About Sandy & District Horticultural Association

Welcome to the Sandy & District Horticultural Association website. We are affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and have been responsible for the organisation and running of the Sandy Show from foundation in 1869 until 2019. At present, due to the closure of Sandye Place Academy in July 2019 and the subsequent boarding up of the buildings after the 53rd Show in August, there has been a loss of a viable venue. Association Chairman, Andrew Havergal, has recently issued a Public Statement to all parties concerned, re the future of this historic event, the upshot of which means that a 2020 Show will not be possible. 

Sandye Place was the original home of the Annual Show, first held in 1869. We have been elsewhere in between times and have seen many changes in our overall format and staging during the intervening years. You can find out more by going into  our Show Archive.

An early Sandy Show around 1904

2016 was the  50th, ‘Golden Jubilee’ Show of the modern era, which began back in 1965. In recent times, we have chosen to run the Show on one day only – the third Saturday in August – and have for several years have included stalls & attractions. Our primary focus however, has always been the horticultural section which was the most comprehensive and biggest in the area.

Speaker Events

Bedford Borough-20130713-01352
Kathy Brown’s Garden

We also hold occasional talks (not just about practical subjects related to horticulture and amateur gardening) through the year. One example was our January 2015 meeting, which was a theatrical presentation of the history of the canals in Britain. There are one or two trips arranged as well, usually to visit a place of interest related to gardens. Previous examples have been Kathy Brown’s garden at Stevington  (in Bedfordshire), the Swiss Gardens at Old Warden and Bressingham in Norfolk. In March 2016, we had a talk from one of our Show judges, which helped us to understand better how to achieve a winning entry.

These events are arranged at a cost to the Association but members enjoy a discount. You can find out more by going to our membership page. Members also receive a newsletter, which includes news of Association activities and events. For more details about Association activities, go to our News and Diary pages.

Sandy & District Horticultural Association is proud of its success in having mounted these annual shows and you can view the results of some of them in our Gallery.

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