Our Pyracantha, an annual gourmet feast for our neighbourhood
Joy sent us this picture of her colourful
Our recent Annual General Meeting was well attended by about 60 members, who, as in
previous years, were treated to a complimentary fish and chip supper for their trouble. These annual events are notoriously boring, but it seems that a tasty fish and chip treat is all the
encouragement needed by our members when it comes to supporting the Society at the AGM !
This AGM passed smoothly without any issues being raised from the floor, and the current
committee members were re-elected 'en bloc'. The vacancy within the committee still remains unfilled as there were no volunteers forthcoming on the night, which was a little
The main point worthy of note this year, came from our Treasurer. He reported, that due to the increasing costs of guest speakers and other regular operating expenses, the committee had decided
that the time had finally come to increase the annual subscription. The new rate for 2018 would be £10 pp for annual membership, and £3 pp per visit for non-members which would rise to £5 for
the occasional special event. A special event would be the occasion of a high profile and popular guest speaker.
However, a £10 membership fee still remains good value for money as it equates to less than £1 per meeting. With 7 guest speaker presentations during 2018, two flower shows, a fun AGM, a great
Christmas party and subsidised outings, that £10 goes a very long way ! Add to all of that the little extras currently enjoyed by members throughout the year, i.e. free refreshments
at meetings, Christmas Party entertainment and drinks, etc., then it really is a win win situation.
Happily, there were no objections to this rise from the membership, and in fact some were even heard to say how surprised they were that it had stayed at £5 per year for so long !
So, after an enjoyable fish supper to finish the evening, the AGM ended with members looking forward to the November meeting when Caroline Halfpenny would be attending to give us a talk on 'Working
in Monet's Garden'.
As you know, our Annual General Meeting is on the
3rd of October, and we look forward to seeing most of you there.
Now, some of you will already be aware that a vacancy has arisen on our Committee, and we (the committee) would
like you to consider the possibility of joining us.
Your current committee members are a friendly, sociable and hard working bunch, and you probably know
most of us quite well by now anyway.
We are not set in our ways, so we would welcome someone with new energy and fresh ideas. With only
one Society meeting a month, and the occasional outing, committee duties won't take up much of your time, and you would not be expected to 'jump in the deep end' with tasks should you wish to join
Please give it some thought, and if you feel that you have something to offer your Society, then please
put your name forward at the AGM . . . . . . we really do need you.
If you would like to find out a little more about what is involved prior to the AGM, then please speak
to any committee member, or, email your contact telephone number to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and l will be happy to call you back for an
On the 6th September our committee organised a coach trip to RHS Wisley, one of our
regularly visited and highly popular gardens. The weather was kind, and other than a delayed arrival due the the notorious M25, members report that it was another thoroughly enjoyable
The visit coincided with a Dahlia show there, so we attach some pictures taken by a member on the day.
If anyone else has photographs of the visit that they would like to share, then please pass them on to us. Those of us that were not able to be there would love to see them. (Send them to
committee member email@example.com
Our Autumn Show was very successful, with a good turnout of members and visitors alike.
There were a high number of entries overall and standards were exceptional in many of the classes.
We thank all those members who took part, in whatever capacity, and also the visiting judges for their informative and constructive feedback. It all combined to make a very colourful and
thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Our congratulations go to the many prize winners, and also to everyone else that entered their produce/flowers/crafts/baking etc., without whom there would be no competition.
Please check out the Gallery Page for pictures of the event.
An unusual post on this occasion, but one that will be
appreciated by many we are sure.
Mary Cook has sent us some pictures of the very pretty
gardens that adorn the Beltinge Public Toilet !
We must all be aware of the tremendous effort made in getting
the toilet open again, so we should send our thanks to the many anonymous volunteers who maintain the toilet and gardens to such a high standard.
We must also acknowledge the efforts made by the 'Herne Bay
In Bloom' organisation and the local volunteers, for all their hard work in making our village shopping area such a colourful experience. The many beautiful planters and containers bring
pleasure to all of us throughout the year, so a big thank you to all of those involved.
Members will remember, that back in May we were gifted some
very small Pomegranate plants. We sold them on at the meeting, and now we are wondering how many are looking as healthy as this specimen grown on by Merry ? She has plans to take cuttings
from it and also attempt to grow at least one as a Bonsai. Judging by her garden, we are sure she will be successful!
