July 2013

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 8th. August, Visit - The Chilli Farm , Mendlesham
Depart Green 6.15pm , assemble 7.00 pm

July visit - Suffolk Punch Trust.
Our long awaited visit to the Suffolk Punch Trust at Hollesley coincided with a brilliantly sunny evening. We were privileged to have trust chairman Phillip Ryder-Davies as our host and guide for the evening. After an introductory talk we toured the heritage museum, vintage farm machinery, harness room, gardens, paddock and finally up close and personal with the giant Punch stallions, mares and foals in the stud which is over 250 years old . The Suffolk Punch is the oldest breed of working horses in the world. There is so much for all the family to see, including the impressive visitor centre and café. Leaflets will be available at the club from our Sept. meeting for those who wish to visit.
The club made a contribution to the trust and a large turn-out of 45 members enjoyed a memorable evening.
August visit – Thurs. 8th. August – Chilli Farm , Mendlesham
For our last evening visit of 2013 we once again venture up the A140 for a guided tour of the Chilli Farm at Mendlesham. Allow about 40 minutes for this trip and the farm is situated on the A140 , on the left , about ¼ mile past the Mendlesham mast.
If you are going direct , meet 7.00 pm.
Kirton Open Gardens - 23 June.
What a special day this was for the club and village. Despite showery weather more than 250 people visited the 20 members’ gardens open for the day. There were many comments praising the high standard of gardens on show – the result of some very hard work by the owners. They had toured the gardens on the Saturday evening with helpers after a garden party kindly hosted by Karen and Keith Allison.
On the Sunday, gardens raised £1365 for the scout hut funds, and excellent teas in the church hall realised around £200 for guides and brownies. Down the Falkenham road the Kirton Light Railway was at full steam ahead under the command of Chief Engineer and Station Master Fred Last and Fred sent a cheque for £105 to St. Elizabeth Hospice.
Days like this do not just happen and we have to thank all those who helped on the day and those who contributed tombola prizes but most of all the gardeners and their helpers without whom the weekend would not have been possible.
Thomas Cook, Felixstowe.
As a result of the arrangements made in the last two years for our Euroland trips, Thomas Cook’s have agreed to offer members enhanced rates of exchange on a regular basis. The arrangement will apply to all currencies bought through Cook’s Felixstowe shop and members will merely have to produce their club card at time of purchase.
Int. Dept. – Shaw’s Tours – Belgium 23/26 May 2013.
Thurs. pm – after the brewery visit a short walking tour of Brugge before heading for our late afternoon visit to the gardens of Adegem and yet another first – a guided tour by a heavily pregnant young lady! This is Alexandra, the daughter of the owner. The land has been in the family for over 500 years but her father started the themed garden some 40 years ago. The romantic French garden is dominated by roses, the English garden ponds and waterfalls and the exotic Japanese garden is amazing for it’s use of vast quantities of granite. These are stunning gardens of some 3 acres maintained by the father plus two helpers – brilliant, 10/10.
We then head to Mechelen and Johan tells us of a famous Belgian in pigeon racing circles ( more famous than finch singing?) who, due to ill health, has had to sell his prized birds by auction. The sale realised several million euros with two pigeons making over a million euros between them – ‘Bold’ realising 1 million and ‘Gilbert’ a paltry (or should that be poultry?) two hundred thousand. We arrive at our hotel after 8 .00 pm . The hotel offers our driver Mark a folding bicycle to travel the 2 miles to and from the coach park but we decide this is unfair on the cycle and arrange taxis. Off to the market square for dinner to round off a very full day.
Fri 24 May. Fully rested and after a good breakfast it’s off to Antwerp. I confess I was not sure about visiting Antwerp as my previous trips had been to the shipping fraternity and the vast port so what a pleasant surprise, a lovely old city, with medieval buildings, cobbled streets and a colourful tram system. Also new territory for Mark.
On the way in to the city we follow a large van emblazoned“ Les Tartes de Francois .“
While Jo salivates at the prospect of a load of meringues, Martin, Mark and myself speculate as to Francois’s actual profession! We arrive at our first visit , the Plantenium , formally the site of the hospital gardens . The gardens are extensive and well labelled, with interesting companion planting . There are 35 varieties of alliums and a botanical garden. After this we tour the Rubens house and gardens then a quick lunch in the church square whilst admiring the Dog of Flanders.
Robert Corker - It is appropriate here, that we record the sad passing of a good friend and enthusiastic garden club member. Robert and Elizabeth had been on all 10 of our Euroland ventures and had been with us on our last evening trip to Wenhasten. Our thoughts are with Elizabeth and the family.
Roy Mallett 448616