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

Spring Newsletter 2015

February, 2015

Dear Member,

Although it's early in the year there are signs of spring, various early bulbs are poking their noses above the earth and I have even seen colour showing on an early crocus as well as primroses flowering. We hope that the events detailed in this newsletter lift your spirits on the days when spring seems to be slow in coming!


Friday 27th March An Inter-village competition in Selling Village Hall.
As mentioned in our autumn newsletter there will be no Neame cup this year. Instead there will be an inter society quiz. This will be an opportunity to get together with other societies and have fun. We await final details from Tom Hill, but Vic Cracknell has been involved in the planning and the format is going to be similar to the enjoyable social evening he put together for us last year. There are six rounds of ten questions planned with unequivocal answers and making use of screened photographs/videos etc. Societies will be invited to join in by filling a table of 6-8 people and bringing along some refreshments to share. If you wish to be involved in this mental challenge please let us know!

Spring Plant Sale

Saturday 11th April 10.30 am in Kinston Barn (KB)
An opportunity to share your extra plants, buy some new ones and raise money for the society. This is definitely a date worth adding to your diary. Any contributions of excess plants is always welcome - please make sure you arrive on time as the sale normally lasts a very short time and we don't want you to be disappointed!


Tuesday 17th Feb. Steve Bradley - Bug eats bug and what are your gardening problems? 7.30pm KB
Our first talk of the season promises to be both interesting and useful. Especially to members who try to garden organically. Steve Bradley of Radio Kent fame will once more share his knowledge with us. This time sharing expertise on biological control of garden pests and also answering any questions that you may have. Please come with prepared questions to ask - it's a real opportunity to find some practical solutions!

Friday 13th March. Dr Sue Turner - From Bolivia to Barham-The social history of the potato. 7.30pm KB
Sue started her career working in the Plant Pathology Department at the International Potato Center in Peru. On returning to the UK she worked for the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland and as a lecturer at Queens' University, Belfast. She is now retired but busier than ever with her garden in Tenterden. Her talk will cover the origins and domestication of the potato and its subsequent introduction and cultivation within Europe and the rest of the world. The diverse uses of potatoes and their role in world food production will also be covered including the reasons for the Irish Potato Famine in the 1800's and the subsequent lessons learnt for pest and disease control. This talk will also cover how best to grow potatoes yourself.

Wednesday 15th April. Dr Mick Lynn - Climate Change 7.30pm KB
Professional environmentalist, beekeeper, and chairman of Ticehurst Gardening Association in East Sussex. Mick is a great bee enthusiast and gave us a very informative and enjoyable talk last time when he spoke to us in 2012. This time he will be talking on the effect of climate change on gardens and how we can work round the problems that arise.

Wednesday 20th May. Everett Leeds - Clematis through the seasons. 7.30pm KB
Everett became interested in Clematis in 1975 and went on to help form both the International Clematis Society and the British Clematis Society of which he was Chairman 4 times. He is an amateur grower & hybridiser of clematis and with Mary Toomey co-authored the Encyclopedia of Clematis. His well illustrated talk will cover the clematis year and consider what to plant to provide flowering clematis through the year.

Wednesday 14th Oct. Russ Bowes - Say it with poison. 7.30pm KB
Russell is a freelance garden historian, tour guide and garden designer who is a keen practical gardener with an interest in period plants, styles and techniques. He will be coming to speak to us about gardens as sources of poison - he writes 'Down in the garden, something deadly lurks. Several people who stood between the gardener and a large inheritance have died horribly. Could it be that they have all been poisoned with the plants and flowers that grow there? Many have been used throughout history as part of the murderer's stock-in-trade, both in fiction and real life, so should you be on your guard against "herbaceous murder" as the gardener welcomes you in for what might be your very last garden tour? Make sure your life insurance is up to date against murder most floral - it's time to Say It With Poison!

