Meteorological spring began on the first of March and the new growing season is fast approaching. The early blossom is out and we are busy planning ahead for our shows and events over the coming few months. Dewhurst_2018 Cherry blossom at DewhurstThere will be full details in your April newsletter and if you have any articles or information for inclusion they need to reach the newsletter editor by 10th March. The newsletter should reach all members during the first week in April, if you are not yet a member click on the link on this page for details.


A New Year and a new growing season is just round the corner, we would like to wish everyone a happy and productive 2020. For members, annual subscriptions are now due, if you do not renew by direct debit, you can find a form which was enclosed with the October newsletter or click on the link at the side of the page to go to the membership forms.

Your January newsletter will be arriving in the next couple of weeks with details of all our activities and courses over the next few months. There is also a range of interesting articles covering everything from new ideas in growing blueberries, a report on the progress of the blueberry trial, ideas for labels that don’t fade, a look back at a gardeners diaries from the past, the results of one members eco friendly war on beasties, more on the history of apples and even something about growing kiwi fruit. Plenty to keep you amused while the long dark evenings continue.

AGM Saturday 9th November

Our Annual General Meeting will be held at 1.30pm on Saturday November 9, 2019, in the Jubilee Room at Harlow Carr Gardens. If you are attending, please bring with you your membership card, or wear your NFG sweat shirt, to get free admission to the Garden.

The AGM is very brief and will be followed by a talk by Paul Cook, at present curator of Harlow Carr and previously curator of Ness Garden on the Wirral (originally the University of Liverpool Botanic Garden). These are two very different garden situations, the Wirral being a relatively warm site but exposed to sea winds from Liverpool Bay whilst we know the cool and normally damp situation at Harlow Carr. 

We will be interested to hear what he thinks about Harlow Carr, which is the topic of his talk

Apple Event 30th October to 3rd November

Our annual apple event will take place at RHS Harlow Carr gardens from 30th October to 3rd November. The display of locally grown apples will be in the greenhouse with apple identification in the lodge. Why not come along to see the huge number of apple varieties that can be grown in the north and get advice on growing fruit at home. If you are bringing apples for identification please bring 3 representative fruit from the same tree.

Northern Fruit Group Fruit Show

As summer draws to a close it is nearly time for our very own fruit show which will be held on Saturday 7th September in the Sunley Room of the Bramall Learning Centre, Harlow Carr. Entries are restricted to members of NFG and the RHS. So why not have a look around your ripening fruit and see what you might like to put on display? Full details of all the different classes, plus useful information about showing fruit, were enclosed with the July newsletter.
There are novice classes especially for those new to showing and anyone may enter the open classes. There are prize cards and money for 1st , 2nd and 3rd places and a special prize for the exhibitor with the most points in the novice classes and the most points overall in the show. Don’t worry if you are not sure how to stage your fruit, there will be other more experienced members there who will be more than willing to help you.
Remember, nothing ventured – nothing gained, it could be you walking off with the prize money. So go on have a go, it would be good to fill the tables and demonstrate how well fruit can be grown in the North.
Setting up takes place in the morning then the show will be open to the public from 2.30 pm until 4.00 pm. Presentation of the prizes will be at 3.30 pm. At the request of Harlow Carr, to allow the public to view the show, exhibits should not be removed until after 4.00 pm.

Summer Shows

It is July so that means it is time for the Great Yorkshire Show, followed a week later by RHS Tatton show. We will be at both shows with our display of soft fruit so why not come along and say hello. The Great Yorkshire Show is this week from Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th July. You will find us in the floral marquee just to your right as you enter through the main gate.

Yorkshire Show Stand

Mount Grace Priory Garden Event

Mount Grace Priory are holding a garden event Saturday Sunday 22 and 23 June. The N.F.G. will have a stand next to the old orchard inside the priory grounds, between 11am and 3pm both days to answer questions about fruit growing. Why not have a nice day out in beautiful suroundings and come and see us.

Open day at Dewhurst Rd. Teaching Garden

On Sunday 19 May we will be holding an open day at our Dewhurst Rd. teaching garden in Huddersfield. Come along between 11am and 3pm to see what we are doing and admire the blossom. Refreshments and produce will be available.

The cherry blossom at Dewhurst Road earlier in the year

How to find us:

Dewhurst Road runs between Bradford Road (A641) and Woodhouse Hill. The entrance to the allotments is on the back street behind the garages near the Woodhouse Hill end, post code HD2 1BW. There is limited parking on site. 
Buses run along the B641 (X63/363) and Woodhouse Hill (328). All leave from the bus stops in George Square outside the rail station. Get off before the bus starts climbing the hill and walk along Dewhurst Road to the garages.

Next members meeting

The next members’ meeting will be held on Saturday May 11, at 1.00pm, in the Jubilee Room in the Learning Centre at Harlow Carr. This meeting will feature a very informal “Fruit Growers Question Time”; please come armed with your questions, queries and observations. Remember you will need to show your membership card to get free entry to the gardens


Restoration pruning at the Great Yorkshire Showground on Thursday 14th March

We will be carrying out restoration pruning on the apple trees at the Great Yorkshire Showground on Thursday 14th March. All members are welcome but contact Margaret Drury in advance so she knows how many to expect, contact details in your last newsletter.
You will need a packed lunch and hot drink as there will be no facilities open on site and good boots and tough gloves are advisable.
If you have loppers, pruning saws and secateurs please bring them along but some equipment will be available for those without their own.