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Ellisfield Village, Hampshire

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Cliddesden, Ellisfield & Farleigh Wallop Horticultural Society


Steve Bowcutt

324707 (Email: HERE)

Hon. Secretary

Marilyn Smith


Hon. Treasurer

Claire Cook


Ellisfield representatives

Pat Gould

Claire Cook



Cliddesden representatives

Pat Doel

Doreen Ilsley

Eddie Rapley




Farleigh Wallop representatives

Julia Ayscough
Mrs D. Phillips






JANUARY, Thursday 25 (7.45pm)

Cliddesden Hall

Talk by Alan Martin, entitled "Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and the Gardens of Israel"

MARCH, Thursday 29 (7.45pm)

Cliddesden Hall

Talk by Carol Watson, entitled “Irish Coast to Coast Walk

APRIL, Sunday 8

Cliddesden Hall

SPRING SHOW (staging from 9.20am to 10.40am)
Public viewing from 2.00pm to 3.30pm.

MAY, Sunday 13 (from 1.00pm)

Jolly Farmer, Cliddesden

PLANT SALE (in the garden)

MAY, Wednesday 23 (7.45pm)

Ellisfield Hall

Talk by Steve Peach, entitled “The Ugandan Connection Community - conservation in action”

JUNE, Monday 25

Cliddesden, Ellisfield and Farleigh Wallop


New entrants to this competition are always welcome but the gardens must be within the three villages.
Entry Forms from willow.ms@btinternet.com

JULY, Thursday 12 (7.45pm)

Cliddesden Hall

Talk by Phil Blockley, entitled “All About Bees”

AUGUST, Sunday 5

Cliddesden Hall

SUMMER SHOW (staging from 9.20am to 10.40am)
Public viewing from 2.30pm to 3.30pm.

SEPTEMBER, Wednesday 26 (7.45pm)

Ellisfield Hall

Talk by Gerald Ponting, entitled “Ladies Smocks & Batchelors Buttons - Wild Flowers and Their Stories”

NOVEMBER, Thursday 29 (7.45pm)

Cliddesden Hall

AGM and Social Evening

Report (May 10, 2018) - Written by Claire Cook

Hello from Claire!

‘Bring me sunshine’. The weather has turned gloriously warm, blue skies overhead, and the temperature is rising. So, the ground is turning to concrete, pots & baskets are drying out, it’s too hot to work in the garden … If we didn’t moan about the weather we wouldn’t be British!

Our eclectic climate has brought on an amazing combination of spring blooms this year, with daffodils & tulips in full colour side-by-side. And, bluebells are once again carpeting the woods and filling the air with fragrance. Which is a definite improvement on the smell of the oil-seed-rape!


So with everyone beavering away clearing weeds, edging borders and cutting grass, I hope you’ll take time to enjoy what is on offer from the Horticultural Society in the next few weeks.

PLANT SALE (1.00pm Sunday, May 13 at The Jolly Farmer pub in Cliddesden)

Fill a gap in the border, donate extra plants, enjoy a beverage in the pub garden. All proceeds from the plant sale go towards securing our speakers for next year’s programme.


Looking at such things as hanging baskets and features of interest, our members take great pride in showing off their talents and achievements. For more information on how to enter the Best Garden Competition, please contact either Steve Bowcutt (324707) or Marilyn Smith (462584).

LECTURE BY PHIL BLOCKLEY: “ALL ABOUT BEES” (Thursday, July 12 at Cliddesden Village Hall - 7.45pm)

One of our own members presents an evening ‘buzzing’ with information about bees. With the importance of bees being quite often overlooked this is a meeting well worth attending.  And hopefully Phil will have some of the sweet stuff with him on the night!

All are welcome at our evening meetings.  Entry:  Members £1, non-members £2. Refreshments (tea/coffee and biscuits) available - donations please

Report (April 9, 2018) - Written by Claire Cook

“Irish Coast-to-Coast Walk” Lecture (on Thursday, March 29)

Whoever said Ireland was just green was very mistaken! Our speaker took us on a 300 mile virtual walk across the stunning Irish countryside, with some delicious looking pictures of tea & cakes on the way.

We have such a variety of talks throughout the year, it’s always worth coming along – you never know what you’ll find out.

Spring Show (on Sunday, April 8)

Snow, freezing cold, rain … All ideal conditions for a bumper crop of daffodils, tulips and spring flowers (hahaha).

Despite the unfavourable weather our members managed to display some amazing blooms and, if the number of flowers exhibited were a little down, the domestic sections were up. Delicious, and decidedly sinful looking cakes, biscuits and pastries were up for judging; even more were available to enjoy with a cuppa.

Beautiful creations of a different sort in the handicraft sections show what hidden talents are lurking in our midst. Such a lot of time and effort goes into these pieces, every one is so individual.

And for our young ones – daffodils in a bra will stick in the memory! And, the yummy sweets too!

Many thanks to everyone who came along, whether you were exhibiting or visiting. A lot of hard work goes into the organising of the shows, and your support is greatly appreciated.


Plant Sale (Sunday, May 13  - The Jolly Farmer, Cliddesden (from 1.00pm)

Our fundraising plant sale. This is our major fundraiser for the year, so if you are splitting down, potting on, or have extra seedlings PLEASE don’t throw them away! Contact one of the committee for collection; or drop them off to your village representative in the week before the sale.

Then come down on the day to grab a bargain and fill a gap in the border. Everyone is welcome to come and support us. And, if the weather is nice, the pub garden is a lovely spot to enjoy a beverage while you peruse the plants.

“The Ugandan Connection Community - Conservation In Action” Lecture (Wednesday, May 23 - Ellisfield Village Hall (from 7.45pm)

Steve Peach returns as our speaker, following on from his talk last year about Queen Elizabeth Country Park. At that time he mentioned the close ties that the park has with the conservation in Uganda, and tonight we see this work in action ‘from the other side’. Judging by his last visit, this should be a really interesting evening.

All welcome, members £1, visitors £2,  refreshments available on the night (donations please), and raffle.

Report (March 22, 2018) - Written by Claire Cook

Hello from Claire!

