September 2012

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 11th. October – Anne Etheridge – 7.30 Village Hall
‘Autumn Colours’

Sept. meeting - Peter Webb - ‘The Good Life‘
We welcomed Peter Webb for our first meeting of the ‘ indoor season’. Peter hails from the Essex coastal marshes and related his hilarious experiences from first growing a few veg in his front garden , to acquiring an allotment, and finally buying a derelict mink farm with 6 acres of land in the Essex backwaters.
Sacked from his local allotment society and determined to be independent his ventures into keeping chickens, turkeys, sheep and other unfortunate animals had 53 members in fits. Never one to seek advice his answer to every challenge – go to the library and read a book on it!
Somehow this walking disaster with an heroic and understanding wife called Mary has managed to achieve the ‘ good life ‘ in rural Essex.

Sept. visit - Blacksmith’s Cottage, Langmere – Plant Fayre.
Around 15 members made the trip to Ben Potterton’s nursery for the annual RHS plant fayre. The all day event attracted a big crowd who enjoyed some 20 specialist plant nurseries, talks, flower arranging and a light hearted gardener’s question time. The latter finished with one of our members among the panel although I guess this was done to stem the flow of questions from our members in the front row. All the Potterton family were present including baby Rowan.

Summer Outing – RHS Wisley
55 members and guests travelled by coach to the RHS gardens at Wisley which was also hosting the annual Wisley flower show. So a vast crowd of people on what was probably the hottest day of the year. It was decided to visit late summer to see the gardens in a different mode and without doubt the hot borders were outstanding with their vivid colours . Wisley is a must for any garden lover but it is a vast place and even a full day is not enough to see everything , and the flower show was an added bonus. So we returned tired and happy after a long day in the sun.
Out thanks go to Dick and Cathie who made all the arrangements and also to Malcolm our excellent Galloway’s driver.

Thurs. 11th. Oct. – Anne Etheridge - ‘Autumn Colours’.
For our October meeting we welcome Anne Etheridge from Diss speaking on Autumn Colours. This is Anne’s first visit to the club and we expect a strong turnout as we will also be taking bookings for our 2013 trip to Belgium.

Christmas Party – Thurs. 13th. December, Church Hall
There will be no charge for this year’s party but members will need a ticket so we can track numbers. Tickets available at the October 11th. meeting.

Belgium 24/27 May 2013
Plans are in hand for a trip to Belgium next year and the International Dept. will be at the October 11th. meeting to open bookings. So if you are interested be there to secure your place – deposits payable by 31st. October 2012.

Committee meeting 7.30 pm Friday 12th. October at Roy’s.

Rouen 2012 – Mon 28th.
Our last breakfast at Hotel D’Angleterre and as usual our immaculately dressed driver Michael is there early ready for another day. I ask if he realises the coach is clamped outside, a joke which I immediately regret as he jumps up from his table his face whiter than his scrambled eggs. Normality is restored and soon luggage is aboard and we are off to Chateau de Miromesnil catching sight of our bench sleeping vagrant still outside the hotel
A towering beech avenue shelters the approach to this 16th. century chateau where Guy de Maupassant was born. The young owners Jean and Nathalie Romatet greet us and we have a guided tour of the grounds, dominated by a 200 years old cedar, the flower borders and classic traditional walled kitchen garden. Jean also takes us into the family chapel in the grounds and the ground floor rooms of the chateau.
Today the Romatets provide bed and breakfast in five rooms and apartments and there is also a gite in the grounds which is furnished and let. These young owners, in contrast to the Romillys at Miserey , are making a commercial success and at the same time protecting the 500 years old building and grounds.
There is scaffolding at one end of the building , a legacy from ww2 when occupying American troops tried to get a fire going with the help of cans of petrol, there was extensive damage which is still being repaired.
Jean organises a group photo for us ( see village web site), minus one member of the group foiled by the curse of les toilettes Francais.
Reluctantly we have to bade farewell to our hosts and in no time we arrive in sunny Dieppe where we pause for traditional meals of either shell fish or the famed local cheeses.
Next up is Calais where we say farewell to Johan and Ria who after so many trips are part of our lives. An uneventful journey back to Kirton green where we arrive on schedule at 8.00 pm.
Another successful trip into Euroland for which we must thank Jo, Martyn and Alma who I can report are already engulfed with next year’s venture.
Our grateful thanks as ever to our dear friends Johan and Ria without whose input these trips would not be possible. Michael our driver was brilliant ( and forgiving) and being interested in gardening joined us at all the main visits.
Maybe some space for tales from the allotments next month!

Roy Mallett 616