Summer Newsletter 2018

June 22, 2018

Bovingdon and District Horticultural Society Society                  Summer Newsletter 2018


Now that summer has arrived and the gardens are billowing and blooming it is gratifying to find that after the hard winter the body count is lower than anticipated. By body count I am referring of course to plants in my garden not humans! My saddest loss was of Camellia “Cornish Snow”, a much loved friend but replaceable. Miraculously expected losses of Verbena, Salvias and Agapanthus have not occurred. The cold winter and wet spring seems to have given the shrubs a boost though and the roses in particular are performing well. I wonder how all our members have fared with their gardens and whether these conditions have favoured roses there too.


Saturday 30th June is the date of our Summer Show. This year we have a “new” summer show secretary. Gillian Johansson has kindly offered to take charge for this year. Gillian is well qualified for this as she is a long-standing society member and an experienced gardener. We look forward to welcoming her in her new role. Despite the fact that roses are still one of the nation’s most popular flowers we have seen a decline in the number of entries for them in recent years. It would be good to see a reverse in that trend. If you grow roses why not enter one, or several! There are five classes for these classic blooms. Vying with the roses for “best perfume” are sweet peas, surely a favourite with everyone. Their sweet perfume fills the hall and puts us in a summery mood. There are many classes for other flowers, pot grown as well as garden varieties. Strictly Come Dancing is a very popular T.V. show, but how to capture the spirit of it in flowers? I am sure that our talented floral-art exhibiters will have some stunning ideas.  I am sure that we will see excellent displays of fruit and vegetables if the recent warm weather has allowed them to catch up after the late spring. The children will be displaying peas and beans in their section of the show. It is not too late to enter the photography section. With the sun shining you could take a stroll down a country lane (one of the subjects) or  photograph an interesting wall in the village. So get snapping. The more entries we have in all classes the more interesting our show becomes. Please remember to get your entries in by Thursday 28th June to Jarman’s store or submit your entries on the website.


After a considerable wait following our first spring talk on 7th March the second one took place on 16th May. This talk took a “sideways” look at gardening and investigated the link between plant names and some of our own. Jacqueline Aviolet is a kind of stand-up gardening comic who delivered her talk without slides but with real plants. She delighted us with amusing anecdotes and serious gardening advice whilst linking our names to those of plants. As she explained she is a tulip and most of us have at least one plant that shares our name. After matching us up we were able to purchase plants grown in her nursery and chat over tea and biscuits. She kindly donated some plants that will be in the raffle at the summer show.


It is good to be able to get out and view other gardens in the summer and also visit garden related venues. I recently visited The Garden Museum in London. Housed in the de-consecrated church of St. Mary-at-Lambeth, this unique museum houses a collection of images, plans, films, artefacts and books related to all aspects of the history of gardening. Although first opened in the late 1970’s the museum has recently undergone a substantial makeover with an airy new café, and courtyard garden with planting designed by Dan Pearson. The central focus of this new planting is the tomb of John Tradescant and his son, whilst nearby is the grave of Captain Bligh, of the “The Bounty”. Upstairs there are permanent collections of everything from garden tools and ornaments to Gertrude Jekyll’s desk. Downstairs there is a succession of temporary exhibitions, currently the vibrant paintings of Cedric Morris, a shop and “The Ark”, a cabinet of curiosities collected by the Tradescants. This gem of a museum is well worth a visit and just a 15 minute walk from Westminster tube station.


John and Caroline Walker have graciously invited all members to a Summer Social on the 22nd July in their beautiful garden at Long Meadow, Flaunden Lane, Bovingdon HP3 0PA. This is a large garden that seems to be constantly evolving, so after meeting there two years ago we will no doubt see further developments. There will be tea and cakes and the chance to chat to other members. We hope to see you there 2:00 till 4:00.


Happy gardening.                              Doreen Woods.

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