and District Horticultural Society is one of Norfolk’s longer
established Horticultural Societies whose origins can definitely
be traced back to 1922. There is also anecdotal evidence of a
Local Gardening Society emerging shortly after the Great War.
Most of our
Members are keen flower, fruit and vegetable gardeners.
meeting is held at the Hethersett Methodist Church Hall which is
to be found in the Great Melton Road, with parking behind.
The meeting is
usually held on the third Wednesday of the month, at 7.30pm.
We always try
to arrange at least one annual coach outing to a garden or show.
At the end of
summer at Harvest time we hold our annual Members’ show; where
good spirited competitions for best produce holds sway.
Each year there
is a Summer Party cum meal in a Member’s Garden and an Annual
End of Year Dinner; plus the excitement of a raffle each
We will always
welcome new Members; do come and join; or telephone Chairman
Chris Morriss on 01603-810060. Committee Secretary Leslie Dale
can be contacted on 01603 813426.
2014/2015 click here.
click on photos
were over 300 entries for Hethersett and District Horticultural
Society’s annual show with the judges praising the quality.
welcome increase on the previous year was helped by good growing
conditions throughout the summer. The main judges, Robin Parker
and Cathryn Waldron, said that the “exhibits were of a good
standard and the show well presented.” Fellow judge Ron
Farebrother also praised the standards of the “single bloom”
Best in Show award along with the Best Exhibit in the Vegetable
Section prize was for a plate of tomatoes exhibited by Pauline
Harper. Pauline Bunn won most points overall in the main
sections and Benjamin Sidell won a Young Person’s Plaque for
making the best face mask.
were presented by club president Shirley Keeley: Best in
Show, Presidents Cup and Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural
Society Medal, Pauline Harper; Most Points in Vegetable, Fruit
and Flower Sections, Emily Knights Memorial Trophy and the RHS
Banksian Medal, Pauline Bunn; Runner Up in Vegetable, Fruit and
Flower Sections and winner of The Peter Bond Trophy, Pauline
Chairman’s Trophy for Best Exhibit in
Vegetable Section, Pauline Harper; Charles Tudor Challenge Cup
for Most Points in Vegetable Section, Pauline Bunn. Deacon
Senior Cup for Best Exhibit in Fruit Section, Pauline Harper;
Deacon Junior Cup for Most Points in Fruit Section Classes,
Pauline Harper; Burton Fanning Silver Challenge Cup for Best
Exhibit in Flower Section, Pauline Bunn; Silver Challenge Cup
for Most Points in Flower Section, Pauline Bunn; Benjamin Trophy
for Best Exhibit in Arrangement Section, Jean Ramsbottom.
Peggy Crowe Memorial Plate for Best in
Photography Section, John Freeman; John Howard Memorial Cup for
Best Exhibit in Domestic Section, Pauline Harper; Abra Trophy
for Most Points in the Arrangement and Domestic Sections,
Pauline Harper; Ethel Hayward memorial Cup for Bowl of Roses,
Hethersett and District
Horticultural Society held its annual show in Hethersett Village Hall on
Saturday, 10th September with an increased number of entries.
Vegetables and fruit of all
shapes and sizes mingled with top class floral arrangements, scones, cakes
and photographic classes, proving the society's diversity.
Ted Hallett was organising the
event for the first time and expressed himself well pleased with the
outcome and standard of produce, much of which was auctioned off at the
end of the show.
"I am very pleased that
the overall number of entries is up and the quality has been good. It has
been a tremendous effort from all the people that have helped to make the
show a success," he said.
It was a good day for the two
Paulines - Harper and Bunn - who between them took many of the top prizes.
Pauline Harper won the President's Cup for Best in Show for her display of
included for both society members and non members and for all
ages with Juliette Appleby gaining most points in the class for
eight to 11 year olds and Callum Doonan gaining most points in
the class for 12 to 14 year olds.
trophy winners were: President's Cup for Best in Show, Pauline Harper; Emily
Knights Memorial Trophy for most points in vegetable, fruit and flowers,
Pauline Bunn; RHS Banksian Medal for most points in vegetable, fruit and
flowers excluding winner in two previous years, Carol Towells; Peter Bond
Trophy for runner-up in vegetable, fruit and flowers, Pauline Harper.
Chairman's Trophy for Best Exhibit in vegetable classes, Pauline Bunn;
Charles Tudor Challenge Cup for most points in vegetable classes, Pauline
Bunn; Deacon Senior Cup for Best Exhibit in Fruit Section, Pauline Harper;
Deacon Junior Cup for most points in Fruit Section, Pauline Harper; Burton
Fanning Silver Challenge Cup for Best Exhibit in Flowers Section, Pauline
Bunn; Silver Challenge Cup for most points in flower section, Pauline
Bunn; Benjamin Trophy for Best Floral Arrangement, Judy Freeman.
Memorial Plate for Best Photograph, Carol Towells; John Howard Memorial
Cup for Best exhibit in Domestic Classes, Pauline Bunn; Abra Trophy for
most points in arrangements, photographs and domestic classes, Pauline
Harper; Ethel Haywood Memorial Cup for bowl of roses, Carol Towells;
Plaque for most points in classes for 8 to 11 year olds, Juliette Appleby;
Plaque for most points in classes for 12 to 14 year olds, Callum Doonan.
Horticultural Society Member Leslie Dale also
sent us this report of the annual show.
The Annual Show of the Hethersett &
District Horticultural Society was another well attended event
and judged a success. The Flower Section Judge was heard to say
in his opinion the standard was higher in 2011 than 2010.
Some 19 trophies were awarded.
"Paid for" Class Entries totalled 295 against 290
for 2011. This did not include the Salvias which were sold from
the wholesalers tray at 30p a time in January and purchasers
told to bring along their matured Salvia, to add colour to the
Village Hall stage. Margaret Ford Vice Chairman was the winner
of this category.
"Best in Show" over all the entry Classes was
Pauline Harper, gaining the "Presidents" Cup along
with the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society Medal.
Pauline Bunn accumulate most points in the Vegetable, Fruit
and Flowers Section and was awarded the "Emily Knights
Carol Towells was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s
Banksian Medal for most points Vegetable, Fruit and Flowers
Section; [this is always awarded to people who have NOT won in
the previous 2 years.]
We meet at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton
All are welcome - occasional visitors are charged £1.00;
refreshments are included.
Leslie Dale, Committee Secretary.
Please ask for any of the above photos c.1mb
on the images to open a larger picture
and District Horticultural Society reported a bumper crop for
its annual show in Hethersett Village Hall.
in the various classes were up by 40 on the previous year and
there was plenty of opportunity for younger members to join in
with classes including the best monster made from fruit or
vegetables and decorated wellies.
It was a special day for 11-year-old Callum Doonan who is in
his first year at Hethersett High School. He took the prize for
the best monster made from vegetables and also the heaviest
marrow with a six pounder that the previous week had come second
in a show at Little Melton. Not to be outdone the remainder of
the Doonan family also met with success with mum Fiona, dad John
and sister Rebecca all winning classes of their own.
Local resident Carol Towells surprised herself by wining the
best bowl of roses section and also the best exhibit in the
photography section. Carol also exhibited vegetables for the
first time since renovating an allotment in Little Melton.
The President’s Cup and Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural
Medal for best entry in show went to Mina Lofty.
Prizewinners were: President’s Cup and Norfolk
Horticultural Society Medal for best in show, Mina Lofty; Emily
Knights Memorial Trophy for Vegetable, fruit and flowers,
Pauline Harper; Banksian Medal for vegetable, fruit and flowers,
Margaret Sidell; Peter Bond Trophy for vegetable, fruit and
flower section runner-up, Margaret Sidell; Chairman’s Trophy
for best exhibit in vegetable section, Mina Lofty; Charles Tudor
Challenge Cup for most points in the vegetable section, Pauline
Harper; Deacon Senior Cup for best exhibit in the fruit section,
Pauline Harper; Deacon Junior Cup for most points in the fruit
section, Pauline Harper; Burton Fanning Silver Challenge Cup for
best exhibit in the flower section, Sheila Read; Silver
Challenge Cup for most points in the flower section, Margaret
Sidell; Benjamin Trophy for best arrangement, Margaret Ford;
Peggy Crowe Memorial Plate for best exhibit in the photography
section, Carol Towells; John Howard Memorial Cup for best
exhibit in the domestic section, Pauline Harper; Abra Trophy for
most points in the arrangement, photographic and domestic
sections, Margaret Sidell; Ethel Haywood Memorial Cup for bowl
of roses, Carol Towells.
Most points in decorate a wellie and draw a picture of a
garden for seven years and under section, Christopher Sidell;
most points in making a monster from fruit or vegetables, Callum
Non members classes: Tray of garden produce, Fiona Doonan;
heaviest marrow, Callum Doonan; best scarecrow, Anne Edwards;
nine small tomatoes, Fiona Doonan; Photograph “morning
glory”, John Doonan; photograph “a garden visit”, Rebecca
Doonan; jam filled Victoria sandwich, Fiona Doonan;
and District Horticultural Society’s annual show is looking to
extend local people’s interests in gardening by including a
number of fun categories in its annual show which will be held
in Hethersett Village Hall at 2 p.m on Saturday, 8th
year’s classes will include “scarecrows and “decorated
wellies” Prizes will be presented by chairman of South Norfolk
District Council Joe Mooney at 3.45 p.m
our Society’s purpose is to extend an interest in gardening
matters to all ages and walks of life in and around Hethersett.
One way of starting this process is to invite outsiders to
participate in our produce annual show,” said society
committee secretary Leslie Dale.
can enrol entries on Thursday 6th September at the
Methodist Hall at 7pm. Classes also include tomatoes, apples,
specimen roses, photos, sponge cake and six classes for
youngsters. Full details are available by telephoning Marilyn
Savory on 01603-811271.
and District Horticultural Society dates back to the early 1920s
and is one of the oldest in the county. There is anecdotal
evidence of it being founded soon after the First World War. It
meets on the third Wednesday of each month apart from December
when it takes place on the second Wednesday. Meetings are held
in the Methodist Church Hall in Great Melton Road at 7.30pm and
there is always a speaker who is an expert in some aspect of
horticulture or conservation.
Horticultural Society’s February meeting was something of a
disaster averted, when personal problems prevented the booked
talk entitled “The History of the Flower Shop”, promptly
followed by a hastily arranged talk about the history of
Sheringham Park, also falling.
of the hour was none other than Dr Anne Edwards, now B.E.M.,
Chairman of Hethersett’s Environmental Action Team and Parish
Councillor, whose recent “Green Tours” had taken her to the
delights of Chapelfield Gardens and New York’s Central Park.
green leaves lead to intriguing and historic tales, not only of
various indigenous trees but also of travellers of old, moving
animals and birds and shrubs between continents. Some moves like
that of the grey squirrel and knotweed are of deep regret, but
how heartening to know that the humble English Sparrow thrives
meet on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great
Melton Road, Hethersett. All are welcome - occasional visitors
are charged £1.00; refreshments are included.
next meeting is on Wednesday March 18th Bob Coutts
will be holding a “Gardening Clinic” after the Society’s
AGM on 18th February and on Wednesday 15th
April Claire Horne will talk of Garden Bugs and Beasties.
our November meeting Kathy Gray gave an illustrated and
absorbing talk about the historic achievements of the “Plant
from anecdotal tales of the Romans and also an Egyptian Queen at
c.1495BC the main explorations of the world by British Plant
Hunters commenced in the 1400’s in Europe. Sadly many of them
died ahead of their 3 score and ten years; and yet even today
people risk their lives in hard to reach parts of the world to
continue that hunt.
learned how Joseph Banks set sail with Captain Cook in the
Endeavour on a circumnavigation of the world; an event leading
to the formation of the Kew Gardens we know today. He is the
Banks of the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual “Banksian
Masson, Douglas Alexander [of the Douglas Fir] and Ernest Wilson
all followed Banks’ example in distinctly different parts of
the world. Without these four brave people the seed companies
catalogues and gardens throughout the world, would be much more
drab and boring places.
