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November 2022 Newsletter


Well, I’m very sorry I missed the delightful Colin Moat from Pineview Plants in October. It sounds as though it was an excellent talk, everyone had a thoroughly good time and bought a few plants as well!  Colin mentioned the possibility of touring his nursery next year (specialising in shade loving plants) and combining it with a visit to the nearby Great Comp gardens which we think is a great idea! Quite a few people have stopped me in the street since about it.  

Pineview Plants and Great Comp are both near Sevenoaks which would only be about a 40 minute journey from Mayfield, so very convenient! The seven acres at Great Comp are a delight year-round but especially in late summer when many varieties of salvia are in bloom.William Dyson, the head gardener there, has his own specialist salvia nursery on site where he breeds exciting new varieties each year. It also has a lovely tearoom!  Check out their website at It will make for a very inspirational and exciting day out.

Just so that we have an idea of the numbers that would be interested in going (as to whether we organise a coach or minibus trip) please reply to this email if you think you might want to go - no obligation of course!

November Zoom Talk


For the winter season, we move back to Zoom talks in November and February where you can watch and learn in the comfort of your own home. So on Friday 18th November, we welcome Fiona Weymuss of Blueleaf Plants who will inspire us to successfully ‘Grow Succulents in the Garden’.  


Succulents are enjoying a massive revival at the moment, and can make a big impact in your garden, but not many of us have the expertise to know which will survive the winter or how to look after those that do. There will be an opportunity to ask questions as we go through or please email me a question beforehand to ask.


Sign in a few minutes before 7.30pm on the night, it’s FREE to members and £5 to non-members. A link will be sent out a few days before.  If you haven’t renewed your membership for this year yet, you’ll need to make a bank transfer of £5 ahead of time to our account Sort Code: 20-88-13, Account No. 10685259, Mayfield Horticultural & Gardeners Association, ref zoom talk.

October 2022 Newsletter


We greatly enjoyed Philip Oostenbrink’s talk last month where he introduced us to some of the more unusual hardy and not so hardy foliage plants to create a jungle atmosphere in our gardens. I have persuaded myself to buy a Tetrapanax Rex, with huge leaves and a big presence in the garden (supposedly hardy) - watch this space!


Tuesday 18th October in the Memorial Hall

The nights are drawing in as the clocks go back in October, but it doesn’t mean we have to hibernate!


If, like me, you have struggled in the past to select plants for those shady areas of your garden, come and listen to Colin Moat of Pineview Plants on Tuesday 18th October discussing “Fifty Greys of Shade” - the wonderful choice of perennial plants suitable for an area of the garden often considered ‘a problem’. This will be our last evening in the Memorial Hall before it is demolished, let’s make it a good one by supporting. Colin will be bringing plants for sale as well.


Doors open at 7.30 for refreshments and the talk will start at 8.00 pm for approximately one hour.  It’s FREE to members and just £2 for non-members. If you’re new to the village and/or interested in joining, come and see what we’re all about.


Future dates this season for your diary:

. Friday 18 November 2022 via Zoom 7.30pm: Fiona Weymuss of Blueleaf Plants, “Growing Succulents in the Garden”

. Tuesday 21 February 2023 via Zoom 7.30pm: Raz Vanchisu (The Transylvanian Gardener) “Walking on Flowers in the Peloponnese”

. Tuesday 21 March 2023 AGM and “Gardeners Question Time”, plus compost demonstration. Doors open 7.00, AGM starts 7.30 pm Colkins Mill Hall.

Tessa Crowe 

September 2022 Newsletter

A Mayfield Horticultural Society Mystery

Calling all the budding Poirots or Miss Marples! Over the last few weeks, the current committee has been actively pursuing, "The Mystery of the Missing Cups". It appears that two cups that were awarded at the former annual Rose Show, have gone AWOL. The last show was in 2011. The Newsletter Archives provided the names of the winners, but there was a further twist as the recipients of the two cups were given the incorrect cups! One cup was donated by Mr John Hancock and the other is an ornate, chinese style patterned small cup that was a pain to clean!

The complication comes that the organiser of the Rose Show died in 2017, and the recollections of past members of the main committee can help no further.

So, if anyone reading this has a random cup gathering dust in their house, or can shed any light on the mystery, we would be very pleased to hear from you.

Sadly, we have no way of contacting the family of the deceased organiser and, unless any readers can shed any light, we have to conclude the family disposed of the cups on the death of their relation.

Please contact either Shirley Holland 872163 or Tessa Crowe if you can help.


September Talk in the Memorial Hall 

With all the rain forecast for the next couple of weeks, I’m sure we’ll all be chomping at the bit to get out and enjoy a bit of social interaction. 


We’re back in the Memorial Hall on Friday 16th September at 7.30 for 8.00pm to hear Philip Oostenbrink, head gardener at Walmer Castle and extremely knowledgeable plantsman, talk about The Jungle Garden: looking at the important role foliage plants can play in the garden and how to create that dramatic tropical effect. This is particularly effective in gardens at this time of the year.


