February 2013


February meeting – ‘A-Z ‘of Roses - Mr. S. White, Peter Beales Roses.
More records tumble – 77 members present & 106 members already signed up for 2013! Simon and wife Anita arrived with a truck load of roses and climbing plants! Simon’s illustrated talk literally covered roses A –Z plus tips on pruning,grafting, suckers & pests - milk & water effective, but must be semi-skimmed!!
Tea & purchases became something of a scrum resulting in the White’s returning to Norfolk with a near empty van. Simon donated a rose ‘ Double Delight’ to the club and this will there to be won at the March meeting. We hope to arrange a visit to Beales’ in 2014. Sadly chairman Peter Beales passed away in January.

March meeting and AGM Thurs 14 March 7.30 pm Village Hall
“The Gibberd Garden”- Richard Ayres MBE
For our March meeting we welcome back Richard Ayres who will be giving an illustrated talk on the renowned Gibberd Garden, Harlow. This is where Richard started his illustrious career so we look forward to his visit. A word of warning – our two highest attendances in the village hall( before Feb!) have been for talks given by Richard so come early for a seat as it can be chilly sitting in the porch on a March night!
Our AGM follows and I hope you will support the committee by staying on after coffee - max 30 mins, I promise. The treasurer will present accounts for 2012 and there will be a report on last years activities. We also have to elect officers and five committee members. Our programme gets busier each year and we must have officers and committee to function. Nomination forms from Mike S. or myself.

International Dept. - Belgium trip , 23/26 May 2013.
Novotel Mechelen Centrum, Galloways touring coach and eurotunnel are all booked and our busy schedule is being planned. Final payments are due 1st. March and those travelling should have received details. Don’t forget insurance information which we have to provide for Galloways. The dreaded euro has strengthened in recent weeks which puts pressure on our costings so lets hope the pound will improve. I hope to do a deal with T Cook for members travelling. More news April. Review.

Open Gardens - Sun 23rd. June 2013. 1.00 - 4.30 pm.
Plans are on schedule for our first open gardens – Sunday 23rd June 2013. The event will be to raise funds for our scouts new hut fund and we hope for good support from the villages and beyond. Some members have already volunteered their gardens and others are being contacted, we are looking to have around 15 gardens to visit.
Entry price will be £3 adults, children free, with tickets , map and parking on the village green. The guides and brownies will provide teas in the church hall and toilets will be available at church hall and Methodist chapel. One central garden will have a tombola and plants for sale and there will be icecreams.
One garden definitely open will be that of Station Master, Chief Engineer and CEO of KLR, Mr. Fred Last. Discussions with ASLEF have resulted in trains running on the Sunday although the new high speed line to Falkenham West will not be completed in time. Fred is confident there will be no leaves on the line in June.
Our ace publicist Sheila Cornford ( cheaper than Max Clifford) will be in charge of local, national and global publicity.

Tales from the Allotments.
As I write the plots have a weather beaten look. Broad bean and garlic shoots through in December look to have withdrawn as if waiting for signs of Spring. As usual we are now straining at the leash anxious to get sowing, but as I write the ground is too cold and indeed too wet, witness the water standing in water logged fields. There is nothing to be gained by sowing in these conditions as small seeds will just rot. Better to wait until the soil is warm and pliable.
I have some good purple sprouting broccoli ( one of my favourite veg, plants courtesy of Roselea Express), the early Rudolph now cropping with a later variety next to come. SB will stand up to extreme cold but must be kept covered as it is also a favourite of pigeons who will strip it bare given the opportunity. Incidentally John Coles tells me there are some 800 acres of rape around us which is bad news for plot holders because after sprouting broccoli rape is number two on the pigeons’ list of culinary favourites & they feed on this in winter months. BR ( before rape) 75% of the pigeon population died of starvation, now they prosper so we can expect increasing numbers later. So, what about an eat a pigeon week, some are as big as chickens!
I am still harvesting carrots, parsnips, leeks and celeriac and next for planting will be shallots, onions and mangetout peas.
Meanwhile seeds have arrived from Dobies and Marshalls - important to sow new seeds, discard seeds in opened packets from previous years.
I caught Monty Don’s recent programmes on French gardens some of which we have visited on our euro trips. This is Monty at his best and I particularly enjoyed his visits to see the paysans in their potagers.

Next meeting: Thurs. 14 March ‘ The Gibberd Garden, Harlow, Richard Ayres MBE
followed by A G M.

Roy Mallett 616

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