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 ..............
Chair ........................   
General Secretary....
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.


•  Net fruit and vegetable crops to keep the birds off them.

•  Prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering

•  Divide bulbs such as snowdrops

•  Prune wisteria

•  Prune hardy evergreen hedges and renovate any overgrown deciduous hedges

•  Prune conservatory climbers such as bourgainvillea

•  Cut back deciduous grasses which you have left uncut during the winter, remove any dead grass from evergreen grass varieties

East Barkwith Gardeners

In August 2020, the Community Spirit committee was saddened to hear the news of the passing of May. As you are all aware, May and John wrote monthly gardening tips in the Community Spirit and have done so for many years now! Her input will be sadly missed! Our thoughts, prayers and love are with John, their son Matthew and his family at this very difficult time!


The earlier Gardening tips from Community Spirit as published by John & May Bennett

Time to propagate HERBS.

•  If your perennial woody herbs are getting old, it's time to increase your collection by taking semi-ripe cuttings of Rosemary, Bay, Sage and Thyme.

•  Semi-ripe cuttings are taken from this year's growth where the shoot is still soft at it's tip, but hardening further down.

•  Get your plant pots ready with 50:50 compost and grit, rooting hormone if you wish.

•  Plant immediately, do not allow the cuttings to dry out.

•  Dill, Chervil, and Parsley can still be sown direct this month.

•  You could make a late sowing of Basil in the greenhouse and move the seedlings indoors on a sunny windowsill for later use.

•  It is a good time to split Chives and Mint, divide them and pot up sections into small containers. Then when established bring indoors onto the kitchen windowsill to stretch the season further.

•  If your plants of Coriander, Fennel or Dill have gone to seed, don't waste them. Collect the ripe seed, dry and add them to your store cupboard.

•  Continue to care for your established herbs, especially container grown plants which need regular feeding and watering.


JULY ~ Grow some glorious perfumed pinks

•  Grow in a border in a well-drained soil in full sun.

•  Or in containers in a good quality compost.

•  If the pH falls below neutral point of 7.0, add lime.

•  Do not grow in soggy areas as the plant would rot.

•  Plant new plants about 12 inches apart. Can buy plants now to get started.

•  Propogate by seed sown in the spring.

•  Or by softwood cuttings from your old plants now in July. Snip off a few shoots that do not have flowers on. Remove lower leaves and root in a sandy compost.

•  Or by layering after flowering.

•  Deadhead regularly, water only when and if needed, and put on a balanced fertilizer in the spring.

•  Here are some varieties to try – Doris – ‘Grans Favourite' – or Widecombe Fair. There are many other lovely varieties out there to try.

•  Replace your old plants about every three years with your replacements to keep up a good show.


•  We can now sow directly any spare seed , of French beans, runner beans, broad beans directly into the ground or pots to give a continues crop later in the season. Pinch out the top of broad beans once the bottom flowers have set to prevent black fly.

•  Dead-head roses and feed. But only feed after a rain or watering.

•  Support tall plants like cornflowers with twigs for support.

•  Cut down lupins, delphiniums etc as the flowers fade.

•  Continue to cut the lawn and edge the grass.

•  Peg down runners of strawberries to make more plants for next year.

•  Keep planting salad crops.

•  Plant tomatoes, courgettes, squashes and outdoor cucumbers outside.

•  Water blueberry plants with rainwater, for a successful crop.

•  Continue to experiment with seeds and cuttings, using paper pots, yogurt pots, and plastic bottles. Will have loads of plants to use in the garden later or give away. Don't forget to take cuttings of houseplants. They are becoming very popular again.


Some more unusual plants to grow – all with green flowers.


•  Nicotiana langsdorffii

•  Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis'.

•  Nicotiana ‘Lime Green'.

•  Zinnia elegans ‘Envy', and Moluccella laevis.


•  Helleborus argutifolius and H. foetidus.

•  Alchemilla mollis – very common, but lovely, especially with Sweet Peas in a vase.

•  Heuchera cylindrica ‘Greenfinch'.

•  Kniphofia ‘Percy's Pride, also Rudbeckia occidentalis ‘Green wizard', and also the green euphorbias.

Research and find your favourites!

