January 2020


February meeting -
‘House Plants ‘ Darren Brooks of Notcutts - 7.30 pm
Village Hall - Thursday 13th. February 2020.

January meeting – Jaime Blake: The Weeding of the 5,000 With 2 Hoes & 5 Wishes
Having struggled through the traffic jam on the Orwell Bridge, Jaime flew into the village hall at the last minute to give a brilliant talk about his care of the Alan Bloom Gardens at Bressingham. Having trained as a teacher and then deciding that this was not the career for him, he was asked by his father- in- law Alan Bloom, to be his gardener. It was clearly the correct decision to accept the job and the gardens have become better and better over the years he has worked there. His presentation included slides of the gardens and footage of Alan talking, as well as a guided view of the garden. Jaime has introduced some inventive ways of managing the flower beds, with machines to cut the lawn edges, strimmers to cut down the herbaceous perennials in the winter and flame guns to burn the material produced, in heaps on the beds. Leaves are blown onto the grass paths with a leaf blower and then mown up by a ride on mower. This material then composts well, because of the grass clippings being incorporated into it. Jaime‘s talk showed he has a wonderful sense of humour, which had all the members present, laughing all evening. It made a cracking start to the Garden Club’s 20th year.

Christmas Party
A very wet and windy night welcomed Nick Bailey and Sharon to our Christmas end of year party. However despite the weather a full house of around 80 members and guests turned out including ladies scrambling for front row seats!! Nick is a freelance horticulturist and best selling author and was kept busy signing copies of his latest editions. He has presented on BBC TV’s Gardeners World since 2016 and also at Chelsea where he has won a silver gilt for design. He has worked in Spain, South Africa and Australia and was head gardener at the famous London’s Chelsea Physic Garden. Nick’s illustrated talk covered ways of using second hand materials , including plastic bottles, tins, pallets and ladies tights. He uses second hand garden tools and keeps his own seeds rather than buying, wherever possible, this is quite easy to do for the likes of peas, all types of beans, squash and courgettes. Everything was covered, composting, and best veg and salads for healthy eating. Sharon told me that they average two talks a week in the winter months leaving the summer for shows. This left me wondering as to Nick’s age, he has crammed a lot into his life so far and is surely bound for the top. So a great night and thanks to all who brought delicious eats and prizes for the draw, the latter organised by Debbie raising over £190 for club funds. Thanks also to Jenny for organising the event, and let’s hope we see more of Nick and his ladies’ tights on Gardeners’ World in 2020!

February meeting - ‘House Plants ‘ - Darren Brooks, Notcutts.
It is appropriate that Darren from Notcutts should be with us in our 20th anniversary year because thanks to Debbie and Hester Doggett they organised five bookings involving Notcutts people at no cost to help us through our first difficult year. So come along for Darren’s talk 7.30pm, Thursday 13th. February 2020.

Produce stall
I should be running a produce stall at the February meeting so if you have any surplus stuff just bring along on the night.

Dobies seeds
The 2020 catalogues are available so if you have not yet ordered get one at the February meeting or contact Brian Barker.
2020 - By now you will know that 2020 is the club’s 20th anniversary year and the plan is for us to have a high profile speaker for the Christmas meeting and maybe other special events. There is not too much to report on the plots at the moment and I thought it would be interesting just to look back at the club’s history. It all started one day when Dick Shepherd was at the mobile library in Oakdene and suggested we should start a gardening club in the village. Dick had been a member of the orchid club which had just closed ( Dick blamed Tesco’s who were selling orchids for £5 ! ) and was looking for a new challenge. We spread the word around and despite words of warning that gardening clubs were past their sell by date and at least two had closed due to lack of members, decided to give it a go. Dick thought we should arrange a couple of meetings in the village hall for interested parties and if we got 20 or more punters we would take the next steps. In the event around 50 enthusiastic people turned up, an action committee was formed and it was decided we would start in January 2001 with the village hall as our home and second Thursday in the month for meetings. It was at this point that Dick and I were having second thoughts with no experience of running a gardening club but we had the support of a lot of enthusiastic people.
Next month?- would we make it through to December, the club’s first committee, the programme for 2001, and RHS ??.

Tales from the Allotments - set aside for the time being.

Roy Mallett 616

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