Christmas Quiz and Meal.

Members met on 5th December for our final meeting of 2019. The evening began with a Quiz compiled by Shaun Vallard, while the meal was being prepared. Everyone then tucked in to a turkey supper followed by a mincemeat slice with clotted cream.

A festive raffle completed a very enjoyable evening.

There will  be no members’ meeting in January but the committee will meet to decide on speakers for next year (September onwards). If there is a subject that you are especially interested in, please let us know before 14th January.

Happy Christmas and New Year to all and we look forward to seeing you on February 6th, when Clive Groves will be speaking about The Secret World of Violets. 



November Meeting

The speaker at our meeting on November 7th was Mr. Brian Madders, who gave us a very interesting talk on Chrysanthemums and Dahlias.

He covered all aspects of the cultivation of both species, from taking cuttings to planting out and aftercare. His talk was complemented by some lovely slides taken during his many years of growing, showing and judging dahlias and chrysanths.

He hoped that his talk would encourage more people to grow chrysanthemums as there has been a decline in recent years. We hope more of our members will do so.

During the evening, a display was on show of the trophies won at the  Dorset Federation Show in September.


Some of the members who were involved with the show. Brian Madders is at the back. He was one of the judges at the show.

Our next meeting will be on 5th December when there will be a short Quiz followed by a Christmas supper. Please ring 814887 to book your place. The cost will be £6 payable on the night.

We are sad to report that Eric Manton passed away in October. Eric was a Vice President of our society and a valued member for very many years. He had taken care of all our printing, including posters and show schedules. He was also a member of the team who put together our 125th Anniversary Exhibition at Brewer’s Quay in 2003.


October Meeting Report

On October 3rd the evening began with an excellent talk by Steve Jeffries on Autumn Colour. His long career in horticulture was evident as he delivered easy to understand information, giving clear answers to questions as they arose. He also brought examples of plants to use for best effect..

Following the talk, members enjoyed the Harvest Supper. We again served a cheese and home-cooked ham ploughman’s followed by home-made apple cake with clotted cream.

Ready to enjoy

Our next meeting will be on November 7th when Brian Madders will give a talk on Dahlias and Chrysanthemums. There will also be a display of the trophies etc., won at the recent Dorset Federation Show.

We are always pleased to see new people, either just visiting or prospective members. Meetings start at 7.30 pm with tea or coffee available from 7.15 pm.

Dorset Federation Show

Our Society entered the Inter-Society Show on Sunday 22nd September. The weather was atrocious with heavy downpours while transferring exhibits from cars to hall. However, the difficulties were forgotten when we saw the results, eighteen first prizes, including five Best Exhibits, eight seconds and nine thirds.

Classes one and two with all the trophies.

Best Mixed Collection

Best Vegetable Exhibit

Three Pot Plants 1st Prize

Best Cactus Collection

Our Collective Class exhibit entitled ‘Reflections’, using an empty picture frame and placing items to depict a mirror image. It scored ten out of ten for presentation!

The full results will be displayed with the trophies at our November meeting as our next meeting is the Harvest Supper. There is still time to book a place, just ring 814887.

September News

We opened our Autumn programme on 5th September with a talk on ponds. The speaker, from the Gardens Group Gold Club, gave a very comprehensive account, covering the construction and management of all types of ponds, from small wildlife ones through to larger formal ones.

We were advised on the best plants to grow and how deep to place them, as well as which fish were suitable.  A very interesting evening and very well attended.

The fuchsia and geranium plants, supplied by the Gardens Group in the Spring, were judged with Shaun Vallance winning both.

The Flower of the Month competition was won by Sheila Snuggs with her rose, second was Steve Pamment’s dahlia and third Kay Graham’s begonia. Sheila also won the Plant of the Month. Congratulations to all.

On Saturday 14th some of our members will be joining the Plant Heritage Group on their coach trip to Wisley. Let’s hope for a fine day.

On 22nd September, our Society are entering the D.F.H.S. Inter Society Show at Tarrant Keyneston, near Blandford, several members will be providing exhibits to boost our chances of success. The show opens to the public at 12.45 pm.

Our next meeting will be on October 3rd when Steve Jefferies will be talking about Autumn Colour. This will be followed by our Harvest Supper. If you have not already signed up, please ring 814887 to book your place.

From our Members’ Gardens;

Still plenty of late Summer colour in this border. The hanging baskets have been made from empty fertilizer tubs !


September Talk

Our  Autumn programme begins on September 5th with a talk on Ponds for ornamental plants and fish. The speaker will be from the Gardens Group Gold Club and will also judge the plants provided in the Spring as plugs, a Fuchsia and a white geranium. Please remember to bring yours along.

The school will be open from 7pm with tea or coffee available before the meeting which starts at 7.30 pm.

On September 22nd, the Society will be taking part in the Dorset Federation inter-society show at Tarrant Keynston, near Blandford. We were very successful last year and hope to do the same this year. Exhibits will be gathered from members on Saturday 21st and staged early on Sunday morning. The show, which opens to the public at 12.45 pm, is always well worth a visit.

