Middle Rasen & District

Horticultural Society

The club meets from September to March on the second Thursday in the month. Meetings, with speakers on various subjects, are in the Village Hall, LN8 3LD, at 7pm for a 7.30pm start

Officers ~ Membership

President ....
Vice President .......May Bennett      
Chair .....      
Secretary................. Janet Davies
Treasurer .......    
Seeds Secretary .....

Meetings & Events

The September & March meetings are small shows for members with the points going towards  The Hubbert  Trophy  for the most points throughout the year. September also being the AGM. meeting the December & January meeting may be a little different as it may be the Christmas Dinner.

Two shows take place in the year. The 3rd Saturday in June is The Sweet Pea Show The 3rd Saturday in July is The Annual Show & Fete, both are now held in the Village Hall.

Dobies seed catalogues come in late September & distributed to members, usually having to share. The orders to be back to the seed secretary by 1st December at the very latest, so that hopefully no one is disappointed with their order. We usually get 40% off the seeds & 10% of plantletts & garden equipment, with buying in bulk & the orders distributed at the February meeting.


May Bennett sent a very special thanks went to Mrs Joyce Heath and family for hosting the show for some 41 years. The committee offered thanks to the Heath family for the use of their garden and for everything Joyce and her family had contributed over the years. It was Joyce and the family made every show a huge success. May Bennett


Mrs Joyce Heath enjoying a quiet moment in her garden after a very busy and emotional day

Rev'd Chris & Julia Harrington with the winners at the 67th Annual Horticultural Show and Fete held by kind permission of Mrs Joyce Heath (front)

The members of Middle Rasen & District Horticultural Society would like to express how sad they were to hear of the passing of one of their active long-term members, Mrs. Joyce Heath on 23rd May having suffered from ill health for several years.

Joyce had been a Vice-President and an Honorary member of the society. The Annual Show had been hosted by the Heath family at "Rosslyn" for around 40 years. In the early years Joyce would knock on doors collecting prizes towards the tombola on show day and organise it in her garage. She also acted as a steward on the day, after baking, making lemon curd and doing flowers to enter in the show, winning many trophies. That was not all, she would bake for the refreshments too. Joyce was well known for her very tasty sausage rolls whenever we had a meal coming up.

Her home was also open for many tasks on show day. Committee meetings were also held at her home for many years. We could go on, but the hospitality of Joyce and the whole family will never be forgotten. A true member of the community, and our society. Joyce was also a regular worshipper at Middle Rasen Parish Church where she helped with the brass cleaning, flower arranging and after Church coffee. She loved her garden and would potter around for hours. She wouldn't give in until whatever she had started had been finished! She loved company and was always pleased when someone popped in for a chat and a cuppa! She loved her family, enjoying spending time with her 3 Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren!

Thank you Joyce, we will all miss you.


The Horticultural Society holds it's Annual Sweet Pea & Summer Flower show in the Village Hall on a Saturday in early June.

There are more than 30 classes of exhibits and around 4 for children's art work & plants they have grown. Visitors see an array of fragrant displays of sweet peas and other early summer flowers such as Delphiniums, Carnations and Roses.


For more information and an exhibitors entry form contact May Bennett (843206). Raffle prizes donated by local well wishers and businesses are gratefully received


The Horticultural Society holds the members show & AGM in September in the Village Halll.

Dobies seed catalogue is available .

You don't have to be a member -Orders had to be returned by 30th November to receive the 45% discount off seeds.

Contact Carole Sellars 842645 to order or for a catalogue.

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Saturday 16th June is a date for your diary; it's the day we are holding our 50th Annual Sweet Pea and Early Summer Flower Show in Middle Rasen Village Hall.

This year there are a total of 31 classes, which include the famous Sweet Pea exhibits, Open Flower classes for all exhibitors, a Floral Art section and Open Flower classes for Children, which include Middle Rasen Rainbows and Primary School. If you would like to enter the Show, Schedules and Entry Forms will be available from 25th May in the Village Shop, The Nags Head, the Middle Rasen Primary School and Church Hall.

