Cirencester's Gardening Club

Stratton & Baunton Horticultural Society est. 1877


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Welcome - Come and Join Us!


We have been in existence for over 130 years as a community of gardening enthusiasts coming together to share knowledge, experience and friendship.

Meeting the second Thursday of each month between September and May we have many  interesting events including:

Seasonal parties
Annual shows
Gardening advice

Other than breaks during the 1st and 2nd World Wars and a brief period in the 1950's our horticultural society has been a continuous inspiration for many gardeners in the local area.


Cirencester’s Gardening Club

Stratton & Baunton Horticultural Society


The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer – like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turns – Natalie Babbitt


In July we had two events for the club, a Show Seminar in preparation for our 44th Annual Horticultural Show on the 21st August 2022 and a garden party for members held at one of our members gardens.  A visit to a local garden is arranged for the end of July.

The garden party was held on one of the hot and sunny afternoons, but with plenty of shade, was enjoyed by the members. The winner, gaining most points in our monthly meetings competitions was Joanna Howe.

We now have our annual show to look forward to, once more open to the public. The show schedule is available at the Spar store or online on our website – we look forward to a fantastic display of what we grow…. rather than growing to show. Cirencester has a wealth of gardeners  and allotment holders, there is a lot of keenness out there and we look forward to seeing the entries. With 64 classes for anyone to enter covering children, craft, photography, cookery, floral art as well as vegetable, fruit and flowers – something for everyone. Entries need to be declared by 5pm on 19th August. We will be serving teas and have a tombola. The show is held at Stratton School and Village Halls and open to the public from 1.30pm on 21st August.

NGS gardens to visit-  4, 18th, 25th August-  Charlton Down House, Tetbury GL8 8TZ 1- 5pm

7th – Highnam Court, Gloucester GL2 8DP 11-4.30pm

14th Bourton House Garden, Bourton on the Hill GL56 9AE 10-5pm, Sheephouse Cottage, Painswick GL56 6RX 11-5pm, Stanway Fountain and Water Garden GL54 5PQ 2-5pm

15th Kiftsgate Court Garden GL56 6LN 2-6pm

21st  The Gables, Newnham on Severn GL14 1JE 11-5pm, The Manor, Moreton in Marsh GL56 0RZ 2-5pm

28th Trench Hill , Sheepscombe GL6 6TZ 11-6pm

RHS tips for August

·        Cut down by half herbaceous plants that have finished flowering

·        Dead head to encourage flowering, weekly feed containers and keep up with the watering

·        If going on holiday, water plants thoroughly before leaving and add a layer of mulch material

·        Lift onions and shallots to ripen in a sunny position

·        Trim lavender bushes lightly with shears

·        Collect ripened seed such as, calendula, nigella, poppies, aquilegia, store in labelled paper bags for sowing later

·        Prune wisteria

·        Look out for pests- ragged dahlias – earwigs are the likely cause, so fill small pots with shredded newspaper and place upturned on canes to trap them overnight.

·        Apply nematodes to control vine weevil grubs in pots or the ground.

·        Do not be worried by bright green, heavily armoured looking insects, these are harmless shieldbugs which do not require control.

Our new Gardening Club season will start on Thursday 8th September 7.30pm at Stratton Village Hall with a talk by Ruth Chivers on the NGS.  All are welcome.

Schedule for  Annual Summer Show 21st August 2022

Please click here for the entry form


Section 1 -      Vegetables and Fruit

















                                ALL CLASSES OPEN TO ALL AGES & GENDERS  













TOP TRAY - A collection of three types of vegetable from the following list of eight.