meet on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great
Melton Road, Hethersett. All are welcome - occasional visitors
are charged £1.00; refreshments are included.
next meeting is on 10th December Members will produce
their own Contributions ahead of the usual Christmas
celebration. On January 14th Barry Gayton will be
visiting to talk about “Sink Gardens and Plants”
our February Meeting,
Stephen Pope described a “Victorian Farming Year”.
now retired from working at Gresenhall Museum said that he now
spent even longer in there each day. His introductory slide was
of a painting showing a farm vehicle next the Yare at Trowse
Meadow; no it wasn’t a “Constable”, but a”Vincent” of
the renowned Norwich School of Art.
first set the pre-enclosure farming scene in the Tudor era
before moving swiftly to the Victorian age and then passing via
steam powered ploughing to post the World War 1 and the advent
many people may well have seen the television re-enactments of
historic farming methods, Stephen’s talk really did get down
to the detail regarding the people, the animals, the implements,
the evolving machinery, the use of oxen and horse power, the
crop rotation of “Turnip Townsend”. Then there was the
virtuous circle of land improvement through providing winter
root crops to feed farmyard animals, saving them from the annual
winter slaughter, the manure for putting back and ploughing into
the fields, the resulting increased crop yields meaning possible
further intensification in subsequent years.
our audience what may have struck home was the photograph of
backward walking lady dibbers planting four seeds in every hole
in a field somewhere in Hethersett; perhaps even taken in what
is now your scribe’s back garden!
meet on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great
Melton Road, Hethersett. All are welcome - occasional visitors
are charged £1.00; refreshments are included.
next meeting is on 19th March, when after the AGM, a
slideshow will include Members photos from last Autumn’s
Harrogate Flower Show and those of gardens seen in a recent tour
of Australia and New Zealand.
April Hilary Reid will speak of “Wildlife
in my Garden”.
the January Meeting of
Hethersett and District Horticultural Society,
Robin MacDonald talked about various “Botanic or Botanical
Gardens” she had visited.
started by discriminating between “Botanic Gardens” which
were as old as 400 years containing flowers and shrubs brought
back by explorers of the Elizabethan Age; and “Botanical
Gardens” which are comparatively modern affairs with a less
rigorously defined content.
saw photographs of some amazing indigenous plants whose
properties ran contrary to established experience, especially
lupins and delphiniums with no dead flowers low down, and 4 foot
high rainbow coloured primulas.
examined the Edinburgh Botanic Garden and that at St Andrews in
some considerable detail. She amazed members with the identity
swap which the original “plantain” and “banana” seemed
to have undergone.
Palm House and associated Arid section were full of interesting
specimens of Lilies and Cacti. St Andrew’s Garden, was created
in memory of Charles Darwin.
Robin’s talk her passion for Orchids came through and members
were reminded of Norfolk’s role in husbanding the “Bee
society meets monthly in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton
Road, Hethersett. All are welcome - occasional visitors are
charged £1, refreshments are included.
next talk is on 19th February when Stephen Pope will describe a
“Victorian Farming Year” On 19th March, after the
AGM, there will be a members’ slideshow which will include the
100 images from last Autumn’s Harrogate Flower Show.
meeting, Len Speller recounted his knowledge of “Gardens
to wot I ‘ave bin!” accompanied with a series of splendid
from being just a description of gardens visited Len also showed
his knowledge of their developmental history.
commenced with Bressingham Gardens, surprising us with just how
much money the 200 acres of land cost the late Alan Bloom in the
aftermath of WW2. We
learned of the arrival on the scene of the Dell Garden and Foggy
Bottom and how the name “Foggy“ is related to son Adrian
Bloom’s years in the USA. The “bridge” in the Dell Garden
was originally built by Alan for cattle to cross from one field
on to Jacobean styled Blickling Hall with Capability Brown’s
lake, we learned that the gardens were the work of the late
Norah Lindsay; perhaps most remembered for the several topiary
Trust’s Anglesey Abbey is a further Jacobean styled building;
with working water mill nearby. This
garden seems to be a winter and spring time garden with its
famed snowdrops, witch hazel and more.
late Geoff Hamilton’s Barnsdale Garden contains over 30 themed
gardens, each developed for one of his television programmes.
was the last garden which we visited “on camera”. Created
around 1850 by Robert Holdford in some 600 acres. Today
it includes the national collections of Acer and Salix.
Sir George Holford (1860-1926) held a huge orchid
collection at Westonbirt. The
Forestry Commission now owns Westonbirt. It
has created open areas by stripping back some trees and
interplanting with acers; these give a red hue to an otherwise
green year round “Rotary Glade”.
meet at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road,
are welcome - occasional visitors are charged £1.00 and
refreshments are included.
next talk is on Wednesday 11th December when Ian
Roofe, one the local BBC Radio Gardeners will be identifying
“The Jewels of the Winter Garden”.
Then on Wednesday 15 January 2014 Robin MacDonald
will give an illustrated talk on “Botanical Gardens”.
and District Horticultural Society had a talk by Dr Ian Bedford
of the John Innes Centre entitled “Garden Bugs-CoHabit-Control-Conserve”
or the study of creepy-crawlies, is a very specialist subject.
Dr Bedford only knew of one University offering degree courses.
Clearly under his guidance the JI facility has built up a
considerable worldwide reputation in the study and amelioration
of problems with insects invading the human food chain.
attacking root systems, plant bodies, flowers or fruit there
seems to be an insect capable of wreaking damage. We heard of
the “sap suckers”--mainly aphid-like flies, the “leaf
munchers”--caterpillars, beetles and flies, the
“parasites”--nematodes, the “root eaters”--eg cockchafer
grubs and root-fly larvae.
on to “beneficial insects”, spiders and wasps, these suck
the life from many insects which prey on our food chain.