Also on offer will be a very affordable Plant Stall, A Raffle with lovely prizes, Games and not forgetting the ever-popular Cake Stall plus refreshments.

So why not come along to the Village Hall on 16th June at 2-30pm, Admission is £1, we are looking forward to seeing you.

ANNUAL SHOW AND FETE on Saturday 28th July

Middle Rasen Village Hall, Wilkinson Drive Off Gainsborough Road

We are all looking forward to this year's Annual Show and Fete which is celebrating its 76th year, which is a real achievement for a small village and as usual there are plenty of things to make a fun afternoon.

We would welcome all entries for the many classes on offer, these include Fruit and Vegetables, Floral Art, Cakes and Jams, Homemade Wine and Photography. There are also a number of Children's classes including Art, Handwriting and also Photography with ages ranging up to 6 years, 7-10 years and 11-15. If you are interested in the photography classes get your cameras ready the subjects are: Adults - "Motion" and for the Children - "A Grandparent". As well as the main show there will be plant and cake stalls, a fantastic raffle, games and an array of refreshments will be available throughout the show.

Show Classes are open to all and show schedules and entry forms can be obtained from Crossroads Stores, The Nags Head, Church Hall and School, entry forms must be submitted by 7.30pm on Thursday 26 th July, details of where to send your entries are on the forms.

The show opens at 1.30 pm and entrance is £1.00. Come along and enjoy a great afternoon.

Also just a quick reminder to you all that there is still time to enter your Wheelbarrow or Container closing day for entering the competition is now Monday 2nd July.

Janet Davies (July 18)

Gardening tips from Community Spirit by John & May Bennett

CLEMATIS in a container as a FOCAL POINT for your garden.

•  Choose a large, quality container .

•  Collect broken clay pots, large stones or an inverted plastic pot to cover the drainage hole.

•  Use John Innes No 3 compost with 50 per cent of peat free compost mixed in to the former. Fill the container to within 2 inches of the top.

•  Also add a granular controlled release fertilizer such as Westland Gro-sure release plant food. This can be topped up each spring.

•  Put canes or tubes in each corner of the container to form a pyramid and tie the tops with copper wire.

•  Place the clematis in the centre and tie in the stems to encourage them to cling.

•  A low growing plant such as a Ajuga or another of your choice in a contrasting colour can be underplanted at the base to shelter the roots of the clematis.

•  Then water. Do not allow the clematis to dry out.

•  Varieties – Prince Charles – soft blue. Avalanche – early variety – white, or a very nice one is Ooh-la-la – lovely pink with a darker bar in centre.

•  There are many more varieties and colours to choose from for a focal point in the garden.


Grow the ultimate super berry – the BLUEBERRY!

•  Can be an ornamental feature in the garden because of their lovely autumn colours.

•  Best grown in raised beds or a large pot due to their critical requirements of an acid soil.

•  They are best grown in a sunny sheltered spot.

•  With a pH level of 5.5 or lower.

•  So it is best to use ericaceous compost, to obtain this pH.

•  Never allow the plants to dry out in the first year, and keep watered every summer before fruiting. ALWAYS use rainwater.

•  Grow at least two varieties together for pollination.

•  These fruits are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.

•  If you follow the rules they are not difficult to grow. We had a lovely crop last year.

•  Varieties – Duke, Bluecrop, (Sparton needs another variety to be grown with it) and Tophat is self fertile. The choice is yours.



•  If limited for space, it is a good way to grow tomatoes.

•  They need no staking, training or side shoots removed.

•  Can purchase varieties such as Tumbling Toms – red or yellow. Or Tumbler or Hundreds and Thousands.

•  Plant young plants in a lined hanging basket –made of wire, plastic or woven willow.

•  Make sure the bracket is strong.

•  Fill basket with damp compost to within 1inch of the top.

•  Also incorporate slow release fertiliser and water retentive gel.

•  Place a tomato plant in the middle, firm in and water. Do not put outside until the risk of frost has gone.

