Winter Newsletter 2017



Sunday 4th March, 2018, 2.30 pm start. We are delighted to have the company of

TONY KIRKHAM – Head of the Arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, with his new talk


NORMANDY VILLAGE HALL, GLAZIERS LANE, NORMANDY, GUILDFORD, GU3 2DT. Just off the main A 323 Guildford Aldershot road at Normandy, turn into Glaziers Lane, 500 yds on left (Manor Fruit Farm)

Advance Tickets (to include tea and biscuits) £7.50 for members, £10 for visitors, available from SHF Secretary Janet Arm (address above).   All tickets on the day will be £10 so order early!

Please make cheques payable to Surrey Horticultural Federation.  Poster attached.


President Daphne Foulsham welcomed all the members to the 41st AGM , then Chairman Richard Tabor read his yearly report , as follows:-

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to everyone. What a dull AGM it would be without the presence of all these quiz teams. My thanks go to Brian Deaville for yet again organising his devilish set of questions.

Now to remind ourselves of the Federation’s activities during the past year. Unfortunately some clubs do not get as much from their membership as they can and should. Our website, thanks to Beth and Mark Otway, always has the latest Newsletter on it and has many other features as well, and I encourage all to access it and to submit suitable items for it.

Last year’s quiz was won by Growing Redhill, then in March we had a talk by guest speaker Jekka McVicar who gave her fascinating talk on ‘Herbs for all Reasons’.  She happily responded to many questions and stimulated many new ideas.

Our secretary, Janet, again pulled a rabbit out of the hat by organising a visit in June to Greenhills, Tilford, a fabulous garden which had not been open before. It was well attended, our team worked extremely hard to produce drinks and cakes on the hottest day of the year, and we raised over £800 for their charity! A point I would like to underscore is how lucky we are to have such a dedicated committee, who always give 101% – my thanks to you all, and especially to Janet.

So we are full circle to this afternoon’s meeting and quiz, and in conclusion I would like to thank the teams and our committee for providing a great set of raffle prizes.

Treasurer’s Report

A copy of the audited accounts was circulated and agreed by members.

Katharine reported that the Federation currently has £4,702.61 in hand. The total Income for the past year was £2,315.10 and Expenditure was £1,958.27 so the net result was a surplus of £356.83 for the year. Katharine explained that this is a bit higher because the Judges and Lecturers Lists are only biennial so did not have to be paid for in our 2017 year.  There will be no increase in subscriptions yet again for 2017.  Katharine then gave her thanks to auditor John Manches.

Election of Officers and Council Members  

Daphne said that this year all main officers – the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary  – are within term and had all agreed to stand again, and so had all the Council Members  Anne Bradbeer, Barbara Boyse,  Nicky Cornell,  Roy Lomax, Pam Lomax, Beth Otway, Jane Swift, and Paul Yeoman.  All were proposed en bloc by Sue Jayne, seconded by Peter Herring and agreed.

Secretary’s report on Future Events

This year Beth Otway offered to speak to several well known gardeners at Chelsea, and having sifted through several possibilities we have decided on Tony Kirkham. I expect several of you will remember the programmes he did for the BBC – ‘A year at Kew’ and ‘The Trees that made Britain’. The date is Sunday 4th March here at Normandy Village Hall, and advance tickets are £7.50 per person for club members, and £10 for visitors, or £10 for everyone at the door on the day.

We are trying to organise our summer Garden Visit, but at the moment I can’t confirm a venue, though we are working on a few possibilities.  (Now arranged, see below!)
Anne Bradbeer and I will be representing the Federation at an RHS Meeting of specialist nurseries at Wisley on 9th Nov.

After the AGM 11 teams took part in the quiz, and the winners were the Hardy Plant Society Southern Branch, second were Tilford, and third place went to Jacobs Well.  The teams were presented with cheques, and the audience winners their prizes.  Well done everyone.

GARDEN VISIT 2017 – Sunday 24th June.

Since the AGM we have been able to book a Garden Visit to Shalford House, Kingsley Green, just south of Haslemere. Although they are sometimes open under the National Gardens Scheme, this will be a special Summer Visit.

Put this in your diary now – full details in next newsletter! 


“The best way to look after a plant is to give it away” is a philosophy true of all gardens. Plant Heritage – the overarching charity of the National Plant Collections® –  began 40 years ago because nurserymen and women were worried that, as big garden centres became more popular, plants that could not be propagated commercially in their thousands would be lost to gardeners.

This could be because they are difficult to propagate (such as Daphne), or need specialist conditions (such as Nerine), or are sold in small numbers (too many examples to mention here)…

That is where Plant Heritage comes in. The garden plants you enjoy today (or might have loved in years past) may not be around in a few years’ time, which is why it is important that we grow plants and share them by propagating and distributing them.

  • The Surrey group was established in 1981 and Graham Stuart Thomas was our first speaker. We hold monthly talks from September to April in Cobham. Our speakers cover many subjects from plant families, planting and gardening schemes, gardening history to subjects such as pruning, DNA and changing plant names, soil, genetic modification and climate change. We keep the range as wide as possible.
  • In summer we put on events that include visits to gardens or nurseries, some of which are rarely open to the public.
  • We also visit and assist our National Collection Holders (all the information about these is on our website) by helping with repotting their bulbs or pruning, for instance. They ask, and we try to lend a hand. All the information on these days is printed in the two newsletters we publish each year.
  • We usually hold three plant fairs a year between May and September. The information about these is on our website and on our Facebook page. We have a members’ stall, selling plants propagated at our regular propagation days and we invite specialist nurseries to take part too.
  • Our summer social is held at the home of one of our members, who opens his or her garden to us. This is a relaxed occasion with a chance to explore someone else’s garden and talk to fellow members.
  • Two of the important benefits of belonging to PH are the Plant Exchange and Plant Guardian scheme. If you like free plants, particularly ones that are rare or hard to find, the Plant Exchange is a national plant swap. Each year a list is published of garden plants being offered or sought by members. You do not have to put a plant into the Exchange to be able to request one and the intention is to focus on plants that are not widely available in garden centres or nurseries. The Plant Guardian scheme allows any member to become actively involved in conservation by registering a plant that appears less than twice in The RHS Plant Finder. This way, we have a record of plants that are rare in cultivation but can still be propagated and are safe for future generations.

Many thanks to Clare Hogan for this report.                  Contact:-

If any of your members would like information about specialist clubs or societies please contact the SHF Secretary who has a list provided by the RHS following a recent meeting.


We regret to inform you that Holmbury St. Mary club has folded, but would like to welcome Rowledge as a new member. Leigh and District Cottage Garden Society and Surrey Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society are rejoining us – welcome back!


Godalming in Bloom are promoting a competition to celebrate the ending of World War 1 next November by inviting entrants (professional or amateur) to design a memorial garden.  The winning garden will be created in an area in Nightingale Road Cemetery where a tree had been removed.  If you are interested you need to contact them by the end of December 2017 for full details – Designs to be submitted by May 2018.

For further details email Matthew Willis on or click on this direct link:

DATES 2018: 

Council Meeting.  Onslow Village Hall (Guildford) Committee Room – January 12th.

AGM AND QUIZ:    Normandy Village Hall, Sunday 28th October.


A third of clubs have now paid their 2018 Subscription Invoice early to get the new Judges and Lecturers Lists, but in case you haven’t paid another copy is enclosed with this Newsletter –  the price is still £10!  Please ignore it if you have paid. Website link here:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *