Contributed by Editor

On December 8, 2019

Christmas Party

Members celebrated the start of the festive season at their Christmas Party. Read Jenny Gibb’s report on a plant-filled and very jolly event.


Nearly 30 members gathered at Tunstall Village Hall for our annual festive social event. We started the day with coffee and biscuits and lots of conversation, before settling down to two very informative and enjoyable talks.

Jeanette Lerwill gave us a fascinating insight into beekeeping and the secrets of honeybees, which kept the audience enthralled and prompted lots of questions at the end – always the sign of an interesting talk. Colin Moat then entertained us with the saga of the Kent Group’s exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2015. (Our chairman Robert Lines had been due to speak, but was unable to attend due to a family emergency, so many thanks to Colin for stepping into the breach, and to Cindy Moat for her emergency drive down with the laptop!) Those present who had been involved with the stand enjoyed reminiscing, and the rest of us marvelled at their enthusiasm and hard work.

The first mock-up in March 2015

The final breakdown! The end of the show in May

The Kent Group stand in its wonderful glory

A splendid buffet lunch followed, with extra intrigue courtesy of Colin’s table quiz, which prompted lively discussion amongst the diners – not least in struggling to recall the names of all of Santa’s reindeer! Karin Proudfoot had set up a display of entries to the photographic competition, and invited us to look through them during lunch and vote for our favourite.

After lunch, Colin revealed the quiz answers, and Ginny Oakes gave a ‘guided tour’ of the impressive array of plants on the display table, many of which she had provided. Karin concluded events by announcing the winning photograph, which went to our chairman Robert, for his lovely picture of a peacock butterfly on pink echinacea.

Lots of hard work made the day a success, so many thanks are due – to the committee and kitchen helpers for sorting out food and drink, and doing mammoth amounts of washing-up; to Jeanette, Colin and Ginny for their excellent talks and quiz; to Karin for organising the photo competition; and to everyone who came to the party, for their lovely food offerings and their help in clearing up at the end of the afternoon.

I think everyone who came enjoyed themselves, and we particularly hope that those who came to the party for the first time will want to come again next year. Best wishes for 2020 to all our HPS Kent members.

Jenny Gibb

If you’d like to see more about the amazing Chelsea exhibit go to the Chelsea page and then click on the Chelsea Blog for a blow by-blow account. Even if you’ve seen it before it really is worth another look.

Ginny Oakes


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