Dear Member

Greetings on behalf of the MHS Committee and welcome 2019.   What a start we have had to the new year – a mini Summer followed by grey skies : rain and gale force winds – oh what a gardener has to cope with.    Nevertheless Spring is now upon us and we can look forward to pleasing times ahead.

Many of our existing members have been with MHS for numerous years – 2 in fact since 1955 – and to all members we continue to appreciate and thank you most sincerely for your much valued loyalty and support.   Membership for the coming year is looking good as to date we have already welcomed 13 new members 3 of which have come via the MHS website.


TALK – 2 May (in the Baptist Church)  Unfortunately our Speaker for May, Mr Hilary Newman, has had to withdraw for health reasons, but the good news is that Kenny Raybould, who is Horticultural Manager at Covent Garden Flower Market, has agreed to step in and give a talk entitled “Plants, Instagram and Fast Fashion”.  Sounds fascinating – should be a super evening.

SPRING SHOW – 6th APRIL   As always this is a wonderful welcome to Spring – there is so much to see and enjoy with classes for Daffodils and other Spring flowers : Crafts : Cookery : Photography : Junior and Children’s classes and very eye catching Floral Art exhibits.

Have you thought about putting in an entry?  If you have never done so before our Show Secretary will always be pleased to offer assistance and on the day plenty of people will willingly assist with staging your exhibit or hopefully exhibits.

If you do not wish to exhibit then please do come along and enjoy a very pleasant afternoon with a delicious cream tea, a raffle and above all to admire the beautiful flowers and other exhibits.

20% DAY AT RUMWOODS : A date to put in your dairy – Saturday 27th April.  MHS Members will be able to get 20% discount on production of their membership card at Rumwood Nurseries at Langley (excluding Special Offers).  A large selection of plants, roses, shrubs, trees, garden tools and pots in many colours and sizes available.  If it’s garden furniture you require, you will find a good selection to choose from.  When your shopping is done, enjoy refreshments in the glasshouse.  Rumwoods can be found in New Road, off the A274 at Langley.  Hope to see you there.

GARDEN PARTY : Saturday 29th June from 2 until 5pm.  We are so fortunate that a member of MHS has kindly invited us to share their lovely garden again.  Those who previously visited the wildlife friendly garden will recall the pleasure of the wide range of perennial plants and the wildflower meadow, the natural and formal ponds, fruit trees and vegetable garden as well as the delight of relaxing on the lawn enjoying Penny’s wonderful afternoon tea.  We trust the weather will be kind. There will also be a plant stall, a book stall, a raffle and a produce stall.

The Garden Party is open to members and friends. Tickets are £8 and available from the Assistant Membership Secretary.  Please purchase your tickets asap as this would help us in planning the catering.

LATE SUMMER SHOW : We hope you are all preparing for the Late Summer Show, which is being held on Saturday 17th August this year.  It may seem a long way off, but it is amazing how quickly the time goes, especially with summer holidays looming.  Whether you are exhibiting or not, do come along and join us for tea, cake and a chat.  If you did not exhibit in the Spring Show now is another chance for you to give it a go.  There are novice classes for those of us who are less experienced, and the whole experience is friendly and unintimidating! We also wanted to remind everyone that even though our official Floral Art Group is no more, anyone can exhibit in the Floral Art classes.  The venue is St Nicholas Church Hall, Poplar Grove, Allington. ME16 0DE.

KENT COUNTY SHOW – 5TH JULY- 7th JULY:  If you are planning to go to the Kent County Show this year we thoroughly recommend a visit to the Garden Life Marquee.  The Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies, to which MHS is affiliated, takes up a large part of this area and highlights a vast array of horticultural expertise.    Several of our members will be exhibiting and we hope will be equally as successful as in previous years – MHS has quite a reputation to live up to !!

In the NAFAS Floral Art section the arrangements are stunning and an absolute joy to look at and admire.  In the same marquee are also the Kent Beekeepers’ Association and the miniature garden competition for schools and groups.

