July & August 2012


Thurs. 13th Sept. - Peter Webb – ‘ The Good Life ‘
Village Hall 7.30 pm.

August visit – Newbourne Springs
Our final summer evening visit took the form of a gentle stroll through the Newbourne Springs. The weather has been reasonably kind to us in this rather damp summer and on this August evening we were fortunate to have a warm and sunny end to our season. So much so that 30 members were also able to sit outside at the Fox to enjoy some refreshment and chat. Well done to the Fox for a splendid hanging basket display.
Sat. 1st September - ‘Specialist Plant Fayre ‘– Langmere.
September is a busy month for the club and we kick off with a visit to Ben Potterton’s autumn specialist plant fayre at Blacksmith’s Cottage, Langmere. This annual event runs from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and includes around 20 specialist plant nursery stands, talks, zoo visits and a gardeners’ question time. Contact me if you need transport.
Sat. 8th September – ‘ Wisley’.
This year’s annual trip is to the RHS gardens Wisley and the coach leaves the Green at 8.00 am. We are due to arrive Wisley at about 10.30 and depart 5.30 pm, arriving back at the Green around 7.30 pm. Our visit coincides with the annual Wisley flower show which attracts many garden lovers. There could be queues for refreshments so you may wish to take a sandwich . We are fully booked with a waiting list so if you cannot make it, or if you are not sure if you have booked contact, Dick on 448656.
Sept. meeting - Thurs. 13th Sept. ‘Peter Webb on The Good Life’ - With summer now behind us its back to the village hall for our first meeting of the autumn season. This is sure to be a fun evening with Peter Webb talking on his personal experiences of ‘The Good Life ‘. 7.30 pm , Village Hall – be there early for the start of a great autumn programme.
International Department – Belgium Fri 24/Mon 27th May 2013.
Sorry but our Int. Dept. have been working overtime and already plans are afoot for a visit to Belgium. We plan to stay in Ghent and Johan will be there to guide us around his home territory. We should have outline details available for our Sept. meeting and expect to open a booking list at our October 11th. meeting when we have Anne Etherdige talking on Autumn Colours.
Rouen 2012 – Sun. 27th.
Another early start and a mist greets us as we leave the hotel ( later to give way to another scorching day). We spy a tramp asleep on a hard bench by the Seine, oblivious to the world, his sole possessions in plastic bags hanging from a rusty bicycle which has both tyres flat. I feel a pang of guilt seeing this poor vagrant but convince myself he is probably an eccentric millionaire and board the coach to make our way to Chateau Gaillard, the stronghold created by Richard the Lionheart with stunning views over the Seine river in the valley below.Wild flowers abound including bee and pyramid orchids and we marvel at the spectacle around us. Johan insisted we should make this stop and we now know why.
Then on to Giverney where Johan takes one group to the Museum of Impressionism and I shepherd the second group in to Monet’s garden. The world and his wife seem to be present – it is a Bank Holiday, the hottest day of the year and mothers’ day !
The water gardens offer some shade but the main gardens are hot and chaotic in the fierce sun with cameras pointing everywhere – especially Americans and Japanese, the latter sporting the obligatory face masks.
After refreshment ( a ham and cheese croissant to die for) we move on to the tranquillity which is Miserey with its chateau, its 20 acres parkland and 6 acres of gardens. We are met by the lovely owner madame Roumilly who guides us through Hell ( collection of spiny & thorn shrubs), Purgatory ( alley of Irish yew) and Eden ( collection of thornless roses). There are also herbaceous borders and rose gardens designed in the English style dating from 1813.
M. Roumilly hands us leaflets and offers their new toilet block constructed in an old stable. Now the French have form when it comes to toilets and I glimpse a slight smile on the owner’s face as he directs us. For years the French have suffered ridicule in the toilet stakes and nowadays seek revenge on unsuspecting tourists – witness the revolving loos of Paris ( which can open at very inconvenient times), St. Valerey with its glass door and the one near St.Michel with time limits! So I am suspicious but some of our ladies fall for the bait and find themselves trapped in sudden darkness – ‘Oh dear what can the matter be’?
So we bade farewell to the ancient Roumillys and wonder what the future holds for them as we travel back to Rouen. Then a stroll in the evening sun to the old market and dinner at Le Torque D’Or and a very relaxed and fun evening ( again see village website for details including my fabulous dessert).
Next month – a memorable visit to Chateau de Miromesnil, mussels alive-o in Dieppe and homeward bound.

Roy Mallett 616

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