Highgate Horticultural Society appeals for spring photos to cheer people up

Images from Highgate Horticultural Society member Laura Boothman

Images from Highgate Horticultural Society member Laura Boothman - Credit: Archant

One of England’s longest running horticultural societies has had to cancel its usual spring show but hopes people can still enjoy the seasonal blooms

Images from Highgate Horticultural Society member Laura Boothman

Images from Highgate Horticultural Society member Laura Boothman - Credit: Archant

Ham&High readers may have been looking forward to photos and results from the annual Highgate Horticultural Society spring show which was due to be held on March 28.

But like so many other treasured community events it was cancelled due to the coronovirus pandemic.

The chance to show off spring blossoms daffodils and tulips has been a “recurring joy since the society was founded in 1859” say committee members.

In a newsletter to members Society Secretary Roxane Stirling said: “This is the first show we’ve cancelled during my time with HHS. We came pretty close in Spring 2013, when exceptionally heavy snow fell overnight and continued as we were setting up. Having checked the records, we believe the last time a show had to be called off was during the war (1916-18). But the safety of our members had to be the priority.”

Images of spring by Highgate Horticultural Society member Laura Boothman

Images of spring by Highgate Horticultural Society member Laura Boothman - Credit: Archant


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Now society member Laura Boothman has sent in some pictures from her Highgate allotment and hopes others will follow suit to cast some joy among the gloom.

She said: “It’s been a hard start to 2020. Before the pandemic, people had storms and floods to contend with. Gardeners and plants people always have to adjust to the season – and this year will be challenging in many ways. But we hope people will spot flowers brightening up Highgate as welcome sights in these difficult times.

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“Spring is still springing, life goes on and if we can find a way of giving people five minutes of cheerfulness while they stay at home in isolation by sending in pictures that would be amazing.”

Laura plans to grow potatoes and salad leaves on her own little balcony and says “there is a lot you can do in a small space.”

Before the lockdown she collected chard and rhubarb from her allotment in North Hill and in keeping with government guidelines will visit as little as possible to keep the vegetable beds and soft fruit ticking over.

“I went to pick what was there in case Haringey Council shut us down completely - there are a lot of elderly people who use the allotments and I want to be very careful not to get in their way.”

As for the society, their very first show was held on June 27, 1860; there were 71 entries and prizes amounting to more than £23 were awarded.

This enduring feature of the Highgate community will keep in touch with members over the coming months and hope to be back for their autum show on September 5 in the United Reformed Church in South Grove. As ever they warmly welcome new members and exhibitors. highgatehorticulturalsociety.org.uk

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