Programme Notes 2017

Visitors enjoyed an impressive display at the AUTUMN SHOW on Saturday, 2nd September. In spite of yet another difficult year, with weather’ conditions creating a number of problems, the wide variety of items presented an absorbing Show. The rich hues of autumnal flowers blended well with the colours of sweetcorn, aubergine, tomatoes and grapes. Tasty sponges, cakes, bread and preserves were included in the Home Produce’ section, together with colourful photographs, delicate embroidery and knitting in the Handicraft Class. After tea and cakes, an auction and raffle sent our visitors and Members home after a happy and successful social occasion. For pictures of the prizewinners, please see the Show and Gallery pages.


SPILLING THE BEANS was the main message from ALAN SARGENT’S fascinating and illuminating talk on ‘Behind the Scenes at Chelsea’. Speaking to our Club on 7th JULY, Alan told many tales of life at Chelsea as a Contractor building the Designers’ very diverse gardens.


A Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture and Founder of the Association of Professional Landscapers, Alan’s career spans more than four decades. Starting out in 1968, he steadily built a landscape business, gaining experience by working on a wide range of projects, until, in 1982, he won a British Association of Landscape Industries Award for the Best Domestic Garden Scheme and continued winning many awards over the years, including more than 60 Royal Horticultural Society medals at Chelsea, Hampton Court, Tatten Park and Gardeners World Live, initially as Project Manager and Constructor, and increasingly as Designer as well as Builder. Having spent many years constructing gardens, mainly in the private sector, he became Head Gardener at Goodwood Estate between 2001 and 2007, achieving a lifelong ambition to be part of an Historic Garden, by restoring the private gardens over that period.


It came as a great surprise to our Members that winners in all categories at Chelsea have to pay for the Gold, Silver-Gilt, Silver and Bronze Medals, and also the Contractors have to pay £165 for the water-tap for their site! The foibles of the various TV Presenters were interesting to say the least, including amongst them Peter Seabrook who always chose to begin his Presentation by walking down steps, and Alan Titchmarsh who used to hide in the Contractor’s shed with a cup of tea learning his lines!