October 2012

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 8
th. November - Ken Crowther ‘BBC Essex GQT’
7.30 pm Village Hall

October meeting – Anne Etheridge – ‘ Autumn Colours ‘.
Anne Etheridge brought splashes of autumn colour to the village hall to brighten our October meeting. A natural plant lover Anne honed her skills under the guidance of Adrian Bloom at Bressingham. She has been doing talks for some years from her base near Diss , but recently with husband Mel, opened a plant centre at Snetterton Park.
Anne presented a wide range of plants including aster ‘ Monte Cassino’, self supporting clematis ‘Cassandra’, libertia ‘Goldfinger and a Himalayan ‘Blue Poppy. All plants were reasonably priced and in the usual stampede to purchase I secured perennial geranium ‘Sirak’, echinacea ‘Rubinstern’ and gallardia ‘Kobold’, all at £2.75. 53 members enjoyed a plantsman’s evening. The nursery details will be on next month’s notice board.

November meeting – Ken Crowther “ BBC Essex”
Our November meeting is Thurs. 8th. , 7.30 pm Village Hall when we welcome Ken Crowther who is speaking on his experiences whilst broadcasting on BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time. Ken has his own landscaping business and has spoken to us on his work in the London parks. This time he will have some humorous experiences to share with us so we look forward to his visit.

Christmas meeting – Thurs. 13th. December, 7.30 pm Church Hall – Ben Potterton. ‘The Travelling Horticulturist ‘
Tickets for members are free but are going quickly so make sure to get yours at the November meeting as numbers will be limited. We will be looking for offers of food (contact Alma or Jo), we will also have a list for names and offers of food at the November meeting. Also we seek prizes for the grand draw in aid of club funds (contact Debbie).

Belgium 24/27 May 2013
For next year’s trip we will be based at the Novotel Mechelen Centrum, in the centre of Mechelen and the plan is to cover the areas of Mechelen, Antwerp, Brugges and Brussels. We travel via Eurotunnel with a Galloway’s facilities coach and Johan and Ria have agreed to guide us again.
The tour is fully subscribed with a small waiting list and deposits of £65 per person are due by 31st. October. Cheques payable to Kirton and Falkenham Gardeners Club to 50, Meadowlands , Kirton.

Club news
The club continues to flourish and membership is now 117 – don’t all turn up at once!! We will have the tea list for 2013 at the November meeting and invite names for help next year.

Tales from the Allotments - The days get shorter and we are enjoying the fresh fruit and veg of our year’s labour. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, we seem to be in panic mode because of the glut of most crops. The weather has seen contrasts of periods of heavy rain and hot and dry spells although generally people tend to forget the good weather and only remember the wet. Our summer trip to Wisley saw 30 degrees and that good spell was less than a month ago as I type these notes.

The camaraderie on the plots is second to none, we exchange seeds, plants and surplus crops but often we all have the same stuff. At the moment it is the usual suspects, courgettes, pumpkins, squash, sweet corn and raspberries. Long suffering friends and neighbours help reduce the veg mountain with looks that say “ why grow so much”? Indeed it is mainly feast and very rarely famine. Anyhow next up will be leeks, parsnips, celeriac and other autumn roots.

Gardeners tend to be a pessimistic lot and a few extra seeds are sown or a few extra plants are bought from Roselea Express – just in case! And then there are the seed packets that instruct us to “ sow regular small amounts to ensure a smooth succession of crops” - oh yes and when did that ever happen ? Perhaps we should start an annual produce festival. The French have Le Fete de la Citrouille, a pumpkin festival which attracts thousands and there is a garden in west France where over 1000 varieties of gourds and pumpkins are grown. Summer outing, Dick?

But it is all good fun and keeps us of the streets, all the 30 or so plots are let and I am always amazed at the wide variety of produce grown. Generally apples and plums have been in short supply but I have managed to harvest my prize Bramley apples with the help of Tony and Dee – it is quite exhilarating clinging to the top of the ladder defying the laws of gravity.
Bob has been quite busy this summer with his usual heavy pea harvest (rumour has it that he and Rosemary even have peas with their breakfast cornflakes).

So its time to start exploring the new, glossy seed catalogues with their enticing pictures of luscious fruit and veg. Better order a few extra , just in case!

Pumpkin anyone?!

Breaking news - rumour has it , (on good authority, gossip from the Methodist harvest lunch) that soon, when you next buy your excellent produce from Roselea Express, you will also be offered packaged electricity straight from Suffolk’s largest wind farm.

Roy Mallett 616