All in all well worth a visit.

OUTINGS : Bookings are already well advanced so if you have not already booked your seat for one of the outings in 2019, hurry up and do so to avoid disappointment.    The three trips, in luxury coaches and with two boarding points in Maidstone, are:-

  1. Sunday 12th May – Wakehurst, Haywards Heath.  Visit the Millenium Seed Bank or explore the 500 acres of this beautiful Grade II listed garden.  This is a National Trust property so if you are a member, don’t forget your membership card!  (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wakehurst or www.kew.org/wakehurst).
  2.  Thursday 20th June – a morning visit to the Salutation Gardens in Sandwich  If you attended the talk in November 2018, you can now see these stunning gardens for yourself.  A lovely place with rare plants and a wild flower meadow. (www.the-salutation.com/gardens).   The afternoon will be at Godinton House Gardens, Ashford, (www.godingtonhouse.co.uk) where the Delphinium Festival will be taking place or take a stroll round the gardens containing conifers and an Italian garden.
  3. Sunday 8th September – RHS Garden Hyde Hall, Chelmsford (www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/hyde-hall) – A visit to one of the RHS gardens which has recently had many improvements, including a new glasshouse and restaurant amongst many other attractions.

If you are interested in any of the above please book at chrisg.mhs@googlemail.com.

WEBSITE : The website has been updated with the 2019 events and a link to the schedules for the two shows can be found on the Show page.  The running of the website is now done by the MHS.    It really is well worth looking at and a regular visit will keep you up to date with what is going on.  If you have any additions or ideas to improve the website, please contact mtreacher@talktalk.net.




1 lb (500g) Readymade Puff Pastry

For the filling:

10 oz (275g) Fresh Breadcrumbs : 8oz (225g) Mature Cheddar cheese, grated :

1 large Onion, grated

3 tbsps Thick double cream : 1 1/2 level tsps Mustard powder : 1 level tbsp Fresh chopped herbs

(chives, parsley, thyme, etc)

pinch of Cayenne pepper : salt and black pepper to season

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).  For the filling place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl : season well and mix very thoroughly. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to form an oblong (as thin as you can). Cut this oblong into three strips and divide the filling also into three, making three long rolls the same length as the strips of pastry (if it’s sticky, sprinkle on some flour).

Place one roll of filling on to one strip of pastry. Brush the beaten egg along one edge, then fold the pastry over and seal it as carefully as possible. Lift the whole thing up and turn it so the sealed edge is underneath.   Press lightly and cut the rolls obliquely so that they form little diamond shapes.  Snip each one on the top in three places with the end of some scissors then brush with beaten egg.

Repeat all this with the other portions of filling and pastry. Bake, on greased baking sheets on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes.  Leave to cool on a wire rack before storing in an airtight tin (that is, if they’re not all eaten before you get the chance!).



4oz (100g) Soft Tub Margarine : 4 oz (100g) finely grated Carrot :

8 oz (225g) Soft Brown Sugar : 2 eggs beaten

8 oz (225g) Wholemeal SR Flour : 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon :

½ tsp Ground Nutmeg

5 tbsps Evaporated Milk : 5 tbsps  water

For the topping

9 oz (250g) Mascarpone Cheese : 2-3 tsp Vanilla Extract : 2 tbsp Icing Sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/gas 4.    Lightly grease a deep, round 20cm cake tin and line the base with non-stick baking parchment.  Put all the ingredients for the cake into a large bowl and mix until thoroughly blended.  Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and gently level the surface.  Bake for 50–60 minutes, until the cake is well risen, golden and beginning to shrink away from the sides of the tin. A fine skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen the side of the cake from the tin with a small palette knife or a blunt knife, turn the cake out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

For the topping, put the mascarpone cheese into a small bowl, add the vanilla extract, icing sugar and beat together. Spread evenly over the top of the cake.    Store the iced cake in the fridge.