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


Useful herbs for flavouring when cooking and also for preserving .

•  Herbs are a healthy way of seasoning food.

•  Seeds of mints, marjoram, thyme, coriander, sage, rosemary, borage, parsley, tarragon, and other herbs, which you may like to try, can be sown now on your windowsill etc. Then prick out as normal. Grow on either outside or inside, depending on the hardiness of the variety.

•  Also cuttings taken between late spring and early summer will root quickly.

•  You could buy plants and make up your herb garden immediately.

•  Herbs can be grown in the garden, in containers such as pots, window boxes or even hanging baskets, raised beds etc. Mints must always be grown in a pot on their own, due to being so invasive! There are so many flavours these days. Try new ones such as chocolate and ginger mints.

•  Don't forget that lavender can be used to flavour cakes and biscuits.

•  Sweet Cicely can be used to sweeten and flavour rhubarb when stewing.

•  Basil is a very popular herb and can be grown on the kitchen windowsil.

•  Harvest herbs just before flowering and when it is dry.

•  Preserve herbs by drying, freezing, or for crystallization or putting in oil or vinegars.


Winter Growing CANNAS - a time to look for rhizomes.

1.Cannas are vibrant, tender perennials

2. They have very showy flowers in shades of red, pink, yellow and orange. Flower from June until October.

3. Useful plant for containers and borders in the summer.

4. Easy to grow from rhizomes.

5. Fill a container with John Innes No.3 compost and add a controlled release fertilizer.

6. Plant the rhizome 4inches or 10cm deep, in the greenhouse March to April to get early flowers.

7. Water as needed.

8. Only put outside after risk of ALL frosts.

9. Place the pot in full sun, and water well in dry spells, (every other day),and feed throughout the summer. Do not forget to deadhead.

10. Plant rhizomes in the border if you wish, and incorporate plenty of manure into the soil. But we feel it is better to grow them in pots so that they can be brought inside for winter protection. Pots can be placed in the border as a focal point in the summer

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



Propagating plants from root cuttings in November

•  The following can be propagated from root cuttings now :- Acanthus, Oriental poppies, Japenese anemones, Echinops, Verbascums, Phlox and even climbers such as Passion Flower and Solanum.

•  Root cuttings need little care and should be done whilst the plant is dormant.

•  Lift a clump carefully and wash the root ball , to remove soil and expose roots.

•  Only take a few from each root and plant it back in the garden immediately.

•  Select a few roots about the thickness of a pencil, that look healthy.

•  Cut into sections about 5-10cm. Cut off any thin pieces or fibrous side roots. Use a straight cut at the top and a slanting cut at the bottom.

•  Then pot them up using 50:50 mix of multipurpose compost and grit. Insert the straight cut into a pot or cell tray making sure the cutting is flush with the top of the compost. Then cover with a thin layer of grit.

•  Water and put in a cold frame.

•  When rooted in the spring pot up individually.

Growing Sweet Peas - October

•  Easy to grow, needs NO HEAT whatsoever.

•  Sow in the first two weeks of October to flower in June.

•  Grow in good seed compost. Water compost two days before sowing and allow it to drain.

•  Sow five seeds in a plastic pot or one seed into a toilet roll card.

•  Leave in a COLD greenhouse or even better transfer to a cold frame.

•  Leave lid off cold frame at all times except when very wet or an extreme frost. If frost is extreme cover with an old carpet.

•  Do not pinch out tops from an autumn sowing.

•  Plant out in March when weather is suitable.

•  Can be grown up tripods, netting or even in large pots on tripods, but for best results grow as cordons.

•  Key is to cut the flowers regularly, and cut off the tendrils to keep the stems straight.

•  Grow named varieties like Gwendoline, Jilly, Mrs Bernard Jones, Charlie's Angel, or Windsor to name a few.

Go to www.rpsweetpeas.com for loads more information on growing these beautiful flowers.

Propagating PENSTEMONS .

•  Many are not reliably hardy, if a hard winter. Take cuttings in late summer as an insurance.

•  Fill 3 ½ inch pot with perlite or sharp sand and compost.

•  Take non flowering tip cuttings. 4-5 inches long and trim just below a leaf node.