 The quantity of each is shown in brackets. Carrots(3)Cauliflower (2)Onions (3),Parsnips(3)

 Peas(6) Potatoes(3)Runner Beans(6) Tomatoes(6)                                                                                                                               




Collection of vegetables ,four distinct kinds, frontage75cm x 60cm (2ft6ins x 2ft) varieties named, tomatoes may be included, garnishing allowed




A collection of 3 onions over250gms(8oz),3 onions 250gms(8oz) or under,6 exhibition shallots over2.5cm(1in) diameter, in a space 60cm deep x 38cm (2ft x 15'')frontage




Four white or coloured potatoes




Four onions




Four carrots,  long rooted or stump




Five Runner Beans




Five French Beans




Six Tomatoes




A dish of cherry tomatoes




Three beetroot any variety




Six pods of peas




Six shallots for pickling




Plate of Three courgettes max 20cm(8'') length




Any other vegetable not listed above , no less than 3 specimens




Max 18'' basket to contain home grown potatoes and 2 other vegetables sufficient for 2 people for one meal .Garnish allowed




Three apples ,dessert or culinary




one dish/plate of any soft fruit




one dish/plate of any other fruit



Section 2 -      FLOWERS










TOP VASE - a vase of mixed flowering stems containing a total of between five & ten stems, taken from a minimum of two different kinds of plants.


One Rose bloom


A Vase of Six stems of one variety of Annual Flower


A Vase of three cacti type Dahlia


A Vase of three decorative/waterlily type Dahlia


A Vase six Zinnia. May be mixed colours


A Vase of sweet Peas


3  Stems of Cosmos


A Vase of any other flower not named in Section 2


A Vase of mixed garden flowers


Novelty Class- a display of floating flower heads in a dish or bowl, not more than 25cm (10in) diameter


6 Fuchsia flower heads displayed on a board not exceeding 23cmx15cm (9inx6in)


An Orchid


One Flowering Pot Plant Foliage excluding Orchids, Pot max 25cm (10in)


One foliage pot plant.  Pot not to exceed 25cm (10ins)


One Cactus or Succulent, Pot not exceeding 25cm (10ins)


One Fuchsia, Pot not to exceed 25cms (10in)





















Longest runner bean




Four lavender flavoured biscuits




 Geranium grenadier from plug supplied
























A Seascape




An Arch




An Insect




Wild Flowers




ALL photos maximum size 5 inches x 7 inches excluding mount




                                Section 5 - HOME ECONOMICS



A  Victoria sponge max 8" (20cm) tins, filled, not iced,  recipe inc.


A cake made made with named vegetable. No frosting on top


Farmhouse  Fruit  cake.  Recipe inc


Four Cheese Scones


Four pieces of plain flapjack


A Jar Homemade Marmalade


A small Jar Homemade Chutney











                               Section 6 - FLORAL ART



Summertime in a Basket     Judged from the front. Space allowed 50cm (20in) Square, height unrestricted. Accessories allowed.


  Fabulous Foliage.  An exhibit without flowers to be judged from the front.  Space allowed 50cm (20in) square. Height unrestricted. Accessories  allowed


The Warmth of Copper. Judged from the front.   Space allowed 50cm (20in) square.Height unrestricted . Accessories not allowed


An Exhibit in a Wineglass. . To be judged all around

An Exhibit is composed of natural plant material (fresh or dried) .

with or without accessories contained in a space specified

    Section 7 - HANDICRAFTS


NOTE: Items in this section should not have been exhibited in this Show during the last three years


A Hand Knitted Garment. Any Wool, Ply band attached


An item of Craft


An item of Cross or Counted Stitch, Embroidery or Tapestry . Max size 46cm/18"


An Acrylic Painting 


A Watercolour Painting


Please ensure your painting can be hung safely.      


A Limerick, Title "The Queen's Platinum Jubilee “ (A limerick is a humorous five line poem – rhyme scheme aabba)


Three different items of Craft, on a table, frontage   90cm x 60cm deep (3ft x 2ft).(may not include home economics) Marks will be given for each item, and presentation. Table or base cloth may be used, plus one accessory to enhance the entry. Items to be judged must be marked 1,2 and 3. Open to single competitors, or two members of the same family.

You will need boxes etc. to make different levels.


All classes open to all ages under 12.


A  Photograph of a Jubilee Celebration Scene


A  Pet Picture in any medium


 A Jam jar of garden  flowers and grasses

 Please state age by exhibits



Class 44           

              Recipe for  Victoria Sponge


175g / 6oz soft margarine

175g / 6oz caster sugar

3 eggs (beaten)

175g / 6oz sifted self raising flour                        

Strawberry or Raspberry Jam



Set oven at 350*F / gas mark 4 / 180*C (fan ovens 160*C)

Grease and paper line 2x20cm / 8” sandwich tins

Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, with a little flour

to prevent curdling.