Eddie Rapley, our usual pen-to-paper man, is at present unwell and unable to pass on all our news. We all wish him a speedy recovery. In the meantime, I will be trying to fill his shoes and keep you all updated. What’s on with the Society for the next month or two?

Thursday, March 29 at Cliddesden Village Hall, starting at 7.45pm:

A lecture, entitled “Irish Coast-to-Coast Walk”. Join us and our speaker in a countryside journey across the Emerald Isle. Entry for members £1.  Guests £2. Tea/coffee, biscuits provided – donations please.
We always welcome visitors to our meetings, and new members can join on the night.

Sunday, April 8 at Cliddesden Village Hall, public viewing from 2.00pm:

Spring Show – please note the show is being held on SUNDAY, not Saturday as in previous years. Entry open to members only – see show schedule for details. If you are a member and don’t yet have your schedule please call Claire Cooke (381504) or Pat Gould (381280).
Open to the public from 2.00pm. Come along and see what we do! Not just flowers & vegetables. Cookery, craft and children’s classes.

Sunday, May 13 at the Jolly Farmer, starting at 1.00pm:

Our fundraising plant sale. This is our major fundraiser for the year, so if you are splitting down, potting on or have extra seedlings PLEASE don’t throw them away! Contact one of the committee for collection; or drop them off to your village representative in the week before the sale. Then come down on the day to grab a bargain and fill a gap in the border.
Everyone is welcome to come and support us. And, if the weather is nice, the pub garden is a lovely spot to enjoy a beverage while you peruse the plants.

Report (February 11, 2018)

The first Lecture of the year ("Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and the Gardens of Israel" by Alan Martin) was a great success. We had quite a few guests and we have one new member, which is always gratifying. The lecturer was very amusing and informative with personal anecdotes of the places he showed us in the slide show of the area. His knowledge of the flora he had photographs, as well as the description of the soil and growing conditions was  clear  and very revealing. He has other talks which hopefully he will return and give us another  interesting evening. (Thanks for the report Claire.)

The next lecture (March 29 at Cliddesden Hall at 8.00pm)) is by Carol Watson on a coastal walk across Ireland. The Spring show at Cliddesden follows quickly on April 8th.

It is nice to see the carpet of snowdrops in Ellisfield and also the crocuses telling us that Spring is not too far away. The Cherries are acting like March Hares by defeating Chelsea away and then getting well beaten by Huddersfield.

Thank you all, once again, for supporting the Committee by your attendance at the Events during the year - long may it continue.

Report (January 18, 2018)

Having not written for a couple of months I wondered how to start the New Year and the first thought which came into my head was Cherries 2 - Arsenal 1 but, apart from the name which could be to do with plants etc., this item of news is of no real interest so I won't mention the occasion again in this report.

The lecture on January 25 at Cliddesden is by Alan Martin, entitled "Jerusalem Botanical Gardens and the Gardens of Israel". I will report in February on it's content.

The Membership Cards have now been printed so you will shortly be visited by a Member. The cost for the family is £8. New members are always welcome so if you have a friend who would like to join now is the time to join to get the whole year's value.

The Seed Catalogues are still available and remember the cost is Half the normal price.

Happy New Year
Eddie Rapley

Report (October 12, 2017)

The last Lecture of the year on “Composting and Recycling Your Garden Waste” was very informative. I understand that the Lecturer was fairly quiet and some of us strained to hear the words of wisdom. Maybe the use of the microphone system could be used so that all may benefit.

The latest news from our Chairman advises us that the catalogues should be with us this week and can then be collected from Marilyn. One can also order direct from Suttons Seeds but to get the benefit of this local Society you will have to quote our discount code which is GS116l3D. You will be offered a 50% discount on your order and will be charged £1.99 for postage and packing. So get a catalogue from Marilyn or go to the Suttons Seeds Website and use our Discount Code.

The last event of the year will be the A.G.M. to be held at Ellisfield Village Hall at 7.45pm  on Wednesday. November 29. It is listed as the A.G.M. and Social evening and it is more talk than chalk, and the normal fare and drinks are provided to make the evening a pleasant affair.

Any ideas for next year are always welcome from the assembled throng and hopefully we will have a reasonable Agenda for your interest next year.

On a personal note it was nice to see that at last the steps and a rail may be provided at Southlea and will enable the older and more infirm to attend meetings. After 50 years on Southlea it will be nice to get out in the evenings.

Hope to see you all at the A.G.M.

Report (September 13, 2017)

I hope the trip to Wisley was successful and the last Lecture for the year was well attended. The only new meeting now is the A.G.M. in November when the usual social side takes over quite rapidly from the reports for the year. The Catalogues for the New Year will be with us shortly when you can all start planning for the new year. Having seen at the Summer Show what can be produced I am sure this will spur us on to do similar success next year. Having seen recently the Makeovers to a variety of gardens I must admit I do feel stirrings to improve the garden and the catalogues will certainly help with ideas for future projects.

Remember the date for the A.G.M. in Ellisfield at 7.45pm is Wednesday, November 29.

Report (August 12, 2017)

An interesting Lecture was given by Jennifer Carter on “The Gardens at Butchart and Alaska” but unfortunately the dates coincided with the start of the Holidays and the attendance was rather low. One hopes that the last lecture of this year does not clash with other events when Kevin Mason will be giving a Lecture on "Composting and Recycling" at 7.45 p,m. on Thursday, September 28, at Cliddesden Village Hall . Remember that Lectures are open to you and your friends. All are welcome.

The results of good composting was evident at the Summer Show in August when the produce was on show. The entrants increased this year and the quality was excellent. The visitors increased this year so a good day as had by all.

The winners were spread among the members so the cleaning of the trophies will not be too arduous for just the one winner.

September's event is the trip to Wisley and those wishing to go should contact Marilyn before the 17th so that she can allocate the tickets. We are limited to numbers.

