August 2013

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 12
th. Sept. – Matt Tanton-Brown -‘Winter Hanging Baskets’.
7.30pm Village Hall
August visit
Our scheduled tour of the Mendlesham Chilli Farm was cancelled at the last minute following a council decision to close the business down. Hopefully you all got the message in time to avoid a wasted trip.
Sat. 7th. Sept. - Late Summer Outing –‘Pensthorpe Gardens and Wildlife Park’
Bet some of you had forgotten about this , can you remember if you have booked? In any event we are off to Pensthorpe for this year’s trip. Our Galloways coach will leave the Green at 8.30 am, sharp! We must be prompt as Dick and Cathy have planned a busy day, we have a timed walk/talk of the gardens and later a driven discovery tour of the wildlife areas.
So a great day out in sunny Norfolk beckons and our experienced staff will be on board to guide you through border agency formalities at Diss!
We are scheduled to arrive back in Kirton at 5.30pm. If you cannot remember whether you have booked for the trip please contact Dick.
Thurs. 12th. September - Matt Tanton-Brown ‘ Winter Hanging Baskets’
Village Hall 7.30pm.
In a change to our published schedule we welcome back the popular Matthew Tanton- Brown for a talk on ‘ Winter Hanging Baskets’. Starting with this meeting we will be taking questions to the speaker at the end of the talk to make sure that everyone can hear what is going on. It is not possible for everyone to sit in the forward areas and hopefully this change will be beneficial to all.
Scarecrow Festival – Falkenham Church.
The festival took place in August and the club is grateful to Debbie for making our entry.

Belgium 2014
The organisers are in early discussions to plan a further trip to Belgium , to possibly include a day in Holland The anticipated dates are – depart Thurs. 22 May, returning Sunday 25th. May The Great War and D Day anniversaries have forced a change from our favoured Fri/Mon travel. We hope to again be based at the Novotel in Mechelen. There will be information available at our September meeting.

Belgium 2013 -
Fri 24th pm.
We visit the Kalmthout Arboretum , a magnificent 13 hectare garden harbouring some 7000 shrubs and trees from all over the world some of which have completely died out in the wild. For our guided tour we are fortunate to have the wonderful Bi, 82 years and who has an amazing knowledge of even the most rare species.
The arboretum’s history goes back to 1856 and some trees date back to that time.
In the evening we have a wonderful dinner in Mechelen’s market square with a background of music from a students’ pre exam disco- obviously a confident lot!
Sat 25 am – Breakfast and then off to the Tournay – Solway Park on the outskirts of Brussels. We enjoy a walk through the vast open spaces which include wild flower meadows, apple orchards, springs and ponds with nesting swans, quite idyllic in the morning sun. We enjoy the walled kitchen gardens before pausing for a group photo.
Then it is on to the gardens of the van Buuren Foundation, a private town garden of nearly 2 hectares , in Brussels. We have a private tour of the ten themed gardens which include the art-deco rose garden by the landscape architect Jules Buyssens who created the gardens for the 1935 Brussels Exhibition. Other gardens include the large rose garden, the maze and the garden of the hearts. On return to the coach Mark reports that a man has been taking pictures of the coach including our club sign, but regretfully he failed in his duty in signing him up as a member.
Afternoon and we head for the vast Vrijbrook Park for a walk about and time to relax.
There is a café which, amongst other things, boasts toasted cannibal and child flavoured icecream in its English menu!
Then it is back to the hotel for our group dinner and we are entertained by the carnival atmosphere in the street outside which includes another disco ( for failed students?), fireworks and dancing by majorettes. A suggestion that we should form a club majorette group attracts scant support.
Sun 26 am - Farewell to Mechelen and we head for Brugge for a tour of the famous Chocolate Museum which celebrates 2600 years of chocolate. The world and his wife , in the shape of cruise boat tourists, seem to have the same idea and it is a tight squeeze in the narrow passage ways.
After some lunch, a Johan walking tour and some free time we are soon heading for Calais, pausing , sadly, outside Jabbeke to release Johan and Ria, where to our amazement their van is still intact parked by the road side.
After that it is cruise control to Kirton Green where we arrive on schedule at 8.00 pm.
So yet another great trip for which we have to thank our very dear friends Johan and Ria, Shaw’s Tours in the shape of Jo Alma and Martyn , and our larger than life driver Mark.
Excellent pics and bits on the village website courtesy of webmaster Martin RH.

Tales from the Allotments –
Next month we catch up on life on the plots which has not been easy in this difficult year for gardeners.
Roy Mallett 616