Gardening (formerly Vegetable Gardening)

The Gardening Group meets 2.30 – 4.30 pm, the 3rd Friday of the month from April to September.  We meet at members’ homes to see what they are growing, get gardening advice, and enjoy conversation over tea/coffee & cake. Contact Ann McGillivray 01773 767686.

Update June 2022:

The Vegetable Gardening Group has been in existence for almost nine years. At the time the name distinguished it from another group that arranged visits to open gardens.  It has become obvious to us that group members enjoy various gardening activities, not just growing vegetables, and some  u3a members have been put off joining because of the emphasis on ‘vegetables’. From now on the name of the group will be ‘Gardening Group’.  As such, we look forward to welcoming new members with an interest in any form of gardening.

Recent visit:

Several of the Gardening Group, as well as a few other u3a members, enjoyed a private visit to 334, Belper Road, Stanley Common, a local National Garden Scheme garden, prior to the official open day on 22 June..  Our hosts, Gill and Colin, showed us around their amazing garden, including a lake surrounded by native orchids in wild-flower meadows. Our tour ended with refreshments – tea, and beautiful home-made cakes, and a chance to hear how the garden has developed over 40+ years. It was agreed that it was a good way to spend an afternoon on the hottest day of the year so far.

Visit our gallery

Next meeting :  Spring 2022

Vegetable Gardening Group virtual meeting.

Have you come across Zoom?  I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago, and now it seems everyone is using it for virtual meetings during lock-down. A member of the Vegetable Gardening Group had found Zoom perfect  for staying in touch with family, and thought it would be a way of keeping in contact with group members.  She kindly ( and patiently) talked me through the process, and our first virtual meeting took place at the beginning of May, with eight members participating.  I had emailed members prior to the meeting with discussion points – mainly  a list of who had surplus plants and who wanted them – so business was completed within the 40 minutes of free  time allowed.  The only things missing were the tea, conversation and cake, which just goes to show that its that which takes up most of the usual meetings… but we knew that anyway!

Gardening Group Meetings 2019

July 2019

From container gardening, small back garden plots to full size allotments, members of the Vegetable Gardening Group are reaping the rewards of their labours this month as advice, seeds and plants exchanged over the year are growing to perfection.

The rain over the last few days has brought failing crops into glory and at this month’s meeting members exchanged advice and produce.  Kevin showed members around his garden admiring beans, tomatoes, squash and various fruit and nut trees including one with several juicy apricots, Ann shared some delicious savoury courgette slices while discussing topics for future meetings and visits during next year.  Colin demonstrated and explained the important job of pollinating the Red Uchiki Kuri Squash plants he grew from seed and shared with members in June.

The group meet once a month from April to September.

There will be a home grown produce stall at the September meeting with members of the group offering fruit and vegetables to other U3A members.

Sue Rowlett

April 2018 – 

Our first meeting was well attended with 10 members. Over tea, coffee and of course cakes, we discussed our plans for the coming year. Paul put us all to shame with his well-stocked greenhouses. We agreed the long cold winter has put us all behind, but things always manage to catch up.   Barbara Moore

Paul’s garden – Spring 2018
Paul’s greenhouse full of seedlings – Spring 2018.














The group began with 8 members who met at the home of Barbara Moore for their first get together. The second meeting was at the Charles Avenue Allotments where composting was the subject covered. The next two meetings were at members’ gardens where planting and design ideas were shared.  There are currently 10 members.