Everywhere you look there are daffodils but will they still be around on 2nd April for the spring show? The topsy turvy weather is once again keeping us guessing as to which plants will survive to be exhibits. Our show does have many daffodil classes but there are opportunities to show other blooms such as early tulips, muscari, fritillaries or pot-grown flowers and houseplants. Due to the mild winter many shrubs are coming into bloom early – camellias are doing particularly well – and I have even seen some magnolias. Do have a look around your garden and see if you can find something to exhibit. Entries should be in by Thursday 31st March. As well as dropping your entries in to Jarman’s you can now enter online by using our own website www.bovingdonhortsoc.org.uk Before the show opens at 2pm we will be holding our AGM. Please try to come along as this is your chance to voice any concerns or ideas and provide general feedback.
This year we have a full programme of events for members and friends and are still adding to the list. The next important date after the spring show is the plant sale on 7th May. If you have surplus plants such as perennials that you have divided, seedlings you do not have space for or rooted cuttings why not sell them at the plant sale? If you have not done this before all you need do is contact Mike Leon on 01442 833665 to book yourself a table. Label your plants and the more information you can give, ( such as a picture if it is not in flower) the better. You will also need a money tin with plenty of change and a stash of carrier bags. It’s amazing how many people need extra bags. As well as earning a bit of extra cash the plant sale is fun and a way to meet other gardeners. Of course if you just want to buy there is always a great selection of vegetables and flowering plants at good prices.
We are lucky to have Boxmoor Trust land on our doorstep where we can enjoy flora and wildlife. Many villagers in Bovingdon may have walked different pieces of the estate, perhaps the best-known being Sheethanger Common at the bottom of Box Lane (good for tobogganing too!) Much of the trust land has been preserved since 1594 but a more recent addition was Bovingdon Brickfields situated off Green Lane. This is a popular area with dog walkers and last year was studied by members of Dacorum U3A wild flower group to conduct surveys. It is interesting to see what nature moves in when the clay diggers move out. Last summer a Bee Orchid was spotted there for the first time. On May 18th at 7.15 members are invited to join Boxmoor Trust volunteers for a guided walk of the Brickfields to learn about its wildlife. For further information contact John Hislam on 01442 834873.
This year we are holding a summer social as well as our annual get together in November. John and Caroline Walker have kindly offered their garden (Long Meadow, Flaunden Lane) on 4th June for teas with Pimms from 2-5pm. Further information will be available on the website nearer to the date.
Also in June on the 15th at 7:00 pm, we have arranged a visit to Rod Pengelly’s Rose Garden in Chalfont St Giles. Rod is a championship grower and he has over 300 rose plants in this working garden, many are his favourites and some are new ones on trial. Further details will be given nearer the time.
You may have attended the talk last month on topiary, a gardening feature that has been used for centuries and was very popular until the 18th century when a certain Mr. Brown was responsible for its’ demise in many large gardens. “Capability” Brown as he became to be known was the creator of the English Landscape style of “gardening” (if it could be called that as you needed a good few acres for him to play with) This year is the 300th anniversary of his birth and throughout the country many gardens will be putting on special celebrations. Lancelot (real name) did not keep records but it is estimated that he landscaped over 200 gardens/parks in his career. One of the most famous and quite near to us is Stowe in Buckinghamshire. This is well worth a visit if you have never been. There is a special website giving information on events and exhibitions www.capabilitybrown.org
Think of lavender and you probably conjure a scene in Provence with undulating rows of purple stretching into the distance. Now imagine this scene in Hertfordshire. Hitchin Lavender opens again on 2nd May until 18th September. Each day they are open for you to sniff and pick. There is a café, shop and a covered area to sit. In August they have an open- air sundown cinema showing popular films – booking essential. For more information see the website www.hitchinlavender.com
Hopefully this will be a lovely summer for gardening and visiting open gardens. Here in the village we have two gardens that will be opening for the National Gardens Scheme. They are” Huntsmoor” in Stoney Lane 1st May & 18th September and Home Farm Plants in Shantock Lane on 3rd July.
We hope to see you at the Spring Show.