Philip will be bringing copies of his book The Jungle Garden, as well as plants for sale too! It’ll be a fun evening - free to members and just £2 for non-members.  See you there,


August 2022 Newsletter




The sun shone on the 16th, and the Show basked in the reflected light of a hot July summer’s day.  Entries were well up this year, especially in the flower categories, and the Hall was heady with the perfume of sweet peas and roses. Local celeb Ann Martin (Mrs Lollipop) judged the fancy dress parade, The Mayfield Band played some of our favourite tunes and the Friends of the Primary School mums served delicious tea and cake. Just a perfect day out. 


Thank you to everyone who entered and made the Show such a success, without you there would not be a Show. We had many first-time entrants this year, gained new members - welcome to you all! - and I believe lots of people discovered how much fun this day is. Major thanks must also go to Shirley Holland and her Show Team for all their hard work throughout the year to put on the Show, it was a triumph.  Thank you too, for your generous donations on the door - we raised almost £300 which will help keep us afloat. 


If you’ve never entered an item in the Show, why not give it a go next year? You just might surprise yourself and win something! It’s not all about flowers and veg (although they are important!) but there are also categories for photographs, jams and marmalade, baking, crafts and needlework, plus children’s classes as well. Something for everyone.


The Cup winners were:


Perpetual Challenge Cup (Tray)                      Ken Audsley 

Hulbert-Powell Cup (Best veg)                Nicky Cluny 

Perpetual Challenge Cup (Best fruit)            Tessa Crowe 

Perpetual Challenge Cup (Sweet Peas)        Sarah Ratcliffe

Wolstenholme Cup (Novice)                Sarah Boorman

Margaret Walsh-Atkins Rose Bowl            Sarah Ratcliffe 

Snyed-Kynnersley Cup (Best flower exhibit)        Tessa Crowe 

Perpetual Challenge Cup (table decoration)        Mary Prall

Monteith Cup (Novice)                    Jessica Wood

Godber Cup (Best Domestic exhibit)            Sarah Ratcliffe

Allchin Cup (Best Craft exhibit)                Kate Burgess

Newington Memorial Cup (Best photo)        Shirley Holland 

George Day Memorial Bowl (Flower Posy)        Arwen Huxtable

Perpetual Challenge Cup (Miniature Garden)    Brodie Wood

William Wicken Cup (Vase of wildflowers)        Rex Wood

The Children’s Cup (Best exhibit)            Mayfield Pre-School 

Banksian Medal (Most points in Show)        Tessa Crowe 


September Talk


We’re back in the Memorial Hall on Friday 16th September at 7.30 for 8.00pm to hear Philip Oostenbrink, head gardener at Walmer Castle and extremely knowledgeable plantsman, talk about The Jungle Garden: looking at the important role foliage plants can play in the garden and how to create that tropical effect. Plants for sale too. It’ll be a fun evening - free to members and just £2 for non-members.  See you there,


Tessa Crowe 


July 2022 Newsletter

Hi everyone,


Summer outing review 


It was universally agreed that the coach trip to Arundel Castle Gardens on 14th June was a great success. Everything worked splendidly from start to finish. 


Starting quietly with lakes and woods, the gardens wend their way up the hill amongst frothy banks of oxeye daisy and orchids, wildflower meadows, plus an exquisite rose garden, to explode in a riot of colour at the top with Italianate gardens, fountains, follies, walled gardens and glasshouses filled with peaches, pelargoniums and other exotics. A triumph and a must-see if you haven’t already been. Tulip season there is spectacular too.




Thanks to Claire Montagu for doing all the organising!


Summer Show, Saturday 16 July


Only two weeks away, our Summer Show promises to be a really fun-packed event, with classes to enter for adults and children (not just flowers and vegetables, but crafts, baking, photography, etc) and a NEW fancy dress competition to kick it all off at 2.30 pm.  There will also be delicious teas provided by the Friends of Mayfield Primary School. Posters advertising the event are already up around the village. 




If you haven’t already got one, pick up a brochure (schedule) from the Post Office, Sew Inspired and The Flower House.  Or look on this website and click on the Summer Show link. All the information you need is there, and you can print off entry forms.


Drop off your entries ahead of time by 4 pm on Thursday 14th to The Flower House, or bring them by 10.30 am on the day and fill in your entry form at the Hall.


Entries have been down for the last few shows. Please see what you (or your children, or grandchildren!) could enter and let’s make this year’s Show one to remember with a record number of entries.  If each member entered just one class each, that would be over 100 entries!


Carnival night 


Catherine Hawley of the Mayfield Bonfire Boyes and Belles (and also a member here!) has asked if members could help by dropping off any large empty compost bags they might have at the Mayfield Scout Hall on Saturday mornings during July and August, as they are great for storing the 5,000 torches they need for carnival night! Please help them out if you can.