Parasitic flies lay eggs within caterpillars, killing before
pupation and saving eg our cabbage family plants from total
one genus of insect protects another, ants farm aphid colonies
to gain the honeydew excreted.
have a choice, to ignore, to control or to destroy. Caterpillar
eggs on cabbages could be squashed, but it would be better to
net the cabbages first to exclude the butterflies.
sprays have been quite devastating collaterally to other insect
species and it is noted that the neonicotinoids have a long
“afterlife” following use as seed coating. The need to
protect bee species has resulted in their being banned from
November this year.
protection can be obtained from plant oils, eg garlic and a
certain proprietary kitchen cleanser.
society meets monthly on Wednesdays at 7.30pm in the Methodist
Church Hall, Great Melton Road, Hethersett. All are welcome -
occasional visitors are charged £1.00; refreshments are
7th September is the Society’s Annual Show at The
Hethersett Village Hall, Back Lane, at 2pm.
next talk is on Wednesday 18th September Hilary Reid
will describe “Making a Wildlife Pond”.
Wednesday 16th October Charlotte Philcox will tell us
how to “Get the Most from your Vegetable Patch”
Brazil, the local recorder for Butterfly Conservation came to
speak to our November meeting.
In 1968 a group of enthusiasts, alarmed be the declining
numbers of beautiful butterflies across the country set up this
organization and a small reserve, Catfield Fen, was developed in
1981 especially for the swallowtail, a rare butterfly found only
showed photos of the many species which had become extinct or
were endangered. We
had probably noticed the absence of peacock butterflies in our
gardens these past two summers.
Their disappearance is a mystery: it might be due to a
parasitic fly, Stermia bella which has arrived from the continent and has almost
killed off the population of small tortoiseshell butterfly.
Both the fly and this butterfly lay their eggs on
nettles. The fly
eggs are eaten by the butterfly caterpillars which then hatch
and grow inside the caterpillar and kill the caterpillar.
Peacock butterflies also lay their eggs on nettles, so
perhaps with the decline of the small tortoiseshell the fly eggs
may now be invading the caterpillars of the peacock butterfly
instead. We were
encouraged to look out for and report any peacock butterflies
seen next year.
Conservation relies on volunteers to record butterflies and
moths around the county and forms were available if members were
prepared to record their sightings.
Norfolk is intensely farmed and provides very few suitable
habitats for butterflies or other wildlife, gardens are becoming
increasingly important for their survival.
Andy suggested many plants which we could grow to provide
food and shelter for butterflies, moths and birds.
We could leave a small area of rough ground with long
grass, grow a few suitable “weeds” in our lawns or even dig
a pond and use fewer insecticides.
There were so many ways that we could help the wildlife
that we all went home feeling there was at least on small thing
that we could each do.
vote of thanks was given by Colin Ward to Andy for a very
interesting and thought-provoking evening.
Wednesday 18th January Robin Parker will talk about
“Fruit” and on Wednesday 15th February Len
Speller will talk about “Acer Cultivars”. H&DHS meets
every 3rd Wednesday of the month in the Methodist
Church Hall in the Gt Melton Rd, Hethersett at 7.30pm.
Membership is £8, Vistors £1.00. Free refreshments at the end
of our meeting.
September meeting listened to Jan Saunt describe how she became
involved with the National Gardening Scheme [NGS]; moving on to
become one of its Voluntary Organisers for Norfolk and finally
about the history and evolution of the Scheme.
major founder of the NGS, in 1927, was a lady called Elsie Wagg,
who gained the patronage of King George V. In
charging for visitors to look around their gardens the founders
decided to support the Queen’s Institute of Nursing. Mrs
Saunt showed how this itself came into being about 50 or so
years earlier, prompted by the hiring by a William Rathbone of a
nurse to tend his sick wife in Liverpool.
NGS has grown from one garden in 1927, to 1250 in 1972 and to
3700 in 2011. The
principally upper-class pre-war gardens meanwhile have been
overtaken by gardens from all social backgrounds. Most
recently £2.6M has been collected and distributed to three
national charities with a small amount held back for
Saunt showed us slides of half a dozen worthy local gardens
along with many more varied and historic offerings.
next talk is on Wednesday 19th October when our
friend Bob Coutts of Somerleyton, will be discussing “Fruits
for Autumn, and Pruning“.
Wednesday 16th November Andy Brazil will be
“Gardening for Butterflies”.
meet at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road.
are welcome - occasional visitors are charged £1.00;
refreshments are included: - there is a discounted ‘Annual
Membership’ which is now £5 to cover the remaining monthly
meetings to the end of April.
withdrawal of the booked speaker, members of Hethersett and
District Horticultural Society’s vice-chairman Margaret Ford
described her botanical tour of eastern Turkey, organised by
‘Greentours’ of Buxton, Derbyshire.
want of a better description Margaret’s destination was the
hilly, mountainous area adjacent to Mount Ararat and around Lake
Van. This area was
originally part of the ‘Silk Route’ to China. Its second
claim to fame is a 60 foot deep by 30 foot diameter crater,
allegedly the result of a meteor strike.
The local land is quite rocky due to previous volcanic
activity and the soil has a volcanic ash content.
were some unusual plantings, namely fennel for use as a fuel in
winter time, and a rhubarb variant eaten with salt.
some seemingly common plant names come up such as ‘tulip’,
‘fritillary’, ‘orchid’, ‘buttercup’,
‘primula’, ‘geranium’, ‘iris’ and
with the exception of the small tulips, the plants were
distinctly different to the species found in Britain.
This, taken with the scenery which most of us have never
seen, made for a very interesting meeting.
society’s next talk is on 21st September when the
History and Gardens of the National Garden Scheme will be
outlined by Jan Saunt. On
Wednesday 19th October Bob Coutts of Somerleyton,
will be discussing ‘Fruits for Autumn and Pruning’.
society meets at 7.30 p.m in the Methodist Church Hall, Great
Melton Road. All are welcome and occasional visitors are charged
£1 with refreshments are included. Annual Membership is £8,
which covers the 12 monthly meetings and refreshments.
Hethersett and District Horticultural Society’s June meeting commenced
on a “high”, firstly with happy reminiscences of the May
weekend away at Harlow Carr and Castle Howard in Yorkshire and
secondly the previous Saturday’s trip to the gardens of the
American War Cemetery, Madingly Hall and Murray Edwards College,
in or near Cambridge.
