This information was obtained from the Barham & District Horticultural Society website.

Latest Society News & Events 2018

Take a look at what the society did last year and what we have planned for this year.

May Update

Spring sunshine arrived at last on 14th April the morning of our Plant Sale in Barham Village Hall! We sold over 375 of plants - a wonderful total considering the adverse weather conditions over many previous weeks! Our sincere thanks to all who participated those who brought us plants, those who sold and those of you who came to buy. We had hoped for more vegetable plants like last year runner beans, tomatoes and courgettes etc, but the late, cold spring has held everything back. Our profit enables us to keep your subscription to the Society (5) as low as possible. Once again, we welcomed the Allotment group to join us for this event.

Earlier this week on 11th April we welcomed Steve Weller from the Kent Chilli Farm who talked very enthusiastically on the topic 'Chilis are good for you'. We heard about how to grow chillis, the varieties that are available, their health benefits and the Scoville scale which is a measurement of the spicy heat of chili peppers or other spicy foods. Steve and his wife brought a range of their delicious food products as well as a very wide variety of chilli fruits, seeds and plants for those attending to view and purchase. In view of the interest shown we may need to think about a chilli class in future Shows - perhaps in the cookery class for the benefit of the judge!

Our meeting on May 9th at 7.30pm is at Kingston Barn when Philip Oostenbrink will be talking about and showing us pictures of 'The Gardens of Canterbury Cathedral'. Philip will be bringing plants to sell after his talk. We hope for a good turnout for this interesting talk and non-members are welcome for a donation of 2.

On Friday 8th June in the afternoon we will be visiting Boldshaves a beautiful landscaped garden surrounded by ancient wood garden near Woodchurch, Ashford and we will be shown around by the owner. To book on this trip which is by car please complete the booking form in the 2018 Programme of Events - the cost is 7.50 per head for members and refreshments are extra.

Our annual coach trip this year is to RHS Hyde Hall's on Saturday August 4th and is now open to everyone, whether a member or not and at 19 all inclusive for non-members (and 14 for our members) is amazing value. Hyde Hall is near Chelmsford in Essex and the journey there isn't very long. It's their Summer Show and there will be lots of specialist visiting nurseries exhibiting and selling plants in a large adjacent field. I went to Hyde Hall for this event two years ago and it wasn't crowded (not a bit like Chelsea!). This part of Essex has the lowest rainfall in the country and their 'Dry' garden is well worth visiting and the herbaceous garden was the best I've ever seen. Elsewhere a small apricot tree was heavy with hundreds of fruits and melons were maturing nearby on a sunny bank! Ring Jill Terry (832135) to reserve your place. Further details in your 2018 Programme of Events.

April Update

What an end to February and to the beginning of March! Reliable information from more than one gardener in this valley reported a temperature of minus 16.9 degrees one night! It will be interesting to see what in your garden has survived and what succumbed! Wait a while longer before giving up on your plant it may still sprout anew!

We were therefore ready to put the winter behind us, look forward to a new gardening year and be inspired by Kevin Tooher's talk 'Water Features and their Benefits' at our March meeting. We were not disappointed! His talk covered many aspects of the benefits of water features from small to large, historic to modern and how to design, develop and manage them. In particular he emphasised the benefits that they bring for wildlife and the quiet reflective powers that moving water provides. He showed us the amazing Garden of Cosmic Speculation created by landscape architect and theorist Charles Jencks at his home, Portrack House, near Dumfries in South West Scotland and finished with garden ponds for swimming which provide a modern twist to the normal garden pond.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 11th April when Steve Weller from the Chilli Farm will give us an illustrated talk at 7.30pm in BVH. Chillis are amazingly easy to grow - I bought a tiny chilli plant last year which grew to about 1m tall, giving me hundreds of shiny red fruits which I froze or dried or gave away! (There's a limit to how much Salsa or Chilli Con Carne one has to make!) Steve will be bringing a selection of chilli plants to sell or you could wait a few more days and purchase one as I did last year - from our PLANT SALE on Saturday 14th April at Barham Village Hall from 10.30am. We rely on our members and other kind friends to supply our stock, so please pot up and label your offerings and bring them to the Hall from 8.30am onwards that morning. Full details are on page 9 of your BDHS Programme and on our website www.barhamhortsoc.co.uk. We look forward to the Allotment Society sharing our sale last year they brought very high-quality plants to sell for their own funds and we want to support them again this year.

Gardens mentioned by Kevin Tooher in his talk 'Water features and their benefits' on 9th March included:

Longstock Park Water Garden, Hampshire.
Compton Acres, Dorset.
Hever Castle, Kent.
Rousham House, Oxfordshire.
Painswick, Gloucester.
Cosmic Garden of Speculation, Dumfries.
Sheffield Park, East Sussex.
Kiftsgate Garden, Gloucester.
Hidcote Manor Gardens, Gloucester.

