April 2019

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

May visit - Thurs. 9th. May – Material Change Compost Recycling Centre at Watering Farm, Jacks Green Road, Creeting St. Mary,
Note this is an afternoon visit, we leave the green at 1.15 pm or assemble at 2.00 pm.
We can only accommodate those members who have booked for this visit. Contact Jenny if you need a lift – 448571.

April meeting - before the meeting Brian paid tribute to Ralph Mowles, club founder member, who died recently.

Know what to do if a swarm of bees turns up and parks in your garden or allotment plot? Well, husband and wife bee keepers, Chris and Marion Stevens our speakers for the evening had the answers, contact a local bee keeper who will be happy to come and take possession of the intruders or phone police 101 or contact Suffolk Bee Keepers Assn. Swarms sometimes take off if there are problems in the hive, e.g. crowding, and any keeper would welcome the opportunity of taking them in.
In any hive the queen is king so to speak and there will be 50/75000 workers, female, and drones , male. Males die after mating, usually living no more than 50 days. Bees visit our gardens and allotments seeking pollens from flowers and veg such as beans and in the fields rape seed is a prime target at this time of the year. Threats to bees are pesticides, varroa mites, diseases and Asian hornets, Marion passed round samples of the latter. Chris demonstrated the honey making process and had jars of their own produce for sale.54 members enjoyed an intriguing evening’s programme , well presented by the bee keeping duo.

Annual General Meeting - the club’s AGM followed the April meeting.
Sheila presented the club’s audited accounts for 2018 which showed the clubs finances to be in good shape. Chairman, Brian, presented his report for the year recording that the club had 90 members at the year end. Around 50/60 members attended evening meetings and evening visits where also well supported. Members enjoyed an annual summer visit to RHS Hyde Hall and held a successful garden party. Brian thanked the club’s officers and committee, Maxine for teas and Ray Bignell, founder member, who is standing down from the committee.
Brian, chairman, Jenny, secretary, Sheila, treasurer, and Eric Maule, auditor were re elected as were committee members Roy, Debby Doggett, Jo and Jenny..
Sheila thanked Brian for another year in office as chairman.

June visit - Thurs. 13th. June - we visit Swann’s Nursery at Bromeswell, the trip that was cancelled last summer because of bad weather. Cars at the Green 6.15 or assemble 7.00 pm.

July visit
- Thurs. 11th. July - we visit ‘ The Laburnums South Elmham, cars Green 6.00 or assemble 7.00 pm.

August visit
- Thurs. 8th. August - Shawsgate Vineyard & Winery, Framlingham, cars Green 6.00 or assemble 7.00 pm. Note this visit is fully booked and only those on the booking list can be accommodated.

Summer outing
- The summer outing is Wed. 4th. September when we visit the RHS gardens at Wisley, including the late summer flower show. Tickets are on sale from Jenny on 448571 at £17. Note this trip is now open to non members.
20/20 - no this is not a cricket match, but the club celebrates its 20th. birthday next year and we would like to hear from members as to how we should mark the occasion, a high profile speaker, special trip or party? Lets have your ideas!

Tales from the Allotments
I cut the first asparagus on the 4th. April, much to the delight of my other half. This is very early as the official season is 1st May to 14th. June but the cutting can extend to at least the end of June, The bees are now very active , a sign that the Spring is now with us. Spring is always a good time on the plots, lots to do and nature is at her most entertaining. At the end of March I watched by a pair of March hares on the field opposite for some ten minutes, racing around like mad things before sitting up on their back legs and having boxing match. Bob and I share a robin who always turns up as soon as any earth is disturbed and a pair of French partridges are back to entertain us, racing around on their bright red legs. A free show all by courtesy of mother nature!.

Roy Mallett 616