Gently fold in remaining flour with metal spoon until well mixed.

Do not overbeat

Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface

Bake for about 25-30 mins on the middle shelf

Test before removing from oven. Leave to cool on wire rack.

When cold, sandwich together with 2-3 tablespoons Jam  

Leave top plain. Do not sprinkle with sugar


Class 46

Recipe for Farmhouse Fruit Cake


6 oz (175g) margarine or butter softened

6 oz (175g) castor sugar

3 eggs, beaten

 Half teaspoon Vanilla essence

7oz (200g) self-raising flour

6 oz (175g) mixed dried fruit

 2oz (60g) Glace Cherries

3 Tablespoons Milk (45ml)


2oz(60g) Glace cherries halved

1oz (30g) Flaked Almonds

Method Set oven at 350 F/gas mark 4/180 C (fan ovens 160 C)    Line a 2lb or 900g loaf tin (measuring 20cmx10cm) with non-stick baking paper. Beat the margarine or butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the essence.  Fold in the flour, cherries, mixed fruit and enough milk to give a stiff dropping consistency.  Spread into a prepared tin and smooth the top.  Arrange the cherries on the top and sprinkle with almonds.  Bake for 1 hour, then cool for 15 mins  before turning out onto wire rack.

Gardening Club

Stratton and Baunton Horticultural Society


“The English winter – ending in July

To start recommence in August “

Quote by Lord Byron 1788-1824


Who knows what we will encounter weather -wise,  in July, but I do hope the weather is kind and we have an excellent gardening month or plenty of gardens to visit and enjoy.

I visited Highnam Court Gardens the other week, the last time I visited was before Covid, and was amazed at the new plantings, the gardens dripping with roses, a vast selection of wooden animal and bird sculptures and borders becoming more established.  It was very colourful and I certainly recommend a visit, also an excellent cup of tea and cake in the orangery !

There are no meetings this month, but diary dates for members are, a Show Seminar on Thursday 7th July 7pm at the Stratton Village Hall and Sunday 10th July our annual Garden Party. 2.30 – 5pm.

Tips for July are :

·        Make sure there are supports for border plants

·        Dead head to ensure further blooms

·        Water wisely in the evening or morning to conserve water and feed pots regularly

·        Complete the thinning of fruit if not done last month after the June drop

·        When strawberry picking is complete, remove the protection from around the plants and cut back the leaves with shears, then water

·        Consider giving the lawn a quick acting summer feed

·        Give your indoor plants the benefit of a ‘holiday‘  outside for the summer

·        VERY importantly – pick courgettes before they become marrows !

Events :

Hampton Court Flower Show – 4th-9th July. Marchants Coaches have a trip on 9th July, check website for details.

GFGS Open Sweet Pea Show,(incorporating a mini Fuchsia and Pelargonium Show) at Norton GL2 9LJ  9 July check www. for a schedule of classes and details 12-4pm

Tatton Park Flowers Show, Knutsford 20th-24th July

NGS open gardens :

Please check the website – for up to date information, but locally

3rd July - Cerney House Gardens GL7 7BX 10am – 7pm, Kirkham Farm, Cheltenham GL54 2JS 11am- 5pm

Highnam Court Gardens, Gloucester GL2 8DP 11am-4.30pm, Awkward Hill Cottage, Bibury GL7 5NH 2-6pm

7th July – Charlton Down House, Tetbury GL8 8TZ and 14th, 28th  1pm - 5pm

10th July – Westonbirt School Gardens GL8 8QG 11am -4.30pm

17th July-_Trench Hill, Sheepscombe  GL6 6TZ 11am -6pm

22nd July -The Garden at Miserden GL6 7JA 10am-5pm


A reminder that we our back, to have our 44th Annual Horticultural Show on Sunday 21st August at Stratton Village and School Halls from 1.30pm. This is open to all, class schedules are available at the Spar store for all to enter. Teas and a tombola will be available.



