June 2013

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs 11
th. July, Visit – Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley
Guided Tour and Wagon Ride – Green 6.15, or meet 7.00pm.

June visit – Woottens of Wenhasten.
The club’s first visit to Woottens of Wenhasten, the plantsman’s nursery and what a gem of a place it is. A bit off the beaten track and within sight of Blythburgh church we were fortunate to have a sunny evening in this miserable Spring for our visit.
Owner Elizabeth has taken on the running of the nursery since the death of her husband last year, assisted by 13 loyal staff. With little or no passing trade there business is split between mail order and on line sales. The main nursery is well stocked and we were able to visit the iris field which was at it’s peak.
There is an excellent website for ordering and if you fancy a drive in the country the nursery is open every day , 9.30 to 5.00 pm. 32 members enjoyed a sunny evening amongst the plants.
July visit – Thurs 11th. July - Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.
The Suffolk Punch Trust was formed in 2002 and a couple of years ago we had a talk at the club. We look forward to visiting the Trust which is now fully operational and includes a visitors’ centre and café.
The full address is – Suffolk Punch Trust , Woodbridge Walk, Hollesley, IP12 3JR.
Leave A12 Woodbridge by pass on to A1152 to Melton and Hollesley, cross traffic lights, rail crossing and river bridge and right at mini round about. . Pass Sutton Hoo on right and take next left. Cross heathland for about 3 miles and bear left signed Butley, Boyton and Hollesley Bay Colony. At cross roads with water tower continue straight on into Woodbridge Walk.
The trust has much to offer, stud punch horses, red poll cattle, oldest registered flock of Suffolk sheep in the world, 200 acre farm, museum, harness room, vintage horse drawn vehicles and implements, a garden of plants bred in Suffolk and the visitors’ centre and café.
We will have a guided tour and wagon ride and the club subsidised cost to members will be £5 each which we will collect on the night. See the excellent website for more details.
Leave green at 6.15, assemble 7.00.
Open Gardens, Lode.
The gardens are opened at Lode on Sunday 14th. July under the NGS scheme from 11 to 5 pm. Gardens open on the day will be that of Richard Ayres, Carpenters End and Old Vicarage. Cost £5. Contact me for more details.
Int. Dept. – Shaw’s Tours, Belgium 23/26 May 2013.
Our tenth venture to Euroland & our numbers include 12 stalwarts who have made every trip, medals should be struck for such stoicism! A departure from our normal schedule this year – setting out on a Thursday instead of Friday – due to heavy Channel Tunnel bookings. Members had received their glossy tour brochures and blanched on seeing the demanding schedule that Jo and Johan had devised for us – is this a relaxing tour of gardens and sites or are we being groomed for SAS membership?
Undaunted we are all there on the green , cases packed and ready for our 6.15 departure. Our Galloway’s driver ,Mark, is ready and primed for his third tour with Les Jardinieres Anglais. We are soon cruising down the A12, stopping only to pick up one of our far flung members Christina at Marks Tey. Not the furthest flung incidentally, Helen from sunny Doncaster has that dubious honour.
An uneventful trip sees us at the Tunnel in time for coffee before boarding our scheduled train, and in no time we are in Calais and heading for Jebakke where we pick up Johan and Ria. We pass through heavy showers en route but they clear before we reach Brugge where we have our first visit, the De Halve Mann ( Staffe Hendrick) Brewery and museum . I can already hear the comments –‘ what’s a brewery got to do with gardening? Well barley and hops have to be grown and we need to know these things.
On our way to Brugge it is interesting to see the steps that have been taken on all routes to cater for the cyclist , in fact it seems they now have priority over vehicular traffic and pedestrians. Johan now cycles to work in Brugge on cycle routes complete with lights and without confliction with other traffic and it only takes him 20 minutes. But back to the brewery – De Halve are now the only organic and independent , family owned brewery in Brugge and produces just 4 beers by traditional methods ( 3 million litres p.a.).
Our guide for the tour of this ancient four story building is the straight faced Madeleine ( a kind of female Jack Dee). She starts by warning us that the tour includes 240 steps enabling us to reach the roof from where there is a dramatic panoramic view of the city. Some of the rusty iron steps cling precariously to crumbling brickwork and it is clear health and safety has little interest in what goes on in ancient breweries. Madeleine gives us an amusing tour & tells us young boys who were used to clean the inside of vats had to whistle a tune and if they were overcome by fumes would be dragged out by their feet. I think I would have preferred to clean Victorian chimneys! A great start to our programme – oh yes and there were free samples in the bar afterwards.
On the plots the delicate ladies are making tea in the shade.

Roy Mallett 616

P.S. Please note pictures of Belgium 2013 - club pages on village website, courtesy of Martin RH.