•  Remove bottom leaves and trim remaining leaves by about a third to prevent moisture loss.

•  Each pot can take up to five cuttings.

•  Label, water, and allow to drain.

•  Put in a propagator or cover with a plastic bag. Do not allow the cuttings to touch the bag.

•  Should root in about four weeks.

•  Can be left undisturbed over winter or potted on separately.

•  Grow on in a cool, frost free place.

John & May Bennett, Middle Rasen & District Horticultural Society


July - plant a new STRAWBERRY patch.

•  Can be grown in borders, containers and hanging baskets.

•  Avoid area prone to frost and where you have previously grown potatoes and tomatoes.

•  Can use your own runners but advisable to buy new plants from a good supplier.

•  Prepare soil by incorporating well rotted manure or garden compost.

•  Plant 35cm apart and leave 75cm between rows.

•  Water well to get plants established.

•  In early spring apply some Growmore (fertilizer).

•  Give a liquid potash feed during the growing season.

•  May need to net to protect the fruits from the birds

•  If frost threatens ripening fruits, cover with fleece and also tuck straw beneath plants to keep the fruit clean. Enjoy.

June is time to take softwood cuttings

•  Shrubs to try are, Philadelphus, Deutzia, Ceanothus, Cotinus, Euonymus, Forsythia, Hydrangea, Lavender, Ribes, Spiraea, Hebe, Cistus, Sambuca, etc.

•  Cheap way of extending your stock and can swap rarer varieties with friends.

•  Use clean, sharp secateurs.

•  Handle the soft cuttings carefully and make them about 4-5cm long.

•  Trim the shoot, cutting just below a node, and remove the lowest pair of leaves and the soft tip. Cut any large leaves in half to reduce their surface area.

•  Fill 13cm pots with cutting compost.

•  Then dib holes around the side of the pot and insert the cuttings.

•  Water.

•  Put in a propagater where they will root quicker.

•  Or if one is not available put a clear plastic bag over the pot and secure with a rubber band.

•  Make sure the bag does not touch the cuttings, as they could rot.



For the Horticultural competitions, as announced by Janet Davis.

•  For Wheelbarrow and containers very important to provide drainage by having holes in the bottom and cover with old crocks or polystyrene.

•  All baskets will need a liner.

•  Use good compost and beneficial to add water retaining granules to compost at time of planting.

•  Fill all containers to no more than 2 inches of the rim to allow for watering.

•  Very important, water daily and twice if hot as last summer.

•  Deadhead regularly.

•  Be bold with colour and mix flowering plants with grasses and other foliage plants.

•  It is good to use plants that hang over the sides of the barrows as well to cover the raw edge of the container.

•  Plenty of flowering pot plants and annuals to choose from.

•  Keep inside until the risk of frost has passed.

•  Need not be expensive, it's the finished colourful display that matters.

•  Good Luck! Make Middle Rasen a blaze of colour.

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

Creating a “mini” landscape using ALPINES in the Easter break

•  Can use an old sink, an old galvanised container or an alpine pan. Make sure you have suitable drainage holes in your container.

•  Fill your container with a John Innes potting compost and mix about half of sand or grit into your mixture.

•  Place a few rocks to make a landscape, keeping in mind the size of your container.

•  Set your plants.

•  Topdress the surface of your container between the plants with gravel, stone chips or pieces of slate. Will give it a nice finish.

•  Water in and place in full sun.

•  Silver leaved saxifrages can be attractive all the year round. But a selection of a mixed variety of plants can also be as attractive.

•  Avoid rampant plants.

•  Do your research for true alpine plants, and your trough will be look good for a long time. Deadhead any flowering varieties when required.

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




Hints from The Horticultural Society to 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

Colourful Flowers for Cutting – The Gladioli

•  Plant corms in deeply dug, well drained soil with added sand and leaf-mould, especially if your soil is heavy.

•  Plant the corms in succession from the 2 nd week in March to the 2 nd week in May, at fortnightly intervals.

•  You will get continuity of flowers until the autumn.

•  Plant the corms 6 inches apart and 6 – 8 inches deep. They should not need staking.

•  Can grow in rows for cutting but as border flowers, plant in groups.

