Autumn 2016 Newsletter

September 1, 2016


Despite rain or shine, drought or wet you talented members always seem to grow wonderful produce for the autumn show. This show is a cornucopia of fruit, vegetables, flowers and cookery. So on September 10th we will find out who are the stars of the show, both vegetable and human. Don’t forget that entries should be in by 12 noon on Thursday 8th September either through Jarman’s or online. Despite a soggy start this summer has at last provided some welcome sunshine and has seen excellent growth in our gardens. The recent dry spell may have affected the size of some vegetables though. This is the show where size really matters as there are 5 classes for heavy or large vegetables – the battle of the Titans. So if you think you may have a bigger than average bean, potato, onion, pumpkin or marrow, please enter it. Last year the longest runner bean was grown by a child, so come on it really is child’s play! We hope that children will be encouraged to enter into more classes this time as there is no upper or lower age limit.


The “Bovingdon Bake-off” has enthused keen bakers in the village and this year is the turn of the “ Lemon Drizzlers” to show their skills. The recipe for the lemon drizzle cake that should be followed is in our Yearbook. The winner will win the Horwood Bakery Cup. There are also other opportunities for keen cooks and jam-makers to show their creations and perhaps win the Copse Hill Challenge Cup. If you keep chickens and are feeling lazy you do not even have to crack an egg. Just talk nicely to the hens and get them to produce six of their best for class 173!


This is the only show where home-made drinks feature. There is a chance here to use up excess fruit to create a fruit liqueur or a non- alcoholic drink such as a cordial. Do not limit yourself to fruit however as Birch sap and some kinds of vegetables can also be used. I recall as a child sitting in a thatched cottage in Buntingford (idyllic!) whilst my parents sampled rhubarb and potato wines made by the wife of my dad’s friend. Despite the fact that the rose colour of the rhubarb wine looked tempting I was not allowed to taste it. Apparently it was delicious but the potato one was akin to vodka, we were told, as it was so strong! We do not have the recipes but perhaps someone would like to experiment.


Our High Street is once again looking colourful thanks to the traders who pay for and tend the hanging baskets put up by our society. This year the 1st prize went to Fyfes the butchers, 2nd the Memorial Hall and 3rd Seaways fish and chip shop. This year there were 34 baskets, somewhat down on recent years. The decrease is partly due to the closure of some of our shops. The Hospice shop was always a keen participant and often won a prize. Thanks though to The Gentleman Barbers for taking up the challenge and filling the gap left by Parish Electrical. Let’s not forget Steve Foskett who planted up the baskets for us and Vic Coe from the Guild of Horticultural Judges who judged them. Thank you to everyone who took part and enjoy the champagne Fyfes!

As a society affiliated to the RHS (the Royal Horticultural Society) we enjoy the privilege of free entry to a group of members once a year to any RHS garden. Last year we visited Wisley gardens in Surrey and in the past we have also visited Hyde Hall gardens in Essex. Unfortunately due to the escalating costs of coach hire we have had to use members’ cars. We will be looking for ideas for visits for next year’s programme of events and would like to hear from members if you have any thoughts on this. One visit that can be made this autumn is to Huntsmoor garden, Stoney Lane, Bovingdon on September 18th from 2-5pm. For details see


Apologies to members for the cancellation of the College Lake walk. There was a mix-up of the dates so we were unable to stage this event.


I cannot believe that it is 4 years since the London Olympic games. It seems like only last year (a sure sign I am getting old) In 2012 we used the Olympic theme for our November social evening and played a series of indoor games. This year our annual social evening on November 11th will be an Olympic picnic, details still to be decided on. As with last year’s social we are asking that you get together with friends and bring your own food and drink to share. If you would like to book please phone Shirley Masterson on 832062.


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 on 01442833520 a.s.a.p. I aim to have the order in by November 30th so that we get our choices and no substitutes.


Enjoy the rest of your Summer.


Doreen Woods.

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