January 2014

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 13th. February – ‘Green Thumb – Lawn Care’
7.30pm Village Hall

January meeting - Sonya Burrows ‘ Drought Gardening’
A rare dry and sunny day in this wet and dreary mid winter welcomed our guest speaker Sonya Burrows who was accompanied by her mum and dad to assist with the technical side ( a first, I think) of her talk on drought gardening. Not much sign of drought at this soggy time but, perhaps, a reminder that the Felixstowe peninsula is one of the driest parts of northern Europe. Sonya’s excellent pictorial presentation of drought tolerant shrubs and plants were all from the Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Martlesham areas and included a stunning hawthorn (Paul Scarlet), ornamental grasses, white sea kale, yuccas and my favourite hardy geraniums. So a very colourful start to our new programme, appreciated by a full hall of 72 brand new members, in fact over 80 members already signed up for 2014.

Christmas meeting – Charlie Haylock – ‘An Eccentric Look at Suffolk’
A non gardening speaker for our Christmas party may have been something of a gamble – but what an evening it turned out to be.
Charlie Haylock brought his own special brand of Suffolk humour to the party but this was interspersed with items from his vast knowledge of history, dialects and origins of words. A master speaker, he had the audience in his hands and it is easy to see why his one man shows are so popular in East Anglia – even Norfolk! Yes, I took a bit of flack as did Essex boy Mike but all in a good spirit. He did admit that the Suffolk Punch horse actually originated in Norfolk but countered that by claiming my hero Horatio Nelson was half Suffolk based on the doubtful fact that his mother Catherine Suckling came from Barsham – only just the wrong side of the Waveney!
C.H. was kept busy signing various books he has written ( including his latest – ‘Don’t Hurry Me – I’m Suffolk’) and CD’s, and very generously donated £25 to the club. He then proceeded to oversee the club draw to keep the party going before finally leaving for home around 11.00pm!
So a memorable evening for 95 members and guests for which a few thanks are due.
Debbie and Karen organised the annual draw which raised £201 for club funds, Jo, Alma and Jenny masterminded food and numbers and Dick and Hester provided the excellent punch. Special thanks to members who donated refreshments and draw prizes, Ray and Paul for setting up, and all who helped clear the hall at the club’s latest ever finish, and Yvonne whose idea it was 2 years ago to book Charlie Haylock.

Belgium – 22/25 May 2014
Everything is on track for our latest Euro adventure . Two information sheets were distributed at the January meeting :-
Confirmation of price and what you need to take with you , date of final payment which should include travel insurance details.
Details of proposed group dinner for Sat. 24th. May.
If you have not received these missives please contact Alma on 448616.

2014 Programme

If you were at the January meeting you will have renewed your membership and received your programme card. Our AGM follows the March 13 meeting , we have a garden party at Hester’s Sat. 28th.June and a very special guest for our Christmas party, plus a packed programme of visits and meetings.

Tales from the Allotments
We are now in the midst of winter and gardens and plots are looking the worst for wear, so time for a spot of digging but mainly tidying. With everything dormant it’s good to have some signs of the new season and already we see shoots of broad beans, onions and garlic plus sprouting broccoli. It has been a good year for roots, especially carrots,parsnips, turnips leeks etc- all this despite last years cold Spring when sowings were anything up to 4/6 weeks late. Maybe we tend to sow seeds too early – often packets of parsnip seeds will advise sowing in February , far to early for a veg which is notoriously slow to germinate.
Anyhow seed deliveries are arriving and we get ready to go again.

Other News
There are problems, again, with electricity supply to the village hall. The voltage supply is insufficient for peak demands which is affecting the lighting . With heaters and lights on we will sometimes experience problems with the lights. The suppliers are on the case (again) and we hope the problem will soon be fixed. Come on this is 2014, and electricity has been around for a few years and we should be able to illuminate a small hall without flickering lights! Meanwhile we are asking residents of Gray’s Orchard not to boil too many kettles on second Thursday of the month ,evenings. This is also bad news for Kirton Light Railway whose HS3 extension to Falkenham may have to be steam hauled until full power is restored.
Always at the forefront of the latest technology Roselea Express now have a website and the plan is that you will be able to download your 2014 Christmas turkey with all the trimmings straight into your oven! Trouble is that John is now spending all day surfing the net!

Roy Mallett 616