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Winsham Horticultural Society AGM 19th November, 2021


After last years AGM was cancelled, due to the pandemic, 35 members and their guests gathered to hold this year’s meeting and afterwards listen to Henk Beentje’s talk entitled, “Aliens in your garden”.


At the AGM, the secretaries report was followed by the societies financial report which showed a very healthy monetary position. The membership has swelled to 72 following the very successful “Open Gardens” held in June. It is planned to hold the event in alternate years to the Street Fair. Members then had a preview of events planned for 2022. On May 7th there will be workshop given by Sally Morgan from the Soil Association on the subject of “Making your garden more climate change resilient”.  Sally is a Somerset organic farmer who has written a number of books on her subject. A local garden will host the workshop. In late May there will be the usual plant sale, and the Annual Show at the end of August. Author and insect pollinator enthusiast Sarah Wyndham-Lewis will give an illustrated talk to the society on 23rd, September titled ‘Planting for Honeybees’. Sarah has recently published a book on her subject and will share planting ideas which can be carried out during the autumn season.



The AGM was followed by a talk titled ‘Aliens in your Garden’. The speaker, Henk Beentje, who has had a long and illustrious career at Kew Gardens, gave a very wide ranging and informative address which explained where many of our favourite garden plants originated. Each plant species and family was delightfully illustrated and described as he skilfully moved through a significant proportion of the worlds plants that have landed in our gardens from across the globe. Henk described the earliest ways in which the 340K species of plants were named and classified, finding time to give special attention to the huge variety of plants that make up the Daisy family. Finally, he took us on a whistle stop tour of ‘Palms’ which are his specialism.  Regaling us with many humorous anecdotes he bought his brilliant talk to a close. The assembled throng felt that they had discovered that Henk is real nugget of botanical knowledge here in our community, and we are hoping he may be persuaded to entertain us again sometime in the future.


Winsham Horticultural Society Annual Show
Saturday,28th August,2021
A reinvigorated show opened in ideal weather following its absence in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.  A good crowd came along to celebrate the event. A new feature this year was the car boot sale, which enjoyed healthy levels of business, and the newly refurbished Community Club House did a good trade in tea & cakes.


Winsham Open Gardens Reports



On the 26th June, 2021, 17 gardens opened their gates during the first Open Garden event for a number of years. The gardens scattered throughout the village and its rural surrounds provided the occasion for the 280 ticket holders to relax, for a few hours, after the rigours of recent months. Most visitors took full advantage of the occasion taking several hours to savour the delights of each garden in almost perfect warm weather. The day was enhanced by a Street Fair Scarecrow competition which added to a tour already filled with plant and craft stalls, bric-a-brac sales and a few gardens that also provided light refreshments.


Committee member Debbie Murray had organised the entire day, assisted by John Llewellyn who took care of essential Health and Safety checks and advice.


Smiling visitors returning to their cars clutching bags full of plant purchases and happy children showing off their “Bug Hotels” were a testament to the success of the day. Comments such as “what a beautiful village” and “finally we were able to relax a little” reflected how much people had enjoyed the efforts of those gardeners who had welcomed visitors. Everyone said they had learned something from every garden visited and would be trying a few new ideas once back at home. Many hoped the event would be repeated in the future.


After expenses, the event raised £1215.15 to be split between the society and Alzheimer's Research.

Winsham Open Gardens-the full picture
Deborah Murray-Snook, a driving force in the organising of the memorable Open Gardens event held at the end of June provides an interesting record of the day's event, complete with pictures, which describe an event which we hope will be come a regular event.
Click HERE


Your chance to show off home-grown vegetables, flower arrangements, handicrafts and many more skills will arrive again as we stage the Annual Flower Show on Saturday August, 28th. Catalogues are available from the village shop


Proud owners of Hanging Baskets and containers can take part in the show.
If you enter Classes 171 &172 your exhibits can be judged in your own garden during the week commencing 26th July.

Results will be announced at the show on the 28th August.

Click HERE for more information





More news form Winsham Horticultural Society...

We are hoping to have a talk by a local expert in the early autumn and a visit to a local garden before the Society’s AGM on the 19th November, 2021. The short meeting will be followed by another informative and interesting talk.


To renew or start your membership contact Margaret Long, Marala, 2 Western Way. Family membership £5 or single £3

“Share your experience and learn something new.”

Some background...

The origins of the Winsham Horticultural Society are shrouded in the mists of time. In such a rural community, it was certain that most homes would have grown their own vegetables for domestic consumption, with no doubt bartering or swapping anything that was surplus to their immediate needs, or could not be pickled, bottled or somehow preserved. It seems likely that Winsham Horticultural Society was formed sometime between the two World Wars, emerging in its present form sometime in the 1950s. Interest in the cultivation of flowers, among ordinary people, probably grew as more people had the leisure and money to indulge in such interests, as standards of living improved, and hobby gardening became a topic of television programmes. But that can only be speculation.

In recent years, Winsham Horticultural Society has organised an annual Summer Show at the end of August. Located on the Upper Recreation  ground it is housed in a large marquee, and offers many categories of exhibits, with a large number of trophies which have been contributed over the years.

It also holds an annual plant and garden accessory sale in the Jubilee Hall every year on the first Saturday in May, together with numerous outings and talks throughout the year, culminating in the AGM in November.