Bovingdon and District Horticultural Society - Spring Newsletter 2017
Without a doubt spring is my favourite season of the year. After the grey, short days of winter it is a joy to be woken by the daylight creeping round the curtains. Each day I look forward to taking a walk around the garden to see what has emerged from sleep. Spring bulbs are a delight and so easy to grow, you just plant them and then wait for those jewel-like flowers to appear. Although I guess it is not quite that simple if you are growing daffodils for showing. The perfection of the blooms at the spring shows never cease to amaze me. Obviously the exhibitors did not just plant them and forget them like me! These have had some serious TLC. If you have any spring flowers, not just daffodils, please enter some in the show on 8th April. This year there is a special section for children to exhibit daffodils in a vase. If you have spent the winter making handicrafts or painting there are classes for those items too. All entries should be in by Thursday 6th April at Jarman’s or online. Let’s make this spring show the best yet.
Before the show opens we are holding our AGM at 2pm. This is your opportunity to come along and give us some feedback. We are finding it increasingly difficult to find people to undertake all the tasks necessary for running the society. One or two members will be resigning from the present committee so we need a new autumn show secretary and another committee member. If you or anyone that you know is a good organiser then please come and join us.
Choosing and buying plants for your garden is an enjoyable activity. If you grow plants from seed browsing the catalogues in winter is a way of gardening whilst waiting for warmer days. Once again this year our society has used the Thompson and Morgan offer of cut price seeds, plants and sundries. Our initial order to the value of £300 meant that members paid only 50% of the cost per packet of seeds and 20% off sundries. For the first time we placed a second order in February. It is good to see members using this offer. Like many people I shop online buying plants as well as clothes and books. As well as using the well-known websites such as www.crocus.co.uk I am always on the lookout for unusual plants from British nurseries. Knowing that some of our members buy their daffodil bulbs from specialist growers, I did an online search. One nursery that interested me has the national collection of daffodils in the north west of Scotland and sells surplus bulbs online. These are of old fashioned varieties that are often more refined than some of the blowsy modern types. See www.croft16daffodils.co.uk Another recent online discovery is www.plantsforshade.co.uk a nursery in Somerset. The website is very well set out and offers a large variety of plants. My order was dispatched within days.
Whilst on the subject of nurseries we have organised an evening visit to The Plant Specialist, an excellent nursery for perennials, in Great Missenden. However places are limited so you will have to book in advance. See me at the spring show or phone me on 01442 833520 for details and booking.
The second of our annual talks on April 5th and will be given by well-known garden writer Val Bourne. She turned a derelict garden in the Cotswolds into an organic haven full of flowers, fruit and vegetables. This promises to be an entertaining evening. The talk is open to non-members so why not bring a friend along?
We have an interesting programme of events this year and after the spring show our next one is the plant sale on 6th May. To make this a success we need lots of plants to sell, so why not come along with your surplus plants and earn a few pounds. Ring Mike Leon on 01442 833665 to book yourself a table in the hall. You could always get together with a friend to share a table if you do not have many plants. There is no charge but we ask that you donate 10% of your takings to the society.
This year the National Gardens scheme is celebrating its 90th year. In the summer of 1927 an organisation, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, persuaded 600 people to open their gardens to the paying public and raised £8,000 for the charity. Today 80 gardens of the original 600 are still opening for the National Gardens Scheme; Sandringham, the queen’s garden in Norfolk has opened every year. Over the years fewer gardens of stately homes have opened but town garden, allotment, hospice garden and cottage garden openings have become more numerous. We have two local gardens that you can visit this summer – “Huntsmoor” on 28th May and “Home Farm Plants” on 2nd July. A little further afield is Ascott House near Wing on 1st May. This is a National Trust property but members will be asked to pay £5 on that day. This garden is well worth a visit