Stoke Poges, Wexham & Fulmer Horticultural Society 125th Annual Show

Guest authored by Ruth Rooley. Photos courtesy of Andy Smith and The Stoke Poges Photographic Society.

Our Horticultural Society was founded in 1884; its shows predate the Chelsea Flower Show and have been held every year, with the exception of the World War I and World War II years. The Show is a unique community event – generation after generation have entered the various classes. As in many other years, a number of families had entries and prize winners from three generations.

Last year we had to close the show early because everyone was soaked by the rain. This year it was hot, hot, hot on Thursday and Friday preparing for the show. Then rain reduced the temperature but wind became the issue. This meant no bouncy castle and all gazebos had to be well secured.

That said, it was a well-attended, successful and enjoyable event.  Considering the extended dry period, the number of entries was high, the only reduction being in vegetables. One judge commented that even cacti suffered from the drought, because they need rainwater not tap water!

The marquee was very colourful with so many floral entries and a wide variety of vegetables and fruit; the arts and crafts, home baking, beers and cordials were also a pleasure to see, as were the entries from the schools and the junior section. There were a high number of entries to the photographic competition. The Stoke Poges Photographic Society acted as official photographer.

Earl and Countess Howe joined us for lunch, then spent the afternoon viewing the exhibits, meeting exhibitors and attendees, visiting the stalls, admiring the classic cars and enjoying the band.  Countess Howe drew the raffle. Earl Howe presented the cups and trophies at the prize-giving. We were honoured and delighted to have them in Stoke Poges.

Edward Guinness C.V.O., who lives in Fulmer, came to present the new cup that he has donated.  The cup is specifically for 16 to 30 year olds involved in horticulture; the intention is to increase an interest in gardening and encourage those who have chosen a career in Horticulture. The winner was Joe Hulbert, who has trained in horticulture and has work in Stoke Poges.  The runner-up was a group entry – Crystal Dixon, Rimsha Khan, Eduard Matusa and Abhejit Bedi, sixth form students at Wexham School.

Our thanks to all those who came to the Show and who exhibited. But most especially a big thank you the many people who worked together to make it happen for the enjoyment of all.  If you missed this year’s Show, put Saturday 27 July in your diary for next year. If you would like to volunteer to help next year please get in touch with me Ruth Rooley, Telephone 01753 648040 or email ruth@rooley.com

Our Autumn Programme – for updates visit https://hortsoc.org

IMG-20180802-WA0000Wednesday 19 September 8 pm – illustrated lecture about Chrysanthemums to be given by John Marshall

Wednesday 17 October 8 pm – Autumn Members Social Evening –  buffet reception, informal table show and talk on Fuchsias by David Dexter

Wednesday 21 November 8 pm –  AGM

All these meetings are held at The Stoke Poges School, Rogers Lane. Non- members are welcome, with a charge of £2 for talks and £3.50 for the buffet evening. If you join on the evening it is free. Membership is £8 for individuals and £12 for two people living in the same household.