September 2014


Thurs. 9th. October – John Burrows Preparation and Presentation of Horticultural Exhibits
7.30pm Village Hall.

September meeting – Richard Ford Ornamental Grasses
Richard Ford returned to launch our Autumn/Winter programme with an illustrated talk on ornamental grasses. Richard is the real professional, arrives early, totally organised and easy on the ear. I have not quite come to terms with grasses but must admit there are now so many to choose from, many perennials and lots of variety in colours. From Richard’s great pictures one stood out for me, ‘Red Baron’ , one for the hot border. So from Piet Oudolf’s millennium garden at Pensthorpe, Richard’s talk and the Dutch master’s work at Lamport I am siding with the grasses. 62 attended.

Summer outing – Lamport Hall and Gardens
We venture west up the A14 to Lamport Hall in the rolling countryside of rural Northamptonshire. The hall is set in about 10 acres of gardens and parkland amidst an estate totalling some 2500 acres of farmland and pastures. The hall was the home of the Isham family for over 4 centuries. We are met by Neil the estate secretary and are split into groups for a guided tour of the hall with its fine rooms containing a superb library, outstanding furniture, china and valuable paintings .
We pause for a light lunch in the impressive Victorian dining room before embarking on a conducted tour of the gardens and parkland in the afternoon. We are then free to roam and I take in the stables block, the church, the museum of farm machinery with a large display of tractors, before returning to the walled kitchen garden which no longer has fruit and vegetables but rows of perennials and many ornamental grasses. This is the work of Piet Oudolf , the Dutch landscape designer.
All too soon our time is up and we say our good byes to the excellent Neil and his staff and head home to Suffolk. Our many thanks to Jenny for arranging the day for us. Our thanks too for driver Mark who resisted the temptation to demolish the hall’s main entrance and chose to park outside.

Thurs. 9th. October – meeting John Burrows - 7.30pm Village Hall.
Our next meeting will be Thurs. 9th. October when John Burrows will be speaking on ‘Preparation and Presentation of Horticultural Exhibits’. Please come early for this meeting as Jo and Alma will have details of next year’s trip to France and tickets will be available for Nick Hamilton’s Christmas visit.

Int. Dept. (aka Shaw’s Tours) - Belgium 2014.
Sun.25th. - Sunday dawns and we say our fond farewells to Novotel Mechelen now famed for the naked (near) sleep walker and its erotic midnight window displays – is this a desperate ploy by the night manager to up the hotel rating from 4* to 5* ?
We are heading for the renowned gardens of Chris Ghyselen at Oedelen Beesam. Chris is there to welcome us into another vast private garden in a rural setting ( how does Jo find these gems?). The garden contrasts formal settings through perennial displays to wild life areas , lawns, large ponds ( in one of which Chris swims every day!) and veg areas.
All too soon we depart for Brugge where we bid farewell to Ria and Johan who leave to attend to their Euro voting duties. We are left leaderless on a hot Sunday in a heaving Brugge to make the now compulsory purchases of chocs, meringues, ice creams and yet more plants. The world and his wife are here partly because of the compulsory vote and the glorious sunshine. By some minor miracle we find our way back to Mark and our coach and we are soon heading down the E40 to Calais and are relieved to see Ria and Johan waving from a footbridge near Jebbeke – they made the vote and are spared the appointment with Mme Guillotine !
All too soon we are back at Kirton Green with baggage and purchases unloaded.
Another fantastic trip thanks to Johan and Ria, Mark and the architects Jo, Martyn and Alma.
P.S. I have an email from Johan, who apparently has nothing better to do than read this garbage, chastising me for not mentioning the free chocolates we got during our lunch pause at Leuven market. The grey cells are not what they used to be!
Int. Dept ( aka Shaw’s Tours) France 21/24 May 2015.
Information will be available at the October meeting prior to bookings in November.

Christmas meeting – Thurs. 11 Decr. Nick Hamilton –7.30pm Church Hall.
Tickets for Nick’s talk ‘Barnsdale after Geoff’ will be available in October - £5 to members.
Extras – my thanks to the Roselea Express Research and Development Dept. for recommending Tagetes for companion planting – put this among carrots this year and bingo best crops ever.
Green house and shed gone but member looking for domestic compost bin.

Roy Mallett 616

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