•  If growing for exhibition, can give weekly feeds of liquid manure once the flower spikes have started to open, but water first, if the ground is dry.

•  When the flowers have finished at the end of the season, allow to dry naturally. As soon as the corms are very brown, dig them up and tie in bunches, each variety labelled if this applies to you. Hang in the shed!

•  Can be cleaned and stored in sand.

•  You may have small offsets forming – you can plant them immediately in a prepared bed of good soil, over old manure and leave to grow on for 2 years until they have reached the required size.

•  Enjoy! They are superb cut flowers for the home.



WHITE GARDEN – for all the year round interest.


•  This was brought on by our favourite – Snowdrops - slit the plants now whilst they are in the green. Plant immediately, do not allow to dry out. They will look lovely under shrubs, naturalized or anywhere in the garden or tubs.

•  Other bulbs to plant in the Autumn – Daffodils, Tulips, Crocus, Allium, Anemone blanda, or Leucojum vernum ( known as the snowflake).

•  Annuals to sow seed in March – Cornflower, Statice, Achillia, Cosmos, Busy Lizzie, etc.

•  Biennials- Honesty, Foxglove.

•  Shrubs – Camellia, Philadelphus, Buddleja, Jasmine, Spiraea, or Choisya ternata.

•  Perennials – Delphinium, Peony, Phlox, Primula denticulata, Pulmonaria, Lily-of –the valley, Hellebores, Campanula, Astilbe etc.

•  Climbers – like Roses and Clematis or Sweet peas.

•  Agapanthus in pots. Then can be placed in the garden where a gap needs filling.

•  For soil types, height and exact planting time, and also the months they flower, do research from catalogues or the internet.

•  You may find many more favourite flowers to include.



Grow some NERINES for autumn flowering.

Someone asked when to plant Nerine bulbs so that sparked the subject for us to do for January. Beautiful bulbs that are out now.

1.Beautiful. Comes in shades of pink, red, and white.

2.Grown from a bulb.

3.Nerine bowdenii is hardy and can be grown outside.

4.Plant bulbs in spring or early summer.

5.Plant outdoors in a well drained soil or in a container, or at the foot of a wall.

6. Will NOT FLOWER in a shaded area. Must be in full sun.

7. Leavers appear in spring, die down at the end of summer. Flowers follow in the autumn. Average height is 60cms.

8. Clear away foliage when it has died back.

9. Lift very congested clumps in early summer and divide.

10. If the summer is very hot like last year, containers etc. may need a little water.

11. Suggested varieties to grow are:- Nerine bowdenii – Isabel – dark pink flowers. HT. 18 inches. Nerine bowdenii – Nikita- pale pink flowers. HT 20 inches and Nerine bowdenii – Blanca Perla – white. Ht 30 inches.


We wish you all the best of health for 2019 and happy gardening!

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

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Reports & News


Now that we are well into late spring / early summertime to start thinking of summer plants and the Club annual Sweet Pea Show. This will be on Saturday 15 th June in the village hall. If you wish to enter a class, please contact a member of the committee. If you want to see some excellent displays of flowers in a traditional show, the doors will be open from 2pm. Refreshments will be available as well as a plant sale.  

Things to do in your garden in May:  

•  Plant dahlias directly into their flowering positions.  

•  Summer bulbs, like gladioli, can be directly planted out into beds or containers this month.  

•  Plant tender summer bedding plants towards the end of the month when the risk of frost is over. If weather conditions are still too cold, delay for another week or two.  

•  Insert plant support for tall perennials to prevent stems snapping. Stake before you need to.  

•  Pinch out the tips of your perennial plants like fuchsias. Removing the growing tips will encourage your plants to become bushier.  

•  Sow nasturtium seeds by scattering them over damp seed compost in modular seed trays. Alternatively, sow your seed in repurposed yoghurt pots on a sunny windowsill.  

•  May is bang in the middle of asparagus season! Keep picking and enjoying your freshly harvested spears.  

•  Thin out beetroot and spinach seedlings this month to allow plenty of space for large roots to form.  

•  Sow marrow, courgette, and sweetcorn seeds in the greenhouse through the month. Stagger your courgette sowings so you don't end up with a glut in the summer.  

