Please see the Schedule of Events page for details for what's happening in 2024
Welcome to our Winter Newsletter. Happy New Year to you all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that 2024 will be a peaceful and prosperous one for you.
Last season for our Horticultural Society was a busy one despite the ups and downs along the way. Since lock-down and the aftermath of Covid, people are still being cautious about mixing in large crowds. Many of our members, including some of the Committee, have been hit by ill-health too, so it has not been as plain-sailing as it could have been. But, despite that, we are still thriving… and the coming year is going to be GREAT!
The last event we held was the Christmas workshop which was run by Liz and was fully booked and great fun. The plan was to make two Christmassy things: decorated biscuits and tree decorations made from recycled bits and bobs. Liz started with the tree decorations, and everyone got so engrossed in the creativity of it all that we didn’t get to the biscuits! The end results were lovely, and everyone went home feeling relaxed, and proud of their creations! The two hours just flew by.
The Autumn quiz was well supported, and everyone had a good time. The buzz as people chat and enjoy each other’s company is always great to hear, as are the groans when they hear the answer to a question which stumped or eluded them! It’s so frustrating when you just can’t quite bring something you know to the front of your mind, isn’t it?!
The garden visit was to Liz and Tony Wheeler’s eco garden – very close to home and very interesting. It was fully booked, and the weather was kind to us. Tony gave a short talk, with the opportunity to ask questions, about their vision for their house and garden and how it developed. It took a long time and lots of hard work, but the result is inspiring. It is still changing and evolving as Tony and Liz have new ideas. They are focusing on growing vegetables, flowers and keeping pests at bay whilst dealing with the extremes of weather we seem to get these days but, without a doubt, there will be something new and exciting in the pipeline! So, if you need alternative ideas for dealing with things in your garden ask Tony and Liz!
The plant swap went well again last year and, after a plea for donors to take home any plants that were not taken, we had very little tidying to do – always a bonus! Our second talk of the year, held in October, was not so successful, sadly. We invited Kevin (Sir Plantalot!) back after the success of his visit earlier in the year, but the talk was rushed and consisted mostly of slides, although he did give lots of useful advice to those who asked questions. He has given us some suggestions for other speakers which we will investigate in due course.
Our shows are heading towards being the busy, vibrant events they used to be, pre-Covid, but we’re not quite there yet! The changes in weather patterns haven’t helped. I just hope the gardens recover from the soaking they have been getting, and the cold snap the weather forecasters are predicting. The Committee have been thinking of ways to encourage members to enter more of the craft and cookery classes, which seem to have fallen by the wayside a bit lately. Also, the children’s sections often have no entries, which is a great shame. We’re thinking of ways to encourage the younger generation to get involved, as a grower, a maker, or a baker! However, our Autumn show was beautiful, with lots of flowers to brighten the village hall. We hope that the volume of entries will continue to increase. We are continuing to try and find a happy medium regarding the judging etc. Many people like the opportunity to vote for their favourites, but some members would love to go back to the use of an external judge. We don’t want to discourage those gardeners who don’t feel confident enough to fulfil the rules of the RHS (which includes me!)
Thank you for your continued support for all our events. Your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome, and we do take them into account when we are preparing each year’s schedule. Talking of which: our first event of 2024 is our AGM coffee morning where you can renew your membership and collect your Schedule. This will be held on Saturday, 27th January in the Memorial Hall at 10.30am. Do come and join us, but, if you can’t make it, please contact Sue Hilton or me and we will tell you where and when you can collect your Schedule.
We’re looking forward to the new growing year and all the joy that seeing our plants emerging from the warming soil can bring and we hope to see you all very soon.
With best wishes from
Pat Sargent (Chair) and the Committee