February 2018

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

March meeting – Thurs. 8th. March 7.30pm, Village Hall,
Alan Gray ‘The History of East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens’.

February meeting – Chris Parfitt ‘A Year in a Suffolk Field’.
Well, more a meadow than a field, but in the 1980’s Chris had the privilege of having this idyllic large meadow with trees and stream ( tributary of the Deben) at the bottom of his garden when he lived in Earl Soham.
Fortunately the meadow was owned by a friendly farmer who allowed Chris access for walking with his dog. Chris, being a keen photographer, has some 350 photos taken over the years and a selection of these formed the basis of his illustrated talk.
January saw the local fox hounds and the stream in flood and other months featured various plants and trees, a changing scene over the year.
The meadow has since been declared a SSI, sight of scientific interest, and hopefully will be protected from the ravages of development.
60 members enjoyed a great talk. Chris no longer has a dog and nowadays only takes his camera when travelling abroad , I got the feeling nothing else compares with life at Earl Soham.

March meeting – Alan Gray - ‘The History of East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens’.
Thursday 8th. March , 7.30pm Village Hall

This is a rare chance to hear Alan Gray giving an illustrated talk on the 37 acres of gardens he has developed with Graham Robeson on the North Norfolk coast.
Alan is a broadcaster, writer and flamboyant character and a much sort after speaker
on all things horticultural. As this is a very special evening there will be a charge of £2 for members , payable on the night, but no ticket is necessary. A limited number of tickets for guests/visitors at £5 are available, first come first served, from Jenny Bearcroft - 448571
NB AGM postponed until April meeting.

2018 Programme
The club’s 2018 programme is now in full swing – 7 evening meetings, 4 summer evening visits, the members’ garden party in June, a day trip to RHS Hyde Hall and flower show in August and the Christmas party with quiz in December - all this for £10 annual membership!
The club is open to new members, you don’t have to live in Kirton or Falkenham, just come along to the village hall 7.30pm, second Thursday in the month and get your membership card with the year’s programme or contact our secretary Jenny Bearcroft on 448571.

Dobies seeds
You can still order your seeds and all things gardening from Dobies. Ray Bignell has the new season catalogues and if you are a gardening club member you get a discount of 45% off catalogue prices for seeds and 10% of other products.
Come along to the March meeting and get your catalogue or contact Ray on 448291.

April meeting and AGM - Thurs 12th. April 7.30 pm , Village Hall,
Karen Kenny ‘Water, Water Everywhere’ followed by AGM.
For our April meeting we welcome back Karen Kenny. It is some time since Karen was with us so we look forward to hearing what she gets up to nowadays.
The club’s AGM follows the meeting when we have to elect chairman, secretary, treasurer and auditor. So, your chance to have a say on all things affecting the club.

Tales from the Allotments
As I write these notes, mid Feb, it is cold and wet, very cold and very wet!!
My autumn sown broad beans and garlic are showing green shoots and bravely facing the weather on the wind swept plots. There is still time to sow broad beans and I have some of my own seed if anyone is interested, a tender green bean.
Next for planting will be shallots and onion sets and I have limed the soil for when the weather relents.
Also I still have some of my own butternut squash seed if required – best raised under glass.
We continue to be plagued by pigeons, rabbits, pheasants and mice with pigeons enemy number one! Bob has acquired a friendly owl, very friendly, to help combat the mice but he , the owl not Bob, seems to perch on the same spot and is not very active – maybe it works at night, watch this space?.
This month’s RHS gold medal to Falkenham church’s annual snowdrop miracle and those generous visitors who donated £450 to church funds.
So, hopefully, come March we can get planting and Roselea Express nursery will be ready for you with a wide range of veg plants, and late March, tomato plants, plus various composts and grow bags. Get planting!

Roy Mallett 616