The Group has had a good year. Our programme started in April with a most entertaining lecture by Tom Hart Dyke in which he described his orchid hunt in Central America, where he was ambushed by guerrillas and held prisoner for nine months. During his captivity he came up with the idea that led to the creation of 'The World Garden' at his home - Lullingstone Castle in Kent. We hope to visit this garden at a later date.

During the summer we made a series of visits to some of Dulwich's more interesting smaller gardens. These visits are extremely popular with our members and raise quite worthwhile sums for charity. We are extremely grateful to the garden owners for their hospitality and for all the hard work they put in to prepare their gardens for our visit. One particularly interesting visit was to the James Allen's Girls' School Grade II listed Botany garden. This has recently been restored by David Strong, a member of the school's ground staff. We were particularly lucky to be given a short lecture by Dr Dawn Saunders, who is writing a thesis on the work of Dr Lilian Clarke, the botany mistress who started and developed the garden a century ago.

Another highlight was in June when 50 of us visited the Colchester area and explored the 'Beth Chatto Gardens' and 'Oliver's'. It was a great day out. During July we held a competition to find the best pink flower - this was won by Sylvia Daniel with an Old English Rose.

To end the season, the owners of six gardens at the Village end of Burbage Road opened their gardens at the same time. Thanks very much to their hard work the event was a great success, attracting nearly 80 visitors and raising £200 for St Christopher's Hospice. Our final event was a visit to the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Wisley.

The Garden Group currently has 278 members and we would like to have more. All members of the Dulwich Society are welcome to join. There is no charge. Just let John Ward have your name and address (email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 0207 274 5172) and next April you will be sent a list of invitations to the coming summer's events. We are always looking for new gardens for our members to visit. If you have one, or know of an interesting garden (it doesn't have to be big), or if a small group in one road would like to open their gardens together and raise money for charity, please let me know.

John Ward

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