July 2014


July visit – Rendlesham Forest.
22 members made the July trip to Rendlesham Forest where our host for the evening was forester Nigel Turner.
The forest was originally planted by the Forestry Commission between 1922 and the late 1930s. Before that the area was extensive heath and farmland. Two – thirds of the forest was prematurely felled by the great storm of 1987 when over a million trees where blown down. The forest has been redesigned to take account of wildlife conservation, recreation and timber production. It now has greater diversity with conifer and broadleaved woodland, and heathland. It is now designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest/Special Protection Area for two bird species, the nightjar and woodlark.
Ex school teacher Nigel gave an introductory talk before leading us into the forest area which produces 10,000 tonnes of timber each year. He explained the harvesting and planting programmes and types of trees now grown. Nowadays, in addition to timber production, the recreational side is expanding with camping, cycle and walking trails, parking and picnic sites plus, of course, UFO spotting, and no we did not see any! Nigel is talking of retiring but this would be the Commission’s loss as he has a real passion for his job and entertained us for two hours with his informative talks and tour.

Summer Garden Party
35 brave members turned up for the club’s annual garden party at Keeper’s Cottage. It was a soggy event but somehow everybody managed to shelter under the two gazebos to enjoy drinks, cakes and the traditional strawberries and cream. Thanks to Hester and Debbie for hosting the event and all who made it happen and provided the delicious cakes.

August visit - Thurs. 14th. August – John Lambert ‘s Garden, Lark’s Hill, Tuddenham.

Summer Outing – Sat 13 Sept. – Lamport Hall and Gardens.
At time of writing only 4 tickets left for the great day out. If interested contact Jenny on 448571 asap as we have to offer out any remaining tickets.

Int. dept. (aka Shaw’s Tours) – Belgium 2014.
Friday 23 May and not so much Belgium as we are scheduled to spend the day in Holland – Maastricht to be precise. We start with a visit to the amazing Ber Slangen Rock Garden which was first started in 1950 when owner Ber Slangen returned from a cycling trip to the German Alps which gave him the feeling for enjoying the mountains ( not many opportunities in Holland). Decades of devoted toil produced an Alpine garden reaching a height of 5 metres. Local bolders and rocks from the Maas river, some weighing 3 tons have been used. Alpines, bulbs and perennials grow between the rocks and there are streamlets and waterfalls. Gold fish and carp enjoy the central pond. Ber Slangen died in 2001 and his daughter now maintains the garden which has received over 100,000 visitors since it opened to the public in 1974. This is a magical landscape with a peaceful atmosphere , not to be missed if you visit Maastricht.
In good spirits we head for the bustling market, just back from the river , and enjoy lunch in the warm sun. The we head for our river tour of the Maas , a short boat trip through the city, past the Bonnefanten museum and the provincial government building.. We also pass the the St.Peter’s hill, famed as the highest point in Holland!
We leave the river and then head for what surely proved to be the most outstanding garden of the weekend, De Heerenhof.
Here, two very different gardens have grown together under the watchful eyes of Jan and Jo de Heerenhof. The Old Garden was started nearly 30 years ago and when they had the opportunity to buy the neighbouring property they developed a second garden alongside. Initially, the two gardens were separated by a large mixed hedge but five years ago a breakthrough allowed a glimpse of each garden from the other.
Outstanding gardens complete with two pure white peacocks and a very contemporary house with an interesting all glass walled bathroom and wc.
Then we head back to our hotel thinking how can we top that. After a long day in the hot sun we opt for dinner at the nearby Grand Café Lomost in a converted old brewery quite close to the hotel The hotel’s evening floor show is cancelled due to lack of ticket sales.
Next month - Vrijbroek gardens and the amazing peonies.

Offer – Wanted good home for a greenhouse , if interested contact me on 448616.

Roy Mallett 616

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