Dec 2014 + Jan 2015


Thurs. 12th. Feb – Richard Ayres MBE – ‘Snowdrops and Winter Interest Plants’
7.30pm Village Hall.

January meeting – James Baker – The Greenways Project and the importance of gardens for wildlife.
James Baker is the Project Manager for the Greenways Project, whose purpose is to protect and enhance the countryside and open spaces around Ipswich for the benefit of wildlife and local people.The work is mainly done by volunteers, who have a basic short training in Health and Safety and in the aims of the project. Some of these have now been employed in jobs, due to the experience they have gained. Surprisingly the most popular events are the litter picks, which sadly are a never ending task, but one which makes such a difference to the areas in which we live. The Megabashes are also very popular – this is where an area is cleared, the gorse etc is burnt on a big bonfire and at the end baked potatoes are cooked in the ashes! A great day out. There are regular events throughout the year and anyone is welcome to help – just look on their website for the dates and turn up. One of the growing areas of progress is the awareness of the need for corridors, along which wildlife can move from one area to another and town planning is now taking this into account when new development plans are submitted. Our gardens can become part of this corridor especially if we allow a few holes in fences to allow the wildlife through and a few plants to help sustain them on their journey.

Christmas meeting – Nick Hamilton ‘Barnesdale after Geoff’.
95 members and guests ( many devoted fans of the late Geoff Hamilton) packed the Church Hall for Geoff’s son Nick’s illustrated talk ‘ Barnesdale after Geoff’.
It is more than 30 years since Geoff Hamilton began presenting Gardeners’ World for BBC2 from his home at Barnesdale on what was no more than an 8 acre ploughed field. Week by week,over the years, Geoff created themed gardens including an allotment up until his untimely death .
Nick took over from his father and his talk, illustrated with brilliant pictures, showed how Barnesdale has been developed to now boast 39 small garden rooms linked by landscaped borders.
Today, under Nick’s stewardship, Barnesdale has something for everyone, Geoff’s original gardens, allotment area, a plant nursery, gift shop and tea rooms. Throughout the year there are events for everyone – gardening and arts and crafts courses and RHS workshops.
Barnesdale is open every day except Christmas Eve and Day and is a must visit for Geoff fans. Nick’s talk had everyone spellbound and the evening continued with the now traditional refreshments and draw plus a free gift of Bosch gardening bags ( thank you Debbie).
Our Christmas event does not just happen and our thanks to all who donated the fabulous food and draw prizes Thanks to Debbie, Karen and Tracy for the draw, Hester and Jenny for traditional punch, Alma, Jo and Maxine for organising food, Ray, Ralph and Paul for setting up and all who helped on the night.
The perfect finale to 2014.

February meeting – Richard Ayres MBE ‘Snowdrops and Winter Interest Plants,
Thurs. 12th. 7.30pm Village Hall.
In February we welcome the ever popular Richard Ayres MBE. Richard is no stranger to Kirton and Falkenham talking on his time at Kirtling Tower, as head gardener at Anglesey Abbey and his own garden at Lode. This time it will be ‘Snowdrops and Winter Interest Plants’. We expect a good attendance for this talk so come early and if you have not already done so renew your club membership (£8).

Int. Dept. Troyes 2015
Jo is working with Johan on our May bank holiday trip and there should be an update sheet available at the February meeting.

Tales from the Allotments
The plots tend to look a bit drab at this time of the year with too much bare earth to be seen, also for me January is a rest month, only harvesting veg and monitoring neighbour Bob’s annual rodent cull. Fortunately the dramatically heralded ‘weather bomb’ failed to materialise in this neck of the woods despite all the dire forecasts. Hopefully the weather will soon pick up and we will be able to get some sowing done.
I was asked about the term ‘potager’ which has appeared in notes about our trips to euroland. I have seen the term used in connection with French monastic ‘jardins potager’ to describe the Monks’ habit (sorry) of planting veg into flower and herb borders or it may have been derived from the French ‘potagere’( vegetable garden).
Either way strictly nothing to do with allotments and the plotters. I am sure someone will put me right, they usually do.

Roy Mallett 616

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