March 2009 – Fun with Herbaceous Plants + AGM

March meeting ‘ Fun with Herbaceous Plants’
76, yes 76 members, an all time record for a village hall meeting, turned out in March. The reason – popular speaker Richard Ayres MBE, many years legendary head gardener Anglesey Abbey, Gardener of the Year 2000, and currently designing the gardens at Kirtling Tower for Lord & Lady Fairhaven, talking on ‘ Fun with Herbaceous Plants’. Incidentally the previous record attendance was 73 – the speaker a certain R. Ayres.
Richard also is no mean photographer because his talk was illustrated by colourful images of borders at Kirtling, Anglesey Abbey and his own cottage garden at Lode.
Richard is from the ‘old school of gardeners’ and thoroughly enjoys the work involved with herbaceous borders, cutting down in the autumn, splitting plants (using the Chelsea chop) and moving plants around. There were spectacular delphiniums up to 10 ft tall, dwarfing the 6’4” asst gardener Fred.
Richard has a very special relationship with Lord & Lady F who in turn clearly recognise they have a rare gem in Richard.
Many of us look forward to meeting Richard later in the year when K Tower and 3 Lode gardens are open (dates elsewhere).
An entertaining speaker, raconteur and all round good egg, he even arrived early and helped Ralph with the chairs.
The club’s 9th. AGM followed the March meeting. Dick presented the audited accounts for 2008 confirming the club’s continued sound financial position. The chairman reported on 2008’s activities and reported a final membership for the year of 122. The chairman thanked the officers and committee for their support and also thanked Joy, Cathy and Martin for their valuable contributions.
The meeting opted for safe pairs of hands and re-elected Roy (chairman), Mike (secretary) and Dick (treasurer).
April meeting – Thur. 9th. April and we welcome back Ric Staines for a ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’.
To make this work we need plenty of questions from the floor so let’s make sure Ric earns his fee – he is a fun speaker and questions can be on any aspect of gardening.
Fete – Sat. 13th. June 2009.
Rita King (389) and Gill Barker (493) will welcome any offers of help as will Roy (616) who is manning the gates, an hour of your time will assist. Also help the plant stall by sowing some extra seeds this Spring – Lyn Parker is in charge of that.
Summer Outing – Coton Manor Gardens Sat. 27 June 2009.
Dick has secured a larger coach and those on the waiting list have been accommodated, but we are now fully booked. More details later.
Gardens Open
Kirtling Tower (designed by Richard Ayres) Sun 5th. April, 11 to 4 pm, £4 (other dates May, June, July).
Blacksmith’s Cottage, Langmere (Ben Potterton’s) Sat. 11th. April, 10 to 3 pm, free, RHS sponsored Spring plant and shrub sale.


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