Ben Potterton, of Langmere near Diss, talked about his world tours
associated with worldwide animal conservation and species
Langmere he runs a nursery for hardy perennials and woodland
plants; and alongside he has a stork- and crane-breeding
Ben’s first reported travels were to the Amazon rain forest via
Ecuador, where the word “rain” meant baling out one’s tree
trunk canoe faster than the rain filled it, and being marooned
up a mountainside whilst the roadway, buildings and mobile phone
mast were washed away. Ben continued his talk covering exotic
destinations such as Sri Lanka and Ireland’s vanishing peat
bogs. We heard
about “sweaty bats”, elephants stealing crops, a leopard
hiding in a flower bed. We also heard about his travel bag
contents and his accommodation difficulties. The “wonderful”
experience in a safari park, where there was a squirrel nest
above and ant nest below his bed and in a another ”hotel”,
privacy was from the waist down.
The Society’s next talk is on 20th July, and will be by Maureen Hayter,
who will discuss “Inspirational Flower Arranging” and on 17th
August, Shasta Bye, will share her thoughts on “Garden
Kathy Gray of
the Norfolk group of Plant Heritage gave a talk to Hethersett
and District Horticultural Society entitled “From Parkland to
group is part of what used to be called the National Council for
Conservation of Plants and Gardens, and which was founded to
help prevent loss of various plant types which have been dropped
from nursery catalogues due to poor sales demand.
PH groups across Britain look after 640 national
collections of specific plant types.
The talk took
members from Borde Hill Gardens in West Sussex via Scotland to
the Isles of Scilly. She demonstrated how the plant hunters of
the Victorian era explored foreign lands, sometimes at great
personal peril, to bring back plant species to Great Britain.
Alliums, azaleas, tree peonies and rhododendrons, were
all brought back to Britain. The talk moved on to Coton Manor
and examined the well maintained herbaceous perennial borders;
then to the wonderful winter garden of Anglesey Abbey designed
by Richard Ayres. With
increasingly more exotic plant species being mentioned, the
journey moved via Great Dixter, home of the late Christopher
Lloyd whose garden was designed by Edward Lutyens and onwards
via Logan botanic garden to Tresco’s Benedictine abbey’s
terraced gardens, each terrace dedicated to a separate part of
the warmer world.
On Wednesday 19th
May Tom Melville from UEA will discuss “Tree Rings and
Climate” and on Wednesday 15th June Ben Potterton of Orchard
Cottage Nursery, Langmere will talk about “Horticultural
meets at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road,
Hethersett. All are welcome and occasional visitors are charged
£1 which includes refreshments. Annual membership is £8.
The talk at the
latest meeting of Hethersett and District Horticultural Society
was on “The Organic Kitchen Garden”
by Charlotte Philcox.
another gardener who was enthused in to gardening as a hobby
from earliest days and then became a professional. She is a
successful lecturer and writer on gardening matters and
regularly appears on Radio Norfolk.
thousand organisms in a teaspoonful of healthy soil, Charlotte
went on to describe the devastating effect some fertilisers can
have on them. She said that soil health was essential for
organic gardening and that compost and farmyard muck were
essential sources of nutrients. We should expect bugs and pests
in the soil and some of these were essential if their predators
were to be part of a sustainable food chain.
continued by looking at comfrey based liquid fertiliser, at
green manure crops and at various vegetable and flowers. On
Wednesday 17th November Pauline Steward will talk
about “Fly Trap Plants” and on Wednesday 8th
December Rosemary Ward will describe “Plants for Spring
meets at 7.30pm in Hethersett Methodist Church Hall.All are
welcome - occasional visitors are charged £1 and refreshments
and District Horticultural Society’s August talk was given by
delphinium expert Howard Norton, from Hellesdon.
Howard began by describing how he was enthused and
motivated into growing delphiniums by the late John Edwards of
Thorpe. Now a key
member of the National Delphinium Society, he
spoke with authority on these tall flowering spikes
covered with a mass of blooms. He grew them from both seeds and
cuttings, and produced plants with varied colours from dark blue
through to light blue and from white to pink, all with differing
the help of an excellent slide presentation Howard took members
through the plantsman’s delphinium year, from those fabled
green shoots of recovery in February, through to tidying up the
flower beds in late October and collecting seed for next
year’s usage. If
a new variety was being planned plants would be cross pollinated
by hand. One of the
resultant new plants might gain its grower national glory with
the Royal Horticultural Society, whose assessors needed three
good specimens of a single variety to examine and test.
Seeds would be grown on damp tissue paper in the dark in
a warm house drawer and then pricked out with tweezers into
compost in single compartment trays or even directly into pots
or sown onto tamped compost in a seed tray and covered with
were shown how to take stem cuttings and root eye cuttings and
he encouraged those present to join the Norfolk Delphinium
were told how to identify blackleg rot and warned of the
delphinium’s worst enemies - slugs and snails.
If these perils can be overcome everyone will be able to
enjoy these tall multi-bloomed colourful spires in their
15th September Sue Allison will talk about Hanging
Baskets and on 20th October Charlotte Wilcox will
describe her Organic Kitchen Garden. Everyone is welcome and
occasional visitors are charged just £1 and refreshments are
included. The society meets at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church
Hall, Great Melton Road.
and District Horticultural Society’s April meeting started
with a short annual meeting with Chairman Chris Morriss the
Chairman giving a resume of the year’s activities> The
committee was re-appointed, details were given of three trips
planned for the summer and Marilyn Savory announced the winners
of the table show.
Paine of Walnut Tree Garden Nursery gave a talk entitled
“Gardening in the Shade”.
He began by recommending his own method for frightening
off muntjac and Chinese water deer by having a portable radio in
a waterproof bag and tuned to Radio Four in the garden.
