A VILLAGE gardening club is enjoying the fruits of success that has eluded so many similar groups in tough times.
With a membership in the mid-50s and rising, things are coming up roses at West Down as never before.
So how do they do it? Chairman Jan Oades explains: "It is in part due to an enthusiastic committee, putting together an interesting programme, outings, long weekends away visiting gardens around the country and lots more."
As an example, Jan sent a party off to Sussex and Surrey for a long weekend, visiting Sissinghurst Castle gardens, East Lambrook Manor, Great Dixter, RHS Wisley and a trip to Battle, scene of that famous conflict in 1066.
Tonight (7.30pm) at the parish hall, leading orchid expert Sara Rittershausen, of Burnham Nursery, Newton Abbot, will head a hands-on workshop with plants and talk on growing orchids. And in October next year, the club has scooped TV gardener Chris Beardshaw for a lecture.
Jan, currently working on next year's trip by popular demand, has welcomed support from Ilfracombe, Braunton and Bideford as well as from West Down and surrounding hamlets.
Annual subs are a paltry £6, with a £1.50 entry fee on club nights to cover raffle and refreshments.
• Non-members can attend tonight's talk for £2.50. Call Roger Parry on 01271 855678.