Picture of Medwyn Williams

Medwyn Williams

Hello. I'm Medwyn Williams – eleven times Gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, Past Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society Fruit Vegetable and Herb Committee and President of the National Vegetable Society.

The Vegetable Masterclass Weekend


My 18th consecutive Masterclass Weekend is again being held at the Royal Victoria Hotel at the base of Snowdon in Llanberis, Gwynedd on Friday the 11th through to Sunday lunch time on the 13th of November. The Programme is below for your perusal.  If you are interested and require further information, my contact details are below.

Regular attendees will receive their programme shortly.

Medwyns of Anglesey


Friday 11th – Sunday 13th November 2016



Friday 11th  November

 16.00 – 18.30  Arrive at The Royal Victoria Hotel to check in and relax before dinner.

18.30 – 19.50  A four course evening meal will be served (you may order wine at your table)

20.00 – 21.15  Aberglasney Garden with Joseph Atkin Head Gardener. Joseph has been interested in plants and gardening all his life, mainly through helping his mother in her garden and nursery. When he finished school he tried many other things but eventually returned to College at twenty five years of age to complete his degree at Pershore College.

After completing his degree he ran his own business for two years then returned to College to do the Kew Diploma at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. During this time Joseph received numerous scholarships and bursaries to travel and study plants in China, Chile and many parts of Europe. After his education he returned to Pershore College to work as a lecturer, whilst working there he was offered the opportunity to apply for the job of Head gardener at Aberglasney where he has been ever since.

During this time he has also studied plants in South Africa and continues to be an RHS judge for plant trials and Chairman of the Thalictrum forum. His areas of knowledge and experience include Alpines, herbaceous perennials, trees and shrubs mainly from temperate areas where his personal interest is. He has also studied subtropical and desert flora to a lesser extent.

Today his interest and knowledge is even more broad based as Aberglasney is a very comprehensive garden. Trees, shrubs, roses, kitchen gardening and herbaceous perennials are a big part of what he works with.  So basically ‘a jack of all trades’ trying to be a master of some.

21.15 – 21.30  Question and Answer session.

 21.30 – Time to relax after your long journey and perhaps share your gardening experiences with some of the speakers, fellow growers and exhibitors. Why not even enjoy a night cap at the bar before retiring!

 Saturday 12th  November

8.009.00  Cooked Breakfast.

9.00 – 10.15 ‘Garden compost ready to use within 3 weeks’ by Mike Poultney It’s pretty safe to say that the grass doesn’t grow under Mike’s feet as he is Chairman of all the following – Colley Gate gardening club, Abbey road allotments, Dudley Horticultural Advisory Council, West Midlands District Association of the National Vegetable Society, as well as being on the Midland Branch Committee of the N.V.S.

Mike is the Midlands Primary Schools representative on behalf of the NVS and Sub Editor of the Midlands Branch for the NVS Simply Vegetables Quarterly Magazine. He has been awarded a fellowship as well as the Martin Robinson Award from the NVS. Mike runs the trading sheds for Colley Gate gardening club as well as running a Primary School gardening club.

Through all this he still finds time to run two allotments for people with learning difficulties. Talks are given to gardening clubs all over the country on several subjects Talks and demonstrations at BBC Gardeners World Live in Birmingham, the Malvern Shows as well as the Edible Garden Show. He regularly mans the NVS Midland Branch Stand at shows where he demonstrates his composting methods as well as a plant demonstration getting the kids involved. Mike is a qualified N.V.S. judge. To say that Mike has the composting bug would be an understatement.

10.15 – 10.30  Question and Answer session

10.30- 10.45 Coffee / Tea Break

 10.45 – 12.00 Growing & Showing Apples by Adrian Baggaley from Nottingham Adrian’s a retired Electrical Contractor with a one acre plot growing 283 plus varieties of fruit as well as vegetables in Nottinghamshire. He is undoubtedly one of the top Amateur fruit growers in the Country. His collection of different kinds of fruit comprises 85 varieties of apple, 50 pears, 32 varieties of plums, damsons and gages, 11 cherry varieties, four peach, two apricot, seven vines, nine types of figs, 28 kinds of soft fruit and, oh yes, quite a few different vegetables.

The best of the fruit is used for exhibiting in three local shows, the Harrogate Autumn Show and the three RHS Competitions at Tatton Park, Westminster and Wisley Glasshouse. In 2015 he won 69 1st prizes in the three RHS shows and all the special prizes in all three competitions for two years running. In addition to the one acre plot he has also planted and maintains a community orchard and has a large allotment plot with Cider apples and Perry pears on it in Nottingham, which he uses for Cider and Perry making.

 12.00 – 12.15 Question and Answer session

12.15 – 14.15  A buffet lunch after which you have an opportunity to take a walk around the grounds of the Royal Victoria Hotel or perhaps a walk down to the Snowdon Mountain Railway in the village of Llanberis.

