A Potted History

BNFIELD GARDEN CLUB

In January 1994, a meeting called by Alan Foster and Henry Summer was held in the Baxter Room to ascertain whether residents would like to form a Garden Club.  The overwhelming “Yes” resulted in the Binfield  Garden Club being  inaugurated and by the Annual General Meeting held in March, 1995 there were 154 members.  The initial meetings were a mixture of speakers and demonstrations (some held in members’ gardens) and as time went on the Club acquired a screen, projector and sound system allowing for a wider range of speakers including Matthew Biggs in 2003 and Roy Lancaster in 2004. A monthly competition started in 1995 followed swiftly by an Annual Challenge whereby members undertook to grow an identical flower or vegetable during the Summer to be judged in the early Autumn.

A wide variety of visits have been arranged over the years including Stately home gardens, national collections, agricultural museums, nurseries, botanical gardens and arboreta and on a few occasions, members have opened their own gardens to visitors.

Many years ago, the Club undertook to take care of and maintain the library beds which they did to such good effect that prizes were won in the Bracknell Forest Borough Council “Bracknell in Bloom” competition for community gardening in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  Members stopped this maintenance in 2014 and Bracknell Forest took over.

For five years running, the Club were invited to submit a hanging basket and trough into the Hampton Court Flower Show and earned two silver awards and three bronze awards in those years and members were disappointed when Hampton Court ceased this purely amateur competition. In 2009, the club hosted an edition of “Gardeners’ Question Time”. Other activities include the annual planting of seeds with the children of Binfield School; participation in the inter-Society Garden Quiz at Henry Street Nurseries in Arborfied each year and an annual plant sale which is our main fund-raiser.

Each month’s meeting, held in the Memorial Hall, usually includes a speaker (except on the odd occasion when we all go out somewhere!), a raffle, a competition, free refreshments and an extremely enjoyable social get-together.

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