April 2017

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

May visit – Thurs. 11th. May - ‘ Activlives Gardens ‘ Chantry Park
Ipswich IP2 0BS - Cars Green 1.45 pm or meet 2.30 pm.

April meeting – Joe Sharman ‘ Primroses ‘.
For our April meeting we welcomed back Joe Sharman owner of Monksilver Nursery, Cottenham, famed for snowdrops and primulas, and regular Chelsea exhibitor.
Common primroses, primula vulgaris, look best in the wild and we see them in the Spring in ditches and hedgerows. Candelabra and auricula primulas and the Polyanthus group are ideal for gardens, the latter particularly easy to split which is best done after flowering, new roots coming from the base of leaves. Primulas love moist positions and will welcome a drink in dry spells.
Joe obviously has a passion for primulas and his slides featured many I had neither seen nor heard of. Like all good nurserymen Joe brought a wide range of plants for sale, many being snapped up by the 55 members present.
May visit - Thurs. 11th. May ‘ Activlives Gardens’ , Chantry Park Walled Garden, Chantry Park, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, IP2 0BS.
Summer seems to have arrived early this year and in May we hit the road again and make the short journey to the Activlives gardens in Chantry Park , Ipswich.
Note that this is an afternoon visit the only time available for conducted tours, cars at the Green at 1.45 pm, or meet up in the public car park at Chantry Park at 2.30pm.

Summer outing - Wednesday 26th. July – Our long awaited summer outing is coming up fast. In the morning we will visit the famed William Dyson’s Great Comp garden, Sevenoaks , Kent, a 7 acres paradise for garden lovers, followed in the afternoon with a visit to Tom Hart-Dykes World Garden at Lullingstone Castle.
We have conducted tours at both venues. Tickets are £32 and include coach, entrance to gardens and conducted tours. However only a few places are left so if you want to go contact Jenny on 448571 to secure your place.

The club – sixteen years and still going strong! -It felt strange going along to Joe Sharman’s talk with nothing to do other than sitting back and enjoying the evening!
When we first started in January 2001 we wondered if we would make it to December but here we are after 160 plus meetings, 48 evening visits, summer outings, garden parties and amazingly, 13 continental trips ( or somewhere foreign as Dick referred to them). The summer evening trips were always great fun with members getting lost in the Suffolk country side. I must put the record straight on the origins of the club. It was Dick Shepherd’s idea. His orchid society had closed and he approached me with the idea of starting a gardeners’ club in the village. Dick thought if we could get 20 or so people interested we should give it a go. We held a couple of public meetings in the village hall and 80 plus people turned up. People volunteered for the committee, we decided on a membership fee of £5 , and on Thursday 11th. January 2001 we had our first meeting. Maybe more about our first year next month.

Tales from the Allotments - We now have the longer evenings and May is a busy month for seed sowing. We have two or three new plot-holders to join our merry throng. I have had a good season for daffodils, I have about 250/300 bulbs on the plot and these have provided cut flowers for the house from mid Jan to early April and saves picking them from my garden. Also gets me brownie points in the bank! To get the best from daffs, dead head the seed heads but leave foliage to die off naturally.
The exceptionally mild Spring weather has seen asparagus being cut last week in March, a good month before the usual start. More brownie points as asparagus is my other half’s favourite veg!
I have been able to supply a number of friends with my specially bred giant butternut squash seeds, the fruits are large, have a small seed head and are ideal for soup making.
I still have a few seeds left, if of interest give me a call, or order on line www.Roysseeds.com! Order by April 1 !Early May is not too late for sowing.
I have a lot of plants being raised in the greenhouse, squash, pumpkin, courgette, celeriac and sweetcorn which can be planted out after the threat of frost has gone.
The only fly in the ointment at the moment is the drought, about a month now since the last rain and some crops are showing signs of stress, oh dear I am sounding like a farmer again.
Great year for camellias, amazing show. So, glad to report KLR battled through the ankle deep petals to run a full Easter holiday programme in aid of the children’s Hospice. No problems with drivers closing doors – no doors!! Back on the plots I have a bay which is now a blaze of yellow.

Roy Mallett 616