Autumn is threatening to engulf us even before August is over and we can already feel the
chill from those northern winds. Hopefully this is only a temporary change and the
weather will return to warmer days to ripen those summer crops in time for the show on
The Autumn Show is a cornucopia of all that the summer has helped produce. Now is the
time to show a variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers that you have grown, including the
longest, the heaviest and the giant. This is the battle of the titans! If growing fruit and
vegetables is not your thing there are many other classes in this show where you can get
involved. In keeping with world events (we do like to be topical!) and here I refer to the
impending referendum, there is a class in the floral art entitled “Scotland”. It will be
interesting to see how this one is interpreted! Once again we have a Bovingdon Bakeoff so
if you have an excess of plums, and I hear it is a good year for them, why not bake a
plum cake for the cookery section. The recipe for this is in the handbook.
In the children’s section there is an opportunity to use a computer or tablet to create a
picture of your favourite animal. But take note that does not mean downloading one! If
the kids have been inspired by the great British Bakeoff too they could try making
flapjacks. Other classes are for photographs or model making. Thanks to Bovingdon
Academy we will have an extra display as they have staged a competition to design a
witch’s hat. A selection of the best entries will be on show so that we can see what the
best dressed witches will be wearing this Halloween. Please have entries in to Jarman’s by 12 noon on Thursday 4th September.
The day after the show Sunday 7th September, the Hospice of St. Francis gardens in
Spring Garden Lane, Berkhamsted are opening under the National Gardens Scheme.
Opening time is 2-5.30pm and admission £4 (children free) These gardens have recently
undergone replanting so it will be interesting to see the new design. Please support this
Returning to thoughts of our glorious summer, 19 members gathered at College Lake
nature reserve on the evening of 26th June for a talk and guided walk. The warden Owain
explained how the reserve came about and how it has been developed over the years. He
led us on an interesting walk around the lake pointing out flowers, butterflies and birds
and answering our questions, which were quite numerous. The reserve is not normally
open in the evening and Owain generously gave up his time to accommodate us. If there
is demand we could make another visit next year to enjoy this tranquil space.
The Summer Show was a great success and whilst the number of exhibitors was down the
number of entries was up. Fifty of the two hundred and fifty exhibits were from children. A
lovely painting of her house won Sophie Lynch the Springfield cup and Annabelle Jarvis
won first prize for her broad beans. It was good to see many of the children and their
families at the end of afternoon prize-giving. This year has been perfect for roses and
there were many beautiful specimens in the show. The scent of these was complemented
by that of sweet peas. Although our show clashed with the National Sweet Pea Society
show this was probably a blessing in disguise for some of our members; two of the regular
sweet pea champions were absent!
It has been a tough summer for hanging baskets with the heat and drought. However
businesses in the High Street have done a sterling job in keeping the baskets and our
village looking colourful. The baskets were judged in August by Vic Coe an official RHS
judge. Congratulations to Parish Electrical for winning first prize. Second prize went to
Pendley Estates and third to Costcutter. Thank you to all the businesses who took part as
your efforts are much appreciated. It seems however that not all community efforts are
appreciated. For the second year running the village bed in front of the sign on Green
Lane has been vandalised. The summer Jasmine has been hacked and debris left lying on
the ground. If the person who has done this has a problem with the bed perhaps they
could be persuaded to contact me or the Parish Council to discuss it.
As Autumn approaches there are many celebrations of the wonderful produce that has
been grown throughout the year. Apart from the obvious harvest festival services that our
local churches hold there are Apple Day events that are always fun to take part in.
Officially Apple Day is 21st October and Hertfordshire Orchard Initiative (a voluntary group
that promotes orchard conservation) is staging events throughout Hertfordshire in
October. On 5th Chorleywood Community Orchard has an apple day from 11 am – 3pm.
For further details www.chorleywood-orchard.org.uk/apple-dat.html On 19th and 20th
October Aylett Nurseries are holding an Apple and Food Festival. This well-known nursery
on the North Orbital Road is good at putting on displays and this should be worth a visit.
Those of you who are RHS members will probably be aware that there is to be a
Celebration of Autumn Festival between 15 and 19th October at RHS gardens Wisley. Here
you can try and buy many kinds of food and drink from various stalls, taste apples that
you won’t find in the supermarket and be inspired by beautiful artwork and photography.
www.rhs.org.uk for details.
After what promises to be a beautiful Autumn we look forward to our annual social
evening on Friday November 14th. As yet we do not have any firm plans for the evening
but you are guaranteed fun and a delicious supper. Details will be emailed to members at
a later date.
Finally, as we retire from the garden to the cosy indoors, in late autumn, thoughts will
turn to seed buying. Once again I will be compiling a Thompson and Morgan order for the
society. If you would like a catalogue please ring me .