April 2018


May visit
Thurs. 31st May – Freston House, The Street, Freston IP9 1AF
Travel details TBA Jenny’s May email .

April meeting
Karen Kenny - ‘ Water,water everywhere.
Ironically Karen’s talk on water conservation came after a winter of record rainfall and at a time when the land was waterlogged and farmers unable to harvest or plant crops. She is right,of course, since the arrival of mains water we have all taken it for granted – just turn on the tap!
Water is important for gardeners , of course, and Karen had lots of tips on conservation, especially the storage of rainwater for our gardens and plots. Karen stressed the importance of mulching crops with straw or leaves to reduce evaporation.
Regular watering of tomatoes avoids skin splitting and she offered some advice on lawn care. As you would expect from an organic gardener and member of the soil association Karen finished with an appeal for respect for the planet - no chemicals or plastics and use water sparingly.
52 members enjoyed a lively evening with Karen on top form!

A good number of members stayed on for the AGM which followed Karens talk. Sheila presented the club’s audited accounts for 2017 which showed the club’s finances in good shape despite exceptional expenditure 2016/7 for new PA system and projection screen. Brian gave a report on 2017’s activities which included the summer garden party at Mick and Diane Elves’ and a Christmas party with Charlie Haylock.
The club finished the year with 89 members with average attendance at meetings between 50 and 55. Speakers fees continue to rise and the membership fee of £10 may have to be considered for 2019.
Brian was re – elected chairman Sheila treasurer and Jenny secretary. Malcolm Robertson was re-elected to the committee after serving three years.
Brian thanked the membership for their continued support and Sandra thanked the officers and committee on behalf of the members.

May visit
Amazingly Thurs. 31st. May and our first summer evening visit is upon us! We travel to Freston House, The Street Freston to visit Freston House Gardens.
The house is privately owned with gardens set in 20 acres, including parkland, on the Shotley peninsula south of Ipswich. This Georgian old rectory sits in parkland with colour, themed, roomed gardens including a 1 acre kitchen garden. There are main borders, hot borders, purple garden, woodland walk, winter garden and cottage garden. There will be plants for sale. NB This visit will be on the 5th. Thursday and not the 2nd.

Summer outing
RHS Gardens Hyde Hall and Flower Show – a reminder that our summer outing this year takes place on Thurs. 2nd of August when we visit RHS Hyde Hall gardens and the annual flower show.
This is a chance to visit one of the RHS’ top gardens which is just a short trip down the A12.
Tickets a just £10 and include entry to the gardens and coach. Bookings are going well and any tickets still available can be obtained from Jenny on 448571.

Tales from the Allotments
What a difference a day makes goes the old song but in this case it’s a week. As I pen these notes the temps have hit 15 deg whereas a week ago we still had minus degs. One or two people have likened the winter to that of 1946/7. Well I was at school in that winter and I remember the heavy snow which was still around at Easter but the wind chill factor was not as bad as we have experienced this last winter. Some perennials have been badly scorched and even rosemary has suffered where exposed to the blast from the east. My daffodils on the plots have provided a splash of colour amidst the winter gloom, and they give the added bonus of providing cut flowers for the house. They need very little attention, just digging up every three years or so to split the bulbs before re planting
So, with some Spring warmth I have been able to get seeds sown in my greenhouse, and on the plots the sprouting broccoli can be harvested, free of white fly thanks to the cold winter.
Coming back from the plots recently, with my wheelbarrow, I was caught on camera in the speed trap, happily I was under the speed limit but was cautioned for not having a number plate on my ‘vehicle’! My RHS gold medal to these volunteers who man the cameras, the speeding between the green and the school is getting quite serious and hopefully common sense will prevail before someone gets hurt.
All of a sudden there is a real feel of Spring in the air, onions and shallots now have green shoots, the asparagus is just peeping through the ground, fruit bushes and raspberry canes are sprouting green leaves and in the meadow next door the lambs are making their presence felt!

Roy Mallett 616

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