The Club will be hosting the prestigious wheelbarrow competition again this year. Judging will take place W/C 22 nd July 2024. Entry forms and rules are available from the secretary or from St Peter and St Paul's Church or the Middle Rasen Methodist Church. Get Growing! Happy Gardening,

Kelvin Hallen (secretary)

The next club meeting will be on Thursday 11th April 2024 in the Church Hall at 7.30pm. We will be welcoming Rob Potterton who will be giving us a talk on Alpines.  

Our meeting in May will be on Wednesday 1 st May at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. This is our open meeting when we invite our neighbouring clubs to come along for an informative evening and a chance to share horticultural knowledge. Our speaker will be Martin Fish. Martin is a well-known Gardener who has contributed to Garden News and Gardeners World Magazine as well as Radio and TV. Martin will be giving us a talk titled ‘easy gardening'. For more information on Martin go to his website at www.martinfish.com  

Remember your first visit is free. So come along and bring along anyone who you think would enjoy this topic.   Happy Gardening.  

Kelvin Hallen (secretary)



The gardening season is now moving into a different gear this month. This is probably the last chance you will have to get ahead of the game if you didn't do preparation in February. There's always been a saying that the difference between a poor gardener and a good one is about 3 weeks. With financial squeezes on all of us, plants for free is the theme for the club this year and my aim is to get all my club members producing new plants through propagation. I do a number of talks on this interesting and rewarding subject, but my takeaway advice is to have a go. So why don't you make that a gardening resolution for your year ahead.  

The next club meeting will be on Thursday 14th March 2024 in the church hall at 7.30pm. This will be our spring show and I will be giving a talk on propagating by air layering.  

Remember your first visit is free. So come along and bring along anyone who you think would enjoy this topic.   Happy Gardening.  

Kelvin Hallen (Secretary)



In 2023 I visited Cambodia. My travels always include taking in a garden or two for design ideas and to satisfy my passion for wildlife photography. Whilst I was there, I visited a paddy field complex where the gardeners had worked with the environment rather than against it and had allowed the fields to flood due to climate changes. The rain that we have had over the past few months has been a challenge for all of us that work outside. I am thinking that most of the fields around us at the moment would be better planted with rice than standard crops!  

The next club meeting will be on Thursday 8 th February 2024 in the church hall at 7.30pm. We will be having a talk from Geoff Trinder on Garden Wildlife Photography. Whether you are a keen Photographer, or a smart phone zapper Geoff will have something for you all.  

Remember your first visit is free. So come along and bring along anyone who you think would enjoy this topic.   Happy Gardening.

Kelvin Hallen (Secretary)

It only seems five minutes since I was writing for the December club entry and here I am writing another for January and Christmas is now past.  

I hope everyone is staying warm during this current cold snap. The snow in December added a pleasant winter vista assuming you don't have to go out in it!  

For those of you who resisted the urge to cut back all your expired plants in autumn should now be offering structure and movement in the garden. They will also look stunning when frost and sunshine combine.  

The next club meeting will be on Thursday 11 th January 2024 in the Church Hall at 7.30pm. We will be having a talk from The Sage Gardener on Herbs.  

Remember your first visit is free. So come along and start that new year's resolution to get gardening and improve your health and well-being.  

Happy Gardening and a Happy New Year.  

Kelvin Hallen (Secretary ....Jan 24)  


Looking out across the fields, the air is thick with Swallows and House martins stocking up on the bloom of gnats and mosquitoes that we've had due to the recent mild conditions. This is the time they are homeward bound as our summer ends and autumn gets underway. It must have been a good year as I notice lots of juveniles amongst the adults. It is almost like saying goodbye to an old friend until we meet again next year.  

Autumn can be seen as an end of the gardening Season. But for me it is the beginning. How many of you just stand and take time to reflect after the frantic seasons of Spring and Summer, deciding what worked and what did not . Even Monet took ten years at Giverny to watch the colours change during different seasons, before he began to paint the garden. Autumn gives us time to think and plan for next year.  

The constant harvesting of courgettes is now coming to an end and the collection of seed should be well under way. I always think it a bonus when I select my Strawberry runners in Autumn and still find red fruits to be harvested that have not been had by the mice. Planting spring cabbage, garlic and making leaf mould gives us jobs to do at this time of the year..  