Cirencester’s Gardening Club


Our May meeting was the last meeting for the club, although we have events to follow, our new season will start on 8th September 2022.

Val Timbers, chairman has been noticing the abundance of bright dandelions in the fields and verges and upon investigating has realised how beneficial this flower is. Val has written a poem in its praise :

Ode to the Dandelion

Why do we spurn a dandelion and treat it with such scorn

When all it really wants to do is decorate the lawn!

It`s spear-like petals brightly shine, on sunny days or grey,

Then as evening comes they close their arms and tightly hide away.

And when they`ve had their time to shine and we think the grass is clear

They try to please us once again with hidden treasures there

Fluffy heads on tall straight stems hold magic of a kind

That soon will spread all over, with the blowing of the wind.

The small black seeds will rise and fall and settle on the land

In parks and fields and gardens, to start to grow again.

So when you see them next year, on verges and on banks

Don`t spurn the golden dandelion, just quietly smile your thanks.

Our speaker was Steve Yells, his talk on ‘Preparing for the Show’

The club has it’s Annual Horticultural Show on Sunday 21st August 2022, open to all, schedules will be available at the Stratton Stores, so this was good timing to help us present our exhibits in the best way to catch the judges eye.

With vegetables and fruit you are looking to get entries that are uniform, in good condition, with good colour.   Some common errors : check you have the right amount of items for each class and always take a spare, as damages can happen when travelling to the show.  Check you have the correct size item for the class.

‘Stage’ your entry, beans all in a uniform line, onions supported on a ring of cardboard or wooden curtain rings, tomatoes tidily on a plate, potatoes and carrots, cleaned with a soft sponge.  Keep a single tap root on the carrots , remove all ‘hairs’ and remove all but 3 inches of their foliage.

This was an excellent talk, with many questions and information given on the specific classes in the show, and members sharing experiences, a very  enjoyable evening.

Our competition was a flower from your garden judged by the members. Ist Jill Hill with a rose, and joint 1st Joanna Howe with a purple heart centurea, 2nd Kim Musgrave with a bluebell.

The club had a Coffee morning and plant sale  on 14th May held at a members garden, we were very lucky with a lovely sunny morning with numerous visitors and the plant, cake, and book stalls sold well.

Local events –Fresh Air sculpture at Quennington Rectory 5 – 26th June 10am – 5pm daily. Elkstone open gardens  19th June 2-6pm, Lots of NGS gardens open, please look at the website. Such as Hookshouse Pottery, Tetbury daily 1st-5th June 11-5.30, 17th June and 1st July 1.30-5.30 teas and plants. Chedworth open gardens 18 and 19th June 10am-5pm.



Cirencester’s Gardening Club


On Thursday the 14th April, Caroline Sheldrick, gave a fascinating talk and presentation on the theme of Plants for Wellbeing.

The wide range of plants covered were organized into three sections: culinary herbs, ornamental herbs, and weeds!

Caroline is a practising medical herbalist (which requires a medical degree) and sprinkled some very interesting medical and historical facts throughout the talk.  The plants can sometimes be used fresh, dried as tea, infused in oil or steeped in alcohol to make a tincture. Drug apparently, simply means dried.

The culinary herbs include aromatics (identified by their mostly square stems) and have their active ingredients in a volatile oil. An example she gave was Thyme, which has anti-septic and anti-fungal properties. It can be used as a tea to help relieve upper respiratory infections and shingles and Brother Cadfael (of the Ellis Peters books) also used it to expel parasitic worms!  Fennel, mint, and camomile are all soothing for the gut as is hyssop, the annual form of fennel.  Sage or Salvia Officialise (Officialise means it is medical plant) is great to gargle with when you have a sore throat as it is an anti-septic. 

Of the ornamental herbs, Lavender is recommended for nervous disorders and to help with tension and settling to sleep, hence lavender pillows.  Camomile can help with stress related stomach disorders and its juice will help heal cold sores.  Echinacea stimulates the production of white blood cells which helps the immune system.  Its root is also good for tonsilitis.  Make elderflower cordial to ease colds or elderflower champagne to lift the spirits!  Lime tree flowers, Bracht’s and stalk can be dried and used as a relaxant and tastes of honey – one of the few herbal teas that is tasty!

