The speaker at the August meeting of big WI was the daughter-in-law of one of the members. I'm not sure if she had done a talk like this before but it was a bit dis-jointed with lots of "um's" and looking at her notes. But never mind - everyone has to start somewhere!
Rajal was born in Kenya and lived there until she was 14. She was a teacher but then after the birth of her son she suffered from severe Post Natal Depression. This happened as the family moved from a small London flat to a home with a blank-canvas walled garden in Norwich, Norfolk. She got a teaching job in Norwich but suffered panic attacks and became very ill. Her refuge was her garden and she started to become interested in finding things to grow to suit the various spots in the garden. This interest grew so she did garden courses at two agricultural colleges to become a professional garden designer and a Royal Horticultural Society course to extend her knowledge of plants. She said that they had to learn the Latin names of 10 new plants every week!
She also has a blog, which started when she began gardening (https://www.thesmallgardener.co.uk).
She had some lovely photos of the plants in her garden and the designs she has done for clients. She prefers to draw and paint her designs rather than to use computer designing. One of her clients loved her painting of the garden design so much that they had it framed to hang in the house.
Cakes and coffee of course and I was presented with my prize for the marble cake, the WI entry at the Bacton Fayre. Very handy loaf tin liners and cup cake cases. Good job I've not given up baking!
The people who entered the WI flower arranging class won prizes of flower arranging accessories - also useful.
In the business part of the meeting we are discussing ideas for 2019 which is the 100th anniversary of Bacton WI and also the centenary of The Suffolk East Federation of WI's - lots of events to get involved with next year.