Welcome to our Website!
Gillingham Horticultural Society (GHS) was founded on the 26th May 1940 in response to the Government’s wartime “Dig for Victory” campaign. We currently have approximately 300 members in the Gillingham Area and are affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies.
The aim of the GHS is to bring together people in the Gillingham area who are interested in gardening and associated activities, as well as encouraging young people and children to discover the joys of working with nature to produce flowers, fruit, and vegetables for their own personal enjoyment.
We try to provide a friendly environment where our members can meet over light refreshments to discuss and learn from the experience and goodwill of like-minded folk with similar interests. We also have connections with local schools and gardening charities, to which we make donations of supplies and equipment from time to time.
Our active Social Secretary produces a programme of monthly meetings, with speakers on interesting gardening-related topics together with trips to RHS Gardens and Festivals. Social highlights have included a four-day cruise to the Dutch Bulbfields, with visits to the world-renowned Keukenhof Gardens in Spring 2017; a packed trip to France including Versailles and the Kings Potager, Chartres, the home of Leonardo da Vinci and Claude Monet's stunning Waterlily Gardens at Giverny in September 2018; and in May 2019 members visited HRH Prince of Wales gardens at Highgrove, marvelled at the RHS Malvern Show and finished the tour barging along the Kennet and Avon Canal. In May 2022 our Devon trip took members to, amongst other places, Agatha Christies holiday home and garden via a fabulous Steam Railway excursion, beautiful RHS Rosemore, The Lost Gardens of Heligan or/and Eden Project, for the quick on their feet!!! May 2023 took us to the dramatic scenery of Ilkley, Yorkshire, with visits to RHS Bridgewater and the stunning RHS Harlow Carr, to Whitby via the North York Railway and finished with another popular Canal trip. Our active Social Secretary is already making plans for the 2024 trip back to the RHS Malvern Show, by special request, and has another action packed 4 days of visits on her radar.
Social meeting charges at Our Lady of Gillingham Catholic Church Hall are FREE to members, and £3.00 for guests. Prices for trips are as advertised.
Our Show Secretary currently arranges 3 shows annually, the colourful and informal small Spring and Summer Shows, followed by a slightly more serious (?!) but still very friendly, extensive Autumn Show, where members can display the fruits of their labours. The shows are open to all members, and the show schedules and entry forms are available through the ‘Members Only’ area of this website, or from the Show Secretary, The Shed or at Social Functions. There is no entrance fee for submitting your produce, which is judged to RHS rules.
We also have a vibrant, friendly, affiliated Floral Art Group (FAG), which, in the main, meets twice a month to undertake flower arranging in all its varying forms. The more experienced members are also involved on the rota for providing floral displays for Rochester Cathedral, and have provided demonstrations for local gardening centres.
There is an active schedule of meetings, arranged in a way that enables all members to learn new skills, through a programme of practical meetings, workshops, and teaching evenings throughout the year, where members share their skills.
The group also has a sales table, providing most items needed for floral work at much cheaper prices than florists/normal retailers.
Please see the Floral Art Group Page for further details!
With our government inspired start, we still sell gardening essentials through The Shed, on the allotments off Tangmere Close. Our members benefit by buying items, at good, non-profit making prices, because of the keen discounts that our Shed Manager negotiates with our suppliers by purchasing our annual supplies in bulk. We aim to run our stocks down over the growing season, so that each year we start with fresh supplies.
Price List is available to GHS members via our Members Only page - The access password is changed annually and on the reverse of the new Membership Card.
If what you have read strikes a chord, come and join us. You will be assured of a warm welcome!
Please see the Membership page for further details and access to an application form.