August 2017: Summer Show

The list of Trophy/Cup winners is as follows:

Joseph Bone Cup (Best Vegetable Collection): Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Frankham Cup (Large Onions):
Steve Bowcutt
Barker Trophy (Best Rose):
Andy Webb
Harold Greenyer Cup (Most Points Vegetables):
Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Lay Challenge Cup (Most Points Flowers):
Eddie & Diane Rampton
Farleigh & Hurstbourne Cup (Best Flower Exhibit):
Eddie & Diane Rampton
EB Hooper Cup (Most Points Flower Arrangements):
Diane Rampton
Nita Abbott Cup (Runner-Up Flower Arrangements):
Doreen Ilsley
Children's Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - Under 7):
Genna Cooke
Elsie Prince Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - 7 & Over):
Archie Gilvear
Ivy Cannon Family Challenge Cup (Best Photograph):
Debbie & Seumas Foster
Countess of Portsmouth Trophy (Most Points in Horticultural Classes, Spring & Summer Shows):
Eddie & Diane Rampton
Banksian Medal (Most Points in Horticultural Classes, Summer Show): Adam & Tracey Gilvear

EDITOR: Congratulations to all the winners. However, as this IS the Ellisfield website, a special round of applause for Adam & Tracey Gilvear, Andy Web, Genna Cooke, Archie Gilvear and Debbie & Seumas Foster.

Report (June 18, 2017)

The last Lecture in May on the The Owl Academy was a great success especially the Flying Barn Owl who flew from member to member at their teacher’s command. The audience were impressed with the content of the Lecture but were dismayed at the practice of sending young barn owls (killed for their carcasses) abroad for experimental purposes. This led to the information of how the Wild Life Trust do everything in their power to stop this practice, which not only affects Barn Owls but other species as well, including Blackbirds. Mike Savage is a very passionate member of the Wild Life Trust and this does show and hopefully will encourage others to get involved.

The Best Gardens will be judged on June 19. Thankfully for the last 50 years I've had the pleasure of living opposite the Meadow in South Lea so it has been an extra bonus to the garden - long may it continue. There are no Garden Visits in June but Wisley Tickets have been reserved for Sunday 17th September and can be obtained through Marilyn beforehand. There are only 20 tickets, so first come first served. The collection point is at the Ticket Office at Wisley at 2.00pm and once you have the tickets you can go anywhere in the Gardens - you don't have to stay as a Group.

We have a Lecture at Ellisfield Village Hall on Wednesday 26th July at 7.45pm. The Lecture is by Jennifer Carter on "Canada, Alaska and Butchart Gardens".  Having visited them with friends from Seattle twenty years ago I can thoroughly recommend them.

In August (Saturday 5) we have our Summer Show and details can be obtained from any Committee Member.  Entries can be admitted on the day from 9.30am until 10.30am. The Venue is at the Cliddesden Millennium Village Hall and the Public are welcome to visit the Show between 2.30pm and 3.30pm when Awards will be made and Cups presented. Refreshments will be served as usual.

Report (April 13, 2017)

March ended with an excellent talk by Steve Peach on “The Life and Times of a Ranger”. The range and the satisfaction given by his employment would have made any younger person envious. His  involvement in the landscape and the conservation of the wildlife was complete  and his world wide experiences, especially in Africa, showed total commitment. As he said "I do get rather involved so tend to extend the lectures a little!". It was well worth the small contribution to costs by members and non-members for the evening. We  have been very fortunate with our lectures this year.

Quickly following the Lecture was the Spring Show which, despite the decimation of many daffodils in the week previous, lived up to its usual standards. The flowers were a joy to see, the food looked rather tempting and the Art and Craft showed a competent skill by many. It would be nice next year if a few more entries were in the Painting classes because I know there are a great number of Artists in the Horticultural Society. We were pleased to see that the total entrants for all the classes were only down by one on last year.

The winners of the Cups are as follows :

Shurgold Challenge Cup: D & E Rampton
Bill Richards Challenge Cup:
S. Bowcutt
Blyth Challenge Cup:
C. Cooke
Challenge Cup:
J. Bowcutt
Margaret Hooper Challenge Trophy:
F. Cooke
Don Prince Challenge Cup:
G. Cooke

Congratulations to them all and also well done to all the entrants which keeps this very pleasant event going every year.

Future events include the PLANT SALE on Sunday May 7th at The Jolly Farmer (in the garden), opening at 1.00pm. Any plants from members for sale should be brought by 12.30 for display purposes. The pub is open for libations.

Members, friends of members or Tom, Dick and Harry are all invited to spend their odd pounds, which will contribute to our funds.

Finally in May we have Mike Savage lecturing on "The Owl Academy". Should be a Hoot! This is at Cliddesden Village Hall at 7.45pm. on May 25th.

Report (March 13, 2017)

Daffodils are here again making my garden and everyone's gardens things of beauty and a joy for a month - by which time of course the Show will be here! No further comment.

Before that the Lecture by Steve Peach will have taken place in Ellisfield at their Village Hall on Wednesday, the 29th March at 7.45 p.m. where we hope a good turnout will be interested in the Life and Times of a Park Ranger.

April brings the first Show of the Year where the Committee are following the tradition of last year by Not asking for Entry Forms to be admitted before the Show Day. Exhibitor Cards can be found at the back of the Show Schedules. Any problems with these arrangements can be solved by ringing the Secretary Marilyn Smith on 462584 or e-mail on willow.ms@btinternet.com. All classes are free to all members and children (except where specified). The Schedule for the day Saturday, 8th April at Cliddesden Village Hall is as follows:

9.20am to 10.40am: Staging exhibitors must vacate the Hall for the Judges to judge by 10.40am.
2.00pm to 3.30pm: Public Viewing
3.30pm: Presentation of Awards.

Offers to clean the hall  after the show will be greatly appreciated. Now is the time to show your friends that you have more than one talent so get out the cooking bowl, gardening trowel or paint brush and surprise them.

Hope those seeds are growing ready for the Plant Sale at the Jolly Farmer on the 8th of May.

Have a month of interesting hobbies and have a good Spring.

Report (February 13, 2017)

The first Lecture of the year by Carol Watson was well attended and from a report by Steve Bowcutt was well presented and well received. He writes:

"She gave us lots of colourful slides of her annual Caribbean holidays over the last five years. She has visited a different island each year and treated us to Barbados, Dominica, and Grenada and St. Kitts. Lovely  slides with an entertaining, humorous and at times educational commentary . We saw the unusual and rare cannonball tree which has to be fenced when it is fruiting because of the danger of falling fruit (hence the name). We also saw a number of enslaved persons huts, these can be moved and known as chattels. So when a slave moved he took his ‘goods and chattel’, apparently this is the origin of the phrase.”

