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Joyce McIntosh - An Appreciation

by John Sheldon and Helen Lee

From its foundation in 1848, the Gifford Horticultural Society has been overseen by a committee of enthusiasts. Today the Society still relies on people of a like mind who are passionate about gardens. Joyce McIntosh, who sadly died on the 9th May 2020, was such a person. Although originally a Flower Show volunteer, she was co-opted to the committee in 2011. She also served as a Show steward, assisting in the challenging task of managing the flower sections – a role that can be quite fraught, with the overwhelming number of entries. In this she was always reliable, always on hand to help out, and always busy.

Joyce also regularly attended and participated in the winter meetings and summer outings. This photo was taken at our recent outing to Wemyss Castle. She also helped with logistics for the outings. I’m sure she viewed outings as yet another opportunity to indulge her passion, to learn and to buy more plants!

Joyce had an amazing skill of being able to grow virtually anything from seed or a cutting, as reflected in the range of quality plants that she generously donated to the Society’s two plant sales every year. She also ran the plant stall for the annual church sale. She would admit that she grew more than her garden could hold. Her front garden in East Saltoun displayed some of her collection of Hostas, and she could tell you all their names.

Her comprehensive understanding of plants and wildlife made her a regular member of the Gifford team for the annual Inter-Society quiz, and it was often this wide knowledge that helped make the team the one to be beaten.

Over much of this time few knew that Joyce was bravely coping with a serious health challenge, so her sudden passing shocked many. She never complained and always gave freely of her time and expertise. She was a great friend of the Society. Sadly her passing coincided with what would have normally been the run up to the annual plant sale. At that she would have been buzzing behind the counter as usual.

This is not just an appreciation of all that Joyce contributed to the Society but a thank you.


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