Jeremy Arthern

Jeremy’s contribution to the gardening world
Jeremy has made a wonderful contribution to the gardening world, especially in Biddenham.   He is passionate about gardening and is a fount of knowledge. He has visited many gardens and sites of horticultural interest and we have benefitted from the photographs he took which are now on the BGA website.  He has given encouragement and support to so many people.  Our Secretary Paula recalls , ‘I had recently moved to Biddenham and was in the front garden planting a hedge, when Jeremy and Susan appeared and introduced themselves. They both showed great interest in my garden and Jeremy very kindly and authoritatively informed me that the 5 foot weeping willow on the edge of my lawn bordering the public pathway was best removed!  Sound advice indeed.’  Jeremy has given helpful advice to so many other people. 

Role as Chairman
Above all, he made a great impact in his role as Chairman of the Biddenham Gardeners’ Association.  He joined the committee with our Membership Secretary, Linda,  in 2007 and rarely missed a meeting.  He was Chairman for a number of years. He led the committee meetings in a very efficient and committed way and the BGA grew in strength, inspired by his leadership. He was thoughtful in his preparation for BGA meetings.  When a Speaker had to cancel their gardening presentation to a BGA meeting, he gave a presentation he had prepared earlier to cover this situation. All of us on the committee would share Paula’s words. ‘Thank you, Jeremy, for being such a wonderful Chair of our amazing gardening club. It was a pleasure to have worked with you on the BGA committee.’

Biddenham Show

Jeremy was a great supporter of the Biddenham Show and his gardening expertise showed in the many prizes he won.  As you walked around the exhibits, you were impressed by the quality of his plants, and especially his vegetables)  and by the just awards he received for them. 


Jeremy’s passion for gardening was reflected in the wonderful articles he wrote for the Biddenham Bulletin and latterly, for the Loop. His garden is full of interest and is beautifully designed. Everywhere you walk around his garden, there is a different vista. Jeremy is extremely knowledgeable about plants and gardening and is always ready to impart that knowledge. His articles gave very practical advice. As Josie, our newest member of the committee,  wrote, ‘His gentle style of general encouragement and recommendations for gardens of varying sizes, in sun and shade, covering all aspects of horticulture including lawns and the veg plot, has been invaluable.  It is as though we have our very own, all year round ‘Monty Don’ in Biddenham!’ 

 Open Garden scheme
Jeremy and Susan have kindly opened their garden on many occasions for the Red Cross and it has been a very worthwhile experience for all those visiting. Jeremy and Susan have been very engaging to those who have visited and have shared their love of gardening.

Our appreciation of Susan’s contribution
We have really appreciated Susan’s contribution not only to BGA meetings but also to the Biddenham Show. Susan rarely missed a Tuesday meeting and provided tea and cakes on a regular basis. Liz, who is on the  BGA committee, mentioned that when she first volunteered to take on the catering role for AGMs and Christmas parties, Susan was a guiding light and continued to support in respect of providing the tableware.  With regard to the Biddenham Show, Susan helped Liz with the scoring of points after the judges had completed their tour of assessment in the Exhibitors’ tents. Furthermore both Jeremy and Susan were there on the Saturday to set up the tables in the Exhibitors’ tents and put away after the Show.

Our very sincere thanks
Jeremy has made a lasting impact on many people through his role as Chairman of the Biddenham Gardeners’ Association, through his many articles and through his personal contact with people. We really appreciate all that he has done. We have also appreciated the contribution Susan has made to the BGA. We will miss Jeremy and Susan when they move and we wish them every happiness in their new home in Devon.

Paul H Fricker
(Chairman of the BGA)

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This Month in the Garden – March 2022

Well here we are in March and how wonderful to see the spring bulbs bursting through the soil and the colours appearing in the various shrubs.  The garden visiting year has begun – hurrah!  Time to get out and about and enjoy the daffodils that brighten up the Spring.  Ickworth House, near Bury St Edmunds, has swathes of heritage daffodils that are lovely in late March/early April.  At this time of the year one can also see all the new lambs so it is a good place to visit.  I like to have flowers in the house all the year round and try to grow as many of my own flowers as I can.  Because my garden is not large enough to have a cutting garden I have cutting pots.  In the autumn I plant up large pots of daffodils.  These I place at the back of the garden by the shed.  These daffodils are now in bud and I can pick 3 or 5 or 7 on a regular basis for the house without vandalising those in the borders.  I particularly like Bridal Crown, Avalanche, Cheerfulness and Geranium daffodils.  All these varieties have good sturdy stems and lovely fragrance.  They flower in succession so I have a supply of flowers for the house for many weeks.  I feed after they have flowered and give them plenty of water, plus a top up of compost in the autumn and  they have been producing flowers for the house for a number of years.  

