Tuesday, April 24 2018

Published on May 11 2017. Living
Crowds buy Northiam plants
Choosing is so difficult

Crowds buy Northiam plants

Northiam Horticultural Society, formed in 1897 to promote an interest in gardening, held its annual Plant Fair on May 6 in the Village Hall in Frewen Close. There are about 250 members, and if conversations in the lengthy queue are anything to go by, they come from all around the locality. Rye, Sedlescombe, Staplehurst and Battle to name just a few!

Queue across the car park

Car-park stewarding stewarding was being carried out by Fergus Garrett, President and wholehearted supporter of the Society. Chief Executive of Great Dixter House and Gardens charitable trust – just down the road from the Village Hall – and Head Gardener at Great Dixter, he replaced Christopher Lloyd as president on Lloyd’s death in 2006. Lloyd was famous for the amazing, abundant and colourful gardens at his Great Dixter home.

As the event opened on the dot of 2pm, the queue, snaking across the car park, took a few minutes actually to reach the Hall itself. There was no entry fee, either, just an astonishing array of plants of all sorts shapes and sizes, and , as shown in the picture, packed tables.

Fun for everyone

The usual scrum arose from sheer numbers of people and plants but the lady with the enormous mesh tray seen last year was not in evidence this time. It is certainly an interesting juggling act to manage money, plants, bags and self to buy the precious chosen items. The choice is overwhelming, the stall holders very knowledgeable and many seemed to have stripped their gardens for this vibrant event. A wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs and vegetables were available to buy at very reasonable prices.

Come yourself next year, bring lots of sturdy bags, have some idea of what you want and go for it! Really good fun and a worthwhile afternoon, but get there early, in 20 minutes the tables were rapidly emptying.


Photos: Gillian Roder

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