It was in 1981 that a group of enthusiasts had the idea of sharing their love of gardens and gardening with others. To get the ball rolling and to raise enough money to start the society, they held a plant sale in St Michael's Hall, Lewes High Street. There were four meetings in the first year and right from the start, the society decided it wanted to look at all aspects of gardening, including history, design and plant collecting. This has remained its policy ever since. As the number of meetings increased and membership grew, the society moved several times and we now meet at St Thomas Church Hall in Cliffe High Street, Lewes
From the beginning, the society was a success, attracting some of the finest gardeners in the country to speak at its meetings. The late Christopher Lloyd came along in its third year, and returned seven years later as guest speaker at its tenth anniversary meeting. Lewes Town Hall was the venue for its twenty-fifth birthday, with designer Penelope Hobhouse as the star speaker. In the past we also had the chance to compete in the window box and hanging basket competitions at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows, winning a Silver-gilt and a bronze medal.
The society's programme has expanded over the years, with members opening their gardens to the public; holding plant sales; supporting local events such as Seedy Saturday and the Societies' Fair and raising money for Lewes Little Gardens, the Linklater Pavilion and tree planting charities in Africa. Members have also enjoyed holidays to some of the great gardening regions in Britain, including Derbyshire, Norfolk, the Cotswolds and Yorkshire. In 2015 we visited many beautiful gardens, large and small, in Devon.