Early Spring Newsletter 2019


Tickets are still available for the Spring Talk with Nick Bailey, on Sunday 10th March, 2.30pm
More details on the event page.


We are very pleased to welcome a new club to the Federation this year Dorking Allotment Holders Assc. and Dogmersfield, Winchfield and Crookham Village have rejoined. Sadly though, Sandhurst and Woking clubs have folded. The total number of clubs within the Federation is now 96 which is a new record!


The Mid Southern Daffodil Show is being held this year on Sunday 31st March, at Cobham Village Hall, and if you would like to try showing then there are classes for novices as well as experts. Contact Alex Burke (Secretary) for a schedule on 01189-667900, or go along and have a look from 2.30-4.30 pm.


Have you seen the following which has been sent out by the RHS:

RHS Affiliated Societies ‘Growing Together’ Flower and Produce Competition, 8 & 9 September 2019

We are excited to introduce this new competition, aimed at showcasing the range of growing skills in your society, and encouraging teamwork, fun and imagination. The competition will be staged during the RHS Wisley Flower Show, in the National Dahlia Society Marquee, which attracts many thousands of visitors over the weekend. Entry is free and there will a range of prizes to be won. Exhibitors will be provided with a 1m X 1m square space, covered in green hessian in which to interpret the theme ’Treasures of the Earth’…… the rest is up to you.
A few simple conditions:
You can use any produce, edibles made from your produce, eg jams, chutneys, flowers and other decorative or display materials, but they must all fit within the space provided. Entries must incorporate at least 10 dahlias (minimum 3 different cultivars), must be staged between 6pm and 8.30 pm on Friday 6 Sept, and left on display until 3.30.pm on Sunday 8th September. Judges will be looking for range and quality of exhibits, overall impact and evidence of teamwork.
Timings to assist with your planning:
Staging: 6pm – 9pm Friday 6 Sept Judging: 8am Saturday 7 Sept Prize giving: late Sat am (time TBC)

To apply to take part in the competition please email the following details: Your name, Name of your society, Your affiliated number, Contact email, and Contact phone number ASAP to affiliated@rhs.org.uk by the latest Monday 18th March 2019. Please confirm you have read and agree with the conditions above. Space is limited to 25 entries, on a first come, first served basis. We will confirm your place by return email and send out further details in April.


Many thanks to most clubs who have already paid their subscription. The invoice went out with the last newsletter, so if you can’t find it please let SHF Secretary know. The price is still £10, so we would appreciate this as soon as possible.
Please see note at the bottom of the subscription invoice about the latest Data Protection Act.

If your event isn’t on our website, then perhaps you need to get your events sheet to Secretary Janet Arm, and you can also fill in the form directly onto our website (Click on Events, then submitting events.)
Where clubs have sent the top half of the invoice still attached to the remittance slip I haven’t generally returned these, but if you need them, please get in touch with me. – Janet


Despite a lot of searching., we haven’t yet been able to book a garden visit for this summer. It is so difficult finding the special place where you haven’t been before. If you know of somewhere, please contact the Secretary. Thanks.


Members of the Hardy Plant Society (HPS) are interested in growing plants of all kinds, from alpines to trees, but the focus of the Society is on hardy herbaceous perennials – non-woody plants that flourish in the summer, die down over the winter and regrow the following spring.

It all began in 1957 when a group of eminent nurserymen, founded a Society ‘to promote knowledge and the growth of hardy herbaceous perennials’. After a promising start it ran into trouble and in 1961 the committee decided to dissolve the young Society which by then had 220 members, but at an EGM the proposal was defeated. Miss Pole, of Lye End Nursery near Woking, took the chair and asked for volunteers to form a new Committee. With enough offers; the HPS was saved and Miss Pole continued as Chairman until 1970. In 1963 Miss Barbara White became Hon Sec and more or less ran the Society until her death in1987. She publicised the Society by staging displays of hardy perennials at the RHS Westminster Shows.
The Society continues to flourish and in 2017 celebrated its Diamond Jubilee, its membership now numbering about 7,500.

When affiliated Local Groups were set up, the Southern Counties Group was the second to be formed, in 1972. At the time it did cover all the southern counties of England but, as membership of the HPS increased, Groups were formed in surrounding counties and the SCG now draws its membership mainly from Surrey and south London. It was run informally by an ad hoc committee until the HPS decided that all Groups had to have a proper constitution, and the official inaugural meeting of the Group took place in November 1991. It now meets at the Old Barn Hall in Bookham, with a current membership of about 170.

From October to April (apart from December) we meet once a month on a Saturday morning for a talk on varied aspects of plants, gardens and gardening by speakers both local and well known. From May to September we organise visits to gardens and nurseries by car, plus a coach trip. Every other year we venture further afield on a 3-day coach trip, this year to Wiltshire and Somerset.

Visitors can attend our talks to see if they like us, and pay £4. If you join – and we welcome members of all ages, abilities and experience – your entry ‘fee’ to talks is two plants (or £2) which are then sold for the benefit of the Group, along with gardening sundries, HPS booklets, second-hand books and raffle tickets. You can find out more on our website: https://www.hps-southerncounties.co.uk Thanks to Sandra Hartley and Diana Poole for this interesting report.


Fridays 1st March, and 18th October, at Onslow Village Hall.


Sunday November 17th at Normandy Village Hall,– please note change of date!

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