Winter Newsletter 2018

January 11, 2018

 Winter Newsletter 2018


When thinking about racing- competitors what comes to mind are fast cars, athletes, horses, cyclists - but ferrets? Well you may be surprised to hear that they quite enjoy the sport, if ambling down a tube in search of food could be classed as racing. What have ferrets to do with gardening you may wonder? Well our end of year social evening in November featured ferret racing and lots of lovely food and drink. Fifty ferrets were supplied for the evening by a rescue charity that apparently cares for over one hundred of these cute-faced creatures.  This was a time to catch up with friends as well as raising money to boost the bank balance of the society. The cost of staging our shows and talks is constantly rising and membership fees do not cover all of our costs.


The order from Thompson and Morgan has arrived and members’ seeds have been distributed. This autumn we sent an order of over £300. T&M have a fantastic range of flower and vegetable seeds on which we get 50% discount. We also get 20% off sundries and plants. Sadly very few members take advantage of this. I usually send in the order before Christmas as later orders sometimes get substitutes as stocks of the most popular varieties can run out. However as there may be new members or others who missed the first order I am planning to do a second order at the beginning of February. If you are interested please ring me on 01442833520 for a catalogue and order form. Discounts apply only to orders through the society.


The north south battle continues with the weather. For a while the northern blast prevailed bringing heavy snow but now the southerly winds will bring us a grey, not white, Christmas. Despite the cold spell the green shoots of snowdrops are already pushing up into the light and the first yellow “spiders” of Witch Hazel are beginning to appear in my garden. Having passed the winter solstice we gardeners can begin to plan for the new gardening year as the days begin to lengthen. It is always good to get out of doors in the winter, but if you don’t feel inclined to be active in your own garden it is stimulating to wander around someone else’s. For many years I have enjoyed visiting Cambridge Botanic Garden in the winter. The cleverly planted winter garden is still being developed as is the stunning garden at Anglesey Abbey not far away. There the silver birches create a magical forest of dazzling white trunks. Nearer to home RHS Wisley gardens have a delightful winter walk that begins near the restaurant and ends by the glasshouse café. Pick up a map at the entrance as it provides photographs and useful information about the plants. There is also a planting list to help you to create a winter corner in your own garden. If you cannot get to an open garden just take time to have a walk in the countryside and appreciate the skeletal beauty of our native trees. Take a camera too as there is nothing better to photograph than a bare tree silhouetted against a setting sun.


The new handbook contains lots of important information about our shows, talks and also tips for exhibitors. There are also ads. for local businesses and a list of those who will give a discount for members. We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supports our society. It is important that we keep our village societies and interest groups running to provide a vibrant and interesting community. I would also like to say thank you to Ron Smith for editing our handbook each year.


With your handbook is the list of garden supplies that members can order. Orders, paid in advance need to be given to Mike Leon by 18th February. Mike has kindly organised a collection point for orders on 3rd March at Wild Acre in Bushfield Road, Bovingdon. This is a very useful service that means you can get all your requirements in on trip. Thank you Mike for organising this.


The first event on the 2018 calendar for members is a talk about “Spring Flowering Bulbs” given by Roger Sygrave who was gardens manager at Capel Manor for over 20 years. This will take place on 7th March in the Baptist church at 7.30. Further details will be sent by e-mail closer to the date. The second talk on 9th May has a quirky title. “I am a tulip – what are you?” Jacqueline Violet will be giving a talk about plant names that are shared by people. She describes her style as informative and light-hearted. Jacqueline has run her nursery in Kent, Rosie’s Garden Plants” for over 20 years and grows Asters, hardy Geraniums and herbs particularly those with peoples’ names, terms of endearment and cheeky asides. I hope that members will find these talks useful and entertaining.  

Our Spring Show this year is on 14th April so let’s hope the weather has warmed by then!


Meanwhile the committee and I would like to wish all of our members a happy new year.                    


Doreen Woods. 

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