The days are lengthening, the weather improving (hopefully), spring flowers ‘springing’ and encouraging us into the garden or the allotment. However, here’s a few reminders of what needs doing!! Prune cornus hard now that they have finished providing winter colour, plus any deciduous shrubs that flowered after midsummer; if you have cut back any strong stems they can be useful as stakes or plant supports later on. Hybrid tea roses can be cut back to 15 cm, 30 cm on floribundas and repeat flowering shrub rose stems to half their length.

Clear all old perennial foliage to allow the new growth to come through, then, if necessary, divide them up to improve their vigour – replant the divisions (with growing shoot and root) or pot some up for our Plant Sale. Spring flowering shrubs and clematis should be trimmed straight after flowering and, weather permitting, get the grass cutting underway – keep the blades on a high setting initially. Veg seeds can be sown indoors to plant out when the ground warms up. Check round the garden to get ideas for moving plants that now seem to be in the wrong place, removing failures (we all have them!), or just look for gaps to give you an excuse to seek out something new (perhaps at the Plant Sale!!)


Our Autumn Show proved to be successful and we were slightly up on the number of entrants. Thanks to all who exhibited, or came along in the afternoon. Membership cards giving you the whole programme for the 2017/18 season will be available shortly after the AGM; do put these dates in your diary and come along to the monthly meetings. Speakers’ fees and hire charges are still increasing so we do need to make these evenings viable. VISITORS ARE VERY WELCOME AT ALL OUR EVENTS.


Note that the Society’s website is now up and running:


Here’s what’s coming up over the next few months …


WEDNESDAY 5 April – LOST GARDENS OF SUFFOLK – talk by Edward Martin NOTE: this is also the LAST DATE for submitting your Spring Show entry forms to Colin Biggins so you can bring them with you to this Speaker’s Evening if necessary.


SATURDAY 8 APRIL - SPRING FLOWER SHOW in the Assembly Rooms. Look at the schedule again and see what you can exhibit this year – there really is something for everyone. If you are unable to enter do come along at 2 pm to see all the exhibits, enjoy a cup of tea and a chat, and check out the plant stall.




As usual wine and juice will be served at 7.15 pm before the meeting starts. Elliott Frisby joined the committee last year (he’s our website wizard) but we still need one more Committee Member; please think about this - Colin Biggins (322565) will be happy to give you more information. Last year’s AGM minutes, Agenda and Accounts will be sent to you beforehand. Many of you paid your subs at last year’s AGM which was extremely helpful (it saves a committee member calling on you to collect) so please come prepared to do this again (still a bargain at £6) Afterwards John Mead will talk about Judging a Horticultural Show.


SATURDAY 13 MAY - ANNUAL PLANT SALE in front of the church 9.00 am till about 11.30 am


Mission Bake will join us again with their cake stall in the church entrance. Please do label the plants you donate, particularly with any info on variety and colour. As usual there will be lots of bargains throughout the morning: veg plants, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and indoor plants (not forgetting some of those delicious cakes)! Proceeds help subsidise our outings and ever-increasing expenses, so do come along.


THURSDAY 8 JUNE - COFFEE MORNING: 10.30 – 12 noon Monks Cottage, Monks Lane CO7 6OP


This year we will get to enjoy Nicola Baker’s garden which is often open as part of the National GardensScheme. The half-acre garden on a sloping site has colour-filled borders with bulbs, shrubs and perennials. Mature trees, a pond, roses, clematis and box-edge parterre beds complete the picture. There’s also a boggy area with strong foliage shapes and a small woodland garden - so there’s a great deal to see!!  Parking will be available – details later on. The cost for coffee or tea, home-made cakes and biscuits is £4. There will be the usual raffle and plants for sale. WHY NOT BRING ALONG A FRIEND?


THURSDAY 29 JUNE: Visit to Wrest Park, Silsoe, Beds Departs Royal Square 8.45 am


You will find comprehensive information on our website / the Wrest Park website, but briefly, ticket prices are


Non English Heritage member:  £24 (£22 for DDHS members)


English Heritage member: £16 (£14 for DDHS members)


Tickets will be available at all the above events and MUST be purchased in advance from COLIN CLIFFORD (tel: 322310).