From our members’ gardens;


Summer Show Results 2019

Another successful show was held on 17th August. Forty exhibitors staged 280 exhibits and the judges were pleased with the standard of entries.

Plenty of visitors came to admire the displays, have a go on the Tombola, buy Fruit Raffle tickets and enjoy tea and cake. The winner of the raffle was Mrs. Wood of Radipole.

Awards were presented at 4 pm by Mrs. Joy Everington, President of the Dorset Federation of Horticultural Societies. In her speech, she said that the first time that she had attended our show was more than thirty years ago.

Special awards

National Vegetable Society Medal  Best Exhibit. ( three round onions)         John Morris

NVS Runner-up to Best Exhibit                           ( six large shallots)             Bill Howarth

Silver Challenge Cup  Best Vegetable Collection                                            Mark Read

Charles Read Memorial Cup Highest Points (Veg.)                                        Bill Howarth

Tomato Trophy                                                                                                  Mark Read

Produce Challenge Cup  Best Mixed Collection                                               Mark Read

Garden News Shield  Lady with Highest Points in Vegetable Classes          Jean Wyman

Springfield Cup  Best Exhibit, Fruit Classes                                                  Chris Warner

National Dahlia Society Silver Medal                                                         Frank Newbery

National Dahlia Society Bronze Medal                                                       Frank Newbery

Beaton Challenge Cup  Highest points, Flower Classes                                 John Morris

Bincombe Cup Best Exhibit, Cut Flower Classes                                            John Morris

Gladioli Award  Best Exhibit                                                                            Bill Howarth

Coronation Silver Challenge Cup   Best Pot Plant                                           Mark Read

Pelargonium Shield      Best Exhibit                                                             Shaun Vallard

Begonia Award             Best Exhibit                                                                  Mark Read

Amateur Produce Challenge Cup  Highest Points  Novice Classes              Sara Warren

Pridham Rose Bowl  Highest Points, Floral Dec.                                Brenda Woodsford

Sackville Hamilton Cup Best Exhibit, Floral Dec.                                          Sara Warren

The Howard Cup Highest Points, Preserves and Cookery                                Neil Coad

The Richards Trophy Best Exhibit, Preserves and Cookery                         Jean Wyman

Westbrook Cup          Best Handicraft Exhibit                                            John Restorick

Redlands Cup Highest Points, Photograph (Spring and Summer Shows) =      Ros Gant and Brenda Woodsford

Cup for Highest Points Group 1 Children’s Classes                        Lucy and Amy Kinsey

Virgin Challenge Cup, Highest Points Group 2                                         Harry Restorick

Banksian Medal Highest Points, Horticulture                                                 Bill Howarth

Efco Trophy Highest Points gained in Show                                                  Bill Howarth










Children’s exhibits



















Busy Times Ahead

Our Summer Show is almost upon us (17th August), so it is time to think about what you can exhibit. With such a wide range of categories there should be something you can enter.  We have a Novice section for new exhibitors or people who have not won a first prize in the relevant class. We are always pleased to welcome new exhibitors in any section of the show as well as our regulars, of course. Schedules  available from P.&M. Read’s, the show secretary or download from the ‘Shows’ link.

some lovely orchids in last year’s show

If you won a trophy last year please return it to the show secretary in good time or if it is easier for you, Read’s shop.

Our programme of talks begins on September 5th with a speaker from The Gold Club. The subject is Ponds for Ornamental Plants and Fish.

If you took a plant supplied by the Gold Club in the spring, please remember to bring it along for judging. Winners receive a voucher to be spent with the Gardens Group (Pounbury, Sherborne or Brimsmore).

More from our members’ gardens;

A lovely colourful display making the most of a small space.

Summer is Here

July has come around so it is time to start thinking about our Summer Show on August 17th. We are always pleased to welcome new exhibitors as well as our ‘regulars’. See the ‘Shows’ link for full details.

We are enjoying glorious weather and our gardens are looking beautiful. Her are a few examples.

View of the summerhouse, Buckland Ripers.

Deutzia in full bloom

This orchid has flowered again after 4 years!


June Garden Visit and Plant Sale Report

The Plant Sale, held on May 11th at the Memorial Hall, was a huge success, raising valuable funds for the Society.

The Society stall being prepared for customers (left). In all there were ten stalls as members were invited to sell their own plants and donate twenty per-cent of takings to the Society. A good crowd quickly cleared the stalls of plants and garden essentials.




Our Gardens Visit to Elwell Street on June 6th was very well attended and members were clearly delighted with what they saw. We were blessed with a lovely sunny evening again. The garden at Batch Cottage was a delightful walled garden with beautiful roses and perennials as well as a greenhouse and small vegetable plot.





Across the road at No. 7, we found a large well established garden with expansive lawns and borders, also a greenhouse and vegetable plot. The terrace was set up with tables and chairs ready for drinks and food, a very pleasant evening indeed.

Our next event will be the Summer Show on August 17th at the Memorial Hall. Click on the ‘Shows’ link for full details.