July 2011 meeting

July meeting - Karen Kenny – ‘Allotments’.
Probably no better person to speak on allotments, KK is E. region rep.(and national liaison officer for local councils) of National Society Of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners. Previously she worked three allotments at Ipswich but has now downsized to a half because of work pressure. She writes, lectures and broadcasts for local BBC.
Karen told of the history of allotments and the relevant acts of parliament . In 1944 allotments accounted for 10% of all food produced in UK, worked mainly by men in flat caps, whereas today all ages and sexes are involved with thousands on waiting lists.
On a local note Karen’s allotment society display took best in show at this year’s Suffolk Show (plants supplied by Roselea Nursery plants division). 43 members attended our first July meeting.

August visit – Thurs. 11th. Aug. Green Island Gardens, Park Road, Ardleigh,Essex CO7 7SP . Cars green 6.00pm, assemble 6.45 pm, £3..50.
Our final trip of the summer takes us to Green Island Gardens, Ardleigh. For satnavs the post code is above: recommended route is A12 south and then between Jcts 30 and 29 take minor road left signed Ardleigh adjacent to Shell service station. Take Jct right to Ardleigh B1029 and pass Ardleigh sign. At cross roads straight over as indicated by GIG brown sign into station road. Over level crossing, pass Elm Park and right at brown sign into Park Road. GIG ½ mile on left. 40 mins.

Summer Outing, East Ruston, Sat. 18th June.
The day of our summer outing and we head for the sunny north Norfolk coast and East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens. Always the ace delegater Dick leaves members, guests and Galloways’ expensive coach in the doubtful care of yours truly while he and Cathy make a more sedate journey by car ferry ( work that one out!).
Our driver Ellis expertly guides us through road works and diversions and we arrive at Wroxham in time for lunch.
Suitably refreshed we get to East Ruston on schedule and are greeted by an amazing tapestry of dazzling summer colours , and this is just the owners.
Seriously, Alan Gray and Graham Robeson, in 14 years, have created an extraordinary coastal garden on 20 acres of land between the Old Vicarage and E. Ruston church. North Norfolk churches are usually remote from village and vicar!
Since our visit some 8 years ago rose gardens, exotic garden and veg area have been added and work has now started on a traditional walled, kitchen garden.
East Ruston is a must visit – my suggestion would be June to see the wild flower meadow at its best.
So thanks again to Dick and Cathy for a great day out.

Garden Party – Sat. 9th July, Keeper’s Cottage
After a showery week the sun shone for our annual garden party and 60 plus members came along to enjoy, strawberries and cream (laced with Calvados), cakes and tea and a rare chance to chat and socialise in the friendly setting of Keeper’s Cottage garden. It was also a dry run for the Doggetts whose garden will feature in the 2012 National Gardens Scheme.
We have to thank Hester, Mick, Debbie and Laura for sharing their home and garden with us, also thanks to Jo, Alma, Jenny, and Sheila for dispensing the excellent refreshments. Thanks also for your continued support without which these events could not happen, and also to those who so kindly donated cakes and helped on the day.

Caen-Normandy – 2011
We were slightly disappointed to find rhodos and azaleas past their peak at Jardin des Plantes, d’Avranches, due, of course, to the warm Spring but this was partly compensated by amazing views of Mont Saint Michel across the countryside. It was also home to yet another strange set of toilets (what is it about the French and ‘toilettes’?). There were separate ‘dames’ and ‘hommes’ but the ladies had to pass through the gents urinals to reach their wash basins. Also there was a stern notice advising a time limit of 15 minutes but there was no attendant with a stop watch nor notice of any penalty for lingerers. The notice, unfairly we thought, was printed only in English.
We then head for Parcs des Sources D’Elle, at Rouxville which was to prove Mark’s first real test of his driving skills. After a few years now of these trips Galloways are convinced that Jo plans these trips primarily to put their drivers through their worst nightmares and are probably surprised when they return to Mendlesham with coach in one piece! The barrier controlled entrance to this garden suggested that their only visitors travelled in Reliant Robins and in partly dismantling said entrance (the barrier clearly annoyed at such treatment)Johan was almost hospitalised when the bar dropped unexpectedly. We have become very attached to Johan and would not have wanted to lose him in this way.
The effort however was worthwhile because we enter tranquil , wooded gardens with fishing lakes where locals families are enjoying a quiet, sunny afternoon, blissfully unaware that English vandals have partly wrecked the entrance gate. It is an area of natural springs and remarkably masses of rhodos and azaleas in glorious full colour.
Next month – Bayeux Tapestry, Landing Beaches and a lively dinner.
(Martin has pics here)
Roy Mallett

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