This information was obtained from the Barham & District Horticultural Society website.

Latest Society News & Events 2019

Take a look at what the society did last year and what we have planned for this year.

December News Update

Sadly our speaker on indoor plants couldn't get to Kingston Barn on the evening of 19th November as their car broke down on the way. The evening was rescued through a good humoured question and answer session with Jennie and Vic Cracknell and Liz Dallison answering gardening questions from the audience chaired by Tim Bines. Thank you to all those who helped out on the evening.

Ahead of our AGM, on January 8th we have now finalised the programme design for 2020, which is almost complete and ready for the printers. We will be offering a great range of talks and trips for you to enjoy. We have kept the annual membership fee to 5, for individual or 10 for household. We will also host a small spring show alongside our annual plant sale. Now is the time to plant some bulbs, which will hopefully be in flower ready for the show. I'm sure it's not too late to plant some late flowering daffodils alongside tulip bulbs for a long lasting display.

At our AGM we will keep the formalities short, but we are looking for a couple of new committee members. If you would like to help and join in, please get in touch. We will be hosting a mini quiz testing your general knowledge on plants, trees and wildlife in our gardens. Refreshments will also be available. This is the best opportunity to rejoin and collect your programme for 2020. There will also be a posy competition. More details to follow via e-mail. As a member you can also access the Suttons seed catalogue, where members can enjoy a significant discount using our own discount code.

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and hope to see you at the AGM or at one of our talks.

Gardening notes for December

For many of us it's a busy time preparing for Christmas. However if you do find yourself with time there are still plenty of things to do. On a dry day get ahead with the weeding this will make life easier in the spring. If you have heavy soil now is a good time to dig over a veg patch or any areas you are preparing for planting for next year. This allows the frost to break down the lumps and makes it easier to work. If you have light soil its better to leave the digging until spring to minimise the nutrients washed away by winter rains.

Keep an eye on the weather forecast so that you can provide extra protection with horticultural fleece if the weather turns cold. If we do get snow, knocking it off evergreens will prevent them being damaged by the weight.

Check over garden furniture and ornaments and give them a clean, or coat of paint/preservative on a dry day, but do check the drying time as the days are so much shorter. Ties securing climbers or trees should be checked after high winds to minimise damage. Keep an eye on any pots under cover even if they are just under the eves of the house as they will still need the occasional water.

A lovely activity is to have a little planning session, look over any photos you took of the garden during last year and have a walk round your plot during this month. Are there any months when it looked a bit drab? You can then chat with gardening friends, consult books or search on the internet to see what might brighten up your plot at that particular time. Remember not to rush out and buy something which looks 'amazing' without first checking its requirements. If you want to brighten up a shady damp corner a sun lover will sulk and then die!

Look after the wildlife this time of year by putting out bird food (remember to keep bird feeders clean to reduce the risk of disease) and keeping a bird bath topped up with clean water. Birds need their feathers to be in tip top condition to help them keep warm. Remember those messy parts of the garden, piles of leaves, dead plant stems are winter homes for insects, so leave them in peace.

A fun thing to do is wander round your garden Christmas week (or Christmas day if you can escape for a stroll) and see what is in flower, its surprising how many winter flowers there are and the bees love them on a sunny day. A few examples are winter flowering honeysuckle, some types of Mahonia, some types of Viburnum, winter heather, Christmas box (Sarcococca), some types of Clematis or violas. There are many more, especially shrubs so have a wander down to the garden center and see what you can find.

Enjoy whatever gardening you have time for and don't worry, there will be plenty to do in 2020 to help work off those mince pies!

November News Update

The society hosted Nick Bailey from BBC Gardeners World on the 9th October. The event was a sell out with a waiting list, so it was great to see the hall packed with so many members and non-members. The talk was full of valuable information for getting the most from your gardens in terms of colour balance and plants that work really hard in the garden. At the end there was a queue to buy his book 365 days of Colour, which he was happy to sign and is a more indepth version of the talk. We feel inspired to host more 'celebrity' speakers in the future.