Wednesday 18th Nov. Dr Simon Charlesworth - A World of Lavender 7.30pm KB
Simon is a very informative and entertaining speaker. He is the creator/owner of the multi-award winning Downderry Nursery near Tonbridge which has the most comprehensive and well-researched lavender collection in the UK with, at the last count, 400+ species and cultivars. A leading expert on all aspects of lavender Simon's talk will cover the taxonomy, cultivation, breeding, showing and distilling of lavender.


Saturday 9th May Coach outing to Pashley Manor together with a visit to Merriments garden
The website says it all- Pashley Manor is a quintessential English garden located on the Sussex and Kent border in the heart of South East England's garden country. It offers a sumptuous blend of romantic landscaping, imaginative plantings and fine old trees, fountains, springs and large ponds. Pashley is an ideal destination for groups of garden lovers, art and history enthusiasts, keen photographers or those just looking for a peaceful and enjoyable day out surrounded by beauty and nature. We will also visit Merriments garden and nursery an opportunity to buy plants to fill any gaps in your borders

Saturday 13th June Car outing to Tram Hatch garden at Charing Heath
This would be an afternoon visit with members travelling by car arriving at 2.30pm. The visit will include the opportunity for refreshments. Tram Hatch was purchased by Alan and Pam Scrivens in 1984 as The Manor of Tramhatch, one of the eleven old manor houses of Charing and is grade two listed with a star. The house has a rich history and had fallen into disrepair before being restored by the current owners. The gardens extend over 3 acres and had been neglected but are now restored and are set out as rooms including a rose garden, a vegetable plot and ponds.

Saturday 12th September Coach outing to RHS Wisley
We have free entry to RHS Wisley for up to 55 members so the cost of the trip will be the coach only. There is likely to be a lot of interest so book early. Wisley is always worth a visit with so much to see and this is the Saturday of their Flower Show so there will be lots to see and explore.


There will be two new kinds of Shows this year because of Barham Village Hall refurbishment, the difficulty of finding suitable alternatives and the logistics of setting up etc. We have adapted our Summer Show and also introduced a Pumpkin Show to replace our normal Autumn Show. In 2016 our normal Summer and Autumn Shows will be resumed in Barham Village Hall and to encourage photographic entries we thought it would be helpful to give the titles that will be in our 2016 Summer and Autumn Shows to you now. In the Summer Show 2016 the title will be 'Garden Edibles' and in the Autumn Show 'Wildlife in the Garden (excl. garden pets!)' - photographs for adults may be in colour or black and white, size 12 cm x 17 cm (5" x 7") unmounted and for children the same titles but a colour photograph, size 12 cm x 17 cm (5" x 7") again no mount.

Saturday 4th July - Summer Mini Show - Barham Church - 2.00 pm.
It will be exciting to have a different format and we have put together a mini show schedule provided with this Newsletter. This year will be a much more informal event with an opportunity to gain an insight as to how the judging works. All present will be able to have a go at assessing and marking all exhibits prior to a professional judge making his round of the exhibits and explaining his decisions. Please do have a go and exhibit - it's fun to take part in such a traditional village event. The church will be open at 1.00pm for exhibits and staging must be completed by 2.00pm. The professional judge will then review the exhibits and finish by 3.15pm when you can have a go at judging and the judges results will be revealed after 4.00pm and prizes awarded for those closest to the judges marks.

Saturday 31st October - Pumpkin and carved pumpkin Show - Village Green/Duke of Cumberland
We are still working on the details of this Show - please see our website for details in due course - but there will be four classes - 2 adult and 2 for children. One class will be the largest pumpkin and the other the best carved pumpkin. We have timed this to fit with Halloween so hope we may have many entries and an exciting time!

We hope you have an excellent gardening year and that the society is able to encourage your endeavours in all things horticultural.

Tim Bines Liz Dallison     January  2015           
Chairman Committee Member  

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 


Local companies that support the society offering help advice and services near to you. Advertisers »