Friendly people and lovely Horsham district gardens

It was a pleasant surprise to see the page in the West Sussex County Times devoted to our society which has been a main interest of mine for over 40 years. When I joined, all those years ago, I had no idea that my membership would last so long.

My mother had died close to my father’s retirement date leaving him alone when he had so looked forward to their being able to enjoy themselves together. Friends suggested that he joined The Horsham Horticultural Society - a good combination of friendly people and gardens. He said that he would if I would join with him.

We met firstly at the Old Town Hall and have since had four other venues (The WI Hall, St Leonard’s Hall, The YMCA and the Cricket Club) before our current one, Brighton Road Baptist Chapel.

When I joined the society, Sir Giles Loder was our president. His garden was Leonardslee, always a pleasure to visit but sadly this is now a thing of the past.

Over the years we have had some wonderful coach outings to gardens and stately houses during the summer months and an interesting selection of illustrated talks fortnightly on a good variety of subjects through the winter months.Our members always seem to find colourful items for our shows in spite of a dismal summer.

It is surprising how many gardens there are within a 20 mile radius of Horsham. During the past 14 years we have been to 79 on summer Tuesday evenings. I have always found garden owners to be such agreable and friendly hosts and would like to say ‘Thank you’ to any of you who are reading this for the kindness you have shown us when we have been visiting.

Over the past years, I have made a tremendous number of friends and enjoyed so many different occasions with the society and hope that there will be many more yet. Certainly Horsham and District Horticultural Society’s future is in good hands with a very go-ahead and charming chairlady, Lynda Ashby, and an efficient committee to welcome new members.

DEREK J. SANTER

Past chairman, Horsham and District Horticultural Society, Highlands Avenue, Horsham