September 2011 meeting

Sept. Meeting – Ben Potterton – ‘Late Summer Colour’
Summer is over and we were back in our newly refurbished village hall for the visit of Ben P. In fact wife Sarah , now heavily pregnant with Ben mark 2, also came along for the evening.
Ben’s props amounted to a large bunch of flowers and he proceeded to give us an absorbing & amusing talk in his usual inimitable style. Every plant and flower was described as they passed through members’ hands ( losing some seeds on the way) to Mike Sampson at the rear who displayed previously unknown talent for flower arranging ( no truth in the rumour that he is absconding to the flower club!).
A colourful evening by a talented speaker who also had the measure of the ‘front row’. Some brilliant flowers, my favourite being the delicate Geum, Barbara Lawton.
Ben gave us an update on the Langmere zoo and nursery & an evening club visit there is overdue.
Plants were purchased during chat over tea before Ben & Sarah, still two, left for home – certainly a club night delivery would definitely have been a first. 60 members would have witnessed such an event!
Ben’s web site – Blacksmith’s Cottage Nursery – is at

Oct. Meeting – Thurs. 13th. October, Claire, Bourne Nurseries –‘Seasonal Plants’
Thurs. 13th. Oct. Village Hall 7.30pm

You will all remember our summer visit to the new Bourne Nurseries and it is good to welcome Claire who will be talking on ‘ Seasonal Plants ‘ and no doubt will have some for sale. Come early for this one as we should have news on our 2012 Euro visit, and tickets will be on sale , £5, to members for our 2011 Christmas special.

September Plant Fayre – Blacksmith’s Cottage Nurseries, Langmere.
A hot, sunny Norfolk day, an autumn plant fayre, garden seminars, etc. – everything a gardener could possibly want and more. A number of us spent a great day at this annual event, which included excellent talks from Ben Potterton, Guy Barker ( his mum was there to keep the ladies at bay) plus live folk music in the grounds, conducted tours of the extended gardens and wildlife areas and culminating with a lively Gardener’s Question Time which included a lively Alan Gray!
Perhaps this popular annual event should go into our programme, 2012 is Sat. 1st. Sept.

International Dept. Rouen 25/28 May 2012.
In true Forth Bridge style your committee are already making plans for a return to Normandy, centred on Rouen, a shorter trip than this year.
Dates will be Fri 25 to Mon 28 May incl. – (note: not the UK bank holiday as we do not wish to detract from the royal jubilee celebrations).
We hope to have outline details for the Oct. 13 meeting & plan to take bookings at the November meeting.

Christmas meeting – Thurs. 8 December – 7.30 pm Church Hall
Adrian Bloom, Bloom’s of Bressingham.
Tickets will be on sale to members, £5, at the October meeting – be there.

Committee meeting – at Roy’s, 7.30pm. Fri 14 October.

Village Hall Quiz - Friday 7th. October 7.30pm, quizmaster our very own Roger Salter. Tickets from Alison Mellors or Sandra Abbot - £5 incl. light refreshments in aid of hall funds.

Tales from the Allotments
Another autumn season is upon us and the glut of fruit and veg is of epic proportions. I have some very understanding friends and neighbours (at least I did have) who help me out by going way beyond the recommended five a day, but enough is enough and inevitably much finishes on the compost heap and will help me to grow even more next year!
At the end of May, after 3 month’s drought, we feared the worst but the summer rains have brought amazing results – 2 crops of broad beans of same plants, raspberry canes 9 feet high and growing, the longest ever runners, non stop dwarf beans and excellent onions, shallots and garlic. Sorry dear friends but there is more to come on the squash, pumpkin and squashkin front! And here we are up to our armpits in fruit and veg and the supermarkets are still selling all this stuff imported from Africa – madness. This week I saw a woman with several packets of beans from Kenya in her trolley, The packets were shiny but the beans looked tired, and I can’t give them away! If you can’t grow your own at least get it from someone like John Coles who is growing much of his stuff in and around the village. Excuse my rant!
Lots of beautiful autumn raspberries this year and I thought that they were a relatively newcomer but I see from Fred Last’s mother’s Victorian book ‘The Gardener’ there is mention of two strains – Lloyd George and Hailshamberry which have been around for over 100 years. Raised beds also were very much in use, again unknown to me – as Yvonne says ‘he knows nothin’!

Roy Mallett

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