise until 1982. It then fell into disuse and became overgrown.

Helmsley Walled GardenHelmsley Walled GardenHelmsley Walled Garden

Helmsley Walled Garden

In 1994, a local lady Alison Ticehurst, decided to restore the garden to a beautiful place for all to enjoy, and specifically as a place for horticultural therapy for those in need. Now it is a stunning visitor attraction, still changing and evolving and still providing a programme of social and therapeutic horticulture. The ethos of the Garden is to create a place where people can tap into the healing power of horticulture, or simply find a quiet place to sit and enjoy a stunning display of flowers throughout the seasons. The gardens are developed and maintained by a small core of staff with the help of a dedicated band of volunteers.

The Orchard
As you look out from the cafe seating area, the orchard of mostly apple trees together with a small range of pear and stone fruit trees is to your right. Here you will find specimens of Arthur Turner, Grenadier and Victoria plum. All these trees have links to the First World War: Arthur Turner was named by its breeder, Charles Turner, in memory of his nephew, who died in Flanders in 1915. The cooking apple Grenadier is named in honour of Maurice Knatchbull who died serving with the Grenadiers in September 1916. Victoria plum commemorates the holders of the Victoria Cross of which 628 were awarded in World War One. Victoria is a good eating plum and also makes good jam.

The orchard is under-planted with wild flowers, blossoming in spring which, together with the apple blossom creates a magical mass of colour early in the season. The wild flower meadow sweeps out from the orchard into the open ground in front of the White Garden where cowslips, alliums, yellow rattle to name but a few are planted amongst the grasses. The wild flower borders run the length of this area with a mix of corn field perennials such as corn cockle, corn marigold and corn flowers. Many fruit trees can be seen in other parts of the garden. The whole of the North wall at the bottom of the Garden was replanted in 2012 with a mixture of plums, damsons, cherries and red and white currants, all to be fan-trained as they grow. There is the display of step-cordoned and cordoned Yorkshire apple varieties around the Allotments. These are all old varieties that have either been developed in Yorkshire or found to have done well in Yorkshire over the years.

Sunday – The garden at Sledmere

The garden has become a place to explore and discover different planting areas that have an emphasis on form and colour and overall impact on the eye.  The expansive range of plants used and different naturalistic gardening techniques employed help attract many different birds, butterflies and bees so wildlife enthusiasts as well as plant lovers should feel at home. 

From the latest design, “The Lark Ascending” which contains 12,000 spring bulbs, through to our formal potager which was the first redevelopment, a strong structural element runs through the garden.  Each area created has a different feel from the last and each element begs to be explored drawing you through the garden losing sense of time in the process.  As the garden changes with the seasons you are offered an extensive collection of daffodils and other spring bulbs, vibrant tulips, wonderful scented roses and a stunning late summer display of tender perennials and annuals in the acclaimed double ‘exotic’ borders. 

In the Walled Garden vegetable growers haven’t been neglected as there is a potager that contains over 5,000 vegetables and flowers that are grown using the principles of companion planting (an organic technique of maintaining the health of the plants and soil).

Enjoy a stroll through the tranquil grounds surrounded by trees that have seen many life times pass them by, all under the watchful eye of Sledmere House.


Friday 22nd September

Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard
10.00am – Refreshments
10.30am – Tour of Arboretum with John Grimshore
12.30 – Lunch
1.30pm – Depart for Rogers Nursery near Pickering
2.00pm – Tour of Nursery and demonstrations with Mggh Rogers
4.00pm – Refreshments and depart when ready

We may be able to book an evening meal payable on the night once we have numbers so will send info to those who book.

Saturday 23rd September

AGM and Helmsley Walled Garden
9.30am – Meet at Forest and Vale Hotel, Refreshments
10.00am – 2017 Annual General Meeting
12.30 – Lunch at Hotel
1.30pm – Depart for Helmsley Walled Garden
2.00pm – Tour or introduction with Garden Manager Michael Ianison
4.00pm – Refreshments and depart to prepare for Gala Dinner

FULLY BOOKED Gala Dinner and evening at the Forest & Vale Hotel Pickering, Yorkshire
6.45pm – Drinks reception
7.15pm – Gala Dinner followed by Toast, speeches and quest speaker to give the Ron Nettle Memorial Lecture
Sometime late depart for bed

Sunday 24th September

10.00am – Meet at Sledmere for refreshments
10.30am – Tour of Garden with Head Gardener Andrew
1.00pm – Lunch if required payable to the restaurant
Head for home after a great PGG weekend

Details of gardens and booking slip will be available in the April Journal

Directions to Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard

By car or coach:
The Yorkshire Arboretum is located 15 miles north east of York and is easily accessible from the A64 which connects Leeds, York and the Yorkshire coast. Just follow the brown tourist signs to Castle Howard. The arboretum is located off the obelisk roundabout, opposite the main entrance to Castle Howard.

By public transport:
Bus services to the Yorkshire Arboretum are operated by Stephensons of Easingwold. Please check their website for timetable information. It is a short walk from the Castle Howard bus stop to the Yorkshire Arboretum.


You can book all events for the whole weekend for a one off cost of £70.00


…book events individually:

Friday 22nd September
Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard – £12.00 plus lunch if required

Saturday 23rd September
AGM and visit to Helmsley Walled Garden – £12.00

Cost for Gala Dinner – £35.00 per person FULLY BOOKED

Sunday 24th September
Sledmere visit – £12.00 plus lunch if required



Book Online
Or send payment by cheque made payable to ‘The Professional Gardeners’ Guild’ to Tony Arnold, 119 Campkin Road, Cambridge CB4 2NP. For more information contact Tony Arnold – Tel: 01223 571952 Email: chairman@pgg.org.uk.


September 22, 2017
September 24, 2017
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Tony Arnold
(h):01223 571952


The Yorkshire Arboretum
Castle Howard
York, Yorkshire YO60 7BY United Kingdom
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01653 648598