Report (January 11, 2017)

A belated Happy New Year to you all. The festivities being well and truly over we can now sit down and plan our Horticultural year ahead.

I hope that you all managed to get the advice regarding the lecture on the January 26 and have now all got the updated copy of the program for the year. In order to help alleviate changes to our program at short notice, our Chairman would appreciate it if you would let him have your e-mail address (if you have one) so we could then advise you instantly. The lecture on January 26 will be “Colours of the Caribbean” by Carol Watson and should be well worth attending. Don't forget all are welcome so don't  phone a friend - just bring them.

Reminder 2. Please remember to plant some extra seeds again so that the Plant Sale on Sunday May 2 will be increased by your annual generosity to help us swell funds.

Our next evening meeting, after the January 26 one, will be on March 29 on the “Life and Times of a Ranger” from the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Should  be interesting.

Finally, remember that everyone is welcome to our Meetings so don't phone a friend - Bring Them.

Report (October 13, 2016)

Our last lecture of the year was by Dr Alick Jones on September 28th at Ellisfield on "Weeds - Can We Ever Win?". It was full of interesting facts including the depth the roots can stretch, like the root of the weed elder having been discovered in the deepest layer of soil in the new underground in London. The audience numbers were not great but I suppose dark evenings are not conducive to venturing forth into the countryside.

The Committee hope that there will be a full house for the AGM at Cliddesden Village Hall on Thursday 24th November at 7.45pm when you can participate with your ideas for the coming year, enjoy the refreshments and renew old acquaintances. If you are a newcomer to our three villages and would like to test the water before joining for next year, now is the time to take the first step.

Some of the Committee are standing down as they feel after a long stint it is time for new blood to invigorate the Society. The commitment is not too onerous (and the refreshments at Committee Meetings help the meetings go with a flow). So please think seriously about carrying on a valued asset to our community

I am pleased to see that the Hampshire teams are all settling down in their respective  Leagues. The only problem with my Cherries being in the top League is that they don't have as many games to watch. Have to spend more time reading the Horticulture Magazines ...

See you at the AGM.

Report (August 18, 2016)

The Summer Show lived up to its normal high standard, though there were a few fewer entries this year. It was nice to see some of our younger members participating and achieving success, they must have realised that the Olympics was just around the corner and so they had to do their best. The list of winners make some familiar reading and some have a few more Cups to clean this year. Congratulations to all who took part.

The Show had been preceded by an unexpected lecture by Faustina Boya on the Neem Tree of South Africa. It was a fascinating lecture on the tree’s properties and we all experienced the taste of it (Hmm!! - an acquired taste) and the feel of it on our skins. It cures all types of illnesses and is a boom to the countries who have access to it.

We now have a lull until our next lecture on Wednesday, September 28, at Ellisfield on the “Weeds, Can we ever win?”.

Committee Members : The Committee would appreciate some help from some new volunteers to join the Committee. One does not need to be a Wiz kid on Gardening and the commitment is not too great. Ideal for someone who loves gardening. Does not have to be a Cherries supporter!

I see that the Guardian and the Telegraph are following the Newsletter by giving a Report on Cherries News and to have them on the Box on two consecutive Sundays is a good way to start the year.

Enjoy the rest of the Summer Holidays and see you in the Autumn.

August 2016: Summer Show

The list of Trophy/Cup winners is as follows:

Joseph Bone Cup (Best Vegetable Collection): Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Frankham Cup (Large Onions):
Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Barker Trophy (Best Rose):
Andy Webb
Harold Greenyer Cup (Most Points Vegetables):
Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Lay Challenge Cup (Most Points Flowers):
Eddie & Diane Rampton
Farleigh & Hurstbourne Cup (Best Flower Exhibit):
Eddie & Diane Rampton
EB Hooper Cup (Most Points Flower Arrangements):
Pat Doel
Nita Abbott Cup (Runner-Up Flower Arrangements):
Doreen Ilsley
Children's Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - Under 7): (
no entries)
Elsie Prince Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - 7 & Over):
Oliver Webb
Ivy Cannon Family Challenge Cup (Best Photograph): (
no entries)
Countess of Portsmouth Trophy (Most Points Horticultural Spring & Summer Shows):
Eddie & Diane Rampton

EDITOR: Congratulations to all the winners. However, as this IS the Ellisfield website, a special round of applause for Adam & Tracey Gilvear, Andy Web and Oliver Webb.

Report (June 14, 2016)

It's raining, my roses are blooming, the sound of bat on ball and of course Tennis getting in to full flow tells me it must be June.

The lecture in May by Gerald Ponting was very illuminating and showed the island in all its glory. The floral displays were a joy to behold and the work done by the Islanders to recover from the devastating floods earlier in the year were very commendable. I could see why Madeira is a tourist attraction every year. An excellent talk by Gerald.

This month we will have the Best Garden Competition on June 27th and the results will be announced in next month's Report.

In July, the lecture on Owls has been postponed and it has been replaced by "Neem - The Power of Africa" and the lecture will be by Faustina Bayo. I understand that this is a fascinating lecture on the Neem tree which is very important throughout Africa. It is the source of natural remedies for many medical complaints and the talk will cover interesting tales for its use. It will be at the Cliddesden Village Hall at 7.45pm as usual. Everyone is welcome and there will be a small charge as usual.

In August, we have the Summer Show on August 6th. Get your Programmes from one of the Committee Members or contact Stephen or Marilyn for details. Once again a chance to see what success others have and enter your own plants, vegetables or Craft work in the various sections. Remember that without your contributions there would be no Show.

Remember that if you are not a member of the Horticultural Society (Gardening Club ) you are welcome to join at any time and your one fee enters all the family for all events. We are however open to visitors for all Lectures and Shows but of course to enter any of the Competition one has to be a member.

Report (May 12, 2016)

Sunday, May 8th, turned out to be a beautiful sunny day for the Plant Sale at the Jolly Farmer and it was good to see so many members turn up to buy the plants. Thanks are offered to all who contributed not only in the provision of the plants but also the purchase of them. Thank you also to the Jolly Farmer for the use of their garden and facilities. I understand the beverages were also very acceptable too.