The talking voices did the trick although it was only
suitable for rural locations.
with his talk proper, Jim emphasised the importance of
understanding a garden; the nature of the soil, the types of
shade and hence available light, the fact that shade moves as
night follows day and that obstacles of varying sizes cause
different shading conditions. It was important to match the
known characteristics of plants to a proposed planting site. For
example in woodland areas before tree foliage breaks, spring
flowering plants will prosper; but once woods become scrubby
thickets shade becomes more of a year round problem for smaller
leaves adapt to shady conditions producing larger surface areas
to capture the suns rays to aid the production of sugars.
But these bigger leaves are thinner, transpire more and
there is a risk that such plants could wilt and die in the heat
of summer. In newly
cleared land seeds which have previously been lying dormant,
germinate as the sunlight penetrates through the canopy.
went on to describe a host of plants suitable for various types
of shade, commencing with the candelabra primulas as seen at
Fairhaven Water Gardens, and included hostas, dicentras, violas
group’s May talk entitled “Autumn Bulbs” was given by Rod
Leeds, who described in detail the characteristics of some 60
different bulb varieties of ten main families; many found within
his old orchard garden, which we are to visit in September.
This talk’s purpose was, in part, to whet appetites for
the glories to be seen there in three months’ time.
included bulbs, tubers, rhizomes and corms in his definition of
“bulbous” plants. He amazed us with colourful slides of
cyclamen, amaryllis, colchicums, roscoeas, codenopsis, and
sternbergias, many of which were from exotic parts of the world;
for example Turkey and Greece sourced several species of
autumn-flowering crocus and cyclamen; whilst amaryllis was from
South Africa. Some
from hotter more arid climates could thrive with very little
water and a few from desert like areas of the world for example Amaryllis
belladonna requires water to stimulate it into growth – so
Rod just pops the dry bulbs into a water butt in late summer
prior to planting.
there is a multitude of beautifully coloured flowering bulbs to
enhance gardens, if only gardeners were aware. Although autumn
bulbs are not the favourites of the Dutch bulb trade there are a
few professional British bulb growers and we were recommended to
search out their offerings in the specialist gardening press.
Wednesday 16th June Matthew Davies will describe the
activities of the Norwich Fringe Countryside Management Project
with reference to Hethersett; and on the 21st July
Paul Metcalf will discuss Soft Fruit.
and District Horticultural Society meets at 7.30pm in the
Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road and all are welcome -
occasional visitors are charged £1 and refreshments are
October talk was by Alan Barson and was entitled “Putting the
Garden to Bed“. In his usual witty style Alan soon had us at
ease and chuckling in the seats. More seriously we learned HOW
to make hazel nut liqueur chocolates using gin soaked prune
damsons; HOW to decompose leaves quickly in a black bag using
lime and a free source of ammonia based nitrogen; HOW to
identify land in need of enriching compost just by assessing how
scarce and pallid ones worms were; HOW to take hardwood
cuttings. Now whilst sap is still in trees and shrubs; to cut
below a node and shave 1 inch bark to expose a cambion layer,
before planting in 1 inch sand with compost above.
were advised to prune pipped fruit now, but to leave stoned
fruit bushes until later to help avoid sliver leaf disease and
essentially to use Vaseline as a virus access inhibitor to the
was 60 minutes packed with useful information and so we finally
agreed that tea could be served, as Alan’s beer bottle could
not be allowed to be opened in the Methodist Church Hall.
Wednesday 18th November Dr Sarah Wilmot will be
“Celebrating 100 Years of Plant Science at the John Innes
On Wednesday 9th
December festivities will be preceded by tales of
“Horticultural Travels” from Ben Potterton.
We meet at
7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road. All are
welcome - occasional visitors are charged £1.00; refreshments
Horticultural Society received some timely winter advice from Simon
White of Peter Beales Roses on how to prune roses of all
descriptions with photographs of massive displays of colour
bound rambling roses in some of Norfolk’s premier gardens.
heard of the need to first take out “dead” then
“damaged” then “diseased” wood; followed by
“wayward” or “weak” stems, cutting at 45 degrees just
above a bud and sloping away from it.
Optionally new wood could be cut at different heights so
that in summer the whole height of rose plant would be covered
Another technique, for keeping massive ground cover
rambling-roses under control, was the hedge trimmer, but this
risked dieback from badly fragmented stems and/or the
introduction of disease.
was a very enjoyable talk and slide show from a person who
obviously knew his subject inside out.
Wednesday 18th February members will hear the story
of Gooderstone Water Gardens from Coral Hayos, the daughter of
its developer and on Wednesday 18th March Graham
Simmonds of the Norfolk Metal Detector Society will tell about
some of his finds from gardens.
society meets at Hethersett Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm.
Annual Membership is £8 and visitors are charged £1
with refreshments included.
Paine of Walnut Tree Garden Nursery near Attleborough talked to Hethersett and District Horticultural Society about plants
which could give interest and colour to gardens in winter.
took an immediate and envious shine to Jim who had successfully
escaped a pressurised modern job to earn his crust through
pursuing his gardening hobby.
Ten years on, Walnut Tree Garden Nursery now sells plants
covering all aspects of the garden environment. He talked about
many types of evergreen plants, shrubs and trees, from the 300
foot tall redwood which could live up to 1000 years to a
miniscule saxifrage. All
could, potentially, grow in a Hethersett garden.
were not just green in colour.
The smoke bush for example had red and purple leaved
leaves were shiny, sometimes matt and sometimes fluffy.
Some species’ foliage would be variegated, again
producing pleasing appearances to the eye, while some species
produced appealing scents, for example sweet box and myrtle.
a very interesting talk the evening was rounded off with
Christmas nibbles and drink and carol-singing.
21st January Simon White of the Peter Beales Nursery
will challenge members with “Who dares prune!“ and on 18th
February members will hear the story of Gooderstone Water
Gardens from Coral Hayos, the daughter of its creator.
are held in the Methodist Church Hall in Great Melton Road at
membership is £8; visitors are welcome and pay just £1
refreshments are included.
