About Us

There has been a Horticultural Society in Cheltenham since at least 1832 and the Victorians flocked to its famous flower shows and exhibitions. The 'Grand Exhibition of Plants of All Nations' staged at Pittville Spa in July 1853, attracted over 100 Continental Growers and Horticulturalists and was attended by more than 12,000 visitors. The most ambitious was the "Exhibition of Horticulture and Works of Art & Design connected therewith" which was held in the Royal Well Gardens between 1 June and 12 July 1854 and is said to have attracted 30,000 visitors. The exhibition's centrepiece was a specially constructed, 400ft long 'Crystal Palace', which was dismantled after the exhibition closed. The Society flourished in the late Victorian and Edwardian period but, like many around the country, was abruptly disbanded at the outbreak of the First World War.

The present society was formed in 1942 as part of the Dig for Victory campaign, to educate and encourage ordinary people to grow food in gardens and allotments. The Society became very popular and grew to over 600 members. These days, membership is a more manageable 150, which produces lively meetings once a month with a (usual attendance of over 70 members and guests), coach trips to wonderful gardens and nurseries, holidays to wonderful gardens farther afield at home and abroad and many other social events. Our Spring and Summer shows at the famous Pittville Pump Room, plant sales and practical demonstrations.
Click here to see our Constitution.

Join Us

Benefits of Membership

Joining the Society will bring you together with like minded individuals and groups who enjoy the practical and social aspects of gardening. Membership will enable you to join us on interesting trips to gardens and nurseries in safe and comfortable transport and at a fraction of the cost of organising your own travel.
Click here to see our forthcoming trips and to read about where we have been recently.

You will be able to hear regular talks by expert speakers on a range of interesting and topical subjects. See below for the current year's programme.

You will be able to enter our Spring and Summer Flower and Craft Shows in March and August each year, with a schedule of over 80 classes encompassing cut flowers, pot plants, floral art, vegetables, cookery and handicrafts. There are also open classes for non-members and friends as well as classes for juniors and novices. Click here to take you to our Shows page.

Special discounts are available at local garden centres and nurseries on production of your membership card. We have a developing Seed Swap programme where members are encouraged to collect and donate seeds from their own gardens, in exchange for free seeds they may want to try.

The annual membership subscription is just £10 and there is currently no joining fee. We produce a free monthly newsletter and encourage members to receive this by email, which is quicker, easier and less expensive. Members can opt to collect their newsletter at the following monthly meeting. However, those who wish to have their newsletter posted to them, are charged a small extra annual fee of £10 to cover the p&p cost. Membership subscriptions are due on 1 January each year.

Click here for an application form or please contact our Membership Secretary.
Alternatively, why not just come along to one of our meetings and find out more.
You can be sure of a warm and friendly welcome!

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Contact Us

There are several ways to contact the Society:-

By Email:

By Phone:
President Helen Purdon 01242 575998
Chairman Dorothy Ward 01242 579750
General SecretaryLynda Dimery01242 574020
Treasurer Yvonne Gregory 01452 862392
Programme Secretary John Thompson 01242 234504
Newsletter Editor Sue Sillence 01242 518691
Shows Co-ordinator Barry Stagg 01242 519245
Trips Christina Higgs 01242 230265
Plant Sales and tripsCaroline Mobley01242 574319
Membership Secretary and Press OfficerMaggie Pointing01242 691135
Holidays Richard & Wendy Acres 01242 241728
Website EditorDorothy Ward01242 579750

By Post:
The Secretary
Cheltenham Horticultural Society
15 Lyefield Road West
Charlton Kings
GL53 8EZ

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We meet at Century Hall, Bishops Road, Shurdington, Cheltenham GL51 4TA on the second Thursday of each month, commencing at 7.30pm.

There is always a table of plants for sale supplied by members, a free seed exchange, a raffle with quality prizes and free refreshments.

We have expert speakers on a range of interesting topics, along with practical demonstrations and advice. We always welcome your ideas and suggestions for future speakers and events to make our meetings interesting and worthwhile.

Cheltenham Horticultural Society Programme for 2019

Jan 10th"The Spring Garden"Marion Stainton
Feb 14thBearded Irises: some history, people & plants! Alun & Jill Whitehead
March 14thClematis - Queen of Climbers Howard Drury
April 11thPruning for best results! Jon Mason
May 9thPest and Disease Control without Chemicals? Roger Umpleby
June 13thSingapore: The Botanical & Orchid Gardens Mervyn Reed
July 11thCampanulas Leila Jackson
Aug 8thRoman Gardens Cherry Hubbard
Sept 12thThe Glory of Daffodils Barry Stagg
Oct 10th "Another Evening with" Reg Moule
Nov 14th AGM
Dec 12th Christmas Social & Member Talk

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The Society raises money each year for local charities and good causes by holding plant sales and raffles. Recently, we have been inspired by the wonderful work done by Chris Evans, the owner of Dundry Nurseries in Bamfurlong Lane, Cheltenham who has created The Butterfly Garden, an educational, therapeutic and recreational scheme, based initially on gardening, but now offering so much more. It is a project for people of all ages dealing with disablement of any kind. It caters for those looking to escape the world, those looking to re-enter it and some, who are still just looking. It's doors are open to anyone without obligation.
For more information please go to The Butterfly Garden
In June 2013, the Society sold plants donated by members and others at the Prestbury Open Gardens Weekend and raised £524.32 for charity, which was divided equally between St. Mary’s Church in Prestbury and The Butterfly Garden.

Gloucestershire Tool Amnesty 2013
During August 2013, the Society collected 569 garden hand tools for The Conservation Foundation, a charity co-founded in 1982 by David Bellamy OBE to promote environmental awareness, participation and education. Seven other gardening clubs and two local garden centres took part and the majority of the tools have now been transferred to HM Prison Cardiff where they will be refurbished in educational workshops to provide new skills training for the inmates. When they are finished, they will be returned to Gloucestershire and donated to schools and community projects encouraging the next generation of gardeners and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.