Garden openings


On a personal level, I’d like to thank everyone who came to visit the Mayfield gardens that opened for the National Gardens Scheme in April and June. Thanks to your support and some lovely weather, we have raised over £7500 for nursing and caring charities so far over the two weekends, as well as lots of money for our local Pre- and Primary schools from the teas.


Don’t forget to support Hoopers Farm which opens again for the National Gardens Scheme on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July and will be looking stunning, Delicious teas in aid of the pre-school.


Do remember to take some time this month to sit back and enjoy your own garden.  Hope to see you at the Show!


Regards, Tessa Crowe 



Plant Sale


Thanks to everyone who made the Plant Sale such a success on 7th May, including all those of you who contributed and bought plants!   


It was a manic couple of hours for those of us on the stalls, and just goes to show that the early bird really does catch the worm. We couldn’t believe it was only 9.30 am and half of the plants had already gone! After expenses, we raised a net total for the Society of over £1150 which is by some margin our best total to date and will greatly help fund our activities for the coming year. Thanks again for all your support.


Summer Outing to Arundel Castle 14th June


Our Summer Outing to Arundel Castle Gardens is on Tuesday 14th June (£25 per person), and is open to members and non-members. There are still a few spaces left on our luxury 50 seater coach but we need to know soonest if you want to come: contact Claire Montagu on 01435 872648 or email The gardens at Arundel Castle have featured in many TV gardening programmes recently, including the latest series of Carol Klein’s Great British Gardens, and should not be missed!  Details are also on our website


Summer Show 16th July


Don’t forget to include our Show in your plans this summer on Saturday 16th July. It’s all free to enter again this year. Pick up a schedule from the Post Office, Flower House or Truffles, or look on this website and click on the Summer Show link, to see what you, your children, and/or grandchildren could enter!  There are loads of different categories for adults and children, not just flowers and veg, but also photography, domestic (baking etc), crafts, children’s classes and creative writing.  It’s not terribly serious but actually a really fun thing to do, one of the most enjoyable days in the Mayfield calendar.


Enjoy the glorious month of June in your gardens, hasn’t it been a wonderful Spring? (But we could really do with some proper rain now please!)


Tessa Crowe 

May 2022 Newsletter


Come and support us in the Memorial Hall car park from 9.00 to 12.00 when we hold our annual fundraiser. We’ll be selling the usual array of bedding plants, perennials and vegetables, everything in fact that you’ll need for your garden this year! Just a few examples: geranium, petunia, sweet peas, ammi majus, lobelia, verbena, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, broad and runner beans, lettuce, herbs. Many others.


Tessa Crowe, 


There are still spaces available for our coach trip on Tuesday 14th June, price £25 per person. Non-members welcome. Please contact Claire Montagu on or 872648 to book or for more information. Payment should be made by 16th May please.



The clock is ticking towards 2.30pm on the 16th  July and


The format is similar to last year but with 


Cups and prizes for the best vegetables, fruit, flowers, cookery, creativity and craft.

PLUS, there’s a fun FANCY DRESS PARADE for anyone to enter.

Pick up your free copy of the Show programme from the Post Office, 

the Flower House or Truffles Bakery -

and don’t forget to put the date in your diary,

 – that’s 2.30 on 16th July.  See you there!!

John & Nicky Cluny, Show Team at Mayfield Horticultural Society

April 2022 Newsletter


Talk on Tuesday 19th April 2022: The English Love Affair with the Iris










On Tuesday 19th April, we welcome back Sue Marshall. 

Sue owns and runs Iris of Sissinghurst: a nursery in Marden specialising, unsurprisingly, in irises! A regular exhibitor at Chelsea, Sue won a gold medal for her Iris display in 2015.  She will be bringing plants for sale with her and as it will be very nearly peak Iris time in April, I anticipate plenty of interest! 

Memorial Hall, 7.30 for 8.00 pm start. FREE to members, non-members £2. 



Summer Coach Outing, Tuesday 14th June to Arundel Castle Gardens


Arundel Castle has nearly 1000 years of history and its glorious gardens have magnificent views over the Sussex countryside and the river Arun. There are a wonderful variety of landscapes to explore from the Stumpery to the Collector Earl’s garden. Planting interest includes fruit and vegetables, lupins, delphiniums, irises, roses and wildflowers.  There are paths wide enough for wheelchairs with a gravel surface and moderate slopes.


Refreshments can be obtained at either the Refectory or Coffee Shop or you are welcome to bring your own picnic.


SCHEDULE: 10am pick up in Mayfield High Street. Leave Arundel at 3pm and arrive back in Mayfield about 4.30pm.   COST: £25.00 per person for the cost of a coach and admission (NOT including the castle).  Places are limited to 50 people and are open to MHS members as well as non-members. 


NB The castle is set on a hill and there are steep paths from the car park to the entrance. Those needing mobility assistance should indicate to Claire when booking so that prior notice can be given to the reception staff who have a small motorised buggy.

Tessa Crowe

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