Our August meeting was an unqualified success. Local artist
and sculptor Emily Stone was our guest for the evening. She was a wonderfully enthusiastic speaker, and brought along a vast selection of her hand-made copper sculptures for us to view.
She also brought along a selection of tools and raw materials, which gave us a real insight into her artist's world.
Mostly plant, flower or animal subjects, every item was of
the highest quality and beautifully designed and crafted. From 5ft high Dahlias and a 4ft long leafcutter ant (you had to see it to believe it), to small oak leaves and her cute little trademark
mice, it was all such wonderful quality.
Emily is a brilliant artist. Her talk was extremely
interesting, and we thank her for sharing her passion with us. It was a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable evening.
It is only 2 weeks until our August 1st meeting, when we will be welcoming our guest
speaker for the evening, Emily Stone.
Emily resides in East Kent, and is a renowned sculptor who is famous for her 'Copper Creatures'.
She exhibits her works at galleries all over the country, but perhaps her sculptures are most effective and appreciated when displayed within garden environments. A wonderful example was when
her lifesize 'Rutting Stags' were exhibited in the grounds of The Salutation Gardens at Sandwich. A dramatic and awesome sight.
Why not visit Emily's Facebook page - 'Emily Stone Copper Creatures', where you can see the many pictures of her amazing work, including the Rutting Stags at the Salutation Gardens.
Emily also has her own website at ;
Why not check it out to discover more about this very talented lady, her fascinating life, and beautiful creations.
Hopefully, on the night of our meeting, she will bring some of her smaller works along for us to see, admire, and maybe even purchase.
This will be an unusual presentation for us, but it is guaranteed to be interesting throughout.
Ron and Krys sent us some pictures from their colourful
garden. They are rightfully proud of their 'Bottle Brush' bush and have found a very practical way of containing their herb garden. Thank you for sharing these pictures with
On Tuesday 4th July 2017, we held our annual Summer Flower
Evening, and incorporated within the event was our current 'Fuchsia Challenge' !
Back in April, members were given an identical Fuchsia plug
plant to grow on, and bring back at a later date for expert but friendly judging. And this flower show was the occasion to show off their horticultural skills . . . . . or otherwise
Around 40 plants made it back on the night (some didn't,
unsurprisingly, as there will always be casualties along the way), and it was amazing to see the differences in growth, shape, foliage, blooms, etc across the exhibits. However, although there
were many splendid and colourful plants on display, according to our visiting expert judge, there really was only one clear winner. Our congratulations go to Buffy Harry. Well done Buffy !
We really must try to do something similar next
There were some really colourful exhibits in the regular
flower show too, although we would always like to see more entries. Please visit our Gallery page for more pictures from the evening.
Next month we welcome our guest speaker and renowned sculptor
Emily Stone, who will be talking about her hand-made copper sculptures. She is a very talented lady, and we look forward to an interesting and, for us, quite unusual presentation.
July is nearly upon us, and it is time to remind all members
that on July 4th we will be holding our annual Summer Flower Evening. We are having a wonderful summer this year, so we are hoping that members will be able to find an abundance of quality
blooms, and therefore enter as many classes as possible ! Let us fill the hall with colour and scent - the more entries, the better the show.
Don't forget ! Members should also bring along their
Society Fuchsia 'Garden News'. Having made some enquiries, it is obvious that we will see a wide range of foliage growth and flowers (sadly, mine are still minute buds !!). But, it
doesn't matter how good or bad you think your fuchsia is, BRING IT ALONG ! We need as many plants as possible to make a worthwhile and fun contest.
At the last meeting, members were told that Beltinge Gardeners' Society now has a Facebook page ! Part of the idea is to enable members to take an active role between the monthly meetings. We
thought that members might like to share photographs of their prize blooms (and colourful gardens) with the rest of us, especially if they flower at their best at times when there isn't a Society
Check out our colourful pages, send us a message, and we will
make contact with you. We really hope that you will get involved. Have a look at the Gallery page here and see some of the photos that are currently on Facebook.
