Chairman’s letter for 2012

Dear Friends and Members,

Firstly, may I welcome you all to the 2012 Summer Show and wish you good luck with your entries. Last year we had a record number of entrants and visitors so are hoping for an even bigger response this year. Over 1,000 folk supported us and enjoyed the exhibits, dancing, train rides and River Cottage filming.

Gardening seems to be uppermost in everyone’s minds these days. You only have to look at the newspapers. There are sections on gardening, articles on gardens to visit and advertisements for all manner of plants, shrubs and garden tools.

So, why, if we use the term ‘gardening’ to describe these activities, do we call ourselves a ‘Horticultural’ Society? The reason is simple. Horticulture is defined as ‘The science or art of cultivating fruits, vegetables or flowers’. Anyone who loves growing things, be it in a window box, on a patio or an allotment can be a ‘Horticulturalist’ and we want to include all kinds of growers in our Society, not just those lucky enough to have a garden. We want to make it as open and flexible as we can. That could account for the fact that we have over 200 members.

So, if you are not already a member, why not join us? Look at all the benefits. For just £5 per year or £8 for a whole family you will be entitled to:

  • Good friendly advice and like-minded company.
  • A programme of visits to special gardens and places of interest.
  • Free entrance to our monthly talks (normally £2 each).
  • Free Summer Show Programme & Schedule (normally £1).
  • Discount on RHS Chelsea Show.
  • Reduced price compost.
  • Discount on trees and shrubs.

To find out more talk to any Committee member listed in the Schedule or phone me on 01297 444034. Alternatively, look at our website

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics this year we have tried to include a range of classes that will appeal to all ages and abilities whilst celebrating both events. We hope we have succeeded. Occasionally a competitor feels that they haven’t much chance of winning but will have a go anyway, and then they find the confidence to attempt more and more. After all, you’ve got to start somewhere, haven’t you?

Happy gardening (or even happy Horticulture-ing).

Jenny Harding