Behind the scenes at the Sandon Gardeners’ Club
PUBLISHED: 01:00 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:30 03 April 2020
Fascinating talks, inspirational garden visits, and plant sales and swaps are what you expect from a gardening club, but the jewel in the crown of Sandon Gardeners’ Club is its annual show.
There's something about meeting up with fellow gardeners once a month to enjoy an evening of gardening talk from an entertaining and informative speaker. Then chat about all things gardening afterwards over a cuppa, often with the chance to pick up an interesting plant on the sale table. Joining a gardening club is definitely a 'must do' for anyone with an interest in gardening, from complete novice to old hand. It has so many benefits, for it is here that your knowledge will blossom from the wealth of experience offered and you'll make some lifelong gardening friends.
Established in the late 1970s, Sandon Gardeners' Club has a thriving membership drawn from the village and the surrounding area of Hertfordshire between Baldock and Buntingford. The club meets on the second Monday of the month, and during January and February members will often show slides of gardens they have visited, while visiting speakers from further afield give interesting illustrated talks during other months. At indoor meetings there is always a plant or flower competition which is judged by the visiting speaker. Lighter and longer days mean that garden visits are on the agenda from late spring and into summer, often visiting local gardens and allotments as well as larger gardens elsewhere. Bressingham Gardens in Norfolk, The Beth Chatto Gardens near Chelmsford, Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and RHS Hyde Hall in Essex have all been visited in the last few years.
The highlight of the year however is the club's show which has taken place every year since 1978. Classes cover vegetables, flowers, fruit, home-grown container plants, baking and floral art.
'There are months of preparation,' says club committee member Helen Stubbings, 'and we start planning the next one as soon as one show finishes - gathering ideas and suggestions on the day and looking at things that have gone well, and those that haven't.'
The show always takes place in September when there is an abundance of produce and flowers, and members can enter their exhibits on the day of the event, allowing optimum timing for nurturing flowers and produce to peak condition, and perfecting cakes and other goodies. Competition is keen and standards high. Entries may be judged by registered RHS judges, guest speakers or keen enthusiasts. Trophies are awarded for each class, which are engraved and presented at the annual club dinner.
This wonderful gardening club is a gem for gardeners and well worth joining just so you can enter the lovely annual show. Why not give it a go and enter your gardening and baking specialities?
For further information on Sandon Gardeners' Club and details of how to join, contact Helen Stubbings on 01763 284113.