On May 25th at Ellisfield Village Hall we are booked to have a Slide Show on "The Pride of Madeira" by Gerald Ponting and having never been there it will be interesting to see how it compares with my hometown. The Best Garden Competition will take place in June so hopefully the weather will stay kind for all the entrants. Details can be obtained from the Committee.

I understand there will be some Garden Visits to be arranged for June but details are not finalised at this date but … Be Prepared.

Have a good summer gardening.

Report (April 12, 2016)

The Spring Show  was the first chance of the year to show some of the produce from the gardens; some of the products from the kitchens and of course some of the results from the various crafts on which some of our members spend their free time. This year the entries were slightly down but in general a good turn out was achieved. Visitors did not take as much advantage of the cakes on offer as usual but having sampled one of the delicious cakes I will be back for more next year.

The Challenge cups winners are  as follows ;

The Shurgold Challenge Cup for highest number of points in the Horticultural Classes were Dianne and Eddie Rampton
The Bill Richards Challenge Cup and a Certificate of Merit was for the best single Bloom in the  Classes 1-5 was Steve Bowcutt
The Blyth Challenge Cup and a Certificate of Merit for Domestic entrants was Claire Cooke
The Challenge Cup and a Certificate of Merit for Best Exhibit in the Arts and Crafts Sections was won by Eddie Rapley
The Margaret Hooper Challenge Trophy for children up to the age of 6 was  G. Cook.
The Don Prince Challenge Cup for children aged 7 to 12 was won by B. Gilvear

Congratulations to all the winners and also to all who took part.

As Danny Willett remarked on winning The Masters on Sunday "I am enjoying this Win but after a break I must now concentrate on the next Tournament" so the Spring Show has passed and we now look forward to the next event on our calendar which is the Plant Sale on May 8th at THE JOLLY FARMER in the garden. The Sale starts at 1.00pm and any welcome gifts from members for the Sale will be warmly welcomed by the Committee from 12 Noon on the day. So I guess it’s a Bring and Buy Sale for some.

The other event in May is a Slide Show on Wednesday May 25th at 8.00pm in Ellisfield Village Hall by Gerald Ponting on "The Pride of Madeira". I have been told it is a lovely island so now is the chance to see it.

I hope it will be as successful as the Geoff Hawkes Lecture in March on the History of Mill Court Gardens. I was told that this was a fascinating hour on the history of the House and the Gardens and another successful lecture to add to our list.

Report (February, 2016)

The first lecture of the year was a fascinating wander through the memories of Mrs Read who not only described the meanderings the River Meon from its bubbling source to the sea but added in the historical details of villages along the way and her own family's connection with the area. For those of us who take the Motorways for speed it reminds us to take time to wander through our lovely countryside and villages, and it's all free.

Report (January, 2016)

Happy belated New Year Greetings to all our green fingered members. I am a little late with my Greetings but that is the privilege of old age. As I sit at my desk I find also that there are 17 Christmas cards still to deliver - Woe is me!

The Committee have once again prepared a full program for the year from March to September and having paid the Sub of £8 per household the whole family can take part. There is a Lecture in January on " The River Meon from its Source to the Sea" by Geoff Reid. The lecture is on the 28th January in Cliddesden Village Hall at 7.45pm. Hopefully our Posters will bring in a good audience. The next Lecture is on March 28th in Cliddesden by Geoff Hawkins on "The history of Mill Court Gardens".

The Committee have Catalogues for the new season and they hope that any surplus plants will be donated to our Sale in April as any profit will go to pay expenses  for the year. Remember that Subs are now due and the one Sub of £8 pays for the whole household for the year.

Now with the winter weather coming in I must hunker down and concentrate on the Cherries and the Pompey results until May. I know that Cherry Pie has been replaced by Humble Pie in the restaurants around these Grounds. Only a rumour.

A final reminder that our Spring Show takes place in April and if you have a talent to share, such as Cooking, Art or Handicrafts this is the time to exhibit your skills.

Happy pondering.

Report (November, 2015)

Having been without a car for seven months it was so nice to have my wheels back to be able to get out into our beautiful countryside and enjoy the Autumn colours. They were so vibrant and compared very favourably with the Blue Ridge mountain scenery which I enjoyed many years ago. Horticulturally, we enjoyed an excellent final lecture to our year when Dr Alick Jones gave us an insight into what we are doing as a nation to preserve some of our native species and the danger of not doing anything to preserve our feathered friends from extinction.

We have our A.G.M. Coming soon (Wednesday, November 25 at Ellisfield) and the Committee will have the pleasure of preparing for another year of planning the Sales, the Shows and the Lectures for 2016. (I also do believe that Christmas is getting closer as the Raffle Tickets are coming with increasing rapidity and more profusely every year and the Gardeners can look back on the successes of this year and prepare anew for next year's triumphs.)

I, personally have the worry of watching my "Cherries", knowing of course that they will eventually start scoring again and moving up the Table - just as Pompey are doing.

The Committee wish you all a very happy Christmas and a very fruitful New Year.

August 2015: Summer Show (report by Steve Bowcutt)

This show was a success, with friendly weather and a good turn out of exhibits & people. Trophy winners are listed below but a few highlights we should mention:

Eddie & Diane Rampton really went for it exhibiting in virtually every class and coming away with a number of the major trophies.
Adam & Tracy Gilvear took the major prizes in the vegetable section, their collection is worthy of special mention as is the quality of their potatoes.
The other branch of the Ramptons seem to have inspired Pat Rampton who had the best floral arrangement.
The Cooke family cleaned up in the children's section and Stephen Hudson had the best photograph.