The Club held its autumn show and AGM in September with an increase in entries for the show, up on last year. Well done to Mary B who took best in show.  

We meet on the second Thursday of the month. The club has a full programme of monthly meetings and speakers. The next meeting will be on 14th December at 7.30pm in the Church Hall Middle Rasen. This will be our Christmas gathering. There will be a quiz and a short talk on a gardening subject. Entry is £2.  

Please come along and if you join as a member you will get your first evening free  

Note; We have had a member join called Mr T Brown, but he has not provided any contact details. If you are this member, please can you contact the club secretary.  

Happy Gardening and Happy Christmas.

Kelvin Hallen Secretary  Dec 23



Thie photo in Community Spirit shows a selection of plants growing in our garden, including onions, potatoes and beans, but there are lots more such as tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, turnips. We've been busy planting, watering and, of course, weeding. At the moment we're a small, dedicated group, some experienced gardeners and others on a steep learning curve (i.e. we don't really know what we're doing and are guided by the learned ones!)  

We generally meet on Sunday mornings from about 11 a.m. for an hour or two, we work on the beds and do plenty of chatting.  

The garden has been nominated for a Community and Business awards prize for “Best Environmental Improvement”, but at the time of writing we don't know if we've won!

The idea behind the Community Garden is that it is open to anyone to join, even if you can only spare an hour a week or less. No member owns any part of the garden and decisions regarding what to grow and where to grow it are done amicably as a group. When the produce becomes available anyone in the group can take a share and people who are not members of the group will also be able to enjoy the fruits of our labours on the basis of “take what you need and donate what you can afford”.   If you would like to know more, come and have a chat with us on a Sunday morning, or call Richard on 07711 494676.

PS. Great news! The garden WON the prize for “Best Environmental Improvement.” – well done to all involved.



The society's annual sweet pea show on 17th June was a huge success and well supported. If you didn't have a chance to exhibit this year have a go next year in one of the open categories.

Kelvin Hallen


The aroma of the flowers when you walked into the Middle Rasen village hall was beautiful and the blooms were magnificent. So much hard work had been put into setting the show, the arrangements, pots and individual flowers were impressive. There were games to play, raffle prizes to be won and delicious refreshments. Thank You to everyone who helped set the show up and clear it away after, to all of those who showed their flowers etc and to all of those who came along and supported the show. A lovely afternoon was enjoyed by everyone.

Julia W



Long Days, Pyramids and Yellow Rattle  

So here we are in June. How did that happen? May, the King's Coronation and Chelsea are now behind us and our gardens are now on full throttle and hopefully looking spectacular. Did you plant anything to celebrate King Charles III?  

June heralds the longest day, the Glastonbury Festival and the mid-point of the year. The summer solstice is a good opportunity to take time to stand still and reflect on what you have accomplished so far and what you want to achieve going forward. As you know I am making a metaphor reference here. Gardening is a great healer and good for mental health and our well-being.  

Hopefully you will have embraced No-Mow May and some of your patch will now be looking a little wild but beautiful all the same. If you want to take the next step in re-wilding a part of your garden, why not add some Yellow Rattle seeds which will enable the creation of a mini meadow habitat. But be patient!

June also sees the holding of the annual Sweet Pea Show. I would urge all of you to come and see some fabulous flowers on display and have a cup of tea.   The annual sweet pea show will be held on Saturday 17 th June 2023 in Middle Rasen Village Hall. The show is open to the public from 2.30pm.   Schedules for the show are available from Rosie Dawson, 15 Dovecote Middle Rasen.  



This year sees the re-introduction of the prestigious Wheelbarrow and Hanging Basket competition. This will be your opportunity to show off your creative and horticultural skills and show how we as a community can put on a fine flower display. Plant up a wheelbarrow or a hanging basket and just give it a go. The

competition will be held W/C Monday 24 th July which will be Judging Week. Entry Forms will be available from the village shop, the Church or direct from me via email - kelvin.hallen999@gmail.com   - The closing date for entries will be Monday 17th July. Completed entry forms to be returned to Mrs J Rhodes, 10 Drax Court, Middle Rasen.   There will be classes for adults and children of prim ary school age . Prizes awarded to the winners.  

