Bethersden Gardeners’ Society – Celebrating 125 Years of Flower Shows
Bethersden Gardeners’ Society is believed to be the second oldest Gardening Society in England, having been founded in 1886. In 2019 we will celebrate our 125th year of annual flower shows. (The shows were not held during the two World Wars.) We used to hold our Summer Flower Show on Bull Green, now the home of the Bethersden Cricket Club. It was a huge annual event in the village which would include fancy dress competitions, athletics races for the children (with some competitions for the adults thrown in), sideshows like coconut shies, catch the rat and many more.
This year we will be holding a Garden Party at our Summer Show on Saturday 13th July as part of the celebrations for our 125 years of flower shows. We also hope to create a flower bed in the village for everyone to enjoy – If you would like to be involved with, or donate to this project please contact Eleanor (those details are below).
As well as our three regular Shows we hold other events and outings. We try to hold one activity each month throughout the year. The events listed below are an opportunity to meet others in the village and join in the fun. Our events often have speakers and we cover a wide range of subjects, hopefully there is something for everyone.
New members from the village and from surrounding parishes are warmly welcomed. Annual membership is only £3 per person. The children of members do not have to pay an annual membership fee and are eligible to enter most categories in the shows, there are some categories specifically aimed at encouraging children to be creative.
- Discounts at local suppliers (Greenway’s garden Centre; Madrona, and Webb’s of Tenterden, Gardenscape (for bulk bag deliveries)),
- Visits to well-known gardens,
- Social Events: An Annual Dinner, Supper Evening with a speaker and a Ploughman’s Lunch with speaker – all great ways to meet people,
- Plant exchanges at the Spring and Autumn shows,
- 3 annual shows to enter or just come along for a chat – there’s usually tea and cake available,
- Talks on gardening and general interest subjects (3 per year)
To Join: Contact [email protected]
To Renew Your Membership:
Members of the Committee will be going door to door in early in the year to collect membership fees, if you miss them they should post a contact number through your door so you can arrange a convenient time for them to return. If this does not happen please email or phone Eleanor (whose details are provided below).
Events in 2019: All events held at Bethersden Village Hall unless stated otherwise.
Saturday 12th January at 12.30pm Ploughmans Lunch and talk, Birds in our Woodlands and Gardens by Simon Ginnaw.
Friday 8th March Annual Dinner 7pm 3-course meal £20.50, menu forms available at the Post Office Shop Counter.
Saturday 6th April, Spring Show and Cheese and Wine Evening with a Quiz, doors open 6.30pm, entries by 7pm. Admission £2 (Bring your own drink and glasses).
Friday 3rd May visit by car to Handcocks Farm Nursery. A good time to buy plants that will fill your garden with colour for the Summer.
Saturday 29th June visit to Chartwell by coach. Home to Winston Churchill for over 40 years.
Saturday 13th July, Summer Show and Garden Party from 1pm with live music and a hog roast. (Exhibits received from 9.15am.)
Monday 12th August, car trip to Godinton House with guided tour of the gardens.
Saturday 14th September, Autumn Show, doors open 2.30pm. (Exhibits received from 9.15am.) Free admission.
Friday 12th October, Supper Evening with Speaker – Gordon Francis; Container Gardening with vegetables, 7pm.
Friday 22nd November, AGM with Speaker – Jo Arnell; Border Design, 7.30pm.
If you are a member and wish to attend for the talk only please contact the Secretary who will let you know what time to arrive.
President: Geoffrey Yeandle
Vice President: Gordon Rye
Chairman: Keith Mitchell
Treasurer: Jim Williams
Committee: Brenda Millen, David Rushton, Jeanette Jahnz, Sue King, Brian Hammond, Kath Hammond, Victor Medlock, Sarah Dacre & Paul Savage.
Diamond & Golden Jubilee Cup Judges: Paul Millen, Pam Mills, Lesley Rye and Hazel Ovenden. Jeannette Jahnz is the co-ordinator. (Nominations to any Officer or Committee Member at any time. You can nominate the whole or part of a garden, even your own.)
Revised Diamond and Golden Jubilee Cup Rules (New for 2018)
- Open to all members of Bethersden Gardeners’ Society
- Golden Jubilee Cup to be awarded for a flower garden/border of merit
- Diamond Jubilee Cup to be awarded for a vegetable/ fruit plot of merit
- Each cup cannot be awarded for the same garden again for the same category until after 5 years have elapsed.
- Winners will be expected to help judge the competition for the next two years for both cups.