Hartlebury Gardening Club

 [October 3rd]
My Life and Gardening – John Guest

Our listed guest, Derek Walker, was unable to come but had arranged John Guest as a replacement. We soon realised that he was a lively guest and raconteur, telling stories of his life as a child during the war and through a series of jobs including the Fire Service; at Brintons; as a Gardener, Chauffer and Handyman; at a turkey farm and a farm with cattle and sheep.

Inspired by ‘Digging for Victory’ and the need to keep food costs low, John took on an allotment which grew in size over the twenty years he kept it until illness forced him to give it up. Now in his much smaller garden he still uses the knowledge gained from the allotment, to grow some prize winning vegetables.

He advised us that for successful potatoes we need a soft soil, as light as possible, with the addition of blood, fish and bone or seaweed. They need plenty of water, he gives each plant 30 seconds of hose each day. (No wonder my potato in a bucket efforts were poor)
For long, prizewinning beans you need to choose the right variety – Benchmaster or Stena and take away any leaves which cover or shade the beans.
For giant, undamaged carrots, an equal amount of light compost and vermiculite should be mixed and poured into a piece of sewer pipe, stood upright and 3 seeds placed in the top. He prefers Sweet Candle but showed us a magnificent carrot called Charisma, but it didn’t win the show. John recommended planting onions around carrots as the smell puts off the carrot flies.

In recent years John has played Father Christmas at the Severn Valley Railway and at Webb’s Nursery which involved staff pranks, happy children and some bitter sweet moments. On his travels around gardening shows and tool sales, John and his wife have built up a collection of old and unusual tools. He showed us some interesting ones and asked us to guess what they were used for. Some were easier than others and most could still be used today but the most unusual and rare one was the Easydig spade, made for one handed use and designed for men returning from the war with missing limbs.
An entertaining evening with some good advice on tools and growing vegetables.

Our next meeting: Thursday 7 November at 7.30 pm in the Parish Hall  - All Welcome.

Diana Parsons will talk about Fungi – Myths, Varieties and Food

Pat Jewkes

77th Annual Club Show - September 7th 2019

  • Gardening Club Show 1
  • Gardening Club Show 2
  • Gardening Club Show 3
  • Gardening Club Show 4
  • Gardening Club Show 5
  • Gardening Club Show 6
  • Gardening Club Show 7
  • Gardening Club Show 8
  • Gardening Club Show 9
  • Gardening Club Show 10
  • Gardening Club Show 11
  • Gardening Club Show 12
  • John Maughan with his 1st prize Marrow
Another hot, sunny year which seems to have favoured flowers and vegetables, though some came early and had past their best by show day. The warm, dry weather has continued into September prolonging some crops and fooling others into starting again. Entries were up again and the show was well attended so a big thank you for your support! .


C S Newton CupMichaelmas daisies / 3 Blooms / mixed foliageJenny Jones
The Grazebrook ShieldFlowers / DahliasJenny Jones
M. Walton CupVase mixed flowers Jenny Jones
Meades Memorial TrophySingle HT Rose Barbara Courier
Brother Augustine TrophyMost points in flowers exc. RosesWendy Gwilliam
Club Challenge TrophyMost points in Rose classesLorraine Purcell
Fruit Challenge Cup & £5 DeBeers VoucherMost points in Fruits Stuart Courier
Coronation Cup & £5 DeBeers VoucherMost points in VegetablesSally Fletcher
Jim Whittle CupBest floral entryno winner awarded
Floral Art CupMost points in other Floral ArtFiona Davies & Hilary Dixon
R L Rogers CupMen’s flower arrangementIan Purcell
P&J Gregory CupChildren’s pictureno entries
Endeavour CupMost points in Children’s Art Daisy Innes-Davies
J H Randall Cup & £5 DeBeers VoucherMost points in Preserves & CookeryVal Hardwick
Hughes Memorial Trophy & £10 Rowberry’s VoucherBest in Show- vase mixed flowersJenny Jones
£10 Rowberry’s VoucherHighest points awardedMarilyn Harris

Thank you to our sponsors, Rowberry’s Nursery and De Beers and to the judges, the committee and spouses who set up, cleared away and efficiently administered entries and prizes. Particular thanks to our Show Secretary, Caz Smith, whose organisation made it all run smoothly and to her husband Charlie who did most of the heavy lifting. Thank you to those who made and served the delicious refreshments, to those who ate them, those who provided raffle prizes and to those who bought tickets. Thank you to the pupils and staff of Hartlebury Primary School for their colourful and very imaginative art display.

The afternoon was well supported and there was a lovely atmosphere. Be inspired for next year’s 78th Show!

Pat Jewkes