The Chaenomeles or flowering quince is providing a vibrant burst of coral in my back garden …

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Designing a Border from Scratch  (Part 3)

In February we were joined by Lucy Hartley a garden designer from Warwickshire. We have had, of course, two previous talks by Lucy on designing borders so this was the final installment.  In earlier talks Lucy had outlined basic design essentials and had discussed low maintenance plants.  Her third talk featured plant choices and plant combinations for a year round border.  The main message was to layer plants so that as one goes over another will come to the fore … Continue reading

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This Month in the Garden – February 2022 (revision)

Last year when I was asked if I would take over from Jeremy in writing this column I was very reluctant to follow him.  Jeremy has provided us all with such excellent gardening advice during the last eight years.  However, after some deliberation, I have agreed to give it a go.  So, with fear and trepidation, here goes and many thanks to Jeremy and enjoy your “retirement”.   Firstly, I thought perhaps I should introduce myself.  My interest in all things horticultural stems from the late 1940s when, at the age of 4 or 5, my sister and I would help our grandfather on his allotment.  My grandfather was a champion vegetable grower and one of my earliest memories is spending afternoons picking off the caterpillars, of which there were hundreds, from the brassicas and gooseberry bushes. The poor creatures were then thrown into a small pit and covered with soil.  My grandfather was, by and large, an advocate of organic gardening.  A lot of my horticultural knowledge stems from watching what he did and hearing his take on how to produce the best crops. At home I had my own small patch of garden and planted vegetables and flowers.  In the sixth form I investigated the possibility of going on to a Horticultural College and visited a couple.  However, in the early sixties horticulture was not in vogue as it is now and so I decided upon another career path.  The first garden I owned, with my late husband, was a mature 1940s corner plot.  The gardens all around seemed to be owned by older keen gardeners – so no pressure there then!  But we were young and enthusiastic and did our best to keep up the high standard.  Seven years later we moved to a brand new house and had to set about designing a garden from scratch.  During this time we also took on an allotment and grew many of our own vegetables.  Most afternoons, accompanied by our two young children I would take a picnic and dig and plant and harvest and encourage them to do the same.  Little wonder, I guess, that my son was a keen horticulturalist from a very early age and pursued this as a career.  We moved to Biddenham in 1982.  My garden is small, however, I have a conservatory and an unheated plant house which I keep well ventilated, even throughout the winter, as this provides ideal conditions for the auriculas which I love.  The garden has a pond, built by my son when he was thirteen and a huge Chusan Palm which he grew from a seed when he was eight or nine and then planted out – far too close to the house.  Like most gardens it has lots of happy memories.  So that is me and I hope that over the months you will enjoy reading my column …

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My Garden 2022

We started our new Biddenham Gardeners’ Association year with an excellent turn out of members and visitors, on Zoom.  The “My Garden” talks which we feature every January are always popular and this year was no exception.  We were treated to presentations on two stunning gardens in the heart of the village.  Marihelen and John’s garden on Main Road and Heather and Peter’s garden on Biddenham Turn.  Continue reading

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This Month in the Garden – December and January 2021/2022

Jeremy in the garden

Perhaps I should have warned you what was coming but this is the last time I shall write “This Month in the Garden”. I have been writing the article for nearly eight years now and, as I enter my late eighties, I think it is time for a quieter life. Also, I am not spending nearly so much time working in the garden as I used to so have less to say about what I have been doing in the garden. I have enjoyed writing the articles and it has been a good discipline to try to do the things that I have encouraged you to do. Many of you have been kind enough to tell me how much you have appreciated the articles and this has made it all the harder to give up … Continue reading

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Illustrated story of my Garden by Chris Bamforth-Damp

Chris Bamforth-Damp joined us on Tuesday 16th November to give us an insight into his garden.  Chris is a Minister at The John Bunyan Meeting House and his house and garden are near Bedford Park.  Since 2015 Chris has opened his garden to the public under the National Garden Scheme and he began his talk by telling us about the Scheme. The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 when, in order to raise money for district nurses, garden owners were asked to open their gardens to the public for a shilling a head.  That year 609 gardens were open and raised a total of £8,191.  Continue reading

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This Month in the Garden – November 2021

As the pace of jobs that have to be done slackens this is a good time to do some work on longer-term projects. I have, at last, done a job that I have been thinking about for several years. When we moved here many years ago we had a wilder area along the back of the T-shaped land at the bottom of the garden. Over recent years I have worked on this to change it to more of a spring garden and I now have a line of camellias flanked by hellebores and snowdrops with an area of long grass growing daffodils, bluebells and a patch of snake’s head fritillaries in front … Continue reading

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Artists and their Gardens – Twigs Way

On Tuesday 19th October we were so pleased to be joined by Dr Twigs Way.  Dr Way is a researcher, writer and consultant in garden history and designed landscapes.  She is well known to members of the BGA as, amongst other things, she lectures at Rothsay Education Centre, gives talks to The Arts Society and has also visited us in Biddenham on numerous occasions.  Twigs started the session by saying that she would be talking about artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and that although many of the gardens depicted were from the heartland of France she would also be referring to gardens in England and Germany.  Twigs presentation was wide ranging – here is a small snapshot of her talk:

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This Month in the Garden – October 2021

You will be familiar with the British Rail logo of parallel arrows pointing in different directions. When asked what the logo meant, I once heard someone say that it meant that BR didn’t know whether they were coming or going.  The logo also serves as a theme for this month’s activity in the garden as it is a time for looking in two directions; dealing with the aftermath of the year that has gone and looking forward to the months to come through winter and on to spring … Continue reading

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