•  Add an upturned plastic bottle with a hole drilled in the lid and the bottom cut off. Fill this up each morning and the water will gently drip into the basket during the day.

•  Pick as soon as they ripen to encourage more fruit.

•  Children might like to have a go at this.

Hints for planting up WHEELBARROWS and TUBS for the horticultural society competition for Middle Rasen Residents.

1. In both cases make sure that there are drainage holes. Add a layer of broken pots or gravel to allow drainage.

2. Use a John Innes No.3 soil based compost or a multi – purpose compost.

3. Before planting water all plants and allow them to drain.

4. Go for mixed colours or a colour co-ordinated scheme.

5. Can use bedding plants, home grown geraniums, annuals, begonia corms or plants, herbs, ivies and other foliage type plants, also succulents.

6. Could do a herb planter

7. Or a mixed variety of succulents dressed with gravel. This is a cheap way if you grow them yourself.

8. Bedding plants of your choice in the wheelbarrow or planter. Could use grasses as a focal point in the wheelbarrow.

9. Another cheap way is to plant calendula seed NOW direct into the container and put nasturtium seeds around the edge.

10. Do not put bedding plants outside in containers until risk of frost has gone in May.

11. Water regularly, and dead head too to keep in peak condition.

12. Put container undercover when rain is forecast, to prevent the blooms from becoming marked.

John & May Bennett, Middle Rasen & District Horticultural Society.


Earlier Articles By John and May

Naturalising bulbs in grass or putting bulbs and plants in containers. Baskets, pots and all shapes of containers can be used. In lawns plant crocus, daffodils and dwarf iris or aconites. Scatter the bulbs randomly and plant where they fall.

You can grow many types of bulbs in containers, daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, alliums, crocus, dwarf iris, anemone blanda is a favourite of ours.

To guarantee dense display of colour-on your patio next spring by layering bulbs in pots. Put large bulbs like daffodils and tulips at the bottom and smaller bulbs like crocus and iris at the top. Cover each layer with multipurpose compost.

Plant pansies, violas, heathers, ivies etc in tubs or baskets along with crocus, dwarf iris, etc.

A bowl packed with single colour dwarf tulips can be stunning.


Can be taken from: Buddleia; Camellia; Choisya; Forsythia; Hebe; Hydrangea; Potentilla; Weigela; Lavender etc. Choose shoots that are almost fully grown except for the soft tip. Pinch the soft tip out.

Length of cutting 3 - 4" long. Strip the lower leaves from each cutting.

Can use root hormone if you wish, but not essential. Insert cuttings around the edge of a pot. Put in a cold frame or cloche.

Remember to label and water thoroughly.

Check that they do not dry out at any time.

You can supply your friends with your new plants as well as stocking up your own garden.

John & May Bennett Middle Rasen & District Horticultural Society



Adults ...1st Mr and Mrs T. Priestley ... 2nd Mrs Lesley Bailey ... 3rd Mrs Pat Fussey,

H.C....James Milson and Mrs Karen Gramson

11-15 years .......3rd Lauren Graham

Under 8years ...1st Middle Rasen Rainbows ... 2nd Heidi Tomkins ... 3rd Alice Tomkins.

73rd Annual Show (2016)

Middle Rasen & District Horticultural Society held its 73rd Annual Show at the Nags Head, by kind permission of Barry & Jenny Reeves on a hot sunny Saturday afternoon towards the end of July.

Visitors participated in the raffle, tombola, a number of games and weight of the cake. Many beautiful exhibits were on display. From vegetables, fruit to flowers and pot plants, floral art and wine, photography, and cookery to children's exhibits. The committee were delighted to also have exhibits from Middle Rasen Rainbows. There were over 30 floral art exhibits, a delight to see.

Prizes were presented by Charlie Partridge, Editor of Radio Lincolnshire. The committee would like to thank the sponsors and anyone that gave donations, whether in money form, prizes or cakes for which we were very grateful in once again making the day a success.

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