The list of Trophy/Cup winners is as follows:

Joseph Bone Cup (Best Vegetable Collection): Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Frankham Cup (Large Onions): Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Barker Trophy (Best Rose): Pat Doel
Harold Greenyer Cup (Most Points Vegetables): Adam & Tracey Gilvear
Lay Challenge Cup (Most Points Flowers): Eddie & Diane Rampton
Farleigh & Hurstbourne Cup (Best Flower Exhibit): Seumas & Debbie Foster
EB Hooper Cup (Most Points Flower Arrangements): Pat Rampton
Nita Abbott Cup (Runner-Up Flower Arrangements): Pat Doel
Children's Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - Under 7): Genna Cooke
Elsie Prince Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - 7 & Over): Fletcher Cooke
Ivy Cannon Family Challenge Cup (Best Photograph): Stephen Hudson
Countess of Portsmouth Trophy (Most Points Horticultural Spring & Summer Shows): Eddie & Diane Rampton
Banksean Medal (Most Points in Horticultural Sections): Eddie & Diane Rampton

EDITOR: Congratulations to all the winners. However, as this IS the Ellisfield website, a special round of applause for Adam & Tracey Gilvear, Seumas & Debbie Foster, Fletcher Cooke and Genna Cooke.

July 2015: Lecture: The Wonders of Antarctica

This was a most interesting talk and slide show of a trip that didn't go strictly according to plan. Nevertheless, it was well presented and it entertained the members.

June 2015: Best Garden Competition

Congratulations go to the following members:

Debbie and Seumas Foster for gaining 1st place in the Combined class, a 2nd in the Vegetable class and a 3rd in the Flower Class.
Adam Gilvear for gaining 1st place in the Flower class.
Jacqui and Tony Matthews for gaining a 2nd place in the Flower class and a 3rd place in the Pots & Baskets class.

Pat Doel for gaining 1st places in the Flower and Features classes and a 3rd place for the Combined class.
Michelle Ilsley and N Riley for gaining 1st place in the Pots & Baskets class.
Doreen and Dennis Ilsley for gaining 2nd places in the Combined, Feature and Pots & Baskets classes and a 3rd in the Vegetable class.

April 2015: Spring Show

The Spring Show was very well attended and the number of  entries were up to par. The Cups were won by the following members:

The Shurgold Challenge Cup for Most points in Horticultural Classes - Stephen and Avril Hudson
The Bill Richards Challenge Cup for Best Single Bloom in Narcissus Classes - Steve Bowcutt
The Blythe Challenge Cup for Most points in Domestic Classes - Pat Gould
The Challenge Cup for the Best Exhibit in Art & Craft Classes - Judith Richards
The Margaret Hooper Challenge Trophy for the Best Exhibit under 7 years of Age - Genna Cooke
and the
Don Prince Challenge Cup for Best Exhibit under 12 years of Age - M. Pennington

Our congratulations to them all and all those who took part.

(In addition, here is a review from Jacqui Matthews' BazGaz Community News article on Farleigh and Ellisfield)

Trophies were awarded to prize winners at last Saturday’s Spring Show: Ellisfield’s Archie Gilvear was MasterChef baking the ultimate Chocolate Brownies.

Pat Gould, once again, just beat daughter Claire Cooke to become this year’s Domestic Goddess producing a mouth-watering array of bakes, jams and chutneys, while Pat’s granddaughter Genna won The Margaret Hooper Challenge Cup with her beautiful arrangement of spring flowers and a door plaque for her bedroom. Judith Richards retained The Challenge Cup for best exhibit with an amazing stump work passion flower.

January 2015: Lecture (Geoff Read: "Mini-Beasties")

Our first lecture of the year was a great success when 30 people turned out on a wintry night to see our little companions on this planet of ours and we were entranced and amazed to see Marwells retired Zoo Keeper show a selection of his little friends. The Chameleon which spent most of the evening snuggled up on the back of his neck after making friends with the assembled throng. They were allowed to touch and stroke him/her, followed by the Australian green stick insect made famous in one of Harrison Ford's films of The Lost Arc.

Insects followed from a Millipede with 110 legs (of Dr No's film) to the "Hissing Bug" beloved of small boys because of its interesting noises. The Leopard Geko which loves sand followed by the Tarantula - which lived up to everyone's expectations. It was interesting to see the skin of a Tarantula which had bitten his wife in its life time. Finally we had the sight of two Madagascan cockroaches in his hand and being stroked on their backs. The evening finished with the usual refreshments and I could see that an evening with these small insects had not affected anyone's appetite!

August 2014: Summer Show

The  Summer Show seems to get better every year and this year was no exception with seemingly more entrants, more people receiving the Cups and more children taking part - all good news for the future. As we are constantly reminded to take more exercise and eat more veg and fruit our members must be heeding this information and getting out in the gardens more. A good day was had by all, from competitors to visitors.

The list (supplied by Steve Bowcutt) of Trophy/Cup winners is as follows:

Joseph Bone Cup (Vegetable Collection): Steve Bowcutt
Frankham Cup (Large Onion): E. Rampton
Barker Trophy (Best Rose): Claire Cooke
Harold Greenyer Cup (Most Points Vegetables): E. Rampton
Lay Challenge Cup (Most Points Flowers): Pat Doel
Farleigh & Hurstbourne Cup (Best Flower Exhibit): Claire Cooke
EB Hooper Cup (Most Points Flower Arrangements): Pat Doel
Nita Abbott Cup (Runner-Up Flower Arrangements): D. Rampton
Children's Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - Under 7): Genna Cooke
Elsie Prince Challenge Cup (Best Children's Exhibit - 7 & Over): Oliver Webb
Countess of Portsmouth Trophy (Most Points Horticultural Spring & Summer Shows): A. & S. Hudson
Ivy Cannon Family Challenge Cup (Best Photograph): J. Bowcutt

Congratulations to all the winners. However, as this IS the Ellisfield website, a special round of applause for Claire Cooke (two trophies), her daughter Genna and Oliver Webb.

July 2014: Lecture (The World of Woodpeckers)

Whether it was his name that gave him his lifetime interest I am not sure, but the quality and content was excellent. Having started to make a note of all the varieties - whiteheaded, northern rednapped, downy hairy, northern flicker, Williamson sapsucker, redshafted flicker and threetoed woodpecker - I just sat back and realised that there were a fair number of woodpeckers to see around the world and Stephen had seen a few (?) more than I had . Good lecture.