Our final talk of the year is about house plants and air plants and will be delivered by Mercy Morris at Kingston Barn on the 19th November 2019, at 7.30pm. I am as intrigued as you are, in terms of what are air plants? Mercy has a strong academic background in horticulture, with a wealth of knowledge and experience to give a very interesting talk. Only 2 for non-members. The speaker is a change to our published speaker, who unfortunately cannot make it due to unforeseen circumstances.

November is coming towards the end of the gardening year, but it's a great time to plant bulbs ready for your gardens and the Plant sale/Spring show. Last year I planted different types in 3 layers in various pots, which meant I had a great show in the garden throughout the whole spring. It was the first time I had tried this, and I will repeat every year from now on. We really need more exhibits in the Spring show. The classes will be detailed in our annual programme available at our Annual General Meeting, to be held on Wednesday 8th January 2020 at 7pm. We keep the formalities short, so that we can take part in a short quiz and enjoy a glass of something and a social chat for the rest of the evening. Everyone is welcome, members and non-members. We still need a new committee member, so we would be really pleased to hear from you, if you would like to come to our next meeting and just see what we do? Can you help us make the most of our Facebook page? Contact Sue Strange 07985 739788

October News Update

We have just held our Autumn Show, which was a huge success due to all who contributed. It really was a large team effort, from committee, our friendly volunteers and members. This year we had 8 new entrants, 41 exhibitors, and a record breaking 305 entries. The hall was brimming with lots of people from the local area, enjoying the display. On show was an amazing array of colourful flowers and produce, cookery and photography. A truly rewarding scene and atmosphere to enjoy. The judges made a point to say how impressed they were with the high standard of exhibits. We are encouraged that so many of you work in your gardens and allotments. More and more people are discovering the rewards of growing and showing your own. Next year we will aim to have more entries from children at primary school. Gardening is part of the national curriculum framework and learning about plants benefits our children greatly. Why not save some pumpkin seeds from the Halloween pumpkins, and grow one for next year?

Our village hall will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary, on the 12th October. The horticultural society is Barham's oldest group established in 1895. We hope to be there and show some of the history of the society, including our activities in the past and what we can offer in the future. We still have the first minute notebook, amongst our records.

On the 9th October we will be hosting a talk by BBC Gardeners World presenter Nick Bailey, helping us achieve all year round colour and interest in the garden. We have created a reserve list, in case of any last minute cancellations, so please contact us if you want to come along.

Our final illustrated talk of the year is by Kevin Tooher, sharing his knowledge and tips for our indoor and conservatory plants. The talk will be in Kingston Barn on Tuesday 19th November, at 7.30pm. Free to members and only 5 for non-members including a cup of tea or coffee. This concludes our activity for 2019, ahead of our AGM.

Everyone is welcome to our AGM. We seem to achieve a lot from just 8 committee meetings a year. But we really want to encourage fresh ideas and new faces. We would love some help with newsletters, social media promotion and marketing our group. Would you enjoy taking part? Call Sue Strange on 07985 739788 for more information.

2019 Autumn Show (View the gallery)

The prizes were presented by Sue Strange with the following results:

Names (Alphabetical by surname)
Results (Shown as number of firsts, seconds and thirds)
J Borgioli 2 1 3       K Hubbard 1 1 1
R Borthwick 5 6 5       C Manley 2 0 0
N Bradburn 0 1 1       H Merryweather 0 1 1
A Clough 4 2 2       R Osborne 1 0 0
J Clough 1 1 1       B Page 6 2 1
S Clough 1 1 2       S Past 2 3 0
J Cracknell 4 0 2       I Rendell 5 7 5
V Cracknell 1 1 3       R Shepherd 0 0 1
H Croft 0 4 1       A Sladden 1 1 0
J Crothall 2 1 1       C Spencer 2 0 0
R Crothall 0 0 1       M Spencer 0 1 0
L Dallison 1 0 0       P Spencer 2 0 0
M Duke 3 2 2       J Terry 3 5 1
A Forrest 1 0 1       S Tyler 1 1 2
T Freestone 0 1 2       E Wells 1 1 1
S Goddard 0 0 1       M Wells 0 3 3
S Gooderham 1 0 0       J Wright 3 6 1
L Goody 0 1 1       M Yarwood 0 0 1
M Goody 2 0 0              
Cup Winners as follows:
Cup Name
Allen Cup: I Rendell
A.J. Ross Amateur Cup: J Wright
Banksian Medal of the RHS: J Wright
Best Floral Art: P Spencer
Best in Show: J Terry
Brian Wright Memorial Cup M Duke
Carr Memorial Cup: S Tyler
Clarke Cup: I Rendell
Collingwood Cup: I Rendell
Cottager's cup: I Rendell
Top Tray: R Borthwick
Top Vase: I Rendell
Kathie Hedley Cup: P Spencer
H.E.Middleton Cup E Wells
New Exhibitor's Cup: S Past
Potato Challenge Cup: A Clough / R Osborne
President's Cup: R Borthwick
School's Cup: M Goody / C Spencer        


