Cold Ash Horticultural Society

Welcome to Cold Ash Horticultural Society! The aim of the Society is to promote the enjoyment and benefits of amateur gardening. To that end we arrange informative and social activities for members and visitors.

Here you can find details on our History, keep up-to-date on our News Page, plus discover our Upcoming Events



Our AGM will be held on Friday 3rd December at 7.30 PM in the Acland Hall. As we were unable to hold an AGM in 2020, we will report on both 2020 and 2021 together. After the short formal meeting there will be mulled wine and mince pies followed by a light-hearted ‘pub quiz’. Do come and join us – better still why not consider joining the committee. If you can, please pay your annual subscription at the meeting.

2022 Programme

The committee has decided that in future we will move our meetings from the Committee Room to the much larger Acland Hall. It means we can maintain social distancing and benefit from improved ventilation. Fortunately, the main hall has a large screen, excellent projection facilities and speakers can use a sound projection system to make sure all the audience can hear them. However, we will need to move our talks to Tuesday evenings at 7.30 pm. We plan to keep to the first Tuesday of the month where possible. Details of the 2022 programme will be given at the AGM.

Jobs for the garden

Fred’s Ideas for Sustainable Gardening. See below.

Where do we go from here?

After the long break due to COVID restrictions, we would like to use the general meeting to sound out members on how they see the Society proceeding in future and to make sure we give members what they want. Some neighbouring horticultural societies have decided not to re-open after the recent COVID lock-downs and one has transformed into a social club. We don’t want this to happen to CAHS. Each year we host several popular talks, hold flower shows in the Spring and late Summer and make the occasional trip to Wisley Garden Show. Our Rose and Sweet Pea Show has been held in June but over the last few years we noticed fewer entries and smaller audiences, so we have decided to give this Show a rest in 2022.

Our aim is to provide a focus for local gardeners and newcomers to gardening: to enjoy and learn more about plants and gardens and to meet others; to exchange ideas on how to deal with all aspects of gardening in a friendly environment, where no question is too ridiculous. The question is what would the members prefer? Has the format of our flower and produce shows become tired, so they attract fewer exhibitors or visitors? Do they need a refresh with different or fewer classes? Should we have fewer cups and trophies for the best entries? Are our talks relevant? Should we give more consideration to important questions like low carbon gardening and the environment? Please, consider these questions and give us your thoughts. If you can’t come to the December meeting then collar one of the committee members and let them know your views.

Ideas for Sustainable Gardening

Make Leaf MouldLeaf mould
Rake up fallen leaves from your lawn and make leaf mould by storing them in old compost bags or bin liners that have holes pierced in them. Collect them whilst they are still damp and store them to rot down for a year or two in an unseen corner in the garden. Leaf mould is one of the best ways to mulch soil.

Wormeries should be protected in the winter. Now is a time to move them into the greenhouse or some other sheltered spot for the colder months.

Pest and Disease-resistant Seeds
When choosing plants and seeds for next year, consider those that have some   resistance to pests and diseases. This will reduce the need for chemical controls in your garden.

Dispose of old pesticides safely
Look through your shed and garage for out-of-date or withdrawn pesticides. Search for information about disposal at www.gardenchemicaldisposal.co.uk.

Barley-straw bales, placed in ponds to reduce algae during the summer, can be removed. Remember to leave them by the pond for a day or so to allow invertebrates to escape.

Clear the Pond
If you have too much sediment in your pond, now is a good time to clear some of it. Don’t remove it all, though, as many animals live in the mud.

Let Hedgehogs Through
Hedgehogs help keep some garden pests under control. To help stop the decline in their numbers, cut 13 cm (5 inch) square gaps at the bottom of the garden fence to enable them to roam free.

Remove Fruit Nets
Remember to take the netting off fruit cages so birds and other wildlife can feed on pests overwintering there.

Secateur maintenance
Now is a good time to clean, sharpen and oil secateurs. Did you know that if your cutting blades are coated with sticky, congealed sap then you can clean them using tomato sauce? Just cover the blades with tomato sauce and leave them for a day or so. Wash off the tomato sauce and the blades will be good as new. You may not need to sharpen them, just coat with a touch of oil.

Bring Cyclamen Indoors for Christmas
Position pot cyclamen in a cool room with good light. Water from below and deadhead regularly to encourage more flowers.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Fred Davison

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