May 2014

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

Thurs. 12th. June - visit - Priors Oak Butterfly Gardens, Aldeburgh
Cars leave Kirton Green 6.30 or assemble 7.15pm.

May visit – Drs. Lynn and Bob James’ gardens, Brightwell
After gloomy skies and rain all day the weather cleared just in time for our trip to Brightwell. The James’s have lived at Brightwell for 19 years and have sculptured amazing gardens from what was a barren hillside. For me this was the perfect perennial garden with small herbaceous areas intertwined with narrow paths winding their way to the top of the hillside. There were surprises around every corner, many secluded seating areas, a bridged pond and a fruit and veg plot, all set in this tranquil village where Constable did some of his work. The perennial geraniums were stunning and not an inch of bare earth to be seen. A great start to our summer programme.
The evening concluded with 32 members enjoying tea and biscuits with the owners whom we thank for allowing us the privilege of visiting.

June visit - Priors Oak Butterfly Gardens, Leiston Road (B1122) Aldeburgh, IP15 5QE - Thurs 12 June - cars Green 6.30 or assemble 7.15pm.
The club’s first visit to Aldeburgh and Prior’s Oak beckons with its 10 acres of wild life and butterfly gardens including ornamented salad and vegetable areas.
There are also herbaceous borders, Mediterranean plants, pond & wild flower areas plus woodlands. The cost will be £5, to include wine and cheese, collected on the night.

Sun 22 June – Open Gardens Kirton ( in aid of Methodist Chapel funds)
Many of our members’ gardens will be amongst the 17 plus open. There will be a BBQ at 2, Grays Orchard and a Country Gate model show at 11 Guston Gardens.
The bowling green will be open and station master Fred Last is already sweeping the leaves from the lines for Kirton Light Railway’s first Sunday service of the year.
There will be teas at the chapel and parking is on the village green where tickets are available 12.00 to 5.00 pm – Adults £4, Children free.

Sat 28 June - Garden Party, Keeper’s Cottage, Church Lane, Kirton. 2.30 - 4.30 pm (members only)
Hester is kindly hosting the club’s garden party which will be an informal afternoon for members to relax and chat over tea, cakes and strawberries and cream There is no charge and we look forward to seeing you.
Alma, Jo and Jenny will welcome offers of cakes etc., and.we would be grateful for help in setting up in the morning.

Summer outing - Sat. 13 Sept. – Lamport Hall and Gardens.
We leave the Green at 9.00am , returning at 7.30pm , the cost is £27 to include a light lunch of soup, roll and tea in the hall’s restaurant . We have conducted tours of the hall and extensive gardens and there will be free time to roam after. There are a few tickets left, contact Jenny on 448571.
No picnics are allowed in the grounds and only booked refreshments in the restaurant so you may wish to take a snack or drink for the coach.

Gardens open
Richard Ayres has his garden at Lode open under the NGS as is Carpenters End on Sunday 8th. June 11.00am-5.00pm, adults £5, children free Teas.
Kirtling Tower is open Sun 22 June.

Tales from the Allotments.
Different allotments this month. BBC2’s much anticipated new gardening programme, ‘ The Big Allotment Challenge’ , failed to match all the media hype and on our plots was voted a big load of compost! I watched the first episode and half the second before the big challenge became the big switch off for me. More than half the air time was spent judging flower arrangements, veg and chutneys etc with little sign of hands on work. Clearly the programme is about the contestants , which is what they are, and included two ladies apparently dressed for weddings and sporting long, painted finger nails extending from hands that have never had soil contact. They were matched by two bearded wonders who most of the time were dressed in sharp suits and ties. Gardening legend Jim Buttress must be wondering how he got caught up in a programme that could not be more removed from the real world of allotment gardening. Clearly the BBC are looking to do things on the cheap so lets have a few repeats from the past. Bring back the Victorian Kitchen Garden with its enchanting theme music – OK so I am old fashioned!
On the real plots May can be a difficult month when frosts can wreak havoc with tender plants put out too early. Some of our merry band suffered singeing to potatoes and I left my sweet corn, butternut squash and courgette plants to the end of the month before planting out. This is a very busy period with much planting to do and for a change more work than mardle is the order of the day, but of course taking care not to damage those manicured finger nails!
Next month we give the plots a bit of a rest and I guess there will be a report on the international dept’s latest jaunt to Euroland.

Roy Mallett 616