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Connections, partnerships... Not quite allotments but still horticulture

GB1I have had a connection with a local Horticultural Charity called Horticap at Bluecoat Wood Nursery, Harrogate, which caters for people with learning difficulties. Their larger than life! (see later) Assistant Manager, Phil Airey and I have become quite good friends over the years, both manning stands at the large and prestigious Flower and Agricultural Shows at Harrogate and have become commonly known as Big Phil and Little Phil.

He invited me to attend their B-B-Q and Awards Evening and to present some of the awards in my new role of President of the NAS. I felt very thrilled and honoured to be asked and immediately accepted.

GB2I know many of the students from their involvement in the shows and from calling in to the nursery if ever I am passing. It is a wonderful positive place to visit.
The Lady Mayor of Harrogate was in attendance to present the in house certificates which are awarded for all types of work carried out. Potting plants, making hanging baskets and wreaths, work in the café and shop and many more on site jobs. There are also certificates presented for the many tasks students do in their contract works carried out off site.

I felt very honoured to be presenting NVQ certificates in horticulture to some of the students, who had gained them through the local Shipley College. This was the first year they had acquired external qualifications.

GB3Finally I was to present the Alan Titmarsh (the charities patron) 'Award of Distinction' to David Rawcliffe for his long and outstanding service looking after the gardens at Bluecoat Wood Nursery.

What a wonderful evening, what a wonderful atmosphere and what a surprise for Phil Airey; his students had only got together and presented him with a certificate 'The Larger than Life Award'. It just demonstrated what a wonderful relationship there is between staff and students. The evening came to a close with a group photo set up by the photographer for the Harrogate Press.

Phil Gomersall, President

Important consequences of a passion to collect plants

An international team of researchers has recently warned again that the number of non resident species that propagate in nature are continuously increasing. A well known reason for this worldwide spreading of plants and animals since the 1950th is the globalization of commerce.

A largely unknown fact is that many invasive plant species had already started their journey to Europe during the 18th and 19th century: researchers travelling around the world brought their discoveries back from Asia and America and these plants were then cultivated with enthusiasm in parks and gardens. In this way the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) originating from China already came to Europe around 1700. The Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) was an appreciated ornamental plant during the Victorian age and was even awarded the gold medal as most interesting plant of the year in Utrecht in 1947. And in the past the giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) was highly appreciated as plant for the garden.

In August 2016 the first regulation concerning invasive alien species of Union concern entered into force. This list is called "list of the European Union". It contains 37 animal and plant species. Among them 24 really live freely in nature in Germany. During this summer this European Union list should be completed by 12 additional species. Among them two ornamental plants of gardening importance: the giant rhumarb (Gunnera tinctoria) and the African crimson fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum).

Gabriele Rautgundis RICHTER
Gartenfreund August 2017

Study session in Copenhagen

From 24th August until 27th August 2017 the delegates of the allotment gardeners met in Copenhagen in order to discuss the future of the international allotment movement and to well position it while taking into consideration the current situation and surroundings.

The Office grants every year diplomas for an ecological gardening, for social activities or innovative projects.

In 2017 already two diplomas for ecological gardening and one diploma for social activities were granted to allotment associations.

In Copenhagen three additional associations were rewarded with diplomas for ecological gardening.

- The association "Mariahoeve" from den Haag (NL)

- The allotment association "Eigen Hof" in Amsterdam (NL)

- The allotment association "Zonder Werken Niets" in Haarlem (NL)

You'll find the motivation and the description of the projects in the joined appendices.

The XXVI Congress in Finland

Mr. Pertti Laitila The Federation of Finnish Allotment Gardens held its four-yearly Congress in Tampere 5th-6th August 2017.

One of the congress delegates and continuing member of the Executive Board, Ms. Marjukka Metsola from the northernmost allotment garden in the world in Rovaniemi, summarised the Congress on the Finnish Federation's Facebook-page: "Lively discussions, several views. Finally we made the important desicions. Democracy works!"

Mr. Pertti Laitila re-elected as President

The Congress unanimously re-elected Mr. Pertti Laitila as President of the Finnish Federation.

Pertti was elected President in the previous Congress in Forssa in 2013. Before that he had been a member of the Executive Board in 2010-2013. Pertti is an experienced allotment gardener. He has been a member of the association Nekalan Siirtolapuutarhayhdistys in Tampere since 1995 and actively taken part in the administration of the association since 1996.


The Executive BoardThe Executive Board

The newly elected Executive Board represents 37 % of the Federation's member associations and the geographical representativeness is excellent.

The first meeting of the new Executive Board will take place on September 5th. In that meeting the Board will appoint the two new Vice-Presidents, the new Management Committee and various working groups.



Two new Honorary Members


Two new Honorary Members

The Congress called two new Honorary Members:

Leena Heino from Tampere is the Honorary President of her association Litukan Siirtolapuutarhayhdistys. She has been working for the improvement of allotment gardening in her own association, on a regional basis and also nationwide.

Liisa Vasama from Helsinki was the President of the Finnish Federation in 2001-2009. During her presidency Liisa actively improved the Federation and many allotment gardeners remember her sympathetic editorials in the Federation's magazine. Liisa Vasama is also highly respected internationally.

Swedish associations were honoured

The Swedish allotment garden congress was organised in Uppsala on 12th and 13th August 2017.

During this congress two allotment associations were honoured.

The allotment association  “Gubbängen” in Stockholm was rewarded for their activities in the nature and environment protection area and the allotment association “Pepper and Pumpkin” in Stockholm for their social activities.

GubbÄngen Pepper&Pumpkin

You’ll find more information about these projects in the documents below.

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