A few useful weeds were mentioned including dandelions, chickweed, comfrey (knitbone) and stinging nettles. The latter can be cooked or used as a tea to ease kidney stones and the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Caroline stressed the need to take care and follow the directions for any herbal remedies. A report by Sue Walton on behalf of the club.


Barnsley Village Festival has open gardens Saturday 14th May 10.30 to 5pm

The club has a Coffee Morning and Plant sale, open to all from 10.30 to 12 noon, plants, cakes, books, bric a brac at 4, Stratton Brook, (by Stratton House Hotel)


Next meeting on Thursday 12th May 7.30pm at Stratton Village Hall a talk by Steve Yells, preparing for the Show, all are welcome.

Cirencester’s Gardening Club



For our March meeting, we held our members Annual Spring Bulb Show. A testing time to see if the weather has been kind and Spring flowers blooming.

Class 1, A bowl of hyacinths 1st E Morgan,  Class 2 pot of large flowered daffodils 1st J Howe, 2nd E Morgan, Class 3 pot of miniature daffodils 1st P Barnes, 2nd V Timbers, 3rd E Morgan Class 4 pot of crocus 1st A Barnes, 2nd J Howe, class 5 pot of tulips 1st J Howe, class 7 container of any plant grown from a bulb, corm or rhizome 1st D Newbury, 2nd E Morgan, class 8 an orchid 1st K Musgrave, class 9 flowering houseplant 1st J Gibson, 2nd E Morgan class 10 foliage houseplant 1st D Newbury, 2nd V Timbers, 3rd K Musgrave class 12 vase of 5 large daffodils 1st J Howe, 2nd K Musgrave, 3rd P Barnes, class 13 vase of 7 miniature daffodils 1st A Barnes, 2nd S Mathews, 3rd J Howe class 14 3 stems of different flowering shrub or tree 1st E Morgan, 2nd J Howe class 15 a lemon drizzle cake 1st C Price, 2nd E Morgan, 3rd J Howe class 16 vase of spring flowers from the garden 1st J Howe, 2nd P Barnes, 3rd E Morgan class 17 a spring flower arrangement 1st E Morgan, 2nd J Howe, 3rd V Timbers.

There was prize money for the winners and 3 cups awarded. The Haag cup to A Barnes for a bowl of crocus, the Taylor cup to J Howe for 5 large daffodils and the Wells cup to E Morgan for the spring arrangement.

Whilst judging took place we were given a floral art demonstration and talk by Sally Oates, a member of the North Wiltshire Villages Flower Club.

Sally Oates started off with a large circular basket in which she had put some brown bracken stems. The edge was covered with moss. In the centre she told us there was some crumpled chicken wire. Then gradually she transformed the container into a beautiful arrangement.  After the bracken came tall twigs, in-between some low branches of various shrubs to add some greenery.  All this was surrounding most of the perimeter of the arrangement leaving a space in front and centre. She carefully put in different varieties of daffodil and narcissus which brightened and lightened the whole effect, giving it a truly spring-like appearance.  She called it  `The forest floor`

Sally then produced a bulbous vase with a very narrow top, which she said is the bane of the flower arranger as it seems you can only put in upright blooms.  But, by putting in two fairly substantial twigs at ahorizontal angle, it changed the effect of the flowers she put in.  The tall dark red hellebores gave height and drama and then, having a completely different effect, she put in red tinged with yellow tulips. It was a most pleasing combination.  She had brought from home a vase she`d done earlier in a yellow and blue arrangement as a thought for Ukraine and offered them all as prizes in our raffle.  Wonderful!

Our next meeting is on Thursday 14th April 7.30pm at Stratton Village Hall. The speaker Caroline Sheldrick on Flowers in Healing. Plants available, all welcome.



Cirencester’s Gardening Club

Stratton & Baunton Horticultural Society

"I wonder if the sap is stirring

If wintery birds are dreaming of a mate

If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun

And crocus fires are kindling one by one

Sing, robin, sing

I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring."

