Baddow & Galleywood

Garden Group meetings 2011

The January meeting was to arrange the programme for 2011 and about 16 members got together to chat about ideas and plans. After lively discussions the varied provisional programme was drawn up and it was good to have so many ideas and volunteers to organise meetings. There was also a quiz, raffle, pictures from 2010 and the usual tea and biscuits. An enthusiastic start to the gardening year.

The February meeting was a huge success. Lesley Barkley had suggested and arranged the presentation by Abercorn Plant and Garden Centre. Their representative, Dave, arrived with a load of plants and useful items which he used to give a very entertaining topical talk, assisted by Pat. A short break for tea and biscuits was followed by a long Q & A session until we reluctantly let them leave. We then enjoyed the raffle including a plant donated by Abercorn. Many of us who had not heard of the Gardeners Reward Cards scheme signed up and it was a most interesting and enjoyable afternoon.

In March, after sorting out a few things like the evening trip to Kings Seeds which was majority agreed and next months A-Z letters for people there today, Margot talked entertainingly for a good hour about seeds. She had lots of examples and people joined in discussions from compost type to how to sow!
17 people enjoyed the usual cuppa with lovely chocolate biscuits and the raffle was drawn. Seeds were exchanged and some sown there and then in the pots Margot had provided.

April. Although it was a beautiful sunny spring afternoon, 19 members met to discuss various gardening topical matters from spring pruning to bedding plants. May and June visits were finalised followed by very lively A to Z mini speeches. The letters had been allocated last month and there had obviously been much research to provide entertaining and informative material on the chosen gardening subject. We had some amusing and interesting 'chats' on various plants, mud, old wasp nest exhibits and even sampled some home made jam made by Yvonne from hedgerow fruits.
The usual cuppa and biscuits were much appreciated and the raffle drawn.
Thanks to Phyllis for opening up the club house and organising the refreshments. Also to the Bowls Club for allowing us to use their facilities during the winter months. Once again we had a very good afternoon, run by Marjorie and Margot.

May - Many thanks to Margot and Michael for their hospitality following a last minute change of venue. The garden was so interesting with many different aspects and Margot took us round, chatting to us about which ever plants took people's interest. Michael was a brilliant host with the tea and home made cakes which we enjoyed sitting outside in the sunshine admiring the garden. (I have his ginger and apple cake recipe if anyone wants it as someone asked him)

JUNE MEETING CANCELLED After having to cancel the planned visit for June, Jenny found a local garden where the owners Jan and Alan were willing at such short notice to let us visit. Those who had planned to go to Saffron Walden were treated to a really lovely garden.

Visit to Kings Seeds Kelvedon on the 7th July 2011
Although not many gardeners were able to go, we had members join us from Local History(2), Church visiting and the Walkers so our party was 18 and we had a very enjoyable evening
We were met at Reception by Peter Miller and as it was a fine evening we walked down to take a look at their sweet peas grown for seeds. Here was where we started to learn about the complex seed industry and Peter was a very enthusiastic speaker on his subject.
When we returned to the buildings, we took in our chairs and were given a potted history of the company from 1888, through to the present day. Then we had a guided tour covering all aspects of their work from the laboratory to the packaged seed.
The visit ended with a look at some of the interesting articles in their collection from times gone by
Peter was an excellent speaker, enriching all the information with tales from the past and it was a privilege to have had such a fascinating in-sight into the industry.

August 4th – Dot organised a visit to a garden in Galleywood - Jenny Perks, who is a member of N.G.S. but this had to be cancelled on the day due to heavy rain

September - Thanks to Margot for hosting and 11 of us enjoyed a very pleasant sunny afternoon at Dragons. Also thanks to June Pauline and Joyce for the lovely cakes which we enjoyed with a cuppa.

October - Seventeen members enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon at Porters Farm Kelvedon. Many thanks to Jan for organising it. David Starling gave us a guided tour of the gardens and his wife Judy provided delicious cakes and tea.

November - Seventeen members enjoyed an afternoon of a slide show of splendid photos showing gardens in all the seasons by John and Fred. This was followed by a very entertaining criptic quiz organised by Jan and Jenny.Many thanks to John,Fred, Jan and Jenny for all their hard work, not forgetting Phyllis for the refreshments.
It is mince pies and Christmas floral decorations for the December meeting and Yvonne will be e-mailing members what they need to bring to make their decoration.
We managed to get quite a few ideas for next year which are being looked into and hopefully will be discussed at December/January meeting but there is one month 'May' when we have three ideas:
- tulips at Ulting Wick
- a spring version of the Mushroom Experience (there is a fair amount of walking)
- a collection of epimediums in Hyde Lane Danbury.
It would be very useful if members could let us know which of these they would prefer.
It was agreed on Thursday that for the January meeting we will have another A-Z quiz which was such a success last year (everyone will be given their 'letter' at the December meeting), plus also 'seed swapping'.

December - Fifteen members enjoyed an afternoon of craft supervised by Yvonne who had demonstrated her Christmas garlands. Nearly everyone had a go and a photo of members and their recreations has been put in the U3A magazine. Many thanks to Yvonne for all her hard work at the meeting and before. Also thanks to Phyllis for the refreshments.
Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and good New Year.