At last the buffeting and battering are over and the gales have retreated. We can now safely venture out into our gardens and appreciate the spring flowers. Despite the damaging gales it has been a pleasant spring with no late snowfall as we experienced last year. Everything seems to be early this year and with our Spring Show on 13th April there is a concern that the best of the daffodils will have gone over. It would be perverse to pray for cold weather but members who show their daffodils could be forgiven for that! Whether you are entering daffodils, other plants, floral art, handicrafts or paintings all the entries need to be in by Thursday 11th April. As usual Jarman’s store will accept entry forms (they are in the centre of the handbook) up until 12 noon or you can submit your entry online from our website www.bovingdonhortsoc.org.uk. You actually get a few hours grace if you use this method as the cut-off time is 10pm! If you have any queries regarding the spring show please contact show secretary Gillian Johansson, 01442 833766, as she has swapped duties with Mike Leon. He will now be summer show secretary. Please be aware that there has been some modification to the schedule and exhibitors should check the individual classes for details. The show will be open for public viewing at 2.30 but prior to this, at 2pm, we will be holding our AGM. This is an opportunity for members to meet the committee, ask questions or make suggestions about the running of the society. Please come along. The agenda for the meeting is already on the website.
Our first event of the year was a talk given by local nurseryman Graham Austin of Home Farm Plants. Graham is an enthusiastic and award winning grower of Elatum Delphiniums. His talk began with a word of warning about non-hardy Delphiniums and how we can mistakenly buy these in the garden centres. Looking at his slides it became obvious that the Elatum varieties were far superior displaying dense flower spikes and a healthy vigour and hardiness. Graham gave us lots of tips on growing and how to deter those pesky slugs, the reason several of us gave up growing Delphiniums! There were plants from his nursery for sale so equipped with some of those and Graham’s advice we can expect to have more success with these stately flowers in the future. His nursery in Shantock Lane Bovingdon is now open until the end of October. Check their website for opening times www.homefarmplants.co.uk.
Our skittles social evening last November made a profit which has been split between the society and a charity. We sent £50 to a gardeners’ charity called “Perennial” formerly called “The Gardeners’ Benevolent Institution”. This charity was founded 180 years ago. Initially the aim of this institution was to provide a source of income for gardeners in their retirement recognising that those who had worked all their lives on estates and in public parks on low pay had no means of looking after themselves in their later years. Very often they lived in tied accommodation that they then lost on retirement. There was no state pension or benefits that they could draw on so the institution was literally a lifeline. Today “Perennial” continues to support many in the horticultural professions providing free and confidential advice, and financial assistance. I hope you will agree that this is a worthy and appropriate charity for the society to give a donation. For more information about their work and the gardens they own see their website www.perennial.org.uk.
Our next event will be the second talk on Thursday April 25th in the Baptist church at 7.30 pm. Garden historian Russell Bowes will give an intriguing talk entitled “Say it with Poison”. This is followed by our plant sale on 4th May at 9.30 in the Memorial Hall.
Additional Event - A Visit to RHS Wisley Sunday 28th April.
As an affiliated organisation of the RHS, we are entitled to a group free entry. Members should make their own way there, but if anyone would like transportation we can organise car pooling. We will enter as a group at 11:00 am. You are then free to enjoy the grounds. Facilities include cafe, restaurant, gift and plant shop.
So we can check you in, please advise us by e-mail of the names in your group and if transport is required. You can also sign up at the Spring Show.
Our annual Plant Sale will be held in Bovingdon Memorial Hall on 4th May 9:30 to 11:30, your opportunity to buy some locally grown plants. If you have some to sell, contact Mike Leon, 01442 833665.