Garden Group Meetings 2014
January 2nd - Meeting at Bowls Club 2.15pm - Thirteen members enjoyed an amusing afternoon re their most favourite or hated gardening tools. Many thanks to Phyllis for the idea. Margot 'chaired' the meeting and organised a 'free' raffle. Many thanks to her and Phyllis for the refreshments.
We are trying to put together a programme for this year and would appreciate some ideas and volunteers to organise. Several members today suggested Hyde Hall which is expanding and changing all the time. Please let me know if you have any ideas or bring them along to the next meeting. Regards Joyce
February 6th - What a wonderful turnout yesterday. 29 members braved the weather for a very enjoyable afternoon.Pauline helped by her husband Tony gave a very interesting and fascinating insight to the Australian and New Zealand flora.
We had a discussion on the programme for this year with various ideas put forward e.g. visit to Hyde Hall and Hyland House. If members think of places to visit please let us know, particularly if they are willing to organise an outing!
Many thanks for Jenny and Phyllis for the refreshments and Margot and Marjorie for chairing the meeting. But a big thank you goes to Pauline and Tony for their hard work in putting together their talk. Also to people who brought along prizes for the 'free' raffle which Margot organised including her generous addition of plants. Regards Joyce
March 6th - David,the Manager of Abercorn came yet again to give us one of his interesting and informative talks on 'What is new this year in the Gardening world'. As always he was highly entertaining and answered lots of questions from the audience. We have managed to book him again for October when we are off to Abercorn to make hanging baskets. Thanks to Lesley for organising.
April 3rd - Brian Carline captured us with his talk about being a keen fuchsia and pelargonium grower. Inspiring, educational and very entertaining.Thanks to Marjorie for organising.
May 1st - Our summer programme started in typical weather when 17 members braved the elements to visit a typical country garden in Great Totham. Despite the dubious weather forecast, we were able to enjoy looking around the beautiful gardens rain free with the sun even trying to peep through the clouds. We finished off an enjoyable afternoon with tea at the Tiptree Jam Tea Rooms.
Thanks to Margot for organising.
June 5th - We were so lucky with the weather and 23 enjoyed the afternoon at Elwy Lodge. A very interesting garden from many varied flower beds to perfectly pruned ancient apple trees, from raised vegetable beds to wild flowers and many nooks and crannies. We were able to enjoy refreshments in the sunshine and our group donations totalled £138. The National Garden Scheme (NGS) support a list of charities and donated £2.1 million to these last year.Thank you to the drivers and to Joyce who did a marvellous job emailing to collect names for the visit arranged by Marjorie.
July 3rd - Thirteen of us visited the Sweet Pea House at Layer Marney today and both the weather and the sweet peas were marvellous. Thanks to Lesley for organising the visit.
John M, who was one of our guest speakers last year invited us to follow up with a visit to see his sweet peas in bloom. He spoke of the history from those first documented in Sicily in 1699 through the propagating, pollinating and cultivating to obtain larger flowers, perhaps longer stems and a stronger scent with a vast range of colour. We saw all this walking up and down the rows and looked down at the fairly newly cultivated dwarf stock. He showed us exactly how to pollinate by hand and his goal is a yellow sweet pea in the foreseeable future!
We each picked a bunch of our favourite sweet peas and then had a sit down with our ‘bring your own’ refreshments. Thanks to June for her delicious coconut/lemon cake which everyone enjoyed and the tin of biscuits which appeared from another thoughtful member. Not forgetting Maggie’s liquorice allsorts!
The £26 collection was handed to John for his Charity, Cancer Research and Drivers thanked. An informative and relaxing afternoon enjoyed by all.
August 7th - A visit and group tour at RHS Garden Hyde Hall which was a hot but very enjoyable afternoon. The 20 strong group where split into 2 teams with knowledgeable guides who including a potted history and an insight into future plans. The guides showed various areas explaining how they are at their best at different times of the year, covered the interesting planting and even how the irrigation systems work by using rain water and their lakes.
Thanks for the photos, Jenny and Yvonne. Collages attached which I have resized for easy viewing!!
