Hello and welcome to the first meeting of 2023.
I hope you all had an enjoyable solstice, Christmas and New Year and it was wonderful to see so many of you at the festive supper in December. We’ve certainly had a cold snap early last month and I hope not too much damage was done, although most of the wallflowers I carefully planted to set off my tulip bulbs have gone to the great celestial compost heap.
I do have to start on a sad note, as you will probably know, Mary Talbot passed away early in December. Mary and Derek were regular attendees at our meetings and of course Derek was Society Chairman for 10 years, and our thoughts are with him.
I also am giving notice tonight that the Society’s AGM will be held here in St Gregory’s on Wednesday 8th Feb. As usual there will be wine and soft drinks available, but please can you consider bringing some finger food with you for all to share.
I have copies of the agenda here, but these will also be sent out via email, so if anyone has an email address that they haven’t yet shared with Benny, please do so tonight. You will notice that the committee want to put to the members that, from 2024, we will be known as “Alresford Gardening Club” which we feel may be less off-putting than the current title! Such a decision is of course in the gift of the membership, and we will discuss and vote on this next month. You will also see that I am stepping down as Chairman and am recommending Janet Pooley for the role next year.
Looking further ahead, Val Ramshaw is still taking bookings for our June holiday based in Harrogate at the end of June next year, and we have a talk from Susan Simmonds of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Tonight, it is my pleasure to introduce once more Patricia Elkington, renowned owner, designer and gardener at Little Court Crawley, to talk on the Garden in Spring
Alresford and District Horticultural Society