Back to News

Kewite-mail Spring 2024

News / 9th May 2024
The newsletter of the Kew Guild President
Lamprocapnos spectabilis (Bleeding Heart)

We hope that this does not find you too damp and soggy, the rain has been really quite relentless and remarkable in the UK. However, with all things positive, we would certainly like to think we can see past this to what should be the real topic of conversation, the fact that this year’s spring has been the purveyor of fine flowering. Many of you, we are certain, will have witnessed an incredible spring with an abundance of flower and beauty and with many plants also flowering early this year: Prunus, Malus, Rhododendron, Tulipa, Camassia, Fritillaria, Primula to name but a few, have all been flowering on mass and created a spectacle that surely is the topic of conversation for the spring of 2024, and not the wet.

As with spring, we would like to think of the positive this year for the Kew Guild and see us beginning to blossom further as we continue to look forward with some exciting items for the Kew Guild that are just around the corner.

Since the AGM last year we have been working on a number of items for you.

The Kew Guild Journal

This year’s Kew Guild Journal will be landing through your letter box soon and should be with UK members, towards the end of May. Ros Whistance has done a great job of bringing ‘all things Kew Guild’ together in the journal and I for one will be looking forward to receiving and reading through. As requested at the AGM, and after further investigation and with individual approval, it now includes members details printed. For any further details of members (where approval has been given) please link with the Secretariat.


You asked us to develop more events activities and as we post this newsletter to you the first weekend event in Kent, with visits to Bedgebury and Hole Park Gardens is about to get underway. We also have a tour of RHS Garden Hyde Hall on the 8th June and in conjunction with U3A a trip to Tuscany in April/May 2025.

It would be great to get some news on these events, so anybody attending and is willing to take some pictures and write a few words that would be most grateful. Please contact

Also, if anyone has anybody ideas for events for next year in their local area, that they are willing to help organise, please contact the Secretary.

Annual Kew Guild Dinner

A number of members have asked us to review and to look at other options regarding the annual Kew Guild Dinner. For many this has been a huge expense and even prohibitive due to cost. As requested, we have therefore been looking at alternative options. A simpler, cheaper option of a social gathering at the end of May, based at Kew Gardens, however again became problematical. We sent notification about this unfortunate situation and we are now making a concentrated effort to provide a similar network opportunity for September. We will keep you posted.

The Trustees

We have held the first meeting of the year and have been looking at the continued charitable work. As part of the awards scheme we have allocated funds to 7 recipients. We have also been asked to provide assistance with the horticultural trailblazer scheme, the apprentice Discovery Day and also the continued support of the Introduction to Horticulture programme at Kew.


This position has been vacant for some time, but we have had success in finding someone and are excited by the possibility of a new archivist to help us with this important role. Watch this space.

Website for updates

You do not have to wait for the newsletter, the website at will offer a peak of what is going on within the Kew Guild. There is a new page associated with useful links to Kew - and please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have anything of use for the website.

Electronic mailings

As reported in the last newsletter, we had some troublesome IT problems with sending out electronic mailings to members. Thankfully these problems have been solved by moving our server to a more secure and updated system.

Dates for your diaries

  • Tour of RHS Garden Hyde Hall: 8th June 2024. Hyde Hall. Chelmsford Essex. (Please email the secretariat if you are wanting to attend). So far, numbers are 24.
  • AGM of the Kew Guild: Saturday 7th September.
  • Tuscany: Sunday 27th April – Sunday 11th May 2025.

Questions from members

If anybody has any questions that they would like to include in the next newsletter. Please send them to Sara at: All responses should also be sent to Sara and she will pass them on.

Sara will kick off with a question:

“I have a wildlife pond which is being overcome with green slimy algae. I bought some liquid ‘Green Water Clarifier’ over the weekend as recommended by the garden centre, but the cautions include “Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects”, but does say “very well tolerated by fish and plants when used properly” (There are no fish in the pond). I am cautious about using this as I don’t want to kill the dragonfly larvae, pond snails, smooth newts (loads of them) or any other wild creatures. Is this safe to use? I have been fishing out the algae with a net, but now damselfly are laying their eggs on the top of the water. Can anyone suggest what I should do please?”

RHS membership

Finally, we hope that you have now received your RHS membership card, the benefits of this are:

  • RHS Gardens. Unlimited entry to our 5 RHS Gardens for the member and a family guest or 2 children
  • Partner Gardens. Free entry to over 200 Partner Gardens for the member only
  • Savings. Reduced rate tickets to RHS Flower Shows, gardening workshops and family friendly events- there's plenty to enjoy all year round.
  • The Garden Magazine on-line. Monthly inspirational advice and news accessed digitally for Kew Guild Members.
  • Gardening Advice Unlimited, personalised RHS gardening advice from our experts, to answer your gardening questions.
  • RHS The Garden App giving you easy access to tips and advice, the monthly magazine, member handbook and more.

This is all part of being a member of the Kew Guild and through being a member of the Kew Guild we are supporting others, we are supporting you and ultimately we are…

The Kew Guild, supporting people who support Kew.

Floreat Kew,
Rob Brett, President.

Spring flowers

More articles