June 2014: 3 Villages Garden Competition

Class A (Combined Vegetable & Flower Garden) was won by Julia & Steve Ayscough of Farleigh Wallop
Class B (Flower Garden) was won by Janette Palmer of Cliddesden
Class C (Vegetable Garden) was won by Dan Cleeve of Ellisfield
Class D (Garden Feature) was won by Hilda & Andy Small of Cliddesden
Class E (Pots & Baskets) was won by Debbie & Seumas Foster of Ellisfield

Congratulations to all the winners. (However, as this IS the Ellisfield website, a special round of applause for Dan Cleeve and Debbie & Seumas Foster!)

April 2014: Spring Show

Out of the hills came the O’Dills with their daffs ready for the competition at the Spring Show and what a good display it was again this year. I had been looking at the daffs in my garden for the past month hoping that they had not flowered too early but we were very fortunate not to have the snow ruin our show. The Committee are always delighted when the members take part as it takes the planning the details worth while. So many thanks to you all for your support.

The Chairman reports that there was an increased entry this year (with no empty classes), new exhibitors and the number of children taking part had increased. All good news for the future of the Society. The winners were:

The Shurgold Challenge Cup for Most points in Horticultural Classes - Eddie Rampton (27 points)
The Bill Richards Challenge Cup for Best Single Bloom in Narcissus Classes - Steve Bowcutt
The Blythe Challenge Cup for Most points in Domestic Classes - Claire Gould
The Challenge Cup for the Best Exhibit in Art & Craft Classes - Judith Richards
The Margaret Hooper Challenge Trophy for the Best Exhibit under 7 years of Age - Lorna Turberfield
and the
Don Prince Challenge Cup for Best Exhibit under 12 years of Age - Ffion Turberfield

January 2014: Lecture (Vegetables for Beginners)

The first Lecture of the year went off very successfully, with a good attendance to set the year off on its Horticultural Way.

Our Lecturer, Kelvin Mason, covered all the essential details on getting the best results from our vegetable gardens and he mixed wit and humour into a very interesting talk. The reasons for double digging, the removal of rebel weeds, the size of the beds (4 foot two inches), the importance of not stepping on the earth and the necessity of watering (or not watering) have all reinforced old knowledge and will inspire a few endeavours in our splendid attendance.

It will be interesting to see the results in this year’s shows.

November 2013: Annual General Meeting

"Another year of success (or maybe failure and dashed hopes and despair at Nature’s fickle ways) sees the gardeners in our Three Villages full of optimism that 2014 will be the year that those seeds we plant will turn into days of triumph - well, maybe.

"We finished the old year with our normal convivial AGM, when a new face, Claire Cook from Ellisfield, took over the position of Treasurer as I, after 19 years filling the space, decided that it was time to hand over the money to someone else. I wish her well and am sure she will be as pleased to receive your £7 Sub for the year as I have been in the past.

"Our first Lecture of 2014 will take place on January 30 in the Cliddesden Millennium Village Hall (beginning at 7.45pm) when the subject will be “ Vegetables for Beginners” . Those who have been growing vegetables for some time will most probably learn a thing or two as well ...

"The programme for the rest of the year is being finalised and will be on your Membership Cards.

"I have been asked to remind those faithful members who produce plants for sale at our Spring Plant Sale that we really do count on your very valuable contributions and also from any other member who may have produced too many plants for their gardens. The Funds raised help the Society to keep the Annual Sub down to its present level and enable us to pay for the Lectures and Venues used during the year.

"To those of you who are new to the Villages, the Society is a very friendly group of people who like to socialise as well as discuss Gardening matters and will befriend and be patient with those without green fingers like me. We do have two shows during the year when we can also display our other talents - such as Painting, Cooking and Photography. We all compete in a very friendly(?) rivalry.

"So ... see you on the 30th January."

October 2013: Joint meeting with the Candover Valley Gardening Club

The Fun Table Quiz which took place at Preston Candover Village Hall was a very enjoyable evening where one of the prizes was won by a few dedicated garden viewers from our Society, who could identify most of the places on view. Honours were eventually evened out when Preston Candover won the other prize for horticultural identities of veg and flowers. Wine and edibles were consumed and it was a very pleasant way to end the year.

September 2013: Talk - Gardens of the Italian Lakes

A captivating display of slides of the Italian Lakes by Richard Thornton made for a pleasurable evening’s viewing to end the Lectures for the year. Memories of camping in 1959 in Lake Como were revived when Betty and I were just a little younger.

The lectures always seem to have an extra interest for me and this time it was the crack, splatter and pop sounds which accompanied some of the slides. Alas it was not until the end that I found out it was the microphone reacting to the car keys in Richards pocket as he wandered back and forth. Another mystery solved.

August 2013: Horticultural Society Summer Show (Report by Jacqui Matthews)

HORTICULTURAL dynasties in the making:

Last Saturday’s summer show had more than 250 entries (100 more than last year) and four local families did particularly well. Emma Ilsley won the Elsie Price Challenge Cup for Best Entry in the children’s class for aged seven and over, producing the most beautiful necklace made from vegetables, and mum Michelle won first prize for the best hanging baskets in the ‘best gardens’ competition.

Oliver Webb won first prize in the under-sevens class for his beautiful pot of marigolds and dad Andy won the Barker Challenge Trophy for best rose bloom.

The Gilvear family will be busy polishing silver trophies all winter – Adam won cups for best vegetable garden, best large onion, longest runner bean, and highest number of points in vegetable classes and the whole show, while sons Archie and Basil won second prizes in the children’s classes for their age group.

Fletcher Cooke won the Children’s Challenge Cup for his display of grasses in a jar, while sister Dariah and granny Pat Gould must be given first prize for delicious refreshments, enjoyed by all visitors.

The above is the Ellisfield & Farleigh Wallop report by Jacqui Matthews for the Basingstoke Gazette, published Thursday, August 8.

The list of Trophy/Cup winners is as follows:

July 2013: Lecture on William Kent and precursors to the English Landscape Movement

Joanna Kent gave a most excellent lecture on William Kent (no relation) and the history of English Landscaping since the 17th Century.

I was not only impressed with the information given but amazed at her dexterity in mounting the stage in the dark at least ten times to point out various points of the gardens on display. The agility of the young know no bounds these days.

June 2013: Evening Visit to Two Acre garden at “Walden”, Common Hill, near Medstead

A glass of wine, seventeen members present and a view across the field of sheep happily nibbling round the distant bushes was the introduction to our visit to Walden in Medstead. A summer evening in rural Hampshire with clouds slowly passing in the evening sunlight was indeed a pleasant way to end the day.

