Northiam Horticultural Society

Founded in 1897, we’re one of the oldest Horticultural Societies in the UK, having celebrated our 120th anniversary in 2017.  We’re a thriving Society with over 250 members and we welcome everyone with an interest in plants and gardening, whatever your level of experience.
If you are interested in joining please contact the Membership Secretary, Joan Davis on 01797 253458 or email twojs@btinternet.com for further information. We hope you see you at our events this year.

Please note, this article appears instead of the Society’s Spring Newsletter which is not being issued as normal due to the Coronavirus situation

It will probably not be any surprise that, in the light of recent Government guidance concerning COVID-19, the Society has been reviewing its planned programme of events over the coming months. Regrettably, the Society has taken the decision, at this stage, to cancel all events until the end of May. This means that the Spring Show on Saturday 4 April and the Annual Plant Sale on Saturday 2 May will not now take place as scheduled. In addition, the first of the annual two Parishioners’ Days at Great Dixter, scheduled for 19 April, has also been cancelled.

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, no decisions have yet been taken about other events scheduled to take place after the end of May, e.g. the annual Summer Social, currently due to take place at Great Dixter on 13 June, and the annual outing currently planned for 9 September, when we hope to visit Sussex Prairie Garden and Borde Hill Garden and House.

We will continue to keep these, and any other matters, under review, so keep watching out for further communications concerning the Society and its events.

The Society must also offer an apology to all those members and any visitors who came to the last talk which had been due to take place on the afternoon of 6 March.  Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the talk did not go ahead as scheduled and we are very sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience caused.

However, very fortuitously, Dean Charlton and the international team of students from Great Dixter were on hand and nobly stepped into the breach, providing us with an entertaining insight into their current work in the garden and glasshouses. Although the continuing wet weather had delayed some activities, there was still a considerable amount going on, including potting-up, dividing, weeding, hedge cutting and other pruning (under Fergus’ expert guidance!). We are extremely grateful to them for their impromptu contribution – it was very interesting to hear about their different experiences at Dixter and how they are progressing. We are also indebted to Dean for very kindly offering the use of the Dixter Education Centre, which enabled us to re-schedule the talk for that evening. Those who were able to get there were thoroughly entertained by an excellent speaker and range of slides.

The fundamental changes we are all now experiencing to our normal daily lives will mean many of us spending more time at home – a great opportunity to focus more on our gardens. After the very wet start to the year, we have, at long last, been enjoying some Spring sunshine and there will be many gardening jobs to catch up on. Gardening, and spending time in our gardens (whilst still observing social distancing advice), can also be extremely therapeutic and help support mental well-being, particularly important during these difficult times. It’s also a great form of physical exercise when other fitness activities have been curtailed.

We are very fortunate to live in a countryside environment where enjoying nature, even if it’s only looking out from our windows, can provide a daily tonic to lift our spirits. We are also lucky to live in a supportive village community and the Society looks forward to re-engaging with you more directly when “normal service” resumes. In the meantime, we wish you, your family and friends good health and hope you keep safe and well. 

Northiam Horticultural Society Committee