About the Society


1. To continue to maintain village activities concerned with amateur fruit, flower and vegetable growing and presentation, home cookery and handicrafts.

2. To encourage children in the above by continuing and strengthening our links with Sissinghurst C of E School.

3. To offer help and advice to beginners of all ages.

4. To encourage and welcome those who do not qualify for the competitive classes due to their professional expertise, to stage special exhibits demonstrating their skills.


  • You can obtain discounts (different terms apply) on many items for the garden ONLY on the production of your current Membership Card at
    1. Cranbrook Farm Shop and Nursery, Charity Farm, Swattenden Lane
    2. Webb’s, High Street, Tenterden
    3. Flowers for all Occasions, Brattle Farm, Pinnock Lane, Staplehurst TN12 0HE
    4. Golden Hill Nurseries, Goudhurst Road, Marden, TN12 9LT
    5. Frankies Nursery:  Clapper Lane, Staplehurst, TN12 OJT
    6. Iden Croft Herbs:  Frittenden Road, Staplehurst TN12 ODH
    7. Millbrook Garden Centre:  Staplehurst Road, Staplehurst TN12 9BT
    8. Rumwood Nurseries and Garden: New Road, Langley, Maidstone, ME17 3ND
  • Dobies Seeds: Our members can buy seeds at 50% off list price and other items at a discount off list price. By joining up with Staplehurst Horticultural Society the combined total ordered by both societies’ members entitles us to these very favourable terms.  Catalogues, with order form, are available from the Chairman in the Autumn.  Orders should be sent directly to Dobies’ Seeds.
  • You are welcome to join the Staplehurst Society at their Monthly talks for a small fee. A wide range of topics is offered – something for everyone.
  • The Society contains members who between them can answer most gardening queries, and who are very ready to help you.
  • Finally we provide three opportunities a year for you to enter your fruit, flowers, vegetables, cookery, photography and handiwork into our shows. We have serious and ‘fun’ classes and we think that there is something for all types of gardener – those with large or small gardens, young or old, knowledgeable or beginner.  Every show is also a social event, complete with a produce stall, refreshments, side-shows and a first class raffle.  The Annual General Meeting provides an opportunity for a pre-Christmas ‘jolly’.


Sissinghurst Primary School will have entries of art work on display at each of the shows.

Entries from children at other schools are also welcome.

Prizes for Children’s and Young Person’s Open Classes are £1.00, 75p, 50p.


1. The Society is known as the Sissinghurst Flower Show Society.

2. All Officers and Committee are to be elected annually at the AGM.

3. The Committee shall have the power to co-opt any Member.

4. The Business of the Society is to be conducted by the President, Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and up to 12 other Members.

5. The Officers shall be ex-officio members of all Committees.

6. Members shall be drawn from residents of Sissinghurst Ecclesiastical Parish and those with existing links with Sissinghurst C of E Primary School. Others may join at the discretion of the Chairman and the Committee.

7. In order to exhibit, a person must be a Member of the Society.

8. The Committee shall reserve the right to visit the garden or allotment of any competitor.

9. Rules for the Annual Shows are to be drawn up by the Committee.

10. Any infringement of the Society’s Rules will disqualify the offending competitor from the relevant class.

11. All complaints are to be made in writing to the Secretary, who shall lay them before the Committee for consideration.

12. Subscriptions to be £5.00 per Person annually or Family membership £10.00 annually.

13. The Treasurer to receive all monies and make all payments on behalf of the Society.

14. Accounts to be audited annually.

15. A General Meeting will be held annually. 

The Society is affiliated wit The Royal Horticultural Society

The Kent Federation of Horticultural Societies


Members are invited to join Staplehurst Society’s Talk each month.  Meetings are held at the Village Centre, Staplehurst, starting at 8 p.m.  Transport is available.   Contact Mitzi Newsom (712956) for further details on any item.   A small fee is charged.

Tuesday 17th January

Staplehurst Talk: The History & Mystery of Garden Grottos – Jane Scotchmer

Tuesday 21st February

Tuesday 21st  March

Staplehurst Talk:  TBC – Jean and Brian Waterman

Staplehurst Talk:  50 greys of shade – Colin Moat


Saturday 25th March


Tuesday 18th April

Staplehurst Talk:  The magical and mysterious world of bees  – Jean Schofield

Tuesday 16th May

Saturday 17th June

Staplehurst Talk:  Penshurst Place – Tony Wiseman


Tuesday 20th June Staplehurst Rose and Sweet pea Competition, North Hall
Tuesday 15th August

Saturday 16th Sept

Staplehurst Talk:  Flower arrangements for showing – Sophie Leathard


Tuesday 19th September

Tuesday 17th October

Monday 13th November

Staplehurst Talk:  Plants with bite – An introduction to carnivorous plants – David Roberts

Staplehurst Talk:  Climate change – Caroline Halfpenny

SISSINGHURST A. G. M. – Parish Room 7.30 p.m, followed by a short talk or film.  Free raffle.  Refreshments including a glass of wine

Tuesday 21st November

Staplehurst Talk:  Plant hunters– Dr Mick Lynn


Why does Sissinghurst Flower Show Society need your data?

