Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Gardeners' Society AGM 2010

Last night was the Gardeners' Society AGM. It was held at the beautiful 'big house' of the village, with oak panelling and roaring log fires (sorry, no photos, you'll just have to believe me).

Lucy (Chairman) opened the meeting by saying what a lovely year it had been, with a really hard winter, a late spring full of flowers, a warm summer and a long colourful autumn. Which I found interesting, because I really struggled at the beginning of the year. The late persistent snow and frosts set all my seed sowing plans right back and I just couldn't make up for it again. My repeated attempts at parnips and carrots just wouldn't grow at all, and lack of rain in the early summer set my pumpkins and squashes back a bit too. Hey ho, the great thing with gardening is, there's always next year!

We discussed the current state of the finances, which caused some debate, and eventually we amended one of our proposals and voted to scrap cash prizes at the shows, and give extra certificates out instead (in addition to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Highly Commended certificates we already award). We also currently award points for each place which decides who wins the Society's trophys and cups throughout the year. We agreed to make this 'league table' much more public to inspire a real sense of competition! ...Not that I need much encouragement! My Dad came to the summer show, and heard me talking about what I'd entered for each class and about how I was trying to keep my aggregate points up in the hope of winning a trophy, and he said 'What happened to my shy little girl?' to which I replied 'She found her competitive spirit!'

We then went on to talk about the various visits and social evenings we had lined up for 2011. This includes our own take on the RHS 'Dig Together' campaign (4-5th Sept '11), which we have decided to expand into a series of events over the year, including masterclasses on topics like seed-sowing, taking cuttings, pruning etc. Our intention is that these will be outdoor events, and will encourage non-members to join in, and maybe join-up!

We also talked about the brand new website www.charinggardeners.org.uk that a subset of the committee are working on (I'm supposed to be helping, but have managed to miss both meetings so far - hopeless girl!). Again, the idea of the website is to encourage new, and potentially younger members to join in and take part. The society has been praised for having over 100 members and 3 official shows a year, but the committee is conscious that without new members we won't be able to maintain this. The Society is well over 100 years old...so we really wouldn't want it to fizzle out on our watch!

The evening was rounded off with a glass or two of wine and lovely nibbles, courtesy of our kind host and hostess who have invited us back next year too. I'm looking forward to it already.

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