Horsham In Bloom held its inaugural Simply Gardening on The Forum on Saturday 7 June.
It was opened by the Jonathan Lucas of Warnham Park, the current High Sheriff of West Sussex who gave an informative and amusing address laced with various anecdotes.
He presented Ceri Fitzgerald with her prize for winning the competition to create a logo for the event since when she has designed further eye-catching publicity to promote ?Simply Gardening?.
Two ?Gardeners? Answers? sessions were held during the day chaired by Jean Griffin, with expert local gardeners Mark Dobell and Mike Burdett who fielded questions including a large number on various garden pests. There was much humour and encouragement from the panel.
Also within the same marquee were community groups The Friends of Warnham Nature Reserve; Horsham Organic Growers; Transition Horsham and Southwater Horticultural Society who were selling honey.
Each group had set up colourful displays of their work. The Friends of Warnham Nature Reserve displayed high quality photographs of the diverse wildlife to be found in the outskirts of the town.
Horsham In Bloom displayed their work with volunteer groups, the development of the Human Nature Garden and the results of schools competitions first held in 2007.
The sessions devoted to gardening were interspersed with musical entertainment provided by folk duo Will and Louise and Pickled Lilies who had brought flowers to decorate the stage and their microphones. These sessions helped to draw listeners into the marquee. Hilliers Garden Centre provided the plants in front of the stage.
A competition to identify plants was won by a member of the Friends of Warnham Nature Reserve who intends to donate the prize of a hanging basket, donated by Newbridge Nurseries, to the reserve.
Other participating groups in gazebos around The Forum survived a massive downpour just as the event started; however, the rest of the day was dry and sunny ensuring a steady flow of people onto the Forum.
Plants sales company Blackbird, Flax Farm of Sedgwick Park, Sussex Wildlife Trust, The Jam Lady and Busydays Face Painters completed the attractions together with sponsors PDH Cars who completed the line-up.
Sue Brundish, Chair of Horsham In Bloom, commented: Staging a high profile event in the town centre has been a massive challenge for such a small Committee but efficient teamwork and a determination to promote a fresh initiative for the community in Horsham, has resulted in Saturday?s successful undertaking highlighting the wide range of activities which together can be called ?Simply Gardening?.
Colourful railing planters are now in place in the town centre, sponsorship for which is organised by Horsham in Bloom. There is still time to enter the Summer Competitions. Details and entry forms can be found on the HIB website.
Horsham in Bloom is keen to recruit new members for Committee to ensure its work can continue in making Horsham stand out from many other towns in the region. Please contact Sue Brundish at email@example.com if you feel you may be able to help. Please see our website www.horshaminbloom.org.uk and follow us on Facebook