To all members of EBTS UK and country representatives
After the warmest year in history and with the excitement of a forthcoming general election in the UK, EBTS enters 2015 with continuing confidence and enthusiasm. A full programme of visits and events has been arranged for you and we look forward to seeing many of you in attendance to support these activities.
Communication with members
Together with e-mails, our EBTS website www.ebts.org remains one of the main methods of communicating with the membership. It is regularly updated with interesting news and developments under the active leadership of our website manager Chris Poole. We are indebted to him for all the professional and creative work he does on our behalf. Please do visit it regularly so that you are kept properly informed.
Visit highlights of 2014
Our visits included gardens in East Sussex in April at The Garden House (a box clipping working day) plus a visit to a very private garden at Moon’s; gardens in Kent in May at Doddington Place and Mount Ephraim and the AGM at Clare College in Cambridge University in July. This included gardens at three Cambridge College’s plus gardens at Childerley Hall, Island Hall and The Manor at Hemingford Grey. We even managed punting on the Cam and evensong at Kings College chapel.
EBTS was again represented at The Chelsea Flower Show in May by James Crebbin-Bailey who won a Silver Gilt for his stunning exhibit in the Grand Pavilion. Many of our members supported the event during the build up of the stand and by manning it during the show itself.
A memorable foreign visit was made to the Italian Lakes in late September, efficiently organised by Boxwood Tours. We had a very good take-up from members and good weather most of the time, which resulted in a very worthwhile trip for all concerned.
A special fund raising concert/supper was held in November at Southside House in Wimbledon. It is a very atmospheric place, which was fully booked to support our work on the EBTS Topiary Education Module. Thanks are due to Bruce Ginsberg for his enthusiasm and commitment to bring this about.
These visits were well attended and further details, with some images and videos, can be seen on our website.
I wish to thank personally, and on behalf of you all, the owners of the gardens as well as the numerous members who organised these visits. Without their support and active involvement these visits and events would just not happen.
Topiary Education Module
Our programme to create an EBTS Topiary Education Module continues to make progress. We are working up the detailed modules to a point where we can go out to invite potential outside sources of funding in support of our marketing strategy. The event at Southside House in November 2014 raised some further funds to support our own funding sources. An update will be made available to members at the 2015 AGM. A further such event is scheduled for late April 2015 (see below).
Treasurer / Independent Examiner
EBTS UK remains financially sound, and with ongoing prudent management of our resources, we plan to keep it that way. Through a new bookkeeping system, we are now able to accurately track our income and expenditure on a regular and thorough basis. For this I wish to thank Lynda Hinton for her stalwart performance in keeping us on track as we progress through the year.
We now have a new Treasurer, Stephen Fenny. He will replace Philip Stockitt, whom we thank for his many years of sterling service in this role. We have also appointed a new Independent Examiner, Simon Leathes. This new position obviates the need for a formal paid external Auditor. I thank them both for taking on these respective positions and duties.
A full programme of events and visits for 2015 is being finalised:
Saturday April 11th Gardens in Bedfordshire – a ‘restoration day’. The Manor House in Stevington, recently featured in “The Garden”, followed by a major recently completed restoration project at The Swiss Garden. Then an afternoon visit to the prestigious Wrest Park restored by English Heritage.
Tuesday April 28th a second fund-raising event for the Topiary Education Module. An evening event at Southside House in Wimbledon including a visit to their garden, a reception, a private concert and supper in this atmospheric historical house. Numbers are limited to 65. The details will be emailed separately from this mailing.
Wednesday to Friday May 6th – 8th Gardens in Hereford /Worcestershire. Two nights in The Holme Lacy Hotel, a Georgian manor, with ‘battlement’ and formal Italian gardens and with ancient yew topiary, plus visits to Birtsmorton Court, Little Malvern Court, Perrycroft, the newly restored Laskett (home of Sir Roy Strong), the prize-winning gardens of Hereford cathedral, Bryan’s Ground (The ‘Hortus’ Garden), Ashley Farm and Hampton Court, with a private tour of the topiary with the head gardener. Numbers will be limited to what has the making of a very innovative and special visit.
Friday to Sunday July 3rd – 5th AGM weekend in Yorkshire, near Harrogate. Excellent local hotel accommodation is available for the group. AGM will be held at Newby Hall and visit the gardens. Further gardens to be visited include Bramham House, Littlethorpe Manor, The Old Vicarage and Yorkgate. Our full programme is currently being finalised, which promises to be a very worthwhile first visit to Yorkshire for EBTS.
Thursday September 3rd – Gardens in Hertfordshire – A morning visit to Rustling End Cottage in Codicote, with a wealth of good planting and cushions of box, followed by a special private visit to the gardens at Bride Hall, rarely open to the public, with topiary, a parterre and famous water features.
After lunch locally, there will be a visit to George Bernard Shaw’s House at Ayot St Lawrence to look round the house, presently being restored, and to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of his inspiring garden.
Thursday to Sunday Sept 24th – 27th A special EBTS Tour to Tuscany in Italy being developed with Boxwood Tours and based in Florence visiting some seven gardens in the region. Further details will be mailed directly from Boxwood Tours.
All these visits are likely to be very popular, with members given priority, so your early return of the completed booking forms is strongly recommended to be sure of a place.
To close, I wish to thank all those people who support EBTS UK in so many diverse ways. This is your society and we need your continuing encouragement, support and interest to allow us to flourish as EBTS.
Regards to all
Chairman EBTS UK