September News Update.

September is a busy month for many of our members, preparing for our Autumn show on the 7th September. This year we are anticipating a number of entries from the children of Barham School. An all-inclusive community event is the essence of the society, started in 1895. Indeed, this is an opportune time to remember our former president Maurice Atherton whose ethos was to bring our community together. The first show I attended was an inspiration for me in terms of enjoying a real sense of community spirit and seeing the amazing array of exhibits. Admittedly there were some outstanding examples of beautifully trimmed leeks, dazzling dahlias and perfectly formed raspberries; the floral art was jaw dropping. But also, many exhibits of everyday plants, say foliage and flowers that many of us have in our gardens. Look closely at the categories, and I'm sure you'll find something you can enter? Perhaps photography or cookery appeals? Or just come along for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. If you want to take part you can download an entry form Adobe Acrobat PDF here or collect one from the Barham village shop, where our show entry box will be located from 21st August.

In the middle of August, some of us enjoyed a day out at the gardens of Mig Kimpton, an inspiring, award winning floral artist. After enjoying the flower arranging demonstration and the new gardens in Little Mongeham, near Deal we were served a lovely lunch before returning home. Mig hosts a number of workshops and visits over the summer months. Refreshments and lunches can be included by arrangement.

We are also excited to host Nick Bailey from BBC Gardeners world on 9th October in Barham Village Hall. His talk is called '365 days of Colour'. We are limited in space, but there are a few remaining tickets, for sale at the village shop or contact the society direct. Our contact number is in the directory at the back of this Parish Magazine. Gardening is good for us all. I hope as a group we can come up with some good ideas to get more of our community involved. If you have any ideas, we would love to hear from you? Our last talk for this year's programme will be from Kevin Tooher, talking about plants for inside the home and conservatories on Tuesday 19th November in Kingston Barn at 7.30pm. Those of you who joined us for our coach trip to Wakehurst will appreciate his depth of knowledge and uncomplicated delivery. We hope to see you soon.

Latest news and what's still to come. June.

Our June car outing to 'Timbers' at East Farleigh near Maidstone was a tremendous success!

Luckily, we had just enough time between the downpours, to explore this fabulous site, set over 5 acres. The garden boasts some magnificent specimen trees, with a range of inspirational ideas and planting schemes. The garden is flanked on two elevations by an ancient Kentish cobnut plat. It may be a lot larger than many of us would ever own, but it is a fabulous garden to admire and enjoy. The cream tea was delicious, with homemade jam and scones.

In July we go by coach to Kew Royal Botanic Gardens/National Trust's Wakehurst in Sussex on Saturday July 6th. There are 500 acres of beautiful ornamental gardens, woodlands and a nature reserve. It is internationally significant for collections, scientific research and plant conservation. You can also visit Kew's unique Millennium Seed Bank, where science and horticulture work side by side. There are cafes, restaurant, a gift shop and a Plant Centre. As I write this in mid June, there is still room on the coach and we would welcome anyone else or even a group of friends to join us - you need not be a member of our Society. National Trust members enjoy a reduced price, so pay only the coach fare. Do phone Jill Terry (832135) or Sue Strange (831449) if you are interested there will probably be last-minute vacancies. Details and booking form: Adobe Acrobat PDF Coach trip to Wakehurst Place

Our Autumn Show here in Barham at the Village Hall is on September 7th. This year there are some significant changes, introduced to encourage more of you all to take part. Unlike previous years the show is OPEN TO ALL - you don't have to be a member to enter! Entry forms and the small entrance fees can be dropped off at the Village Shop a few days beforehand. The Show Schedule, which members will have, is also displayed on our website, the shop noticeboard and photocopies can also be obtained (details in next month's magazine).

