October 2013


Thurs. 14 November – Rod Leeds – ‘Winter and Spring Bulbs’
7.30 pm Village Hall.

October meeting – ‘Around the Garden Shows’- Stormy winds, people evacuated from their homes along the E A coast, but 58 stalwarts were at the village hall for the visit of Richard Ford. Richard, is now retired, but previously was the owner of the renowned Park Gate Nursery at Mendlesham. The nursery specialised in hosters and offered an incredible 500 different species. In his heyday Richard attended up to 20 major shows a year involving much hard work and devotion to the cause. In his career Park Green was awarded 170 medals, inc 80 gold of which 7 were at Chelsea from 12 entrants.
Richard’s favourite show was Malvern Spring and I sensed least favourite was Chelsea because of the sheer workload. Chelsea was the only non seasonal major show which also brought it’s own special demands.
Now retired Richard retains his enthusiasm and treated us to an amazing pictorial record of a career attending shows nationwide. Despite leaving hospital two days earlier Richard was determined to be with us for the evening – a true gentleman. Mary his wife came with him and as they now live close by at Kesgrave they may drop in to see us in the future.

November meeting – Thurs 14th. –Rod Leeds ‘Winter and Spring Bulbs’
7.30 pm Village Hall. For our November meeting we welcome back the popular Rod Leeds to the village hall. In addition to Rod’s talk, tickets for our Christmas party will be available and there will be a news sheet for the Belgium trip , so, as usual, come early!

Christmas Party – Thurs. 12 December 7.30pm Church Hall
Charlie Haylock – ‘An Eccentric Look at Suffolk’.
Yes the Christmas party is on the horizon and your early season present is the good news that there will be no charge for members. However, to help with catering and seating you will need a ticket and these will be available at the Nov meeting. There will be a limited number of tickets for guests at £5. This should be a fun packed evening so don’t miss out on your ticket. More news at the Nov meeting.

Belgium 2014 – This latest venture into the mad world which is Euroland is fully subscribed with a waiting list. News sheet available at the Nov meeting. Deposits, £65, due end October.

Seed and Plant orders – we will be using only Dobies for 2014 orders and catalogues are now available from Ray at 6, Rectory Lane, 448291 or they will be available at the Nov meeting. Ray will need your completed order form back to him by end of November to submit to Dobies.

Scouts Quiz – Church Hall Sat. 16 Nov 7.45pm.
Tickets £6 each to include puds and coffee. Our very own Roger Salter will be exercising your brain cells, teams of 8. Tickets from Karen and Keith 448817.

Tales from the Allotments
Autumn – season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – the special smells of Autumn fill the air – or is it Bob’s first load of farmer Johnson’s many seasonal deliveries of Suffolk gold to the plots. Yes it all signals the start of a new season – seed catalogues fall on the mat like confetti and we will soon be sowing garlic, onions, broad beans etc.
The past season has been difficult (is there ever an easy one?) cold and wet May & June, hot & dry July & August – first of many water bowsers spotted mid July! There have been exceptional crops of fruit, sweet corn and in particular butternut squash. The variety ‘Hunter’, bred for the northern Europe climate is fine but I now also grow the exotics from the Mediterranean and Africa. Just buy one from the supermarket, keep the seed and go from there. I have been doing this for a few years now. These so called hot climate butternuts are much bigger and the flesh is so sweet.
In the wild, blackberries and field mushrooms abound and my neighbours Bob & Rosemary picked 50 large rooms one morning – some big breakfast. You need to know your stuff with mushrooms ,of course, but Bob is a fungi expert.
Our good friend Michael Perry (T&M) made the gardening supplements recently with their new TOMTATO – a plant with tomatoes on top and with a root of potatoes, a bit steep at £14.99 a plant – surely the top gimmick of 2013.
So it is harvest time with a vengeance as we all reap the Autumn rewards of our labours with green houses, sheds and garages now acting as storage for fruit and veg. I am particularly grateful to Tony for risking injury helping gather a record apple crop.There are now some 30 plots being worked, well often more talk than action, and as always new faces appear each season blending seamlessly into our merry band
Breaking News - a new service for club members. Following the successful trial pruning workshop ‘How to demolish a Magnolia in two easy lessons ‘Wicked Mickey’ will be offering further master classes throughout the Autumn – free to members.

Roy Mallett 616

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