We were pleased to welcome our guest speaker for the
evening, Steve Bradley from Radio Kent. Steve, with his encyclopaedic
knowledge and good humour, proved to be a very popular choice with our membership. Everyone joined in with a multitude of questions which Steve was able to answer without exception. In
fact our Chairman had to call a halt to the evening, which was in danger of overrunning, much to the dismay of the members.
Hopefully we will be able to invite Steve back at some time in
We hope that our June speaker will be just as
interesting. Phillip Johnson will be giving us a talk on colourful Alpines.
We are pleased to report that our annual Grand Plant Sale, held on Saturday 6th May in the Memorial Hall, was a resounding success. It was our second best event in memory, in terms of sales. This was
due to so many factors;
Firstly we must say a very big 'thank you' to all those
villagers, and visitors from further afield, who made the effort to come along and purchase the large variety of plants, food produce and gardening bric-a-brac that was on offer. A second big
'thank you' must be given to all those members that grew so many plants, and in such quantity, and those that provided a lovely selection of bakery and preserves. Also, for the many items of
gardening paraphernalia that were donated to our cause.
Of course, all of this would not have been possible without
the help of those members that come along early to set up, run the event, and then stay to help clear up at the end of a hectic morning.
As a village Gardening Society, we are blessed with so many
willing and good humoured members, and it just goes to underline why we have such a successful society. Well done, everyone.
On Tuesday 4th April, the Society held its annual Spring Show in the Memorial Hall. There was a good display of entries, even though the Daffodil season had mostly
‘been and gone’. To make up for the shortage of Daffodils, members excelled in most other classes. The flower arranging classes were the “best ever”, according to our Judge, and there
were impressive entries in the domestic and art and craft classes too. A great turnout all round which helped to make it a very successful show. Please check out our Gallery page for some
colourful pictures of the exhibits.
Also on the evening, and as a bit of fun, all
members were given an identical Fuchsia plug plant. The idea is that the member will nurture and care for their little plug plant until it grows into a beautiful specimen worthy of
admiration. Then, on the evening of the Summer Flower Evening in July, all members will bring their beloved Fuchsia back to the meeting where it will be judged alongside all of the
others! The best specimen will then be awarded a prize.
So, if you weren’t at the April meeting, then make
sure to attend in May where you can collect your (slightly bigger) Fuchsia plant.
May will also be an important month in the Society
calendar. On the 2nd we will be having ‘An evening with Steve Bradley from Radio Kent’. This is guaranteed to be an interesting visit,
as many members will know Steve from his Sunday morning gardening show on the radio.
On Saturday 6th May, the highlight of our year is the annual Grand Plant Sale. A truly great event where all and sundry are invited into the Memorial Hall to buy
cheap plants for their flower beds and vegetable patches. There will be so much more on offer too, so come along to grab that bargain.
This is always a popular event, so please come early
to avoid disappointment. And don’t forget to bring your own bags too !!
On 6th December, the Society held its annual Christmas Party in the Memorial Hall. There was a wonderfully high turnout from the
membership, who all brought along an amazing assortment of buffet style foods for us all to enjoy. Drinks were supplied by the Society, and everyone had an enjoyable and friendly supper
before we chanced our luck with a larger than usual seasonal raffle.
The highlight of the evening was a concert given by The Camerata Choir. The
choir was led by Mr Andrew Larner, and they sang a collection of carols, songs and choral works, all performed in
perfect harmony and to the obvious delight of all present. The choir includes two of our Society members and it actually uses the Memorial Hall for its weekly practice, so it really
felt like a family affair.
The only piece of official business on the night was the pleasant task of awarding the Wellwisher Cup for 2016. This year's
winner was a very surprised Mrs Merry Cassell. Well done Merry, and thank you to all those members who contributed to the Wellwisher table throughout the
Check out our Gallery page for more photographs.
Our delighted winner - Mrs Merry Cassell
It only remains for us to wish all of our members and followers a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Healthy New Year. We look
forward to seeing you all in February.
On a lovely sunny November morning, 18 of our
members gathered at Summerfield Nurseries at Staple to partake of their annual ‘Poinsettia Walk’. Two large greenhouses full of colourful Poinsettias greeted us. We were given a short but
interesting talk on their cultivation and care, after which we were able to explore the greenhouses at our leisure. There was a large seating area for relaxing with homemade cakes and hot
drinks, and then it was off to the seasonally and beautifully decorated nursery shop to buy our plants and other produce.
