Charlbury Garden Society

Newsletter November 2020

15th November 2020

In this month's news:


Download as PDF: Newsletter November 2020

Coming up next week!


Our final talk of the year.

Andy Howard from Heritage Trees will be talking about ‘Apples through the Seasons’ on:

Thursday 19th Nov at 7:30 pm using Zoom

Have your questions ready....

There’s no need to register for the talk if you’re a current Charlbury Garden Society member as we will send you a Zoom invitation nearer the date. It is really important to us that you are able to join if you wish to. If you have a problem using Zoom, please let us know and we can put you in touch with someone to support you and/or to set it up. For queries email:

If you’d like to join any of our talks you’ll need to join the Society. Single membership is just £5/£8 family and entitles you to 4 talks a year (5 if you join now) and with your membership card gives you discounts at several local garden centres.

For more information see our website at or email:

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In lieu of the usual Plant Sale and Coffee morning, we held a Plant & Seed Bring & Take on the 10th October from 10am until noon on the Playing Close.

It was well attended and many people brought spare plants and seedlings; seeds were collected from gardens and proved very popular.

Our very own ‘Plant Doctor’ John Moore was on hand to answer any plant related issues; at a safe distance, of course!

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Drum roll please... after months of careful deliberation, we can finally announce the results of the Charlbury Garden Society Virtual Annual Show!

The Annual Flower and Produce Show is normally the highlight of our events calendar, with entries for flowers and vegetables in abundance. Although this year the gardeners of the town have not been able to show off their excellent growing skills by packing a room full of their bounty, the absence of a live venue has not stopped them from showing their best efforts.

See the Charlbury Garden Society website for the photos and full effect!

There were entries for five of the six categories:

1. A Perfect Flower
8 people submitted photos of very beautiful flowers over the summer. This was a sharing category rather than a competition.
2. Tallest Sunflower – 9 entries
Winner: Nick Johnson with a sunflower of 10 ft 8 in.
Nick just edged out Matt Wells, whose bloom was 10 ft 6 in.
3. Tallest Hollyhock – 5 entries
Winner: Angela Gwatkin with a hollyhock of 11.7 ft.
Angela edged out Lesley Algar whose bloom was 11.6 ft.
4. Largest Vegetable – 1 entry
Winner: Roman Kopinski (age 9) whose pumpkin was impossible to measure.
5. Longest Vegetable – no entries
6. Oddest-shaped Vegetable – 4 people sent in a total of 7 vegetables.
All were so entertaining that we were unable to pick a winner.

Thank you to all the participants. We hope that next year we will be back in the Hall with the tables full of flowers and produce!

Kathy Broughton


Courtesy of Jon Carpenter, something a bit different, a podcast on the origins of the domesticated apple. It's a beautiful reading as well as fascinating listening.

'From the Yangtze Valley, to Neolithic Mesopotamia, to the orchards of Oxford, Roger Deakin sought to understand the origins of the domesticated apple. His essay East of Eden—an excerpted chapter from his book Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees—recounts his journey into the wild fruit forests that grow on the mountainsides of Kazakhstan. After Roger’s death in 2006, Robert Macfarlane planted a sapling grown from an apple seed that Roger carried home. As ‘Roger’s tree’ now fruits in his yard, Robert collects the pips to distribute to others, envisioning a “worldwide wildwood of memory-trees.” This essay is narrated by Robert Macfarlane.'

It's on Spotify as well as Apple Podcasts, or check the Emergence Magazine website.

Apple link -
Spotify link -

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We are approaching that time of year when our membership of the Garden Society is due for renewal, and membership cards are replaced. We are sorry that we have not been able to deliver our full 2020 programme of events as planned, but hope that you have enjoyed the virtual open gardens experience, virtual annual show and other events that we have been able to continue, and have made good use of your discount at local garden centres. In recognition of the fact that we were not able to deliver the whole programme this year, the Garden Society Committee has decided to offer free 2021 membership to all our 2020 members.

Whatever happens regarding the current restrictions, we still have plans for talks and other events for 2021, using Zoom if our usual gatherings are prohibited, as well as ideas for live events and projects, particularly our nascent ‘gardening, growing and greening’ group whose aim is to develop and enrich our public spaces in Charlbury.

Although we will not be asking for payment for membership fees for 2021 from our 2020 members, optional donations will be most gratefully received to help us support these initiatives despite our lower income for the year.

Details about how to do this will be sent with the 2021 membership card and included on our website.

We will, of course, keep all our members up to date with our initiatives and plans for 2021 through our regular newsletters in the usual way. We very much hope that we will be able to resume our face-to-face gatherings for talks and other events at some point during the year.


Don't forget to check out the Charlbury Gardeners group. It's at, it's public, and it's got 170 members. It's a place for chatting and sharing.


  • Plant bare-root hedging, roses, trees and shrubs, before the weather turns really cold
  • Plant tulip bulbs in pots and borders
  • Cut down faded perennials then mulch the surrounding soil with garden compost
  • Protect plants that are borderline hardy with a thick mulch of straw or garden compost
  • Lift Dahlia tubers after the first frost, clean and store in dry compost in a cool, frost-proof place


If you would like to contribute anything to the newsletter for the next month, please contact us. Photographs and short written articles would be welcomed.

We are also looking for members interested in helping at or organising events and shows (it is not a committee post so there are no requirements to attend committee meetings).

If you would like any more information please email