 14.15 – 15.30  The Commercial Production of Corn Salad, Radish and Lettuce by Paul Corfield.  Paul is undoubtedly an entertaining speaker who gave us a talk two years ago on Perlka. He retired from the seed trade in 2014 after 27 years with Clause UK, part of the Limagrain group of seed houses. Paul was as a specialist in root crops, cauliflowers and endives which involved the positioning of varieties within a grower’s cropping programme. This was particularly important with cauliflowers as some growers in Kent try to have Cauliflowers for 52 weeks of the year, one grower uses over 100 varieties with some being his own selections.

Being a seed specialist has been a great job, with his career spanning the sale of Ops, ‘Open Pollinated Varieties’, the introduction of F1 Hybrids and the improved CMS system of seed production. Paul has also seen the demise of Market Gardeners, Wholesale Markets and local Greengrocers with the rise of the Supermarkets and their desire to have only a few suppliers be it fruit or vegetables.

Paul’s talk will look at the production of some different unusual crops namely Radish, Corn Salad and Endives. There are sophisticated growing techniques being used to produce crops as cheaply as possible for the Salad Bags and the fresh market. The talk will illustrate the commitment UK Growers have to supply top quality produce to their customers. This presentation will be very interesting indeed and I’m sure we will all be amazed at the modern techniques now used by growers to get vegetables to us from the field to the supermarket.

15.30 – 15.45  Question and Answer session.

15.45 – 16.00  Coffee / Tea Break

 16.00 – 17.15  Growing Celery for Exhibition by Jim Williams, Pathhead.  Jim is a retired research scientist who lives just south of Edinburgh and has been growing exhibition vegetables in his present garden in Pathhead for 36 years. Jim was Scottish Branch Chairman for eighteen years and is now the Branch President, he was also Branch Newsletter Editor for twenty odd years, and was a trustee on the National Executive for twenty years.

 Jim will cover all aspects and problems in growing this difficult and time consuming vegetable.

He has several National wins under his belt, but unfortunately he has come second three times with celery! As Jim is Chairman of the National Vegetable Society Judge’s Panel, he will take a keen interest in the judging of celery, and hopefully answer questions on this particular topic.

17.15 – 17.30  Question and Answer session.

17.30 – 18.15  Time to relax and do your own thing before your evening meal, you may even feel the need to enjoy a drink at the bar!

 18.15 – 19.30  You can now indulge yourself in a four course evening meal. (you may order your wine at the table from the Victoria’s reasonably priced selection)

19.30 – 20.45  ‘50 years of learning’ by John Soulsby. John has been talking to us many times before and he actually started growing when he was 8 years old by growing Dahlias. He seriously started growing at the age of 19 winning at his first show and on his first attempt. This naturally got him really hooked and he has never stopped loving his hobby and learning about horticulture to this present day.

John’s love of gardening modelled his career and he has worked in Horticulture for most of his life. He’s travelled the world meeting growers and learning from them new and different methods such as how they overcome weather and climate differences. He has learned and used methods from around the world in his own garden where he specialises in leeks and he’s undoubtedly helped many others with his growing methods. The talk will cover different soil conditions, watering, fertiliser and feeding, stress and what causes this problem as well as artificial lighting.

20.45 – 21.00  Question and Answer session.

21.00 – For the next hour or so entertainment will be laid on for you which I have yet to decide on!

Sunday 13th  November

8.00 – 9.00  Cooked breakfast

9.00 – 9.15  Photo call, bring your camera along and take a group photo as a memento of the occasion.

9.15 – 10.45  ‘It all goes to show’ by John Smiles  – This is a new talk starting in the Spring and covering a range of growing methods with different kinds of vegetables finishing with the various vegetables being staged on the show bench. In Johns own words – his talk is a ‘warts and all’ presentation including the control of pests and diseases. There will be some natural disasters which John claims he’s very good at! Those of you who have attended my weekend over the years will realise what an enthusiastic speaker John is and I’m sure that this talk will be just as informative and humorous as all the others he has given us.

10.45 – 11.00  Question and Answer session.

11.00 – 11.15  Coffee / Tea Break

 11.15 – 12.30  ‘Gardeners Question time with the Speakers’. A roundup of the weekend.  It doesn’t matter how well you listened to the talks, there’s always that gardening problem or question that you forgot to ask that may be still bothering you.  It allows you the opportunity to ask the speakers further questions on vegetable growing that may not even be related to any subject discussed during the seminar – why not challenge them with a problem that’s been a source of worry to you for so long.

12.30 – Traditional Welsh Sunday Lunch before departing.

*Will all speakers note that the time limit allowed will have to be adhered to and will only vary to suit circumstances outside my control*

A Date for your Diary – The 2017 Seminar will be held from the 10th to the 12th November.


Medwyn’s       of Anglesey Llanor, Old School Lane,Llanfair PG, Anglesey, LL61 5RZ


email: medwyn@whh.2fb.myftpupload.com

Telephone/Fax: 01248-714851



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1 thought on “The Vegetable Masterclass Weekend

  1. Medwyn just sowed you a tray of P.G. onions should be ready by veg weekend , see you soon .

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