The Club was started in 1974 in Preston St Mary, the official title being ‘The Lavenham, Preston St Mary, & District Gardening Club’, but is simply known as ‘The Lavenham Gardening Club’. Hence, we offer a welcome to anyone in the ‘district’ interested in gardening, whether they have acres, a small patch, a window-box, or a few houseplants.
We have approximately 60 members, and enjoy a talk on most months (based at the ‘new’ Lavenham Village Hall); also visits to gardens either by coach, or if nearer, by own cars, in the Summer. New members are welcome to join at any point in the year, and the subscription is currently £8 pa, plus a meeting fee of £2 when attended, which includes tea/coffee/biscuits – and a free raffle ticket!
Meetings as above are in the St Peter & St Paul Room at the Hall, starting at 7.30 pm; if you have interest in the Club, just come along!
As part of our regular programme, in January we have a Social evening, with entertainment; and in July or August, a Garden Party hosted by a member at their home. The business affairs of the Club are kept in order by a Committee, and an Annual General Meeting is held in February.
In addition, we hold two Plant Sales in the Lavenham Market Place each year; the first mainly for annuals, and the second mainly based on perennials. These are held in May, two weeks apart.
Following many years of holding a ‘Produce Show’, this has recently been renamed as ‘Sow it; Grow it; Show it!’ to provide more encouragement for all, including children attending the Lavenham Community Primary School, where we have recently been assisting a Year Group in understanding the growing process through planting potatoes, vegetables and flower seeds, and nurturing them.
The ‘Show it’ is being held on the last Saturday of the Summer Term, again at the Hall, and visitors are most welcome, with free admission. The classes are for members, and a separate section for the year group at the Primary Group; it is hoped to increase this section to include all children in future years.
In January 2011, the Club were proud hosts – at Lavenham Village Hall - of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time, when experts Pippa Greenwood, Matt Biggs, and Bob Flowerdew were chaired by Peter Gibbs.
In 2014, Club members replanted the area at the front of the Hall, as a gift, and continue to maintain it; original guidance being provided by Chelsea Flower Show medallist Janey Auchinloss, a local resident.