Notes from the Potting Shed 2014

May 2014

It is Spring!! Our wonderful team have worked the hard packed earth to a fine tilth and planted some fabulous plants. The bed now boasts a starburst effect, linking the bath to the lavender arch.

We have started competing the heritage seeds kindly donated by Barry Cruse. We will be watching with bated breath who will perform the best!photo 3

We have news:photo 4

Firstly we have a new sponsor, Chris Smith at Ajuga Holdings has chosen to sponsor the garden, for which we are extremely grateful! This will help us purchase new, resilient signage and many other much needed additions!

Kitty has organised for a path of stepping stones to be laid very soon, these will lead to the bath and also to the bench, drawing visitors through the arch.

Sadly we have retired our lady of the bath, Sarah Poole has created a wonderful sculpture, but time has taken its toll and it is time for her to pop her dressing gown back on and nip downstairs for a well earned G&T.

We are announcing a competition for artists to submit designs for a permanent work of art to grace our bath. The footfall in the garden is huge and the artist will be fully credited, so we see it as a huge draw for a local artist to gain visibility. The requirements are as follows:

The piece will be permanent, so needs to be robust and weather proof.BATH WI FINAL

The piece must reflect our logo.

The piece will be gifted to the garden, all rights to the use of the logo belong exclusively to Bath WI.

Bath WI reserve creative approval for the piece, throughout the process.

Anything garden related, please email me at:

Everything is bursting into bloom and fresh young growth. Unfortunately the slugs have finally found us, so we will be investing in little copper collars to protect the plants and hopefully drive off the little enemies.

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July 2014

We would not have a garden without the hard work of our members in the garden team – today Kitty was dead-heading marigolds and harvesting lettuces.


July 2014: the Bath WI Garden Party

The garden is looking lovely – it was perfect for our garden party and even the weather was kind! Our members brought sharing platters, Jess whipped up some prosecco cocktails and music was supplied by Nick from the Wind-up Merchant with his wonderful Pramophone.



October 2014

RVPphotocallThe Bath WI garden was started by Jess and Mel and the ladies who started the Bath WI – they worked to find a garden for us and persuaded the council to let us have a patch of the Botanical Gardens in Victoria Park.

This year the hard work by the Bath WI gardening team in our garden culminated in our being an albeit small part of Bath in Bloom – awarded gold this year!! As every gardener knows, there’s always a lot of hard work behind a successful garden, from planning to digging and sowing and watering and dead-heading and harvesting…well you get the picture!

Talking of pictures, it was a picture that started our 2014 garden…a beautiful design by Kitty. The lovely thing about an edible garden is that it can take a new look every year. We will share the 2015 plan with you soon!

2014 design:

2014 garden plan

As the team now get dug in putting the garden to bed for the a well earned Winter rest, it is lovely to look over the year…

…starting with the bare bones of the garden, as set out in the design…

Scan 5 Scan 6 Scan 3 The hard work soon led to some wonderful results!

2014 May 5 Bath WI garden - 062 2014 May 5 Bath WI garden - 064

Jean, Elaine and Kitty were even interviewed about our thoughts on Britain in Bloom…

Scan 1…and we started paying our speakers in radishes!

kitty radishes…and most importantly the garden was being used as we always dreamed it would be…

ScanA mass of colour and scent and deliciousness…topped off with chamomile bubbles in our bath tub.

P1040831 WI garden 10 July 2014 - 15 WI garden 10 July 2014 - 21All ready for the Bath WI garden party.

P1040838Now, as the last of the veg is harvested we can only marvel at the fruitfulness…or perhaps vegfulness…of our little piece of WI heaven. Just look what a few seeds and some love and attention can grow! (that’s a radish but the way, just in case you can’t recognise it!)

Scan 2 Scan 4


November 2014

This week Kitty (our very own Monty Don of the Bath WI) hosted the garden team’s meeting. If you missed our garden party in July, you may not know that a couple of years ago Mel and Jess M put their negotiating skills to good use and found the Bath WI its own patch of earth – not just any patch of earth mind you! Oh no, we have an edible garden within the Bath Botanical Gardens in Victoria Park! Check out more about our garden on the Bath WI Garden page.


left to right: Kitty, Jean, Elaine, Helen, Sally

2015 garden plan1

2015 garden plan by Kitty

2015 garden plan2

garden pan detail

After all her hard work with Jess setting up the garden, Mel is taking off her gardening wellies for a while so, after a look at the garden plan for 2015 (which celebrates the Women’s Institutes’ centenary by looking at it ‘roots’ in Wales with plenty of leeks and with a nod to the future with rainbow chard and lollo rosso) the team had a surprise presentation for Mel.

gardenteam2 gardenteam3

Once the photos were taken, the evening moved on to champagne, smoked salmon sandwiches, quails’ eggs with celery salt, palmiers, cocktail sausages, macaroons and M Bertinet’s recipe dodos (a hazelnut and orange version) and coconut bites…well this is the Bath WI daaaarling!

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cocnut pineapple bites

(apologies – and welcome – to new gardener Helen who kept out of the photos as she hadn’t been in the team for 2014, but I sneakily snapped her hiding in the kitchen…!)




December 2014

The Bath WI may have had its Winter tidy up and be resting until the Spring, but it still looks lovely, even in the depths of December. The frost adds its artistic touch to the last glow of the chard.

botanic 27 dec14

The rest of the Botanical Gardens is teaming with fauna as well as flora too. If you’re lucky you may even see a kingfisher!

botanic 27 dec11

It’s a lovely place for a Winter stroll, so why not head to Victoria Park and the Botanical Gardens for some fresh air and exercise.


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