Don't forget to obtain your tickets to hear our Celebrity Speaker from BBC's Gardener's World NICK BAILEY - on 9th October. Tickets (5 or 7) can be obtained from Jill and Sue (see above), the Village Shop and will also be on sale at the Summer Show if there are any left by then!

Latest April news and what's still to come

Thank you to everyone who took part in our Plant Sale and Spring Show on Saturday 13th April. We made a total of 370 for our funds which means that your annual membership fees can stay so amazingly low at 5. All our plants and we were well-stocked - had been sold soon after 11am and there were a few disappointed visitors who came too late! Jan Borgioli very efficiently organised the 'Mini Spring Flower Show' and there were more entries than anticipated, considering how early bulbs came into flower this spring! Winning prizewinners were: Wendi Atherton, Sue Strange, Jill Terry, Tim Bines and Mary Duke. Some of these including our new Chair Sue who has never entered a show before - won more than one class!

View photos from the show and sale.

Tickets are now on sale for a very special monthly meeting in October. Nick Bailey who you'll know from BBC 2's 'Gardener's World' and as the author of some excellent books '365 Days of Colour in your Garden ' and 'Revive your Garden'- is coming to give us an illustrated talk on the subject of the first of these books on October 9th. Tickets are already on sale and you can buy yours at our next meeting on May 8th or Jill Terry (832135) will accept telephone reservations from now on. The cost for members is 5 and for non-members 7. We expect this event to be fully subscribed from quite early on, so don't miss out and be disappointed.

We're delighted to welcome Janine Doulton an excellent speaker to give our talk on May 8th in Barham Village Hall at 7.30pm. Her subject is 'Gardening in the Shade'. Most of us have got shady corners and some have more shade than they'd like, so this subject is particularly relevant. Do attend and bring any interested non- member friends for 2 admission.

Don't forget that our car outing (with shared transport) to 'Timbers' a beautiful 5 acre cottage garden at East Farleigh is on 8th June, so fill in the form on p 5 of your booklet and let Jill Terry have it. Jill is also receiving your bookings for our coach outing to Wakehurst Place on Saturday 6th July, Non members would be welcome too. More information and membership details available here.

April Update

Please don't miss our PLANT SALE AND SPRING SHOW ON SATURDAY APRIL 13th. We hope everyone will support this village event by bringing plants and seedlings (flowers and vegetables) for us to sell and you to buy. Vegetable seedlings such as tomatoes, chillies, courgettes and lettuce, are particularly welcome and always sell well. Buying starts at 10.30am, but please bring plants for sale earlier if possible and show entries between 9.15 and 9.45am as this year we are incorporating a MINI SPRING SHOW with just 10 classes. With daffodils blooming so early this year, you've a good chance of winning a prize if you've any left flowering by April 13th! Details and timings are Adobe Acrobat PDF available here, or from the notice board in the Village Shop and outside noticeboard by the post box. We'd love you to take part and classes have been simplified e.g. 'Five Daffodils' or 'Five Tulips' and THERE ARE NO ENTRY FEES OR NO NEED TO SUBMIT ENTRY FORMS AND NON-MEMBERS CAN TAKE PART. We'll also have a raffle with some lovely prizes. See you there!

Jo Arnell's splendid talk in February may have encouraged many of you who haven't done so previously to try growing a few (or even a lot of) vegetables. No matter if you haven't your own allotment or designated vegetable plot, Jo showed what might be achieved in small spaces, flower borders or even patio pots and containers. I'm sprouting 2nd early potato 'Nicola' at the moment to plant in a large plastic tub. Brexit uncertainty and the national trend towards a healthier vegetarian diet should encourage all of us to have a go! Nowadays seeds especially F1 Hybrid seed - can cost 2.99 or 3.50 for a packet of Runner Beans or Courgettes! With this in mind, we'd like to remind you that Members of our Society can buy seeds (Flower and Vegetable) at half price from Suttons Seeds using a special code number! I bought my seeds recently over the phone and they arrived through the post 4 days later, saving me about 20! Catalogues and the code number will be available to members at our next meeting and at the plant sale.

