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

Autumn Newsletter 2016

November, 2016

Dear Member,

Society affiliated with the Royal Horticultural SocietyWe hope the weather has been kind to you and the bugs have left your plants alone - at least for a while! In this, our Autumn Newsletter, we look back with a résumé of the events this year and also forward with an outline of our 2017 programme.

The year started with our AGM on the 13th January - it was a little cramped in the Grabham Room - we were unable to hire the main hall - however we had an enjoyable time with a short business session including a review of our finances and then tried our hand at the quiz, and enjoyed some 'nibbles' and a glass of wine. This year there have been several opportunities to be inspired and informed by one of our talks. Also we arranged a couple of opportunities for members to meet informally in the Duke of Cumberland, enjoy a drink and exchange horticultural knowledge as well as hopes and woes! Talks included:

'How to create a winning garden' on 17th February. Roger Platts the 5 times Chelsea gold medal winner and garden designer was our first speaker in the new Barham Village Hall. Whilst we may have expected an instructional talk we had instead a walk through a project to produce a Chelsea garden, from marking it out at the nursery to the finished installed article. It was fascinating and a real eye opener to the effort and diverse skills required.

'Trees in your garden' on 17th March. Kevin Tooher inspired us to plant more trees by explaining how to choose and plant the best one for our garden. If you join us on our Wisley trip in 2017 - see below - you will be able to hear Kevin again as he has agreed to give our members a guided tour.

'Growing Sweet peas' on 20th April. Philip Johnson described for us all the detail of how to grow sweet peas for the show bench or just for the joy of having them as cut flowers. He also had some wonderful sweet peas for sale which delighted many members!

'Preparing and Showing fruit, flowers and veg' on 11th May. Janine Doulton who did a great job of judging our mini Show in 2015, gave us hints and tips on how to get the best from our produce.

'Something for every month of the year' on 12th October. Sue Scrivens gave a very colourful inspiring presentation showing us that a colourful garden every month of the year is within our grasp.

At the time of writing there is just one talk left for 2016. On 16th November, Alison Marsden will speak on 'What will grow in my garden'. This is of particular interest in our area as we have a variety of soils and microclimates so members may find answers to some problems. Alison is a garden designer and Kent Adult Education tutor and founder of the Gardening by Design school.

On 25th April our team of 8 successfully participated - that means we won! - in the Neame Cup Quiz which has changed format and is now a much friendlier occasion.

Horticultural Shows.

Both of our shows this year were held in the Barham Village Hall and were, as usual, a colourful demonstration of what our members (senior and junior ) can achieve whether growing flowers and/or veg, flower arranging, baking or taking photographs.

The Summer Show on 9th July was a great success. The judges were very complimentary – one even joined our Society!! The number of entries was a little down on last year, but a temporary change to the second Saturday in July meant that some members were elsewhere engaged! At tea, visitors were treated to the very same strawberries that are supplied to Wimbledon AND amazing double cream from Ottinge Dairies!!

The Autumn Show on 3rd September was a colourful display of flowers, vegetables and fruit welcomed everyone at this year's Autumn Show. The Judges remarked about the many exhibits and how enjoyable a day judging at Barham always is. Entry numbers were up from the previous few Shows, with some new members entering exhibits. We hope you enjoyed the experience and are enthused to do more next year! Setting up the Shows is a busy day for committee members- so we would be more than happy to have volunteers to help set up or pack down after the Show. Please let one of the committee know if you would be willing to help - preferably a month or so before (or at the AGM).


There were two visits that we arranged this year:

Boughton Aluph visit to Downs Court. On Saturday, 25th June - one of those sunny/rainy days - our members enjoyed a visit by car to Downs Court. The first sight of the garden had the 'wow' factor and the visit continued in that vein. Tea and cake was supplied in the marquee to end a very successful and enjoyable visit.

Great Comp and Downderry Nursery. This was a coach visit on the 16th July. The morning was spent enjoying the Great Comp garden followed by lunch. We then went on to Downderry Nursery where the owner, Simon Charlesworth - who spoke to us last year, led us round the show garden and lavender fields explaining how many varieties there are from all over the world, finishing with a demonstration of how he produces lavender oil. The tea and biscuits was very welcome at the end of a very successful day.