Norfolk Naturalist and EDP columnist, Rex Hancy took members of
Hethersett and District Horticultural Society on a captivating
journey through the tree-lined streets of Norwich. It began in
the Hay Market at the statue of seventeenth century naturalist,
Sir Thomas Browne, where members were introduced to a
magnificent pair of Turkey Oaks and learnt that the Turkey Oak
is just one of eight species of oak in Norwich.
flowering Manna Ash trees of St. Peter Mancroft, to the
“gold-plated” Oriental Planes in front of the Guildhall and
the pyramidal Turkish Hazels in London Street, each tree has a
story to tell. Some, like the leaning Huntingdon Elm on Cattle
Market Street, and the miraculously-saved London Plane in
Chapelfield Gardens, are quite mysterious. Others, like the
chimerical Adam’s Laburnum in St Peter Parmentagate and the
“evergreen” Turner’s Oak on Gurney Road, are highly
Most, like the
Weeping Ash at the entrance to the Archant Newspapers car park
on Rouen Road and the English Oaks of Earlham Hall Park, are
seeped in history and must have witnessed great changes. All are
worth seeking out and appreciating more closely. A visit to the
Chapelfield shopping mall can now include viewing the flowering
of the splendid Euodia in St Stephens’s churchyard and the
majestic evergreen branches of the Himalayan Deodar in
and District Horticultural Society enjoyed a talk by Rod Casey
“The Shape and Flavour of Peas”.
A botanist by profession,
Professor Casey introduced members to the world of gene
selection through breeding to enhance characteristics of peas
and pea plants. First though there was a quick trip down memory
lane to Back Lane, Hethersett in 1976 when it led to pea fields
where, if residents were lucky, portions of crop were left
unharvested and local people’s freezers were filled with peas
which Birds Eye deemed “overtime” or had fallen over.
The example of fallen over
peas was used by Professor Casey to illustrate how genes from
more robust pea family members were selected for repetitive
pollination in a controlled environment, to generate a new pea
variety with stronger stems, after a period of at least six
Members also discussed the
wider pea family, glimpsed the time wise bio-make up of peas,
showing how the sugar content peaked at about one third the time
they took to ripen to maturity; how certain of the pea family
developed differing percentages of sugar or starch or fibre; how
fully ripened peas could end up being ground together with wheat
to produce vegetable protein for use in vegetarian foodstuffs.
Knowing now that there are
varieties of pea which do not fall over or require pea sticks
for support, means that there will be a rush of orders for the
“Samson” or “Princess” varieties next year.
On 16th July Rex Hancy will talk about the “The Trees of Norwich”
and on 20th August Pauline Harper will talk about
getting “From Veg Plot to Pot”.
The club meets at
Hethersett Methodist Church Hall in Great Melton Road at 7.30pm.
Annual Membership is £8 and visitors are charged £1 with
Well-known Norwich horticultural enthusiasts John and
Anne Bridge took members of Hethersett and District
Horticultural Society on a brief holiday to India and Sri Lanka.
The slides they showed encompassed the mass of humanity of the
subcontinent, some impoverished but set alongside the opulence
of the Taj Mahal mausoleum and Red Fort in Agra in India and the
colonial tea-plantation-towns of Sri Lanka.
Members were impressed by the artisan skills displayed
in the jewel-inlaid mosaics of the Taj Mahal and of the pink
city of Jaipur and were intrigued by the plant life -the
bread-fruit, jack-fruit and the red bananas. Members saw
pictures of ladies collecting the youngest leaves from the tea
bushes to be dried and processed to produce the finest tea
–“broken orange pekoe”.
Members appreciated the scale and the atmosphere of
the two countries from the comfort of their chairs in Hethersett
Methodist Church Hall.
Society’s talk on 18th June will be by Rod Casey on
“The Shape and Flavour of Peas“. On 16th July Rex
Hancy will talk about “The Trees of Norwich”. The society
meets in Hethersett Methodist Church Hall in the Great Melton
Road at 7.30pm. Annual Membership is £8 and visitors are
charged £1 with refreshments being included.
Gibbons talked to the April meeting of Hethersett and District
Horticultural Society on The Wildlife of Western Australia.
described the flora and fauna discovered during a large circular
tour which started and finished in Perth and which took five
explained that there are 12,000 species of flowers and thousands
of trees and shrubs. Some were given names as they might be
described on sight or smell such as drumstick, trigger plant,
old man’s socks and the warty hammerhead orchid.
flowers are pollinated by birds such as the white-cheeked
honeyeater being attracted to nectar and exotic pterodactyl type
birds such as the buzzard-sized white-tailed cockatoo.
In landscape terms members saw slides of tree-covered rocky
countryside, with poor soils, unusual rock formations such as
the limestone pavements, and the lost grain belt where a rising
water table contains dissolved salts making the soil unusable
for wheat production.
Members also heard about aerial walkways such as that in the
Karri-tingle Forest at 60 metres above the ground. In the past
fire watch towers were created by driving steel spikes into
these massive trees to provide a stairway to the sky.
summing up, the group’s new chairman Chris Morriss likened our
predecessors’ lack of belief in the discovery of the platypus
to the strangely wonderful flowers and shrubs, which could only
be verified by sight of the images from Nick Gibbons’ glorious
next talk on 21st May will be by John and Anne Bridge
entitled “Colours, Chaos and Curry” about their travels in
south east Asia. On
18th June Rod Casey will discuss the “Shape &
Flavour of Peas”. The
Society meets in the Methodist Church Hall in Great Melton Road
at 7.30pm. The
annual membership subscription is £8 and visitors are charged
£1.50 with refreshments being included.
speaker for the meeting of Hethersett and District Horticultural
Society Paul Corfield had another engagement for the evening and
so George Dawson and Margery Ward stood in for him and shed some
light on the benefits of taking part in the ‘Anglia in
Bloom’ competition as well as offering advice and tips.
They stressed that ‘Anglia in Bloom’ is a campaign
and not a competition, enhancing the local area and showing that
the community cares about its environment.
Brightlingsea in Essex was a case in point, where
following the disturbances of 1995 when there were animal-export
problems in the town the place was very run-down.
Now they are involved with the campaign there is a marked
vandalism, there is less litter around and they are winning
prizes. Everyone is
encouraged to take part by growing plants, providing funds,
watering, weeding and keeping the place tidy.
