Winter Newsletter 2013
What a year 2012 has been! Will 2013 be as exciting, challenging or wet? It seems incredible that this time last year we were suffering from a drought. The weather has been challenging for us gardeners but not in the way the experts predicted. Remember the so-called Mediterranean summers we were told to prepare for? Our three shows suffered from the adverse weather with entries down in the flower, fruit and vegetable sections. However the art and photography sections have maintained a strong showing. You will find subjects for this year’s entries in your handbook. There is a chance for you to reminisce over those Olympic photographs and perhaps enter some in categories such as “Modern Buildings” and “Olympic Memory”. Or you might even have an Olympic “River or Canal Scene”. On an early morning visit to the Olympic Park I saw a heron fishing by the canal perched on a concrete embankment. If you prefer a more natural environment for your creative work how about making a painting of the “River Chess”.
Returning to 2012 we rounded off our society’s year with a talk by Colin Oakes and our social evening in November. After entertaining us with “The Lungs of London” last February, Colin gave a talk entitled “Bad Workmen Blame Their Tools”. This autobiographical account told how he had learnt the correct use of a vast variety of tools. His employer collected gardening tools and we were astonished to learn how many regional varieties of spades and other tools there are. Our next talk is in April as the bad weather and dark nights seem to deter people from venturing out. Aubrey Barker of the famous Hopley’s Plants will be talking on planting schemes on Thursday 11th.
The social evening “Bovingdon 2012” was not very physical, unless you count playing a game of giant Jenga. However we all enjoyed a variety of quizzes and games and a delicious two course supper. The proceeds of the evening, £748, were donated to the Hospice of St. Francis.
During last year the society has been involved in community projects in and around Bovingdon. Four committee members continue to maintain the four village gates on Chesham, Hempstead and Chipperfield Roads and Green Lane. They seem to flourish despite all that the weather and passing traffic throw at them. In May hanging baskets were organised for the High Street and planted by Steve Fossett in a colour scheme of red, white and blue. On November 17th a team of members carried out maintainance work on the pond on The Green, strimming back grass, weeds and brambles from around the seating area. You may have seen a photograph of them in the Watford Observer. We are now campaigning for the reinstatement of village allotments which disappeared with the building of The Mount.
Already the Witch Hazel is in bloom in my garden and there is a promise of an early spring. Soon we could see aconites and snowdrops too. Winter flowers are particularly welcome when so little is in bloom and it gives us the chance to appreciate their individual beauty. However seeing a vast carpet of snowdrops is quite an experience. I often visit Bennington Lordship garden to see these. (open 2nd – 24th February 12-4pm) This year we have the opportunity to see snowdrops in Jill Mayo’s garden at Lane Farm in Long Lane Bovingdon. She has kindly offered to open to the public on Sunday 24th February from 11 – 1. Donations to the Labrador Lifeline Trust.
With this newsletter you should receive your 2013 handbook and a supplies list. One of the advantages of being a member is the chance to order all those bulky items such as compost, grit and soil conditioner and have them delivered to Mike Leon’s where you can collect them - useful if you cannot get all the sacks into your car boot for one trip. Make sure your order is in on time or you could miss out on some useful discounts.
Later in the year we are organising trips to the Saville Gardens and Wisley. For our trip to the Saville Gardens on Sunday May 19th, we will be using members’ cars as the cost of coach hire is prohibitive. At this time of year these gardens should be glowing with the colour of azaleas and rhododendrons in the woodland areas. If you have never visited look at the website www.theroyallandscape.co.uk There will be details for this visit in the next newsletter.
So a happy new year to all our members and we hope to see you at one of our events in 2013.