November meeting: Rose Growing made easy – Simon White

Simon White is the President of Norwich Horticultural Society and Sales Manager for the RHS award winning Peter Beales Garden Centre in Attleborough, Norfolk, where he has worked for 41 years.

He gave an entertaining and informative talk on growing roses. He said, if provided with the right conditions, it was not true that roses were difficult to grow. Simon said Beales had the largest collection of roses in the world. They primarily sell bare root roses and many old traditional classic roses. They grow from seed some 250,000  a year in fields rented from a local farmer and he described how they grew them.

He then went on to show how we at home could grow bare root roses:

1.THEY NEED GOOD SOIL PREPARATION: Ideally bare root  roses should be planted from November to March. Good  quality fertiliser,  including horse manure which is at least six month old, should be used. Do not use mushroom manure.

Continue reading November meeting: Rose Growing made easy – Simon White

February 2022: Melanie Aspey on the Rothschild Legacy in Horticulture

The talk was given by Melanie Aspey, a CABAHS member who has been the Rothschild archivist for 28 years. Providing photographs and documentation from the Rothschild archives, she said the Rothschilds are best known for banking, their art collections, philanthropy and wine, but many of them have also had  a keen  interest in horticulture reaching back to Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), the founder of the dynasty, who lived in the Frankfurt Jewish Ghetto.

After the defeat of Napoleon, thanks to their support for the allies, the Rothschild family was able to lobby for the retention of the right for the Jewish Community to buy real estate outside the ghetto. Mayer Amschel’s son, Amschel, considered that building a house would be too ostentatious, but a garden would better serve their needs. Instead he established a garden which he subsequently opened to visitors and for charitable purposes. He spent vast sums on plants, some of which (and Melanie showed one of the plant sale receipts from the archives) he imported from England. Later taken over by the Nazis and bombed by the allies, the garden fell into disrepair but parts have recently been renovated.

Continue reading February 2022: Melanie Aspey on the Rothschild Legacy in Horticulture

Hadlow College Shooters Hill

Hadlow College, which has a campus on Shooters Hill right opposite the start of Eaglesfield Road, has been placed into Educational Administration. The Greenwich Campus is a Horticultural Skills Centre and provides half day and day courses throughout the year. Last year I did 5 or 6 half day courses, known as Tasters, and learned so much in a relaxed, friendly environment amongst other avid growers.

At £10 for a half day and £30- for a full day course, they are incredible value for money.

I have come away from all the Taster Courses (except one) loaded down with planted up bulbs, cuttings and/or seeds. The one exception was a theory rather than practical session and I was loaded with leaflets and notes from that taster.

In short, if we are not to lose this brilliant resource (and how about getting a course for someone as a birthday or Christmas present) then we need to support the college by paying a tenner to learn – hands on – innovative ideas and techniques from highly qualified interesting Horticulturists.

They only need 6 people to make each course viable. Maybe I will see people I recognise on 12 December for the Winter Gardening Course!

Introduction to Horticulture Courses:

  • Winter Gardening, 12 December 2019, 1 day, 9:30 – 15:30, £30-

Taster Courses:

  • Planning Your Spring Beds, 11 December 2019, ½ day, 9:30 – 12:30, £10-
  • Grow Your Own Herbs for Health, 11 December 2019, ½ day, 13:00 – 16:00, £10-

For full details of courses available or to book one of the courses, please visit

The Winter gardening course link is here:

or Email or call 01732 853 993.

Juli F