We need to collect and store some of your details, for example your name and email address, so that we can let you know about things like show dates, subscription payments, talks, garden visits and social events. 

What data do we collect from members?

We collect some of the following types of data from members (we don’t collect all of this data on all members – we only collect it if it’s needed): 

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Postal address
  • Phone number 
  • Subscription payments
  • Bank details 
  • Age/DOB
  • Gender
  • Photos/video footage 

We check what data we have on members every two years and remove it if we no longer need it. If you leave the group, we’ll make sure we stop using and/or delete any data we don’t need to keep. 

What do we use it for?

Any of the information listed above might be needed to manage your membership with Sissinghurst Flower Show Society and to organise and run our activities including shows, talks, garden visits and social events. We won’t ever use this data for anything else unless you give us your active consent for that additional use.

Do we share your data with anyone else?

We will never give your data to third parties for that third party to use. 

We will sometimes use third party services (e.g. Google Drive) to store or process your data. We will always make sure that they are reputable and secure, and that your data is kept safe. 

If another member of Sissinghurst Flower Show Society asks for your contact details we will only ever share them if you consent. 

What can you ask us to do?

At any time you can ask to view, update or correct any data we hold on you. You can also ask that we stop using your data or that we erase it. To request any of these, please contact the Data Protection Officer, Mrs S McAuley, who will respond within one month. 



We have been unable to trace the exact date of the formation  of the Society but we now have a newspaper cutting, dated July 1913,  reporting that  “The Annual Show in connection with the Sissinghurst Gardeners’ Society was held at Merricroft  Sissinghurst by kind permission of Col., Rowlandson, the president of the Society ‘.  Cranbrook Morris Dancers and The Glee Singers  provided afternoon entertainment  whilst there was dancing on the lawn in the evening to Mr. Francis’ Band.  A special attraction was ‘The brilliant and artistic  electric illumination  of the grounds and dancing ring installed by Mr. J. Churchill.”   The Society was obviously flourishing before 1913

We also have a report from The Courier dated 24th July 1914  for the Annual Show.  A show was held around 1919 in Cooksfield which is the first field on  the right down Chapel Lane.  Since then summer shows have been held from 1920’s at Hazelden Manor, the Manor House, Sissinghurst Place  Collins Farm and now in the School. The 1955 Schedule advises that an  Autumn Show would be held in the School on Oct. 15th.  A Spring Show was introduced about 1970. and was held in St. George’s Institute. but until the early 1950’s only one Show was held each year.

Shows between the wars were great Village Celebrations.  In the early 1930’s a newspaper cutting on a Show at the Manor House reveals not only the Show itself in a big marquee with over 600 exhibits, but a Baby Show, Childrens’ sports, tea and beer tents.  Fruit. Veg and other local produce was on sale.  The Goudhurst Prize Band played during the afternoon and there was dancing in  the evening to Billy Heels Savana Players.  The Show was held on a weekday and the schoolchildren had a day off School.

The 1955 schedule states section classification  for professional gardeners and cottagers.  We are not certain how that was arranged.

In 1955, the annual membership[ fee was 2/6d and prize money 1st prize 5/-, 2nd 2/6d and 3rd 2/-.  In 1971 the sub was 5/- and by 1989 it had risen to £1.00, prize money 30p, 20p and 15p, children 25p 15p and 10p.  Last year the subscription went up to £3.00 and £6.00 for family membership.  We do not think this is above inflation!

On looking through our archives, many classes have remained the same since the earliest schedule we have for the year 1952 but fruit classes reflected the quantity of fruit trees grown  with 3 varieties, 5 of each cooking and dessert apples, and pears, 5 quinces and there were classes for  Cob and walnuts as well as eggs and wine!  Needlework classes  invited members to make  a tea cosy, embroidered guest towel, a hand sewn children’s frock, lady’s jumper, fancy topped boy’s stockings and baby’s bootees.  Children were invited to do an autumn flower arrangement of berries and foliage, a table decoration using shells, cones, moss, and  wild flowers , a model  or toy and a design for a book jacket.

These pastimes  were all very much part of home life at a time when television was very much in  its infancy and people were still recovering from the austerity of the war years.