March Update

We were very saddened to hear of the death of Brian Wright on Monday 19th January - too late for inclusion in the February magazine. Brian's funeral on February 22nd was attended, amongst others, by members of the Horticultural Society Committee. Brian (with Jean Clough and latterly with Jan Borgioli) was responsible for the hard work on the committee that goes into scheduling and organising all our Shows whether Spring, Summer or Autumn for many years. If this was 'behind the scenes' work, then his magnificent dahlias and roses were certainly not!! Brian had held the Banksian Medal of the Royal Horticultural Society as well as currently holding the Cottagers Cup, The Middleton Cup for the best Dahlia bloom, the President's cup for the best flower in Show as well as the A.J. Ross cup for the highest points in Fruit classes. Brian's standards were so consistently high year on year as to leave most of us incredulous! Those of us who visited Jeanie and Brian's garden at Woolage Green (which they had made from a rough grassy field) during the 'Open Gardens' weekends came away completely bowled over by what they had achieved there. Your Committee decided unanimously to dedicate and designate a silver cup at future Shows as 'The Brian Wright Cup.' The standards set by Brian and the quality of his flowers, fruit and vegetables are unlikely to be surpassed. We shall always hold him in thankful remembrance for his cheerful advice and dry humour. We send our love and sincere sympathy to his wife Jeanie who was always there supporting him.

Our meeting this month on Friday March 9th is about 'Water Features in your Garden' and our speaker, Kevin Tooher, is highly recommended. You may remember the talk he gave us about trees a year or so ago. Having heard him then, we were determined to ask for a repeat visit. Don't be put off by the title and think we're encouraging you to dig out large areas of your garden. Ponds can be tiny and containerised in a tub or similar! Kevin will tell you of the advantages to wildlife and interest that even such a small feature can bring. Of course, if you want a natural swimming pond, that might involve a bit more digging! THIS MEETING IS AT KINGSTON BARN!

With the days lengthening and daffodils coming into bloom, it's time to think about seed sowing, so please remember our PLANT SALE on Saturday 14th April in the Hall. Further details are on page 9 of your 2018 programme and will be in next month's magazine. We rely on our members to bring plants and seedlings for us to sell. Not only does this raise money for the Society - 400 last year- enabling your subscription to be so amazingly low - but it offers locally grown plants at very reasonable prices! Please sow some seeds or pot up plants for us to sell. We hope to welcome the Allotment Society to have its own stalls as well.

January Update

A record number of over 60 members attended our AGM on 10th January! President Brigadier Maurice Atherton gave an opening address and we stood to remember in silence members who had died in the past year especially Mrs Peggy Manby and the internment of Mrs Joyce Rickell wife of the previous Chairman. The accounts were presented by our Treasurer Andrew Clough. Jill Terry gave details of future speakers and outings to gardens of note and Jan Borgioli spoke about the 2018 Annual Show on 1st September. We now have new members of our Committee - Richard Borthwick , Helen Crofts and as our Village Hall representative Liz Leyland. Tributes were paid to Show Secretary Brian Wright who had to step down from the Committee and will be very greatly missed! He becomes an honorary Vice President. We hope he'll still enter many classes in future shows!

Members paid their annual subscription of 5 and collected their membership cards, smart new Show Schedules and Programme for 2018. If you read this and didn't manage to attend, yours will be delivered and membership subscriptions collected in due course. Tim Bines pointed out that membership of the Society enabled significant discounts from a number of garden suppliers including the Vineyard and Suttons Seeds.

The winner of the 20 Garden Gift Voucher (our 'thank you' to a randomly chosen member for attending the AGM) was Mary Friend.

We were absolutely delighted with the response to our garden flower competition and a small table in the Hall was awash with some 15 vases of colour, scent and beauty. We could hardly believe the different varieties of flowers that members were able to find in their gardens that day! Wendi Atherton had found 33 different varieties in bloom, with Maureen Taylor very close behind! The prize for the prettiest posy was unanimously agreed to go to Mary Parsons. Thank you everyone who took part.

We enjoyed refreshments provided by the Committee and received several compliments about the quality of the wine (bought from our Village shop! ) Members joined together in groups of 2 or 3 to enter the by now traditional quiz. Participants had to identify photographs of garden flowers, but were given an 'aide memoire' halfway through with a list of answers- (not in the right order of course!) because one or two were quite difficult and it's easier to recognise a name than dig it up from memory! Well done Jenny and Vic Cracknell who were winners by a large margin!

Our next speaker is Kevin Tooher talking on Water Features and their benefits on Friday 9th March in Kingston Barn at 7.30pm - we hope to see you there

 

Next EventSaturday 4th
August 8am - 6pm

Coach trip to the beautiful RHS garden in Essex to coincide with the Flower Show.
See page 6 of the 2018 Society Programme for details and page 7 for the booking form.

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