March 2017

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

April meeting Thurs. 13th. April : ‘Primroses ‘ Joe Sharman
Village Hall 7.30pm.

March meeting
Simon White came to tell us all about Chrysanthemum Growing for show competitions. He is clearly dedicated to his hobby and must spend nearly all of his free time taking cuttings to start the plants, potting on the rooted cuttings and then pampering them in the greenhouse. In the summer they are put outside in their large pots, which are tied to canes and wires to make sure they grow straight and are not blown over in the wind. After their summer holidays outside, they are returned to the protection of the greenhouse where they start to flower. The blooms are individually protected by wires supporting plastic bags, so they are kept in perfect condition. When it comes to show time, the stems are cut and each bloom has its petals painstakingly arranged so that it looks perfect. The Chrysanthemums are transported to the show in specially made carriers so that none are damaged in transit, then they are arranged on the show benches ready to be judged. One can only imagine how blue the air turns, if after all this effort, no prizes are awarded to the competitor!

AGM
We would like to thank all those members who were able to stay for the Annual General Meeting which was held after Simon White had finished his talk and refreshments had been served. The new committee was elected as follows:- Chairperson - Brian Barker, Treasurer - Sheila Fothersgill, Secretary – Jenny Bearcroft, Committee Members – Roy Mallett, Ray Bignell, Jo Shaw, Debbie Doggett, Malcolm Robertson, John Fothersgill, & Debbie Hatcher. We would like to thank Sarah King for her work as secretary, and it was decide to make Roy Mallett a life member.
Roy is finally standing down as Chairman after doing the job since the club started in 2001. It was Roy and the late Dick Shepherd who came up with the idea of starting the club in the village and thanks to them we have had many happy years of meetings and events. Roy has been trying to retire from the job of chairman for several years but as he was doing such a good job we persuaded him to carry on. We are finally accepting that it is high time he was able to come and enjoy the meetings without having to be responsible for anything. Roy and his wife Alma have done so much for the club over the years and we cannot thank them enough for all their efforts in making our club run so smoothly. Roy has always made our speakers very welcome and they always comment on what a lovely club we have here.

April meeting
For our April meeting we are pleased to welcome back Joe Sharman, renowned plantsman and owner of Monksilver Nursery in Cambridgeshire.
Joe is an expert on primulas and snowdrops and collects old forms of primulas.
His talk is on ‘Primroses ‘ and we meet as usual , 7.30 pm Thurs. 13th. April.

May visit
Summer visits are on the horizon, Thurs. 11th. May , and we visit Activlives, Chantry Park Walled Garden, Ipswich. Details in the May Review.

Summer outing - Wednesday 26th. July – our summer outing this year is another double header, in the morning we visit the famed William Dyson’s Great Comp Garden , Sevenoaks, Kent, a 7 acres paradise for garden lovers, followed in the afternoon with the long awaited visit to Tom Hart-Dyke’s World Garden at Lullingstone Castle. Conducted tours are only available on Wednesdays, the reason for our switch from a Saturday trip.
Refreshments are available at both venues and we also have a conducted tour at Great Comp. Tickets are £32 and include coach, entrance to gardens and conducted tours and will be available at the April meeting or from Jenny on 448571. Don’t delay though places are limited!

Tales from the Allotments :
The weather has now improved. Having survived the gale, although one or two of the cages look a bit sick, some warm sunshine has seen the activity racheted up and some serious planting going ahead.
Autumn sown crops are looking good, broad beans, garlic and onions have come through the winter unscathed and I have sown sweetcorn, courgettes, celeriac and three varieties of butternut squash in the greenhouse. I still have some seed of the latter, my own breed, if of interest. I have sown mangetout peas outside under fleece and hope to do the same with some early potatoes. My neighbour Bob is preparing for his annual pea marathon having spent the winter eliminating the local mouse population. I feel a bit guilty about this because I also benefit from this mass slaughter and feel I should contribute to his purchase of best chocolate for the traps! It’s the rodent version of the condemned man’s last meal! We also are grateful to Bob for cutting the grass and keeping the paths tidy.
So, it will be all action for the next couple of month’s and we have at least one more member of our happy band of allotmentiers. Roselea Express will have a good selection of veg plants to save you growing from seed.

Roy Mallett 616

Postscript by the new Chairman, Brian Barker
It was with regret that the meeting had to be started with the resignation (retirement?) of Roy as Chairman. Having founded the club and been Chairman
thereafter his retirement although earned is still sad.
One lesson from Scouting is Be Prepared and I was not unprepared for the situation last Thursday but was pleasantly surprised when volunteers came
forward on the night. My thanks to so many members for attending the A.G.M. and especially to Sheila Fothergill volunteering as Treasurer, Jenny for taking the Secretarial duties and to John Fothergill and Debbie Hatcher as Committee members - thanks too to Ann Worledge for offering to join the Committee and withdrawing when numbers were met.There remained the post of Chairman for which you chose a non gardening pensioner of 13 years experience- a humbling position or am I just naïve?

I make no apology for errors in procedure but I was intent on maintaining the impetus of the meeting as promised I do apologise however to those I omitted to thank for their work in the club and on a bit of a stressful evening.

70 years ago as a young Cub we were urged to Do-Your-Best to which the response was we will Do-Our-Best- I offer nothing more for I have a hard act to
follow.

Brian Barker