Bovingdon Horticultural Autumn Newsletter

August 27, 2018




Bovingdon & District Horticultural     Society Autumn Newsletter 2018


Show number three! I can’t believe it is almost time for our Autumn Show. Time seems to have flashed by. There we were enjoying a glorious tropical Summer and then whoosh down came the rain. Now we are back into a typical late British Summer with autumn just around the corner. One consolation though is the chance to ease up on the watering which has been quite arduous this year. 


Despite the dry weather and scorching temperatures our dedicated members made this year’s Summer Show a success. A reduction in the number of vegetable entries compared to 2017 was offset by an increase in flower exhibits. The roses were especially good and Caroline Walker’s won her the Mollie Aronson cup. Once again champion grower John North won the Darley Ash sweet pea cup. Carole Coshan was presented with the Bovingdon Horticultural Society cup for the most points in the Fruit and Vegetable sections, whilst Mike Leon won the National Vegetable Society medal for his cucumber exhibit. As with our other shows there are prizes for non-gardeners. Always popular is the floral art section. Here the competition is fierce but this time Glenys Welstead triumphed with three stunning exhibits gaining her the Doubleday cup. A previous champion of the cookery section, Shirley Masterson, was back on form winning the Crawley cup for most points in the Preserves and Cooking section. Photography has a dedicated following and this year a new winner, Walter Johannson, took the Douglas King cup for his lovely photograph shot in Oradour-sur-Glane in France. Sadly this year there were far fewer entries in the patchwork and quilted handicrafts section. That is not to say that the standard was any lower. The beautifully designed and made quilt by Anne Rees with intricate geometric and floral elements was a very worthy winner of the Langley Leisure Services cup. Finally the children from Bovingdon Academy once again played their part by exhibiting broad beans and Sweet Williams that they had grown. The Junior Cup was won by Jio Kaur for his three broad beans.


We would like to say a big thank you to Gillian Johansson for volunteering to be Summer Show secretary this year. Her experience (she used to be on the committee some years ago) and organisational skills were much appreciated. Also thanks to Lindsey Coates who served on our committee for 6 years but has now moved away.

Now we are preparing for the Autumn Show on 8th September. Let’s hope that the recent heavy rain has not damaged the Chrysanthemums and Dahlias that are the stand-out flowers at this show. There is still time to think about entering something so why not shelter from the rain in a warm cosy kitchen and bake a fruit cake. The recipe is in the handbook. Don’t forget to hand in your entries at Jarman’s by Thursday 6th September, or do them online using our website


In addition to presenting cups to winners at the show we will be giving a prize to the best hanging basket on our High Street. These were judged in July by Stafford Salt from the Middlesex Guild of Horticultural Judges. The 1st prize goes to Pendley Estates, 2nd Churchill Butchers and 3rd The Gentlemen’s  Barbers. Well done to those businesses and a big thank you to all who took part. It has been a tricky Summer for caring for hanging baskets and these well-tended baskets have cheered up our High Street.


Our green and pleasant land has resembled the African savannah this summer and the texture of our lawns is like coir matting. Do not despair, as on the savannah the coming of the rain will help the grass to recover naturally. The best advice is to keep the Wildebeest – sorry I mean children! off to allow the new tender shoots to grow. If after a few weeks there are still bare patches you can get patch repair mix from a garden centre. Be patient though as grass is amazingly tough and will usually recover as it did after the drought of 1976.


I am sure that members are as sad as I am at the closure of Garden Scene in Chipperfield. The Simmons family have had a nursery and garden centre on the site for what seems like centuries! They always gave friendly service and were happy to share their knowledge. What do we do now? There are rumours about the fate of Wyevale at Tower Hill but nothing certain. There are other garden centres not far away although not as handy as Garden Scene for us Bovingdon gardeners. Van Hague at Chenies is good and so is Hillier’s on Leighton Buzzard Road, Hemel Hempstead. Further afield I would recommend Burston garden centre on the A405 near Chiswell Green (there is a water garden centre next door) or about a mile further on Ayletts. The Plant Specialist at Great Missenden is a beautiful nursery specialising in perennials and shade loving plants. The alternative to these is B&Q!


Happy gardening!              Doreen Woods





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