Friday, 29 April 2016


Alan: The competition winner in 2015
Our next meeting is on Wednesday 3 May at the Red Cross Hall Oxted. We are delighted to welcome Sarah Rogers, who will talk to us about the restoration of the Riverhill Himalayan Gardens that are located just south of Sevenoaks.
It is also time for our Annual Home Made Compost Competition.
So, do not forget to bring a sample of yours along.
The John Rogers who bought Riverhill in 1840 was an only child, with a modest fortune, and a fine intellect.  He became a classics scholar, a scientist and a friend of Charles Darwin.  He was one of the first members of the Royal Horticultural Society and a patron of the plant collectors of the day. 
He chose Riverhill because its sheltered situation offered an ideal lime free hillside where he could hope to establish newly introduced trees and shrubs.  From his garden notebook, it can be seen that planting started in 1842.  Subsequent generations, continued the planting and in 1910 Colonel John Middleton Rogers created what is now known as ‘The Wood Garden’ a fine collection of Japanese Maples, Rhododendrons and Azaleas.  His wife, the infamous Muriel, created many additions including the now hidden Rock Gardens.
Until the beginning of the 2nd World War, eight full time gardeners kept Riverhill looking immaculate.  Since the war years, however, a shortage of manpower and a lack of money has meant that the garden was allowed to deteriorate, with many parts of the original planting lost to everyday use and visitors.
Today, four generations of the Rogers family live at Riverhill,
The estate is managed by Edward Rogers (Great-great-great-grandson of the John Rogers who bought Riverhill in 1840) and his wife, Sarah. 
You can also watch a video of the gardens in the entry below.

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens

Friday, 8 April 2016


Our Annual Daffodil competition took place at the Monthly Meeting on Wednesday 6 April.
Janet and her prize winning "Binkie" daffodils
Back in December at the AGM members were invited to select some "Binie" daffodil bulbs and grow them in readiness for the competition in May. This year we were delighted to have more entries than ever.
So there were plenty to see and lots of choices for potential winners.
However, there can only be one winner, and for 2016 the members choice were the daffodils grown by Janet Willets.