2023 Garden & Home Produce Show 16th September

Sue and Anita with the Tom Ethelstone Memorial Trophy

It was great to have our Show back, our first since Covid interrupted what used to be an annual event. We were delighted with the support from exhibitors which provided a wonderful display in the hall that was enjoyed by members and visitors alike. Despite the vagaries of this summer’s weather, there were over 200 exhibits of excellent quality across all the classes.

Deborah and Martin with the Lewis Cup

Scoring was very close and our chairman Deborah Jackson was honoured to present the Lewis Cup, on behalf of the Lewis family, to Martin Plater for the highest number of points in the vegetable classes. Sue Ethelstone was down from Yorkshire to award the Tom Ethelstone Memorial Trophy, this time to club member Anita Harper, for the highest number of points won across all sections and classes. To celebrate the return of the show, both trophies were accompanied by donated gardening gift tokens, and Brenda Brettell won the members-only class of Pelargoniums. Our judge had also commented on one outstanding individual exhibit so a special award of a donated gift token was given to Clive Hancock for his Eucomis.

Clive’s Eucomis

We were pleased that several first time exhibitors had a go and enjoyed it, as well as taking home some of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places cards for all classes – well done to all entrants! After the presentations Sue drew our raffle which included some kindly donated prizes, and there were afternoon refreshments of hot and soft drinks with delicious homemade cake. There are some photos on our gallery page which give a flavour of the day.  Many thanks to all the committee, judges, helpers, exhibitors and visitors for putting this show back onto the calendar as a wonderful village event. Happy gardening!

“What have trees ever done for us?”

Pam’s winning competition entry

At our September meeting we welcomed back Dr Peter Thomas, Emeritus Reader in Plant Ecology at Keele University, to provide a surprisingly wide range of answers! He started with common words in our language (such as bachelor, Poet Laureate & baccalaureate all from the bay tree) then fruit including unusual tropical varieties, not just those we know and love. Next came nuts (we have new respect for cashews!) before he moved onto medicines such as aspirin and our general wellbeing, with hospital studies showing improved recovery rates in patients who can see trees and other fascinating medical facts, not forgetting poisons such as strychnine.

Then we had the benefits of how trees help combat climate change when they are mature – but being aware that planting them is not an instant fix – and not forgetting timber, with how forests are (or should be) managed to keep them carbon neutral. Peter is a very engaging speaker who shared his knowledge and passion for trees with a well-illustrated talk, and we discussed the possibility of a spring trip to see the Keele University collection of flowering cherries.  

Peter answering questions

Afterwards Peter drew the raffle and answered individual questions over refreshments. Recent weather affected the number of entries in the monthly competition for a vase of asters but Pam was a worthy winner as you can see from the photo. We’re now looking forward to our Garden and Home Produce Show on Saturday 16th which will have a post of its own, and we’re hoping for plenty of support for this which is our first one since 2019, normally an annual event until a certain pandemic intervened….