January Newsletter 2014

Ruddington Gardeners’ Association – Newsletter  January 2014

The last 12 months has been a “resurrection year” for RGA. Our very successful Christmas Social on 6th December 2012 was the first occasion that enabled members to meet on an informal basis. The last Wednesday of each month at the Hermitage at 7.30pm was set as our “regular” time for open meetings, with the AGM on 23rd January 2013 resulting in the election of the new committee and details of the programme for 2013.

Speakers each month have given talks on a range of topics. Sue Hayward commenced our formal programme on 27th February with an illustrated talk entitled “One Thousand Miles to Chelsea”, in which she described her design, the sourcing of plants and the construction of a Scottish Croft Garden that was awarded a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2008. A fascinating presentation that explained the extensive amount of work and the number of persons involved in such an ambitious project, not forgetting the cost.

On 27th March, members welcomed Gail and John Summerfield from Westshores Nurseries,Winterton, Near Scunthorpe.  They gave a light hearted introduction to“Gardening on a Small Scale in Pots, Baskets and Other Containers”.Their dog, a comic member of the nursery, made several appearances on the slides. The plants which Gail and John offered for sale were much appreciated; Westshores Nursery is well worth a visit if anyone is in theWinterton area.

Andrew Sankey also brought excellent sales plants to accompany his talk on “The History of Cottage Gardens” on 24thApril. A super talk accompanied by drawings depicting the development of cottage gardens over the centuries. Andrew has moved from Lincolnshire to Cambridge; we hope he will consider coming to us again in the future.

David Thornton, a champion vegetable grower and exhibitor, provided us on 29th May with “Growing Better Vegetables”, including information and suggestions on the ways to improve our own vegetables. He simplified some difficult concepts relating to fertilisers and their uses.

More of a holiday approach looking at other people’s gardens in Devon and Cornwall was presented by John Page at the meeting on 26th June with his talk entitled “Gardens of Devon and Cornwall”.

Three social events were organised for the summer.  Twelve members made an evening visit in July (10th) to the spectacular garden established by Dr Andrew Ward and his wife at Norwell near Newark,and to purchase plants from their specialist nursery.

July (20th) was also the month for a coach outing to the RHS garden at Harlow Carr atHarrogate attended by 50 members and friends. Stunning borders and plant displays, combined with very helpful staff at Harlow Carr, comfortable executive transport from Silverdale Coaches, the friendliness of Ron our driver, and a well-supported raffle, made an interesting and excellent day.

Fourteen members also met on the evening of 14th August for an allotment and village walk-about, visiting Paradise Gardens, Hareham Gardens, Buttercup Allotments and concluding with refreshments at the White Horse. We were indebted to local historian Gavin Walker who accompanied our walk and whopointed out many interesting features of a number of village buildingsand introduced us to some of the village characters, past and present. Old photographs and maps that Gavin brought to illustrate his dialogue were much appreciated.

September 25th was the turn of Jeff Bates with his talk “The Garden inWinter” with plenty of audience participation, while Dr Patrick Harding presented “Flowers of the Peak District” at our meeting on 30th October.  Patrick gave a fascinating insight into the relationships of the natural flora and the geology of the area, interspersed with tales of folklore.  Some of his books were on sale, together with cards of water colours of plants painted by his wife and other Botanical Artists from the University of Sheffield Botanical Gardens. A truly stimulating evening, underpinned by Patrick’s charismatic personality.

On 27th November Don Witton from Sheffield gave his lively presentation “People, Plants, Pleasures and Passion”. He and his wife also brought plants for sale. Don holds the National Collection of Euphorbias, and runs a small nursery specialising in plants of this genus and other perennials. The nursery has featured on Gardeners World and in several gardening magazines; it may provide us with a venue for a visit in the future.

The October meeting was also the weigh-in for our “Potato in a BucketCompetition”. Fifteen members had signed up to grow one tuber of the salad variety “Charlotte” using their own compost, but only 5 membersremembered to bring their potatoes for the weigh-in. Top of the list was Keith Soden-Barton with a very commendable 1540 g of tubers, followed by Zoe Partan and Margaret Tilstan (1495 g), and Sally Bryer(1385g), with the “tail-enders” Mike Davey (410g) and Clement Dixon (175g). Keith received a bottle of Belvoir Elder Flower Pressé for his efforts, with Clement being awarded the booby prize of a packet of Walkers Crisps, just to retain the potato theme.

Thirty six members attended our Christmas Social gathering on 6th December. The buffet supper, a quiz, a raffle with many top quality prizes, and rolling coins for a bottle of whiskey, provided an excellent end to 2013. Many thanks to all those members who contributed raffle prizes throughout the year.Some members also signed up for the purchase of King’s Seeds at a saving of 50% on catalogue prices.

Following presentations made by David Jones (Treasurer) relating to finances of RGA, members agreed (subject to confirmation at the AGM 2014) that the Membership Fee for 2014 will be £5 per annum and £2 per member per meeting, with a free raffle ticket.

The following were members of the Committee in 2013: Barbara Venes(Chairman), Tom Lister (Secretary), David Jones (Treasurer), LizMcAdam (Membership Secretary), Mike Davey (Programme Organiser; Deputy Chairman from 9/5/13), Paul Joels (Publicity), Clement Dixon, Ron Walters, and Harold Swift.

The Ruddington Gardeners’ Association is now re-established in the village to provide a monthly forum where persons with an interest in any aspect of gardening and related activities can meet, listen to aspeaker and share experiences.

The Committee thanks the members for all their support during 2013 and hopes that the Ruddington Gardeners’ Association canbuild upon this success with the programme that has been arranged for 2014 and your continued support.

Programme 2014

29th January​​Annual General Meeting; King’s Seeds for distribution

26th February​​Peter Cooke​ Flora of South Africa

26th March​​Steve Lovell​ Wildlife in Your Garden

30th April​​Steffie Shields​ The Artist in the Garden

21st May​Evening visit to Rasells Nurseries, Little Bytham, Lincs – TBC

28th May​​Kate Wood​ History of the Walled Garden

25th June​​Michael Brown ​Gardens in the Age of Chivalry – Medieval Gardens

​12th July​Visit to RHS Wisley – TBC​

20th September  Afternoon visit to Hempsall Heritage Orchard, East Markham, Notts. 2.30pm

24th September​​Patsy Rayner​The Role of Nature in Japanese Life

29th October​​Linda Smith​Garden Ponds

26th November​​Richard Adams​Camera in the Garden

5th December​​Christmas Social Evening

Monthly meetings – 7.00pm for 7.30pm, The Hermitage; Membership Fee £5 per annum; £2 per member per meeting with a free raffle ticket; Visitors £3 per meeting. For further details contact Mike Davey on 0115 9841687

Best wishes and good growing in 2014!

File: Davey: RGA Newsletter 2013.doc