Friday, 25 December 2015


The Chairman, the Committee and Members of LODHS send their best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year, with hopefully lots of exciting gardening to look forward to in 2016.
The Christmas trees at St Peters Limpsfield

More of the trees and the crib at St Peters
The Narthex at All Saint's Oxted

To the right of the altar at All Saint's

To the left of the altar at All Saint's

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

AGM 2015

Here area few photos taken at our AGM at the beginning of  December under the direction of Chairman Rick Meakin, ably assisted by Treasurer Julie Simpson.
The formal business of the annual report, accounts, appointment of the Committee and the announcement of the Monthly Competition winners for the year were all dealt with. We then set into mulled wine and a table full of goodies to eat.
On each of the tables was an origami kit, and everyone was encouraged to "have a go". Some of the results are in the final picture.
A very convivial evening.

Saturday, 12 December 2015


Joyce, one of our Life Members, died on Friday 13 November. The funeral was a private family ceremony, but a memorial service took place at St Mary's Church, Oxted on Thursday 26 November. The following is an extract from the tribute given at the memorial service by Susan Ashford, one of Joyce's daughters, and expresses so delightfully her passion for gardening. Thank you, Susan, for allowing us to publish.

Mum was born in Oxted in the house next door to 
where she lived from 1958 until her stroke in December  2014. She remembered being incredibly happy and was daddy's little girl  until her brother James turned up four years later. She was so upset in fact. that told me deliberately "disgraced" herself on her fathers favourite chair just to get his attention. This luckily did not upset their relationship for too long and she would follow him around the garden pushing her wheelbarrow. This was the start of her life long love affair with gardening.
Mums passion for gardening was a well established joke in the family. "Where's mum?"... " up the garden"; "where's your mother?"... "up the garden".  When the garden was in full bloom the only evidence as to her whereabouts would be the tale tale spade or fork dug into ground or the cold cup of tea left by the kneeling pad.
During the summer months we would not see her until the night had fallen often 10 o'clock at night.  As a joke my father bought her a miners head lamp. Sadly this backfired on him badly as, of course, she proceeded to stay out past night full and all that could be seen of her was a little bobbing light out in the darkness.
As we grew and left home mum would love to come and visit us, or as we came to realise, visit our gardens. She would turn up have a cup of tea, disappear and reappear in her old gardening clothes conjure up some plants from the back of the car and get to work.  We got used to going away on holiday and coming back to find our garden had been completely pruned and when I say pruned it was pruned within an inch of its life. I mean it was like shock and awe out there. Totally unrecognis
able, and she was blissfully happy. Dad maybe not so much as he had to get rid of all the waste!!

My favourite we'll call it pruning memory involved a rose. Very sadly the rose outside our front door had got some sort of disease and she said it needed to go. As in, dig  up roots and all.  It was a very large well established well rooted rose. We had been sawing branches off and had started digging out around the root and it was proving somewhat reluctant in its removal. I went into the house to make us a cup of tea. On opening the front door I was confronted with two things, bearing in mind mother is now around 78, and has had several hip replacements, she is standing in front of me in the middle of wielding a very large axe down onto the root, whilst behind her is a very white face terrified looking young post man. He is shouting at me. "Is she safe to do that? I tried to stop her. I said I'd do it for her but she won't let me. Shouldn't you be stooping her?"  My mother just looked at me and rolled her eyes and went on swinging the axe, chopping at the rose leaving me to comfort and explain to the poor concerned postman that it was fine. She was fine.  This is what she did. This is what she wanted to do. She may have been frail and weak but like her father and her grandfather Maunders, before her, she just carried on without complaint. During the eleven months since that first stroke, in all that time there was only one time that she said to me I feel a bit grumpy today. She just kept going. Whatever life threw at her. She just kept going Until she couldn't anymore. So here we are now. Where she could no longer carry on.
We are here celebrating the wife, mother, mother in law,  grandmother, aunt, friend.  She was kind, beautiful, warm loving giving funny without actually meaning to be. She was so accepting of people and who they were.  For me she was my rock my roots my soul she gave so much without asking for anything in return unless you had a plant she wanted, she'd half inch that off you before you could blink.

So here's how I'd like to remember her. Cycling through Norfolk with my father, happy, young and carefree with her whole life still ahead of her. And what an amazing happy life she lead.  I was blessed to be a part of it.  And I like to think of her now reunited in God's garden with her beloved father Albert Cecil, mother Isabel and brother Jim, weeding and pruning the bejeebers out of it. I just hope God's  secateurs are up to the job. 

Susan Ashford
Joyce gets ready for the Show at Limpsfield in 2009......
.....and receives her prize from President Len!