Joint Gardening Group

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Rob Carmichael the leader of the Gardening Group at Olton & District u3a has invited Balsall Common u3a Members to join their group.



This short information sheet includes details about the garden group including proposed visits and events. We have several new members and therefore it includes information that many members will already know but new members may not.

Who is the group facilitator?   Rob Carmichael is the facilitator – his e mail address is

What does the group do? The group was one of the first established in Olton and District u3a. Members wished the group to cover both practical garden advice and also visits to gardens. More recently there has been an emphasis on the visits aspect reflecting members’ desires to visit nice places with friends and relax. However we will hopefully also re-establish the practical aspects during the coming months. We have recently linked up with Balsall Common u3a and although this is a new venture we think it will be very successful in widening our group of friends and ideas for the furure.

When does the group meet?   The original agreed meeting schedule was monthly on the second Monday of each month. However there has been an increasing tendency for public gardens to be closed on Mondays. Following consultation with members we will be moving the monthly meeting date to second Friday of each month. Unfortunately this will not suit some existing members and I apologise for this. In addition members have said that as some special garden events take place at weekends they would be happy to move the meeting date occasionally to be able to attend these events.

I don’t have a car!       If you are interested in coming to a visit but do not have a car please still register. It cannot be guaranteed but often we have members who will be happy to provide a lift. You cannot pay the car driver for providing a lift as this may invalidate insurance, but an occasional cup of coffee or a slice of cake is always a welcome thank you!

What’s coming up?    If you are interested in any of these please contact Rob.

May 2022

·      On Tuesday 10th May we will do a seed swap at the core meeting. Have you got too many Cosmos seedlings come through but none of your runner beans have appeared at all? Bring along any surplus seedlings you have to the core meeting and take away some seedlings provided by another member. This must be done outside – it would be impossible to keep floors clean inside the hall. I will put up a sign by the entrance for the “swap point”.

·      On Wednesday 11th May starting at 10.00 we will be doing a little light garden maintenance at Olton Library and the nearby clock. We do this in partnership with Solihull Council who bring along tools and also take away the garden waste.

June 2022

·      On Monday 13th June we will be going by coach to the newly opened RHS Bridgewater garden near Manchester. Due to other commitments a couple of members have withdrawn and there are two vacant seats available. The cost is £30 which includes coach travel and entry.

 July 2022

·      On Friday 8th July we will have a self-drive visit to Middleton Hall and gardens. We will meet at about 11.00 for tea or coffee followed by a guided tour of the gardens. The cost is £12.50 per person which includes your “cuppa” and the tour.  After the tour everyone will be free to look around the hall, museum and on site craft shops.

August 2022

·      Members said that they wished to visit the Shrewsbury Flower show. We hope to be visiting the show by coach on Saturday 13th August and a coach has been provisionally booked. Currently tickets are not on sale and cannot be booked. Rob has tried to contact them and is on their mailing list but this visit will only be possible if the organizers enable on line booking fairly quickly.

·      On 9th August as part of our u3a picnic celebration event garden group members will be showing their skills by bringing along something they have grown to include on our table and also by wearing something appropriate. (a flower in your lapel, a flower design blouse or skirt (or flower design trousers??) or even an Ascot style flamboyant hat.