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 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

July 2020

The record-breaking amount of Spring Sunshine that we have enjoyed, combined with very little rainfall, has meant that many gardeners will have been spending recent weeks bemoaning the dryness of their gardens and using alternative methods and sources of watering to keep their plants healthy, particularly those in pots, other types of planters and vegetable beds. Once again, the great British weather has provided a challenge to our growing plans but the variable nature of our climate does also, perhaps, enable us to enjoy growing a diverse range of plants.

The further easing of lockdown restrictions has meant that we can now visit an increased number of places and participate in a slightly greater range of activities. A welcome development has been the re-opening of the Garden at Great Dixter. Visits are by advance bookings, Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm to 6pm, and tickets are limited to enable social distancing to take place. Friends of Great Dixter and Annual Ticket holders do not need to book in advance but should check in at the Admission Kiosk. We are so lucky to have this wonderful garden with its many different aspects, including the Long Border, Sunk and Barn Gardens and Meadows, so it is great that this is now available to enjoy once more. For more details see the Plan Your Visit page on the Great Dixter website

The Dixter Nursery continues to be open by advance appointment – bookings need to be made separately from those for the garden and it will not be possible to enter the Nursery without having done so, even if you have a garden entry ticket - telephone 01797 254044 or email The House, Shop and Refreshments Loggia remain closed.

On reading through the June edition of this Magazine it was interesting to note the number of gardening/horticultural related items it contained, including the Rector and his wife with their new venture growing vegetables in pots, Linda and Mike Belton’s charity plant sale, planning ahead for next year’s Bonfire Society Garden Safari and the Primary School’s bees, part of its Farm School initiative. Perhaps this is another example of the heightened interest in gardening which appears to have taken hold during lockdown. If you have been inspired to take this up or have used the time to develop an existing interest and are not already a member of the Horticultural Society, why not think about joining? This could be a good way of helping maintain and develop your interest in the longer term – the Society usually offers an interesting programme throughout the year, something to look forward to when “normality” returns! If you are interested in joining us, please contact Joan Davis, Membership Secretary, on 01797 253458.

With regard to the remaining events in this year’s programme, we continue to keep these under on-going review, in the light of Government guidance, and will provide further updates, as appropriate.

Another item of interest was that from Sarah Giles, Chair of the Conservation Society, reporting that the planned biodiversity survey of certain sites within the Village was now underway. The Horticultural Society is delighted to be working with the Conservation Society on this initiative which will, we hope, further the biodiversity work undertaken at Great Dixter. A comprehensive audit of the estate revealed the extent of wildlife present there, including a number of nationally rare species, and highlighted the important role that gardens, along with other types of open spaces, can play in helping conserve the future of our wildlife. You may have heard Fergus Garrett, our President, speak about this work at one of the Society’s events and will, no doubt, have been struck by his passion and enthusiasm for this important subject. We are looking forward to the findings from the Village survey and considering what part we can play within our own gardens. In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about the Dixter audit this is available at

As always, we hope you and your families continue to take care and stay safe. 

Northiam Horticultural Society Committee