Calling all Garden & Horticultural Society Presidents

Quite out of the blue I have been asked to be the President of a local village Horticultural  Society – a purely ‘ceremonial’ role, I expect, but one that I am really pleased to take on.

I should love to hear from anyone else who has done, or is doing, something similar and hear about their experiences.

How ‘hands on’ can one  – is one expected – to be?  Some horticultural societies are frozen in time (somewhere in the 1950’s), some others seem to be really proactive.  Most seem to have members that are getting on a bit, and perhaps seem unable to attract younger members.  How does one get over this problem?

Annual membership subs are in my view unrealistically low – while the expected fee from decent lecturers has understandably risen in the past years.  In my village there is hardly any link between the allotment people and the garden society.  Is this typical?    Comments please.

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2 Responses to Calling all Garden & Horticultural Society Presidents

  1. patientgardener says:

    Our Society President is purely titular, we have a Chairman that does the real work. I agree abotu the age – I am the youngest in my club at 43 and the members looked rather surprised when I first turned up though they made me very welcome. I think the biggest problem is that younger gardeners perceive garden clubs to be for older people. To my mind they can be very clicky as well – near to me the local ‘in bloom’ society have nothing to do with the ‘horticultural society’ – ridiculous really. As for the fees again I agree we charge a nominal entrance fee for meetings and yet struggle to get good speakers – there seems to be a fear that if we up the price we will loose members.

  2. Karen says:

    Just finished reading Old Herbaceous, by Reginald Arkell – in the Modern Library Garden series. What a wonderful description he gives of the honorable position of president of his local garden society!

    I’m nearer your own age I would guess, but seems like younger gardeners are eager to learn about eating local – maybe sprucing up a local eyesore? It’s always true that the few put in most of the effort everywhere though, isn’t it?

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