Also many thanks to Lesley for being Tour Leader. Such a very good visit which was of course finished with suitable refreshments.
September 4th - Those of us who visited Dot's garden today were able to see just how much variety there can be to planting in smaller spaces. From the new dry garden to the variety of pots and planted areas including the biggest Hydrangea flower ever seen! See pic of front garden although it is a shame that I forgot to snap away in the lovely courtyard at the back of the house where again there were multiple plants being nurtured.
We did also cover a few gardening related topics and as non of us knew how long frogs live I googled the question and 'It turns out that very little is known at all about the natural life span of frogs. Partially, this is because it's pretty hard to track a frog all its life! (I guess they haven't figured out a good way to put little tiny collars around their necks!) However, some records show that in captivity, many species of frogs and toads can live for surprisingly long times. They seem generally average somewhere between 4 and 15 years!'
Has anyone had success at planting seeds from a Hosta? Again from google.......'When the seeds pods are ripe they turn brown and start to split length wise. Then the seed pod is ready to release the seeds and in the autumn I dug a small hole in the soil and placed the seeds, covering them with an inch or two of soil...the next spring I had hosta leafs!.'
Many thanks to Dot and Malcolm for their hospitality. The tea and cake were enjoyed immensely and Dot chose to support The J's Hospice with the collection.
Thank you to those who had let Joyce know they were not able to come along. Your names were read out with apologies.
October 2nd - A visit to Abercorn - Hanging Basket demonstration - 20 members had an enjoyable afternoon at Abercorn where David Gillam gave an interesting talk and demonstration on winter pots.
We certainly did not need 'coats' as it was very warm inside. Abercorn provided tea and coffee and thanks to some members we enjoyed a variety of cakes. Thank you very much to the cake makers. However, the main thanks goes to Lesley for organising the event.
November 6th - Meeting at Bowls Club 2.15pm – The meeting was well attended and we enjoyed Harry Brickwood talking about gardens through the year. He had some interesting pictures to go with the talk and the afternoon finished with the usual tea and biscuits. Thank you Jenny for the refreshments and Lesley for organising the afternoon.
December 4th - Meeting at Bowls Club 2.15pm - a social afternoon with photos quiz and mince pies. The weather was dismal so we were not missing out on gardening and 20 of us enjoyed the meeting. Firstly we chatted about the sad loss of Joyce and those who wished to, signed a condolence card from the Group. She was a lovely lady and as someone said, we will miss her smiling face. For those of you who wish to know, her funeral service is taking place at St Mary’s on Friday the 12 December at 12.30.
From remembering Joyce we went on to discuss our 2015 programme and it was good that a few ideas came up. Following on we settled down to be entertained by Maggie with her photos of some lovely gardens she visited this year and also how her own garden was transformed over the 2 years since she moved to her new home. It was inspiring and wonderful to see how she has gradually transformed the bare canvas to a beautiful space. Well done Maggie for your garden and for sharing with us. The loud applause showed how much commentary and photos were enjoyed!!!
Time for tea and mince pies. Homemade mince pies were a treat and many thanks ladies for making them with the usual appreciation to Phyllis and Jenny for organising refreshments. This was also the challenge time for Jenny’s Quiz and what can I say. Well we did try hard Jenny and I am sure Nasturtium should have been in there somewhere! There wasn’t a score of 20 in the room but team Diana and Maggie scored an amazing 15 to take the Smarties 1st prize and because Lyn had done so well to get 14 all by herself she was awarded a 2nd chocolate prize. Good fun and thanks Jenny.
The Raffle followed and thanks to those who brought along prizes. The Hyacinth bulbs I won should be out by Christmas and I love their fragrance.
Time had not allowed us to see the photos that Diana and Allen had brought along but this was very good as they have now volunteered to entertain us in November next year. Great and thanks to Allen for bringing along Projector Screen etc. In the same way I am keeping Jan’s Quiz in reserve for a future meeting so thanks to Jan too.
That’s all for 2014. Happy Christmas and may your New Year be Gardening Happy.