Sadly, Covid-19 has had a considerable impact on WHS activities in 2020, meaning that all events needed to be cancelled due to risk of contagion. When this risk is considered to have diminished sufficiently for normal activities to recommence it will be announced on this page, The Joint Parish Magazine and social media
The origins of the Winsham Horticultural Society are shrouded in the mists of time. In such a rural community, it was certain that most homes would have grown their own vegetables for domestic consumption, with no doubt bartering or swapping anything that was surplus to their immediate needs, or could not be pickled, bottled or somehow preserved. It seems likely that Winsham Horticultural Society was formed sometime between the two World Wars, emerging in its present form sometime in the 1950s. Interest in the cultivation of flowers, among ordinary people, probably grew as more people had the leisure and money to indulge in such interests, as standards of living improved, and hobby gardening became a topic of television programmes. But that can only be speculation.

In recent years, Winsham Horticultural Society has organised an annual Summer Show at the end of August. Located on the Upper Recreation  ground it is housed in a large marquee, and offers many categories of exhibits, with a large number of trophies which have been contributed over the years.

It also holds an annual plant and garden accessory sale in the Jubilee Hall every year on the first Saturday in May, together with numerous outings and talks throughout the year, culminating in the AGM in November.
Full details of membership can be obtained from the Hon. Sec. Chloe Besley(01460 30032)
Garden Workshop-Forde Abbey-3rd March
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Rose Pruning, the Sissinghurst Method

What a wonderful day we had at Forde Abbey. Josh Sparkes, Head Gardener, led this excellent workshop showing us how to prune roses against a wall and how to make a rose ball. We all benefitted and learnt so much. We can now boast a new vocabulary including snibbling; we practiced the only essential gardener’s knot; pruning techniques and how to put rose stems under perfect strain to increase flowering potential. The Sissinghurst method encourages a naturally flowing form, pleasing to the eye. Personally I was very excited to learn a new technique of bending hazel rods (I live a sheltered life!!), a methDevil in detailod that I will be using regularly! Josh is a fantastic tutor and a brave man! Following instruction he let us loose on the roses in the long border. In small groups we courageously set about cutting, snibbling and creating aesthetically pleasing shapes against the wall and the rose balls in the border. We used our newly acquired skills to tie in the branches and prune off excess. It was a very happy group of gardeners who sat down to lunch. So many superlatives were heard around the tables: wonderful, stimulating, enjoyable, fun, excellent. Feedback included: “learning by doing”; “great to learn as a team”; “going home to re-prune my roses”; “what an enthusiastic tutor”;”when is the next workshop, let us know”. We are all keen to visit Forde Abbey later in the season to enjoy our efforts. Hopefully you will look out for the results as well! Thank you Winsham Horticultural Society and special thanks to Josh and Forde Abbey for giving us a truly inspirational day.

Judith Hill

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