The Society was originally named The Cottage Garden Society and was possibly established in 1855 (information which came to light when the old Hartfield Vicarage was put up for sale in 1986, and a box of very old Parish Magazines were discovered). But the first definite recorded mention of the Society was in 1861 (details published in the Hartfield Parish Magazine dated June 1867) and this is the date we have adopted as correct, making the Society now 152 years old! We celebrated our 150th Anniversary in 2011 with a very successful summer show and some special events to mark this special occasion.
The Society changed its name to the present one in August 1893 and the Schedule for that summer show in the vegetable and flower classes was separated into “Professional” and “Amateur” gardeners. This division continued up until 1989 when the professional gardeners no longer exhibited.
For the first time in 1963 six local Horticultural Societies competed against each other in the show for the Inter-Society cup based on the best exhibit combining a tray of vegetables, flowers and domestic classes and this continued until 2001. In 2011, as part of our 150th summer show, this event was reinstated and we shall continue this now as a regular feature of our summer show.
Although in past years our Society has put on two shows, one in August and one in October, for the first time in 2012, we combined with the Hartfield Village Fete and the Horticultural Show was included with the Village Fete on the Town Croft. This proved to be a very successful joint venture and it was therefore decided to continue with a combined Fete and Horticultural Show, which is now the most popular event in the Village.