Happy Gardening



The Madness of early Springtime is now behind us, and our attention now focuses on early Summer. Within a matter of weeks we seem to go from standing still, to full on gardening.   The growing season is now underway, and it seems that the Garden Centres are in abundance with flowers and plants. Lots of your Gardens in the village are looking fabulous and I always look at what's growing on my regular walks with the dogs.  

We really have had a mixed bag of weather in April - snow, rain, high winds and more importantly steadily more days of sunshine to warm our spirits and the soil in our pots! Day light length is now getting longer than the night-time length and the birds in our garden have taken over from the alarm clock.  

The club meeting in March was the last of the season. It was our members spring show and was well supported with lots of plants and flowers in each class. Well done to all that entered. Club meetings begin again in September, and I will post the date nearer the time.  

As a reminder, the Annual Sweet Pea show will be on 17th June. This will be held in Middle Rasen Village Hall. We have an affiliation to the National Sweet Pea Association who are thrilled that we are continuing with a show when lots of other clubs have stopped. So, it is important we support this event.  

Saturday May 6th is the Coronation of King Charles III. As he is a keen environmentalist why not plant something to mark this special occasion. Happy Gardening.  

Kelvin (May 23)



This wonderful competition is back again this year and it's time to start thinking about how the residents of Middle Rasen will decorate their containers and / or wheelbarrows to enhance the beautiful village and maybe win a prize? It is probably too early to start planting them up, but it's never too early for planning. The photographs show some of the baskets and containers s seen around the village in previous years!


Middle Rasen Gardening Club

At a recent club meeting I was asked ‘why do you enjoy gardening?' I was stuck

for an answer and gave the usual ‘exercise and fresh air' response. However, gardening has always been more than that to me. ‘A lifelong journey that satisfies a creative need and at times a place of sanctuary during times of stress' would have probably been a more appropriate response.   

I have always been a gardener ever since my Grandad gave me a small piece of his garden to grow things on. I remember being dragged along to village shows standing in hot marques, where Grandad would show his prize chrysanthemums. The smell always remains and takes me back to those days.  

As a child there always seemed to be a link between the garden and the village church. I remember Harvest Festivals, the ‘Parable of the Sower' and my Nan's flower arrangements taking pride of place at Sunday worship. I seem to recall the vicar always growing the largest marrow each year!  

The February club meeting saw our Treasurer, Sheila, give a splendid and informative talk on Fuscias. These beautiful plants are pretty tough but have taken a bit of a hit during the last cold spell. The Garden club had its last club meeting in March with a Spring show finale. The show was well supported with some excellent horticultural entries. Club meetings will resume in September.  

During the summer the Club will hold its Summer Sweet Pea show. This will be held on Saturday 17 th June in the Village Hall Middle Rasen. This is a great local event and is well supported by national sweet pea growers. Whether you are into sweet peas or not it demonstrates what can be achieved as a gardener.  

We are intending to hold a village flower competition again this summer. The theme will be wheelbarrow or hanging basket arrangements. Further details will follow. However, this is an ideal time to get those seeds planted and plants growing.  

Happy Gardening

Kelvin Hallen (April 23)



Middle Rasen Horticultural Society


Photos By Tracy Milson


The new Dobies online ordering number for 2022 has arrived. There is no need to belong to the Middle Rasen Garden Club to qualify for 50% off seeds & 12% off equipment.

If you buy your vegetable & flower seeds from Dobies then the Unique Order Code for online ordering is SUGD192K for this year and up until the end of August 2023.
Please enter this code at the end of your online order & watch the website calculate your discount!

Carole Sellars (01673 842645) smiths.top@btinternet.com



A lovely afternoon was spent in Middle Rasen Village Hall in June at the Sweet Pea show. The perfume in the hall was something to behold and the floral contributions were stunning. Thank You to everyone who entered the show, to all those who supported the show, to the organisers and everyone who helped. Congratulations to all the winners!


~ Images from earlier events ~


In previous years the Horticultural Society helds it's Annual Sweet Pea & Summer Flower show in the Village Hall on a Saturday in early June.

There are normally more than 30 classes of exhibits and thers 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.




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.

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