August 2015


Thurs. 10
th. Sept. - Sonya Burrows – Spring Flowering Bulbs,
Village Hall 7.30 pm.

August visit -
Bays Farm, Forward Green, Earl Stonham, Stowmarket, IP14 5HU.

[Details of changed venue to follow]

Summer outing – Kings Seeds/ Marks Hall.
Our summer outing in July was a double header, a first for the club, and a great success. Our morning visit was to Kings Seeds of Coggeshall where we were welcomed with coffee before Tony gave us a conducted tour of the packing operation ,followed by the cold store and laboratory. Kings are a family based company and have been in the seed business for 127 years. We then met up with old friend Andrew Tokely who took us round the sweet pea fields ( 150 individual colours) before touring the seed dressing areas. We also met Tracey Palmer, the sales and marketing director, who offered to send details of Kings seed scheme for gardening clubs. A very interesting and informative morning.
Then we made the short trip to the Marks Hall gardens and arboretum where there was time for some lunch before two conducted tours of the gardens, arboretum , lakes and woodlands. After that there was free time to roam or just relax in the very tranquil setting. Our thanks to Jenny B for arranging this great day out on our behalf.
Also thanks to editor Nick for posting the ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ pic in the Review , I gather copies of the August edition have flown off the shelves!

International Dept. – Troyes 2015
I have been taken to task for not reporting the incident at St. Omer where an immigrant’s attempt to board our coach and hide in the toilet was thwarted by Martyn and driver Brian. Just as well for Brian who would have copped a hefty fine. Perhaps we would be better off at Calais with Martyn and Brian instead of chicken wire and sniffer dogs! We were fortunate not to be affected by this sad and tragic situation.

Sept. meeting - Sonya Burrows.
So with summer behind us we are back in the village hall on Thurs. 10th. Sept for the welcome return visit of Sonya Burrows talking on ‘Spring Flowering Bulbs’ , 7.30pm start.

2015 talks - just a sneak preview of some great talks coming up , Thurs. 8th. October we welcome back the popular Guy Barker ( aka The Naked Gardener) talking on 'Winter Table Displays', then Thurs. 12th. November its Simon White on 'Holly Wreath Making. Then our Christmas Cracker – Tom Hart Dyke the intrepid plant hunter who travels the world seeking out rare species. He has featured in the BBC 2 series on the family home at Lullingstone Castle and also is on the RHS list of speakers. Once captured by guerrillas between Panama and Colombo and held for 9 months. This promises to be a very special evening, ticketing arrangements to be announced soon, provided he doesn’t get kidnapped again!

Tales from the Allotments.
Birds play a big part in life on the plots, favourites are the friendly robins while bottom of the pile are the Category C wood pigeons. Blackbirds are near to top, except in summer when soft fruit is cropping. This summer I was netting my strawberry bed under the beady eye of a blackbird perched on Bob’s fence with a look that said ‘you’re wasting your time mate!’ Within minutes he was under the net and helping himself. Back to square one! So a pang of guilt when I removed the net at the season end to find a bird skeleton entangled there – ever since I’ve tried to convince myself it was a pigeon! This has been a difficult year with high temperatures and lack of rainfall creating problems for early crops such as broad beans , carrots and summer raspberries. Butternut squash are looking good , I have bred mine from a North African species , they like the heat and are much sweeter than the Hunter variety which was bred for the N. European climate. Bob had his usual bumper crop of peas and this year actually calculated the total number of peas harvested! He has also masterminded the removal of discarded items by skip and things are now looking quite tidy.
Roy Mallett 616

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