Walden’s owners confess to not being “gardeners” but love gardening and love to plant and watch the results of their work. They have succeeded remarkably well. Their contributions to many Charities with the National Gardens Scheme have surely been worth all the hard work they have put in to the garden.

We strolled past the restored rockery with its plants of hardy flowers, herbs and alpines to combat the bad weather. The centre bed has two sections including Margaret Merrill roses, Poppies, Verbena and Lilies and in the north section drought resistant plants of thistles, grasses and sedums. Further beds contain many mature plants and the whole garden is a delight. A wander among the lawns seeing the whole garden leads us to the many seated areas, where more nibbles and (for the lucky car passengers) another glass of wine, enabled us to view the wonders of the Hampshire countryside all the way to Winchester to complete our evening in memorable fashion.

The sheep were still around the same bushes and one realises that they are very life like sculptures! (A visit to Specsavers may be required, I fear.)

June 2013: Horticultural Society’s “Three Villages Best Garden Competition” Results

The results of this competition are as follows:

Combined (Flower & Vegetable) Garden
   Pat Doel, Cliddesden
Flower Garden
   Hilda Small, Cliddesden
Vegetable Garden
   Adam Gilvear, Ellisfield
   John Lurcock, Cliddesden
Pots & Baskets
   Michelle Ilsley and Nick Riley, Cliddesden

May 2013: Plant Sale

Despite the refurbishment of the Jolly Farmer taking place, limiting the passing trade for the sale, the regular members turned up and their contributions made it a worthwhile day. Our green-fingered members who contributed the plants should feel that their labours have been appreciated and the final total has helped the Society’s funds.

April 2013: Spring Show

Spring Show Day arrived with sunshine and the daffodils in my garden finally woke up from their winter sleep. It was too late for me to enter my daffs but with over 170 entrants for various classes of flowers, domestic excellence and craft and art, the day turned out to be another successful event for the Horticultural Society making their preparation endeavours worthwhile.

Entrants were from the very young - under 7 to the more mature -me - and I am sure that whether it was a “Highly Commended Certificate” or a “Challenge Cup”, we all had a good day. I had to miss the Afternoon Show to view some Cherries blooming in Bournemouth, but the following list is of the most successful entrants on the day :

The Shurgold Challenge Cup for Most points in Horticultural Classes - S and A Hudson
The Bill Richards Challenge Cup for Best Bloom in Narcissus Classes - A. Cooke
The Blythe Challenge Cup for Most points in Domestic Classes - Pat Gould
The Challenge Cup for the Best Exhibit in Craft Classes - M. Pennington
The Margaret Hooper Challenge Trophy for the Best Exhibit under 7 years of Age - Harry Gould
and the
Don Prince Challenge Cup for Best Exhibit over 7 years of Age - Emma Ilsley.

I was also advised that new members Eddie and Dianne Rampton did very well with their entrants this year.

Our thanks to all those who entered and we look forward to a bumper number of entrants in the Summer when hopefully our weather will have made amends for the cold Spring.

Jan 2013: Talk by Andrew Woolley on the Ashe Park Gardens Project

The talk by Farleigh’s Andrew Woolley, outlining his involvement leading the Ashe Park Gardens Project, was well attended by 30 members. Whilst excellent photographs gave a good insight into the challenges, the progress can be experienced first-hand when the gardens open to visitors in the summer. The society hopes to arrange a visit.

November 2012: AGM followed by a Social Evening.

The AGM was well attended by members from all three villages.

The Treasurer presented the accounts for the year ending September 30, 2012 which showed that the “profit” (£136) and the bank balance (£1,091) were both a little better than the previous year. The meeting agreed with the suggestion that the Membership Subscription (due in January) would remain at £7 per household.

The Chairman then recapped the year’s talks, visits and Shows and thanked all the committee members for their hard work.

There then followed the Election of Officers, with the main change being that Meg Freeman (Ellisfield) replaced Julia Ayscough (Farleigh) as Vice Chairman, although Julia remains on the Committee. Pat Doel (Cliddesden) was also voted onto the Committee (the new make-up of which is reflected in the list above).

There was a general discussion regarding the 2013 Programme of Events and the chairman promised that it would be finalised soon.

IHorticultural Society AGM - Social, After The Meetingn the Any Other Business agenda item, Paul Turner (Ellisfield member) informed everyone of the new Ellisfield website and requested the committee that he be kept informed of events and visits (etc.) so that the Society’s page can be as up to date as possible. He also asked members to send him photos for inclusion on the website. Digital images can be emailed to him at paul.turner@ellisfield.com and if anyone wants to lend him “real printed photos” (which will be scanned and handed back) to phone him on 381269.

The meeting then ended and everyone gathered for a little wine and soft drinks, some good food and even better conversation (see picture).

October 2012: Quiz Night with Candover Valley Gardening Club.

The quiz night began with an informative talk by PC Andy Reid. He introduced the history of the local force and how the equipment they use evolved over the decades. The weight of the early radios and lamps were surprisingly heavy. The quiz was accompanied by a delicious spread of food supplied by the committee and much fun was had by all. Our thanks go to Eddie for organising the quiz and to Doreen for the never ending raffle!

The Society organises a regular programme of visits, illustrated talks (with expert speakers) and Shows throughout the year. Evening meetings are held in Ellisfield’s Memorial Hall and in Cliddesden’s Millennium Village Hall, usually from 7.45pm (£1 for members and £2 for non-members).

New entrants, expert or novice, to our Annual Shows are always very welcome.

Annual subscription is just £8 per household. Members can also benefit from discounts on seed and other garden supplies (see below). If you would like to know more, contact any of the following Committee members:


Sutton Seeds - orders taken each year from September, closing date mid December, contact Marilyn Smith (01256 462584)
Parkers Plants - orders taken each year from May closing date August, contact Steve Bowcutt (01256 324707)

2018 EVENTS PROGRAMME (Please note that the Shows are on a Sunday this year)

All evening meetings: £1 for Members and £2 for Guests.


This section goes back to October 2012. Please use the right hand scroll bar to view earlier reports.