Events - 2021

Eastcote Horticultural Society Spring Show - March 2021
This year’s Eastcote Horticultural Society Spring show was held in an alternative format because of Covid-19 restrictions. The Society issued a list of classes to be exhibited – snowdrops, daffodils, etc. – and the showing criteria. They requested entries to be submitted as photographs taken either in a vase or in the garden. 
On behalf of the Friends’ show team, Sue Place submitted 15 entries: these consisted of snowdrops x 2, various daffodils x 11 and hellebores x 2. With the exception of the hellebores (which have to be displayed floating on water), all the Friends’ entries were taken in situ using a piece of cardboard to create a plain background.

As a result, we were awarded the following:

Class 1 – Snowdrops – a First
Class 2 – Single yellow daffodil – a Second
Class 4 – Single bi-colour daffodil – a First
Class 5 – Three yellow daffodils – a First and a Second

All the exhibitors and exhibits can be viewed on the EHS website.

Mayoral Visit to Eastcote House Gardens – April 2021
Usually, the Mayor of Hillingdon visits Eastcote House Gardens many times during a year. However, because of lockdowns, we have not had the pleasure of inviting the Mayor to our many events.

The Worshipful the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr. Teji Barnes asked if she could visit Eastcote House Gardens to meet the volunteers who have worked on throughout the pandemic to keep the gardens in good order.

We were delighted to invite the Mayor, who stayed for over an hour meeting and chatting with as many volunteers as possible.

London in Bloom Results 2021
The eagerly awaited results of London in Bloom 2021 are as follows:

Categories entered by the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens
Environmental Challenge: Silver
Long Meadow – Large Conservation Area: Silver Gilt
Eastcote House Gardens: Gold
The Walled Garden: Gold and joint Category Winner
Our Community [Volunteer Group award]: Gold
It’s Your Neighbourhood (Voluntary Group Award): Level 5 Outstanding (equivalent to Gold)
Discretionary Award – to Lesley Crowcroft: an Outstanding Achievement Award

Awards achieved by the London Borough of Hillingdon (to which the Friends of Eastcote House Gardens contributed)
Large London Village – Eastcote Village: Gold.
Large City – London Borough of Hillingdon: Gold and Category Winner.

This is a brilliant result across all categories for the volunteers – they should be especially proud of achieving Category Winner for the Walled Garden entry. Also, a special mention for our indefatigable Chairman Lesley Crowcroft on being given an Outstanding Achievement Award - congratulations!

Eastcote Horticultural Society Autumn Show 2021
The Eastcote Horticultural Society Autumn Show was again held as an online event (as the hall where it is held was being refurbished) and followed the familiar format as the Spring and Summer shows.

The Friends' show team submitted 21 entries covering 7 classes and received 14 awards – 3 x 1st , 5 x 2nd and 6 x 3rd.  I would like to thank Janet Green and Linda Wells for their assistance in selecting and preparing exhibits. 
In three separate classes - Class 8 Single bloom rose, Class 18 Culinary herbs and Class 27 Cooking apples - we received awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

All submitted photographs and award allocations can be viewed on the EHS website.
Sue Place

Frogs Galore!!
Long Meadow Conservation Area

The backwater installed a few years ago is now a favourite home for the local frogs. The addition of this small pond has greatly increased the biodiversity of the meadow. It has been noted that a heron is now a frequent visitor, looking for a tasty meal?

Heritage Day – Sunday 19th September 2021
Heritage Day was the first public event held by the Friends for nearly two years owing to Covid-19 restrictions, so we were especially pleased that it proved to be very successful. We attracted a constant stream of visitors throughout the day despite the unsettled weather.

They enjoyed an impressive display of over fifty classic cars as well as several stalls from local organisations including Eastcote Horticultural Society, Ruislip Art Club and Pinner Flower Lovers’ Society. There was also live music from ‘Jazzology’.

Inside the Stables there were more exhibits from the Friends’ Craft Group and the Ruislip, Northwood and Eastcote Local History Society. There was also a display by the Borough’s Museum Officer of some of the finds from the five archaeological digs held at Eastcote House Gardens, which generated a good deal of interest.

One of the busiest areas was the gardeners’ yard and cabin, where the plant and book sale took place. These resulted in excellent sales: overall, the event raised a grand total of nearly £2,000, which will provide a welcome boost to the Friends’ funds after two lean years.

During the day we were pleased to welcome the Deputy Mayor Becky Haggar and her consort, as well as our President Catherine Dann. We appreciated their later expressions of thanks, with Becky referring to the site as “the jewel of the Borough”.

The event was definitely an impressive restart after a gap of two years, and the success was a testament to the hard work of our numerous volunteers.

Beavers’ Visit
On Wednesday 15th September, we hosted a visit from the 4th Eastcote (Wednesday) Beavers, who are based at the scout hut behind St Lawrence Church on Bridle Road. A total of 18 young people attended, along with several leaders, parent helpers and a Young Leader. 

The children were hosted by three Eastcote House Gardens volunteers, who helped them to complete a 10-question quiz. This took them around many different areas of the garden, including the remains of Eastcote House, the orchard and the Walled Garden.

Cathy McCarthy, Beaver Scout Leader, was keen to thank not only the kind helpers who supported their visit, but also the wider group of volunteer gardeners, who keep the gardens looking so beautiful. ​

Tree Dressing - Saturday 27th November 2021
Saturday morning began with cold and rain (courtesy of Storm Arwen), but by the time the children and families arrived for our annual tree-dressing it had at last stopped! Three schools – Warrender Primary, Coteford Infants and Lady Bankes Primary – all brought choirs and entertained us with festive songs. The Worshipful the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr. Roy Chandal, accompanied by Cllr. Catherine Dann, led the dressing of the tree. Having been unable to hold the ceremony last year, the many children and families in attendance made sure this was a very special community event.

The Stables looked festive, and the room was full of beautiful crafts and tea and cakes for sale. A raffle and Teddy Bear Hunt made sure there was plenty to do. A very big thank you to everyone who helped before, during and after the event to make it such a success: our tea stall helpers, our very talented craft team, raffle sellers, Teddy Hunt organisers, outdoor stewards and Audrey on the baubles!

Our historic yew tree is now adorned with hundreds of Christmas decorations – but there is still room for many more! We invite everyone to add a bauble each time they visit the Gardens.