If you have any suggestions for visits in future years do please let us know - we will be asking at our AGM so do help us find interesting visits!


For 2017 we have made a varied and interesting programme of visits, talks and Shows which we hope you will find both informative and entertaining - the talks will all start at 7.30pm in Barham Village Hall unless otherwise indicated. First of all we have our AGM on Wednesday 11th January in Barham Village Hall. There will be a formal AGM followed by a drink and a quiz, both of which we hope you will enjoy, and as it's the start of our New Year it will be the time to pay your subscription for 2017.

On 15th March we are delighted to be able to welcome the very well known James Buttress - the people's gardener - who was Royal Parks gardener, eight times Chelsea Gold medal winner and well known following his appearance on TV as judge in the Great Allotment Challenge. He will talk about his 65 years in horticulture which should inspire us for the forthcoming season.

Given the dry years we are experiencing we thought that Gardening in Dry conditions would be a good subject so we have invited Hilary Newman to talk to us on that subject on 12th April. He lectured at Hadlow for many years and is a very experienced speaker.

On 10th May Sue Marshal will be talking about 'The English Love Affair With Iris'. This talk will be a further encouragement to diversify and expand our garden flowers. The nursery (Iris of Sissinghurst) offers a wide range of Iris and Sue aims to add new varieties each year. This talk will take place in KINGSTON BARN.

Malcolm Withnall talks to us about Age Proof Gardening - less pain more gain on 11th October which as we all get older will be of interest to everyone! His horticulture MSc course at Hadlow College is well known and he will give us a range of handy tips on how to make gardening easier.

On 8th November Dusty Miller will be talking about growing vegetables from scratch so here is a chance to branch out and start growing and eating your own vegetables and/or to improve what you already produce!

2017 Visits

We have arranged two visits this year for which we hope we will have a good turnout.

Our first visit is by car to Barham - to Simpson's Barham Vineyard and Winery and is on Wed. 7th June 7.30pm. This will provide a chance for members to learn about growing vines and producing wine, plus an opportunity locally for wine tasting.

On Saturday 15th July we have arranged a guided tour of RHS Wisley with Kevin Tooher whose talk last year was so popular - see above. This will use our free visit which we have as an RHS affiliated Society so it will again be exceptional value!

Also in 2017

Once more in 2017 we will look to have a more informal chance to discuss our gardening successes and challenges with occasional meetings in the Duke of Cumberland so look out for these dates which we will advertise well beforehand.

We have decided to repeat the format of the very popular 2015 Summer Mini Show and have been kindly offered Barham Church again for it and this will be on 1st July. It provides a real opportunity for members to understand what a judge is looking for and it's a wonderful venue in which to do so. Our Autumn Show on 2nd of September will again be in Barham Village Hall. The subject for the photography this coming year in the Autumn Show is 'Early Morning'. We hope that gives you time to secure a great photograph!!

Finally as a member you are entitled to a 50% discount on Suttons seeds and 15% on anything else. The discount is only available for Society members - it will be easily possible to recover your subscription by buying seeds in this way! If you would like a seed catalogue with an order form to entitle you to a discount, please please complete the online form and the catalogue will be sent to you with advice on what to do. Andrew will be at the forthcoming November talk and at the AGM with spare catalogues.

The finalised Events Programme and Show Schedules are in preparation now and will be available for the AGM. We do hope that you will be able to use your membership to advantage this coming year - joining us on a visit, attending talks and/or exhibiting at one of our two Shows or perhaps joining the Committee - the Society is after all run by members for members! To help with this we are continuing with the development of our web site so please do look around for the latest information. Finally if you would like to receive this Autumn Newsletter via Email please let us know and we will add you to the growing address list.


Tim Bines Liz Dallison     November  2016           
Chairman Membership Secretary  

Next EventWednesday
11th April 7.30pm

'Chillis are good for you'
This is an illustrated talk by Steve Weller. Takes place at Barham Village Hall.
Directions to Barham Village Hall 


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