Join a gardening club

Nearly every area has one within driving distance and it’s a great way of meeting up with like-minded people and sharing a few tips.  In these days of ‘virtual reality’ when so much communication is done via the computer, the mobile or the tablet then it is a refreshing change and a chance to interact face-to-face with real people.

Many gardening clubs are affiliated to the RHS, in fact there are almost 3,000 clubs and horticultural societies in the network in the UK.  It all started about 150 years ago when the Horticultural Society of London wanted to connect with societies elsewhere in the country.  Members today vary from specialist plant societies to allotment groups and school clubs.  Some choose to work on a community basis, planting flowers and even vegetables on public land to brighten up and feed an area.

An example on the RHS website is the gardening club of Cropwell Bishop which also helps run the after-school gardening club once a week.  The children get a deep sense of satisfaction from watching the plants grow and harvesting the vegetables.  They use the school’s peelings to create compost which is used to grow the fruit and vegetables that the children provide in return for the Harvest Festival.

It’s a wonderful example of the community working together and it is quite magical how nature can have this bonding effect.

So what might you expect from a gardening club apart from camaraderie and gardening tips?

Many have speakers, whether from local garden centres or renowned local gardeners or members of the club.  To encourage, hopefully, healthy competition they put on shows for growers to exhibit their wares and compete for coveted medals.  Many do support school gardening clubs and get involved in community improvement projects that involve plants and flowers, open spaces and trails.  They may put on neighbourhood competitions to smarten up the local area.

Whatever your motivation, why not look up your local club and go for a trial visit – you might just get hooked.

Two websites with details of gardening societies are:

http://www.letsgogardening.co.uk/I_Clubs_Societies.htm

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Gardening/Community-gardening/RHS-affiliated-societies