August 2017

KIRTON AND FALKENHAM GARDENERS CLUB

September meeting – Thurs. 14th. Sept. - ‘ Tulips and Complementary Planting’
Neil Bradfield - 7.30pm Village Hall.

August visit – Berghersh Place, Witnesham.
‘What a difference a day makes’ goes the old song and indeed this was the case for our August visit, Wednesday had been one long downpour but, après le deluge, we arrive at Berghersh Place on Thursday evening to be greeted by owner Wendy Parkes and warm sunshine.
When the Parkes arrived 20 years ago the Regency style house was surrounded by arable land and Wendy recalled how combine harvesters passed close to her kitchen window. 20 years on there are now walled and hedged gardens, lawns and green paddocks around the house above the Fynn valley. There is also a burial mound, ponds, bog area, orchard, and family gardens with shrubs and perennials. The grass areas are very green due to the heavy clay land. After a conducted tour, tea and cakes and a chance to view samples of Wendy’s paintings which she somehow finds time for. A fitting end to our summer visits for the 35 members who made the trip.

Summer outing - 26th. July and our long awaited two venue trip.
First port of call is the famed Great Comp garden in Platt near Sevenoaks. There to meet us is curator William Dyson who gives us a talk on the gardens before, armed with guides, we are free to explore this paradise for garden lovers.
William is one of Europe’s leading salvia experts and they feature in the well stocked nursery. The gardens run to some seven acres and contain many rare plants.
Just time for refreshments in the dairy tea rooms before we board the coach and head for Eynsford and Lullingstone Castle. There to greet us is Tom Hart Dyke who gives us an intro to his World Garden of Plants ( built in 2005, now with over 10,000 species) before a guided tour of the garden he planned whilst held captive in Colombia. We also tour the Hot and Spiky house and the Cloud Garden. We then have a guided tour of the family home before enjoying a delicious cream tea on the lawn.
We set off for home after a great day out for which we thank Jenny for organising.
Lullingstone Castle is open for visitors, Fri, Sat and Sun, April – Sept.

September meeting -
So summer has gone and our Autumn/Winter programme kicks off with the visit of Neil Bradfield who will be talking on how to get the best from your tulips and complementary planting. This is Neil’s first visit to Kirton and we look forward to his talk. We are back in the Village Hall and as usual start at 7.30pm.
If you are new to the village why not come along, you can join the club for only £8 and enjoy our Autumn programme, Jenny will have membership cards available on the night. Time for tea/coffee and a chat after Neil’s talk.

October meeting, Thurs. 12th. October Jim Buttress on his time in charge of the Central Royal Parks.
Come early for this one as it is a very special talk by Jim Buttress , top RHS judge and star of The Great Allotment challenge – not to be missed!

After that we have a welcome return visit of Sonya Burrows on 9th. November and 14th.December we are in the Church Hall for our Christmas party when Charlie Haylock will be taking ‘ An Eccentric Look at Spoken English ‘.

Despite the gloomy forecasts during the May/June drought crop yields have been exceptional and we struggle to find a home for the surplus of beans of all varieties, courgettes, carrots , tomatoes and soft fruits. I have some very understanding neighbours who help out ( one couple even sent me a thank you card although I feel it should be me doing this!)and I now regularly supply the Friday bin men who have a liking for fresh produce , the ‘ rubbish men ‘ will, as appropriate, take anything, whilst the ‘recycling’ guys are more discerning and especially have a penchant for courgettes! The ladies at the Monday night whist drives specialise in beetroot and they bring me homemade chutney in return. So quite a network has been built up. However despite all this a lot of produce finishes on the compost heap but of course this goes toward creating next year’s surplus! My other half unhelpfully regularly reminds me we are now a household of two rather than five.
Anyhow be warned we still have the autumn crops to come , in particular butter nut squash have made rampant growth and the bramley apple trees are weighed down with fruit.

Roy Mallett 616