By Christina Rossetti

The speaker for our February meeting was Victoria Logue, on extending the season in your garden.

Victoria explained that gardening is a process, you think it might be full, with not enough room for more plants but it
could be that you have the wrong plants in the wrong place, taking up the room.

Be kind and remember to feed your plants especially if in pots, with a granular slow -release feed and top dress. If a
plant is still not thriving be ruthless and try a better suited plant, rather than hang on to the last leaf.

To give your garden more interest, a water feature or ornament to provide a focal point. White objects will lighten
up a shady corner and give a sparkle.

The white stems of a birch tree will be highlighted in the Winter months. For colourful stems, the dogwoods shine
out and remember to cut down to ankle height in March or April to encourage new stems for later colours. A hybrid
Winter flowering heather which does not require acid soil can be grown here and will give good long colour and cut
back hard to a blob after flowering to keep neat.

Summer is full on, so think ahead for the Autumn to have the firey colours , although some are best on acid soils.
Liquid Amber or the Field Maple are good choices. For flowers, heleniums, sedums and alstromeria can fill the gaps.
If your sedums are flopping, try splitting the clump to renew and give more sturdy stems.

It was a thought provoking amusing talk with interesting slides to illustrate.

RHS tips for March :

Remove spent Spring flower heads to conserve the bulbs strength

Prune bush and climbing roses

Cut back the hard old wood of buddleia bushes

Plant Summer bulbs such as gladioli and lilies

Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes

Lift and divide clumps of perennials such as Hemerocallis, dierma, aster to keep vigorous

Hoe weeds, feed and mulch borders

Local Spring gardens to visit on 6th March, Home Farm, Huntley GL19 3HQ 11-4.00p,

20th March, Trench Hill, Sheepscombe GL6 6TZ 11- 6.00pm

North Cerney and Painswick Rococo gardens.

Our next meeting will be for members, on Thursday 10th March, our Spring Bulb Show, the classes as listed on
membership cards.

Cirencester’s Gardening Club

Stratton & Baunton Horticultural Society

“And in green underwood and cover

Blossom by blossom the Spring begins”

AC Swinburne


Our January meeting was well attended for a talk by Ken Cservenka on Exmoor Wildlife.

  We were shown slides of the beautiful area, from the seaside villages of Minehead, Porlock and Lynmouth, inland,

 the chocolate box village of Allerford with a pack horse bridge to the Valley of the Rocks and the heathland of Exmoor. The abundant wildlife of birds and beasts had been skilfully captured by Ken on his camera. There are 3 main types of deer in Devon, red, fallow and roe and if you are patient and lucky you might be able to see them before they see you and take off. In April they tend to shed their old antlers, then will grow their new ones. In August the felt covering gets itchy and they clean it off. September, they start looking for a mate and the rut begins. The heathland is carefully managed and in areas burnt off to get rid of the gorse and allow new growth for butterflies and insects.  The talk was amusingly narrated, and a very happy meeting for the members and visitors alike.

Our competition was a poem looking forward to spring.  1st Pam Barnes, 2nd Alan Barnes, 3rd Val Timbers.

RHS advice for February :

·         Prepare vegetable seed beds and sow some under cover such as broad beans, cauliflowers, parsnips, and shallots,

·         Chit potato tubers

·         Look out for Summer bulbs at the garden centres to try new varieties

·         Protect rhubarb to force early stems

·         Prune Winter flowering shrubs that have finished flowering such as forsythia, philadelphus, weigelia, flowering currant – cut back to a strong young shoot lower down. Each year aim to cut out 20% of aging stems to their base.

·         Prune Wisteria,  normally done twice a year January – February and July – August.  Summer pruning allows better air and sunlight to ripen the wood and restrict the amount of vegetative growth, encouraging short flowering spurs. Winter pruning cut back the growth to 2 or 3 buds to tidy up before the growing season.

·         Ornamental deciduous grasses need cutting back annually. Evergreen grasses just a tidy up.

Our next meeting is on Thursday 10th February 2022. 7.30pm at Stratton Village Hall. Our talk by Ms Victoria Logue on Extending the season in your garden. The competition a vase of snowdrops..   All are welcome.