August 2014

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 11th. September - Richard Ford – ‘Ornamental Grasses’
7.30pm Village Hall

August Visit – John Lambert ‘s Garden, Lark’s Hill, Tuddenham.
32 members and guests conjured up a dozen different routes in order to visit our last garden of the summer evening programme. John Lambert was there to greet us and explained he bought Lark’s Hill 30 years ago and has created most of the gardens since then. A total of some 8 acres, there are formal areas plus woodlands . Lark’s Hill opens under NGS and there are some 30 different areas, including borders, lawns, ponds, streams, orchards and a central summer house where John’s wife dispensed cakes and teas.
The summer house has wonderful views across the Fynn valley to Tuddenham village and beyond. Under NGS John operates a virtual season ticket scheme for open days – once paid further visits free. Allow 2/3 hours to cover everything and make the most of those cakes!
So a fitting climax to our 14th. summer season of visits.
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Chairman Roy reminisces about Monet’s Garden

Sat. 6 Sept. - Autumn Specialist Plant Fayre,
Ben Potterton’s Blacksmith’s Cottage, Nursery, Dickleburgh.

September meeting – Thurs. 11th. Sept. Richard Ford, ‘Ornamental Grasses ‘ 7.30pm Village Hall.
A real treat to start off our winter programme, we welcome back Richard Ford, retired nurseryman and showman who will be talking on ‘Ornamental Grasses’. Richard is an entertaining and professional speaker and his return is the perfect start to our indoor programme. In the afternoon our good friends at the WI invite us to join them at 2.00pm to hear Dr. Karol Silovsky speaking on the work of the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service . SARS is an emergency medical charity whose specialist doctors and paramedics assist East of England Ambulance Service. Let me know if you wish to be there as the WI need to know numbers for their renowned refreshments which will follow the talk.

Summer Outing – Sat. 13th. Sept. – Lamport Hall and Gardens.
Our eagerly awaited summer outing is upon us and we depart the Green at 9.00am. A light lunch is included but there are no casual refreshments or picnics so take a sandwich/drink for the coach. We are due back at about 7.30pm.

Int. Dept. (aka Shaw’s Tours) – Belgium 2014.
Sat. 24th. May –Another busy day dawns and we head for Leuven, home of the oldest botanical gardens in Belgium – originally created by the university in 1735 for students of medicine.The gardens are kept in immaculate condition, especially the grassed areas so perfect they could be plastic. A good start to the day and next it is one of Johan’s famed walking tours ( not for the faint hearted) taking in the old town and cathedral. A pause for lunch in the bustling market area where we are entertained by the non-stop procession of wedding parties through the town hall. Do they ever get mixed up in there, or is there a left over bride or groom at the end of the day?
Then its off to the largest botanical gardens in Belgium , Meise. Large does not do justice to this place, it is vast, you could spend days there and not see everything – total area 92 hectares and boosting 18,000 kinds of plants. So where to start , the amazing plant palace is a must, 13 inter connecting glass houses, 11 of which simulate the climates of different regions of the world. The Victoria houses the amazing,world’s largest water lilies – you could land a 747 on them!! Elsewhere there are forests, marsh and swamp areas, a castle and three vast lakes. The one thing missing is a bus service to get around.
Time is running out so we head for the Orangery for coffee before departing. At the coach park Mark is having, and winning, a running battle with yet more wedding parties. In Euroland gardens are definitely the place to record the happy scene!
Then our last visit for the day, the Vrijbroek gardens in Mechelen where the 700 different varieties of roses are at their seasonal best. After the roses there are other themed plant gardens to view and for me the single highlight of the trip was the stunning peony garden with its collection of 600 plus varieties some bigger than dinner plates.
So a hectic day draws to a close and there is time for a well earned drink in the hotel bar before our group dinner. The duty manager joins us and recounts his previous night’s experience when he encountered a boxer short clad sleep walker in the corridor. Johan’s walking tours are taking there toll!
So after a long, hot day we have a relaxed buffet dinner at our hotel after which we have time to chat and thank Johan, Ria and Mark our driver for all their work on our behalf. We will sleep well tonight unless, of course, we are the phantom sleep walker in which case its yet another walking tour!

Next month – Chris Ghyselen’s stunning garden and the chocoholics roam the streets of Bruges.

Still on offer – 8’ x 6’ greenhouse and 10’ x 8’ shed, free to a good home.

Roy Mallett 616