Newsletter January 2015

Ruddington Gardeners’ Association – Newsletter January 2015
2014 has been a year in which the RGA has built upon the foundation laid during its “resurrection year” of 2013, with a varied programme of activities. The AGM on 29th January 2013 resulted in a new Committee with all those elected integrating very well into their different tasks during the last 12 months. The Annual Membership of £5 and £2 per member per meeting with a free raffle ticket, and a charge of £3 per meeting for visitors, was agreed at the AGM. These fees, together with plant and produce sales at some of our monthly meetings, ensured that RGA met its projected financial target for the year.
Our speakers have again presented a range of interesting topics. Dr Peter Cooke (26th February), a retired chemist from Allestree near Derby, who travels extensively in South Africa, presented “Flora of South Africa” and made us aware of the source of some of our garden plants. He also included photographs of wild life of the region. Retaining the wild life theme, but not on such an exotic scale, was Stephen Lovell (26th March) with “Wildlife in Your Garden”. He discussed ways of attracting birds and animals into our gardens, however small the plot. He explained the need for everyone to make an effort to maintain biodiversity, to grow a range of plants and not to eliminate all weeds. Members enjoyed an evening of superb photography on 30th April through the presentation of Steffie Shields with “The Artist in the Garden”. Steffie is a well-known Lincolnshire photographer and lecturer who has researched extensively the work of Lancelot “Capability” Brown, having visited and photographed many of the gardens that he created. Members who did not attend this meeting missed a real photographic experience. The theme of “old” gardens, especially walled gardens, linked the presentation for April with that of 28th May, when Kate Ward introduced us to “The History of the Walled Garden”. Her presentation also provided insight into the ways in which gardens have developed over many years in terms of their use for leisure and vegetable production. An historical angle was provided by Michael Brown through “Gardens in the Age of Chivalry – Medieval Gardens” on 25th June. Michael supported his lecture with an interesting collection of old garden tools; sometimes he gives his lectures in period costume, but we were spared this pleasure when he visited RGA!
A stand at the Great Central and Northern Railway site on 4th May enabled us to promote the activities of RGA to the public, to sell plants, and to raise £126-20 for our funds. Members also enjoyed social events during the summer. An evening visit on 21st May to Rassells Nursery at Little Bytham, Lincolnshire, allowed 15 members to purchase excellent plants at competitive prices. Claire Rassell and her assistant made us very welcome and gave us a conducted tour of the propagation areas, followed by refreshments. On 12th July members visited the RHS garden at Wisley, near Guildford. Our affiliation to the RHS (No. 22661406) gave us free entry to the garden, enabling us to keep the overall cost to £20 per member. A perfect summer’s day and stunning displays in the borders and glasshouses made the long journey worthwhile. Our raffle at Rothersthorpe Service Station on the journey home was probably a surprise to other travellers and to our coach driver. Keith and Doris Soden-Barton hosted our Summer Social on 2nd August. Although wet at the start, the rain cleared quickly and the beautiful garden provided the ideal venue for our BBQ and games. The latter brought out the unexpected competitive element in several RHA members with the demonstration of hidden talents. RGA combined with Tollerton Garden Club for a visit on 20th September to the Hempsall Heritage Orchard at Cart Gaps, East Markham. John and Helen Hempsall maintain a private collection of apple trees, with more than 300 “modern” and “ancient” varieties. An excellent afternoon with some members visiting Tuxford Windmill on the way home. Each year, John and Helen display their collection of apples in Southwell Minster at the Bramley Apple Day during October, which is worth seeing.
Following the summer break of formal meetings, Patsy Rayner (24th September) discussed the ways in which nature impacts on Japanese Life with her talk “The Role of Nature in Japanese Life”. Patsy is a regular visitor to her family in Japan so had interesting facts on hand to support her photographs. Members who grew onions from sets presented three dressed onions at the meeting, with Harold Swift’s produce being judged the best. “Garden Ponds” was the theme on 29th October with Linda Smith from Waterside Nursery near Hinckley introducing some of the basics of establishing garden ponds, the type of plants to grow and the importance of water to encourage wildlife. Richard Adams (26th November), a former resident of Ruddington and currently a well-known photographer from Oakham, gave us a thoroughly entertaining evening with “Camera in the Garden” in which his stunning collections of photographs were set to music. The nature of his presentation took many members by surprise! His photographs are worth viewing at

A feature of our monthly meetings has been a display of flowers/plants from the garden, especially more unusual items, to encourage discussion between our members. Our activities can be followed on our Website; Kirsty Guy eagerly awaits photographs of events captured on your camera. The Christmas Social attended by 40 members on 5th December at the Framework Knitters Museum with a quiz, an excellent buffet and an extensive raffle, concluded our programme for 2014.

Orders for Kings Seeds will be delivered for collection at the January meeting in 2015, with a 50% discount on catalogue prices.
The following were members of the Committee in 2014: Mike Davey (Chairman and Programme Organiser), Tom Lister (Secretary), David Jones (Treasurer), Liz McAdam (Membership Secretary), Kirsty Guy (Website Manager), Barbara Venes, Clement Dixon, Harold Swift, and Ron Walters. Many thanks to all members who have supported our activities during 2014 by attending meetings and social events, providing extra raffle prizes, sales plants, organising refreshments, setting out the venue for meetings and helping with the general administration. Their input has been much appreciated.

Any plants and produce for sale will be very welcome in 2015. Please keep propagating, and also bring interesting plants for the display at our monthly meetings.

Programme 2015
28th January Graham Wagstaffe “Vegetables in Small Spaces”
14th February Visit to Easton Walled Gardens to see the Snowdrops; Depart The Hermitage 10.15am
25th February Annual General Meeting; Question Time
25th March Mo Cooper “St Anns Allotments”
29th April Anne Bird “World of Roses”
17th May Plant Stall at GCRN Family Fun Day (date and time to be confirmed)
20th May Evening Visit to The Herb Nursery, Thistleton; Depart The Hermitage 5.30pm; £5
27th May David Russell “Joan’s Secret Garden”
24th June Geoff Hodge “Happy House Plants”
4th July Visit to Renishaw Hall Gardens, Eckington, Derbyshire; Depart The Green, Ruddington 9.30am; depart Renishaw Hall Gardens 4.30pm
11th July Keyworth Open Show; take along your entries!
25th July Summer Social BBQ at “Woodside”, Landmere Lane, Ruddington; afternoon
19th September WI Centenary Event with RGA and other Village Groups, St. Peter’s Rooms (details to be confirmed)
30th September Christopher Margrave “The Garden at Clumber Park”
28th October Jan Greenland “Edible Herbs”
25th November Ian Retson “The Woodland Trust in the National Forest”
4th December Christmas Social; 7.30pm, St Peter’s Rooms

SUNFLOWER COMPETITION – Grow a sunflower and bring your largest sunflower head to the September Meeting.
PHOTOGRAPHIC DISPLAY – THEME – “LIFE IN THE GARDEN” – Bring your photographs to the November meeting. Photographs will be displayed at the Christmas Social in December.
Monthly Meetings – 7.00pm for 7.30pm, The Hermitage, Wilford Road, Ruddington NG11 6EL; Annual Membership £5 per annum, £2 per member per meeting with a free raffle ticket. Visitors £3 per meeting. For Further details contact 0115 9841687 / 0115 9213657. Best wishes and every success in 2015!