AGS Events: Autumn Conference 2013
Started by: Celia WrightGo to latest contribution by Tim Ingram, 12 November 2013, 13:20. Go to bottom of this page.
What an splendid weekend we've just had at the Autumn Conference in Stratford! The the venue was well chosen, the programme filled with fascinating talks and demonstrations, there were plants and books to buy, and the organisation was excellent. Now I just have to plan multiple visits around Europe to see to see those fantastic plants in the wild and grow as many of them as I can at home. Special mentions for the Plant Auction after dinner on Saturday - great fun - and the propagation and grafting demonstrations that gave real help to us growers. Thank you to everyone who organised and took part. Youir hard work is much appreciated. Let's do it again!
I second everything Celia has said - it was a fun and informative weekend though my head is buzzing with all the plant names and places I want to go and my bookshelf groaned when it saw the pile of books I had bought over the weekend.
I haven't got Celia's skills in retail therapy (nor Helen's I suspect!) but I would very much have enjoyed hearing the talks from Oron Peri and Vojtěch Holubec !
One of the best short conferences I have attended, inspirational. I particualrly liked Philip Cribb's talk on Orchids and Katie Price's talk on Georgia. And the book sales.....the collection of old second hand books (don't know where they came from) contained some real gems for £1 each. Imagine books from 1904 amd 1910 with colour photographs. Wonderful.
Absolutely agree with all the foregoing. The only thing missing from my perspective was a talk on gardening with alpines. This was even more emphasised by Symons-Juene classic book 'Natural Rock Gardening' which I also picked up for £1.00. Beautifully and intelligently written, though sometimes (like some of the talks) quite hard to keep up with! How can a conference like this be made a draw for gardeners outside the AGS? The mini-talks were especially appealing, and I am sure would be so to many younger and thoughtful gardeners who haven't yet discovered the Society.
"The mini-talks were especially appealing, and I am sure would be so to many younger and thoughtful gardeners who haven't yet discovered the Society."
I wonder if arranging "get-togethers" with other gardening clubs in a local area where an such mini-talks could take place, perhaps with a little display of plants would be successful in that regard? Often there can to be quite a number of local gardening clubs within perhaps one county, which could really be a rich mine of new members.
In terms of attracting non-AGS members I think it would be interesting, if such an event is repeated, to film some of the talks, especially the mini-talks and then have them on the web-site as a pod-cast. This would allow those that couldnt attend to feel more included, albeit after the event, and would also be of interest to people looking at the website with a view to possibly becoming a member.
It is interesting from the viewpoint of local garden clubs in our area that they are becoming more proactive in holding meetings with more significant speakers and advertising these more strongly. Furthermore the members organising them are or have often become members of our AGS Groups, implying that the latter do have a role in bringing gardeners together, irrespective of whether all alpine gardeners or not. This ties in to Maggi's comment and suggests to me that there is an underlying desire to renew some of the smaller scale and more personal sense of our gardens, and their importance. An obvious expansion of this idea is to combine the attractions of plant sales, talks, and the Shows in a way that the AGS has not done so far except for its own membership. The mooted Kendal Show sounds to be a possibility where this could be explored and maybe draw in the volunteers that various people have asked for.