Having loaded our cars with beautiful Poinsettias,
we walked the few yards to The Black Pig pub where we all enjoyed a very well cooked and relaxing three course lunch. This was a ‘first’ for the Society, but it might not be the last.
Please check out our Gallery Page for pictures of
On the 1st September, 19 society members
gathered at TheSalutation Gardens at Sandwich for an organised visit. The weather was warm
and sunny, and we were joined by Sam Scarlett (the assistant head gardener) who gave us a very interesting introductory talk on the history of the house and garden, which were both designed by the great architect Sir Edwin Lutyens . He then gave us a personal (and leisurely) guided tour of the beautiful
gardens whilst impressing us with his vast knowledge of the huge variety of colourful plants and many trees on show. All agreed that the garden had recovered
extremely well from the floods of 2013 and that it was a credit to both the owners and their dedicated team of gardeners. You can see some photographs of the colourful afternoon by
visiting our gallery page.
On a very pleasant and sunny Saturday afternoon in July, two of our valued society members opened their garden gate and hosted a garden party in aid of charity. A
large number of our members went along, not only to enjoy a truly wonderful and colourful garden, but also to sit, relax, and chat to other visitors whilst enjoying refreshments from a
vast assortment of home-made cakes, teas and coffees. It was a lovely afternoon all round, with new acquaintances being made, and hopefully, the possibility of enticing new potential club
members into our society. Our thanks go to our hosts and their helpers for their hard work in organising such a popular and successful event. Pictures of the afternoon can be
seen by visiting our gallery page.
Members joined us on another full day trip, this time to Marks Hall Arboretum near Colchester in Essex. The weather was kind for the most part, and we were able to enjoy the long
walks around the substantial wooded estate. We explored the beautifully designed walled garden, the many lakes, and took great pleasure when we were followed by large families of
ducks and geese, all looking for food. Lunch in a modern converted barn was tasty and enjoyable, and many members finished the day by stocking up with a variety of reasonably priced and good
quality perennial plants. All in all, a successful day out. Visit our gallery page to see a small selection of photographs of our visit.
On Sunday 28th May, three brave volunteers from our Society accepted a challenge to take part in a horticultural quiz
organised by The Kent Garden Show taking place at the Detling county show ground. We were drawn against three members of the Appledore Gardeners' Society, and both teams were heavily supported
by members of their own clubs. The quiz itself was friendly and
light-hearted, but keenly fought, with each team showing a commendable knowledge of all things horticultural. The large audience of neutrals were also encouraged to take
part by offering answers when none were forthcoming from either team. At the end though, Beltinge came an admirable second to a very impressive team from Appledore, so our congratulations
go to them. Well played Appledore. Perhaps we'll have better luck next year ? "
Our Grand Plant
Sale today was a
tremendous success. Our thanks go to our members for supplying all of the plants, garden sundries, cakes and preserves, that filled the Memorial Hall on a lovely sunny day. Also, to all
of the Society members who worked tirelessly on the day to make it the success it was. Of course, and most importantly, we thank all of those people who came along this
morning to support us and to purchase all of these goodies. We did have a lot of very happy customers. However, many late comers were disappointed to find that stocks
had run out quite quickly. We will try to remedy this next year.
On Saturday 7th May, the
Society will be holding our annual 'GRAND PLANT SALE' in the Memorial
Hall. The event runs from 09.00 to 12.00 noon, and the doors are thrown open to the
general public who are invited in to buy from a large selection of plants an seedlings, preserves, cakes and garden
bric-a-brac, all grown, produced or supplied by our members, and all at very reasonable prices. All proceeds go towards Society funds. Entry is free to all, but please bring
your own bags.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Janine Doulton can no longer
come along to talk about Sissinghurst on Tuesday 3rd May. However, we do have Susan Gollings of Invicta
Herbs coming along and her talk is called 'Herb Plants to Delight the Senses'.
This should also be a very interesting talk, and Susan will
also have a selection of Herbs for you to purchase on the night, so don't forget to bring a bag with you.
We hope to see you there.