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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It's lovely to be able to enjoy the longer days and be able to once again get into the garden. Spring must certainly be on its way as we are holding our annual Members Spring Show on Thursday 8th March. This is a small show where members show vegetables, cut flowers, floral arrangements and pot plants, and, like the bigger shows there is stiff competition for top places, there will also be a Raffle. Our speakers for the evening are Mr. and Mrs. Stafford-Allen from Candelsby Herbs in Splisby. The Meeting is in the Middle Rasen Church Hall and starts at 7.30pm, entrance is £ 1-00 and includes refreshments.

Although this will be the last member's meeting until September, we are holding our annual COFFEE MORNING on Saturday 17th March in the Middle Rasen Methodist Church School Room, Gainsborough Road between 10am -12 noon. There will be plenty on offer including homemade cakes and plants for sale, a Raffle and games with prizes. Entrance is £ 1 -00 and includes coffee or tea and biscuits, come and join in the fun.

Although the March meeting will be our last meeting until September, the committee will be busy planning our annual shows and summer garden visits which we will continue to publicise along with any other news from the committee.

Janet Davies (March 2018)

After a Festive break member's joined together again in January for our first meeting of 2018 when our speaker for the evening was Steve Lovell, his talk was on "Water as a garden feature'. We also held our annual late Christmas dinner at Jossels in Market Rasen, we enjoyed a good meal, presents and entertainment this included John's amusing gems, Sheila's poetry and amdram sketches from Steph.

Our next meeting is on Thursday February 8th in Middle Rasen Church Hall when our speaker will be Lorretta (Titch) Rivers, well known for her talks on gardening and the Lincolnshire dialect. Start time is 7-30 pm, admission is £ 1-00, which includes refreshments. There is also a Raffle. If you would like to come along you will be made very welcome.

Janet Davies ( Feb 2018)

This year's AGM and Members Show saw attendance down on last year, however a splendid evening was had by all.

Following reports from the societies President, Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary the officers for the following year were elected, member's were also thanked for their support through the year especially for their contributions to the Annual shows.

This meeting was especially poignant as May Bennett retired as Secretary. May has undertaken this role for a number of years and through her hard work the society has enjoyed success of numerous shows, garden visits and the members monthly meetings with so many interesting speakers. In appreciation for all May has undertaken, May was presented with a beautiful engraved cut glass vase, a Garden Voucher and a bouquet of flowers. Although May has retired as Secretary she continues to support the members as Vice President.

The Members Show saw fewer entries, however there was still an impressive display of Vegetables, Fruits, Flowers, Plants and home made Chutney. John Bennett was the overall winner and was presented with a trophy by the President. Many thanks to our judges and those members whose entries made such a lovely show.

If you would like to join us at our next meeting on Thursday November 9th 7.30 Middle Rasen Church Hall, Trevor Rogers will be giving expert tips on "Pruning" Please just come along we would love to see you.

Janet Davies (Secretary ... Nov 2017)

Thursday 12th October Open Evening at Middle Rasen Village Hall

The Society held an Open Evening on 12th of October inviting Gardening Clubs and anyone else interested to come along and join in.

The talk "A Gardeners South" was presented by Neil Timms. He outlined a gardeners, perhaps quirky, personal views of the garden, landscapes and wild flowers of the Mediterranean and the sub-tropics; especially what we can grow here in Britain and how the south has influenced northern gardening in the past.

After Neil's talk, there was a refreshing buffet, with home made cake, scones, sandwiches, pork pie, etc. etc.

Gardening tips from Community Spirit by John & May Bennett

November planting avoiding "Tulip Fire" virus

Plant some Tulip bulbs for a colourful scattered Spring display

•  Before planting in the soil, add some organic matter and bonemeal. Plant the bulbs at least 4 inches deep.

•  Or can be planted in pots and placed out in the borders to give spring colour at flowering time.

•  Dwarf varieties can be planted with small shrubs, perennials, violas, pansies etc. to give a mixed colourful display in tubs.

•  Again dwarf varieties look good in hanging baskets with other plants.

•  For the best displays plant boldly, making large clumps of each colour or variety for impact.

•  Tulip bulbs can even be planted in large pots in layers for a long display of colour. Plant the taller varieties at the bottom. Finish with the dwarf varieties at the top. Leave at least two inches of compost between layers.


It is the time to plant Allium Bulbs for a spectacular show from next May to July. They bridge a gap between early spring flowering bedding and later flowering perennials.

Plant where soil drains well. Apply grit to planting holes if soil is heavy. Add some growmore in the spring if the soil is poor. Plant in full sun. Water well to settle.

Plant the bulbs 3 inches deep and 6-8 inches apart. Plant in drifts through the border for a fabulous display or in deep pots to put on the patio or put the pots in the borders to give instant colour when required.

Varieties to grow - select from Globemaster, Mount Everest , Violet Beauty, Purple Sensation, Purple Rain, Cristophi and Schuberti.They come back year after year. The large heads are excellent for drying and can be sprayed gold or Christmas and other colours to match your home decorations.

Or the seed heads are a good food for finches and other birds.

Collecting Free Plant Seed (Sept onward)

•  Cheap way of raising your own plants

•  Collect on a dry day, damp seeds will not keep.

•  Use re-sealable bags or thick paper envelopes

•  Drop the seed heads in

•  Very Important - LABEL THEM

•  Store seeds in a drawer out of the sun and humidity

•  When seed pods have dried out, rub them to remove the seeds. Some will fall out naturally

•  If you collect F1 Hybrids, they will not come true from the seeds. They could still please you.

Hall Farm Gardens at Harpswell - DN21 5UU, have a seed collecting day on the first Sunday in September, 1- 5pm. It is FREE SEED collecting. Only pay admission fee to the garden. It is very worthwhile to get more unusual varieties, if it is a dry day!

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


In order to prepare your garden for winter and next spring the following twelve important things really need to be done during October. Don't' leave it too late.

•  Plant Sweet Pea seeds now in the cold greenhouse ready for flowering next June.

•  Cut Marrow, Squash & Pumpkins and store.

•  Collect and compost leaves.

•  Lift main crop of potatoes and store.

•  Clear summer bedding plants and prepare for spring bedding plants, get the plants and bulbs in now.

•  Lift and store Dahlia tubers and Gladiola corms.

•  Stop watering cacti in October until next Spring.

•  Plant up a window box or tubs with bulbs for Spring flowering.

•  Naturalise Crocus bulbs in grass.

•  Insulating the greenhouse will cut down on heating costs. Even if you don't heat your greenhouse during the winter, insulation will give extra protection from frosts.

•  Bring in tender Fushsias and Pelargoniums before the first frosts over winter.

  1. Prune your large flowering roses and cluster roses by a third to prevent wind rock, and finish the pruning of them in the New Year.


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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