We were so grateful to Kent Wildlife's Trust 's and Victoria Golding who stepped in at short notice to talk to us about 'Gardening for Wildlife' last month when our speaker was ill. Victoria also told us about the Trust's latest campaign 'Wild About Gardens'. Next month's meeting is on The Principles of Garden Design, by Carol Halfpenny. New members are very, very welcome!

Gardening notes for March

Well some would say spring arrives in March, but the weather may tell a different story. However hopefully by the end of the month we will be enjoying sunny warm days admiring the daffs.
The list of gardening jobs for the spring can be overwhelming so pace yourself, for many things a week or so later makes little difference in the long term. It's the time of year when the old stems of perennials can be cut back, this needs to be done before the new growth gets entangled with the old stems. Why not compost the dead material, the resulting compost will make a lovely mulch for the garden in autumn.

Once the weather warms up the lawn can have its first cut, this needs to be done with the blades of the mower set high and then lowered slowly over the coming weeks cuts. Its also a good idea to tidy the lawn edges to keep the garden looking crisp. Roses can be pruned this month if you have not already done so. Also prune shrubs like dogwoods which are grown for their colourful stems.

Keep daffs deadheaded to stop energy being wasted on producing seeds. Don't forget to let the leaves of all bulbs to die down naturally, this allows the leaves to feed to bulb for next years flowers.

If you have a veg patch, now is the time to get it cleared and ready for planting. If you are adding manure, make sure its well rotted and don't add it to areas you are planning to grow root vegetables. If root vegetables have too rich a soil they will fork and give you weird shaped carrots etc which are more difficult to prepare but will otherwise be fine.

Most seeds can be planted now. Look at the packet for instructions on timings, conditions needed (shade sun etc) and whether they can be planted directly into the ground or need to be planted in seed trays. If you have not grown your own before, some easy crops are radishes, leeks, spring onions, swiss chard, courgettes or beetroot. If you only have a small space or pots to grow veg in look out for the varieties bred for small spaces. Flower seeds which grow easily sown directly into the borders are nigella, candy tuft, nasturtiums, cornflowers, calendula (English marigolds) or poppies all of which have the benefit of providing nectar for insects. The garden centres will be stocking up with all sorts of plants to tempt us. Remember that we will likely get frosts some nights so only buy tender plants if you have somewhere to keep them frost free. Summer flowering bulbs will be available which can make a dramatic display in patio pots. You will also find bare rooted perennials for sale which can be a cost effective way to increase your stock. Its best to start them off in pots rather than putting them straight into the garden. Once there is strong root and leaf growth they can be safely planted out into the garden.

Why not give your houseplants a treat this month and re pot them in fresh compost, or just scrap off the top layer and top dress with fresh compost, you can do the same thing with patio pots.

Enjoy the lengthening days it will be summer soon enough, and as always make sure you have time to enjoy your patch rather than just working in it. Why not join us on the 12th March in the Duke of Cumberland 7.30pm to 9.30pm to discuss any gardening topics.

March Update

Jo Arnell's splendid talk on 13th February may have encouraged many of you who haven't done so previously to try growing a few (or even a lot of) vegetables. No matter if you haven't your own allotment or designated vegetable plot, Jo showed what might be achieved in small spaces, flower borders or even patio pots and containers. Certainly herbs are totally achievable, and it's so useful and satisfying to be able to pick parsley outside the back door or basil from your window sill! Brexit uncertainty and the national trend towards a more healthy vegetarian diet should encourage all of us to have a go! I remember as a child, spending my pocket money on 2d or 4d packets of seeds from Woolworths! Nowadays, seeds especially F1 Hybrid seed can be expensive- 2.99 or 3.50 for a packet of Runner Beans or Courgettes! With this in mind, may we remind you that Members of our Society can buy seeds (Flower and Vegetable) at half price from Suttons Seeds using a special code number! I bought my seeds last week over the phone and they arrived through the post 4 days later, saving me about 20! Catalogues and the code number will be available at our next meeting on March 13th when Fern Alder will give an illustrated talk entitled 'Gardening for Wildlife'.

It's not too early to give you some details about our PLANT SALE AND SPRING SHOW ON SATURDAY APRIL 13th, because we hope you'll support this by bringing plants and seedlings (flowers and vegetables) for us to sell. March isn't too early to sow seeds and pot up plants from your garden. We're only able to keep the 5 cost of society membership so low by raising money in this way. Vegetable seedlings such as tomatoes, chillies, courgettes and lettuce, are particularly welcome and always sell well. This year we are incorporating a MINI SPRING SHOW with just 10 classes. Details and timings are in your current programme on page 12 and we'd love you to take part. Classes have been simplified eg 'Five Daffodils' or 'Five Tulips' and THERE ARE NO ENTRY FEES OR NEED TO SUMBIT ENTRY FORMS AND NON-MEMBERS CAN TAKE PART! We'll remind you again with more details next month.

On March 12th our little Horticultural Discussion Group meets informally in 'The Duke'. Do join us if you'd like some friendly advice or can give any - or just enthuse or moan about the weather! Who knows what storms or sunshine March may bring? Liz Dallison (831596) can tell you more details.

AGM and February Update

Our AGM on 9th January was very eventful! Not only did well over 60 members attend (not bad for a Village Society!!) but it was 'all change!' for our committee! Our very dear and respected President, Brigadier Maurice Atherton, resigned after serving us so well for some 26 years. His place will be filled by our Chairman for the past 15 years, Tim Bines, who had sought to be released from Chairman's duties for some time. Tim's leadership and guidance as Chair has helped the Society greatly and we thank him more than we can express. Until recently no replacement for Tim had been forthcoming until now. Sue Strange a fairly new Committee member has been persuaded to take Tim's place and we welcomed her most enthusiastically as well as new Committee members Helen Croft, Carolyn Manley and Ufuk Ozaktanlar. Pat Austin, who had until recently been our Treasurer, has also now left the committee after many, many years of service. Other existing committee members were re-elected and all the details are in your membership booklet.

The service given to the Society by these three retiring members has been outstanding and we were able to make suitable presentations on behalf of all our members, and additionally flowers for Wendi Atherton and Edeltraut Bines whose hospitality over many years has been so greatly appreciated by the Committee. Of course, it's not 'goodbye' as all still belong to the Horticultural Society and we look forward to seeing them at our meetings and continuing to win prizes at our shows!

Treasurer Andrew Clough presented the audited accounts - the balance stands healthily at 2,322. Jill Terry gave us a preview of the super 2019 programme of events that she had arranged, including visiting speakers, visits and shows. Notable in October is a talk by Nick Bailey who you'll recognise as a presenter on 'Gardener's World' and a coach trip in July to Wakehurst Place. Jan and Tony Borgioli have produced the excellent Annual Programme Members' Booklet that you receive when you have paid your subscription. It gives details of all next years' events, including show schedules and application forms for visits. This has meant an enormous amount of work for all of them and we are all very grateful!

After the formal business, members circulated happily eating, drinking wine and quizzing. The Quiz had several different sections not all of them horticultural and was tackled by groups of two or three members as well as those doing it by themselves notably the winner - Maureen Taylor! The 'thank you for coming' 20 Garden Voucher drawn by raffle was won incredibly- by the same lady who won it last year - Mary Friend! The little table of winter posies was not so full of entries as previously, but all very sweet smelling and colourful. Helen Croft won the prize for 'prettiest posy' and Wendi Atherton had gathered 26 yes twenty six different varieties in bloom in her garden the day before! Not only that, but she provided us with a list of the names of every one of her blooms. Space doesn't permit me to reproduce it here!

Our next meeting is on Wednesday February 13th at BVH 7.30pm when Jo Arnell talks to us about 'Extra Productive Vegetable Gardening'. Even if you don't usually grow your own vegetables, perhaps this is the year to try something edible and/or decorative maybe 3 or 4 new potatoes in a bag on the patio, or a few runner beans! Do come along and join us - we look forward to seeing you there!



It is with regret that talks and activities arranged by the society are postponed for at least the next few months, until we have further direction from the government.
We hope you remain well during this time, and take pleasure in looking after your gardens.
As soon as we have more information, and can resume normal activity we will be in touch.

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