Environmental Action Team (HEAT) already do a lot in Hethersett
(now officially classed as a small town and not a village) to
enhance the environment but George and Margery were able to
spread the word to a wider audience at the meeting.
next meeting, preceded by a short AGM will be on Wednesday 20th
March at the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road at 7.30pm
and Bill LeGrice will be speaking on ‘Roses’.
Visitors are welcome at just £1 admission.
Dr Anne Edwards, a volunteer for the
Norfolk Wildlife Trust, gave an illuminating presentation about
Ashwellthorpe Lower Wood and its coppice management to Hethersett & District Horticultural Society.
Although probably best known recently for its supply
of wooden poles for the Co-op brush making factory, this ancient
wood was listed in William the Conqueror’s Doomsday book. It was made a nature reserve in 1992.
Members learned of its edge zone, the wild wood where
decaying fallen trees were left untouched and its managed,
coppiced, areas. Here
over a rotation of 12 years the NWT aims to cut down the poles
to reveal the stool or stump so allowing light onto the forest
floor and growth of rare plants.
The pathways or “rides” between the coppiced sections
are mown and brimstone butterflies, woodpeckers and deer abound,
but we only see the deer hoof prints outside of the solar
powered electric fence which safeguards new growth.
Anne showed many wonderful photos of flora and fauna;
most striking was the fully extended “stinkhorn” fungus.
Finally members learned of the different types of tree
and their characteristics and uses. The coppiced wood could be used for making hurdles, poles,
firewood, even besom brooms.
The NWT is always looking for more volunteers and
anybody wishing to join this happy Sunday afternoon team or
other teams across Norfolk can phone 01603 812309.
50 members and visitors heard Bob Coutts, head gardener at
Somerleyton Hall, wax lyrical about herbaceous borders at the
November meeting of Hethersett and District Horticultural
Bob plants and maintains two borders which are 5 yards by 20
yards in size he was adamant that the same principles would hold
for the smaller gardens we would be working with.
areas had to be cleared completely of perennial weeds,
double-dug in late autumn, adding lots of manure or compost and
then planted up before Christmas. No fertiliser was applied until early April when the plants
would be having a growth spurt.
Then in early May hazel twigs were put in to support the
plants. This would make the beds look untidy for a few weeks but
before long they would disappear under the new growth.
had slides showing the enormous choice of herbaceous perennials
available and with careful selection it was possible to have
colour and form in the border from May to late autumn. It was an
Anne Edwards will describe the woodland conservation work in
progress at Ashwellthorpe – with the title “If
you go down in the woods today…”- at the next meeting of
the society on Wednesday 10th December.
Visitors are welcome to hear Anne at the Methodist Church Hall, Great
Melton Road for 7.30pm at just £1 per head.
do you do with a feather bed when it reaches the end of its
useful life? Hethersett
and District Horticultural Society members have discovered that
the contents, along with shredded newspapers can be used to
great effect in place of compost and manure, to line the trench
prepared for growing sweet peas.
The trench is filled in and left to over-winter before
planting up in March.
King, a well-known exhibitor of sweet peas, having grown these
flowers to perfection for over fifty years, gave her advice to
members at the October meeting of the society.
She sows the seed in late October in pots, leaves them
outdoors until March and then plants them in the prepared
trench, each plant being supported by a six-foot cane.
Then as they grow she coaxes, cajoles and trains them up
the canes, picking the flowers regularly to encourage continuous
started for her and her husband as an experiment when they were
given a packet of seeds soon became a passion.
How many Hethersett folk will take up the challenge as a
result of Joy’s inspirational talk?
the November meeting on Wednesday the 21st, Bob
Coutts, the retired head gardener at Somerleyton Hall, will be
speaking on ‘Herbaceous Borders for the Small Garden’.
Visitors are welcome to come and hear this popular
just £1 per meeting including tea or coffee.
Terry Rand spoke to
Hethersett and District Horticultural Society about “Organic
Gardening”. His immensely informative talk was based upon many
years of experience gained in his five acres of garden. He was
quick to point out that being organic is not just about avoiding
the use of pesticides, fertilisers and fungicides.
Terry touched on the use
of compost to replace lost mineral content and on composting
methods and the importance of a four year crop rotation to rest
soil and avoid yearly repetitious demands on minerals.
Other subjects covered
included “boxed beds” for poorly drained soils, vertical obstructions and fleece covers to fool carrot flies,
short hosepipe lengths to represent snakes, pigeons eyeing up
cabbages, the use of car tyre piles as heat reflecting back
drops to peach trees, double walled polytunnels for exotic
fruits, using bottle topped poles to support low cost netted
fruit cages, using bulb planters to plant potatoes, using
potatoes to break up new ground ahead of proper digging, cutting
the bottom off old demijohns to act as mini-greenhouses.
On 21st October Mr Bob Coutts from
Somerleyton will talk about “Herbaceous Borders for Small
Gardens” and on 12th December Ms Anne Edwards will
give a talk entitled “If you go down to the woods today”
All are welcome. Visitors are asked to
pay £1 and this includes tea or coffee. The society meets in
the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road at 7.30pm.
Carrick gave a talk to Hethersett and District Horticultural
Society entitled “An Introduction to Topiary”. He defined
topiary as “the art of developing trees and shrubs into
ornamental forms which would not normally occur”; going on to
surprise members with statements that its origins were first in
Egypt several thousand years ago, then evolving in Greece, and
Italy. Queen Anne’s Hampton Court Palace grounds appear to be
the first noteworthy place in England where topiary first
any dense foliage tree or shrub and even ivy, can be used as a
subject. Oldest surviving examples appear to be in yew.
Victorian England, with its improving transport communications
was the period when the interest in topiary extended
words of caution about human fingers, members were guided
through tooling, from tree loppers, shears, secateurs,
sheep-shears, to scissors. The best results, said John, were
with the slowest tools.
swiftly through fertilisers and wire mesh growing-frames the
club came to the fun bit. John got out his shears and in about
10 minutes converted a four foot high box bush; into a spiral.
It would have been helpful, afterwards, to have had the use of a
vacuum cleaner when tidying up the meeting room!
September 19th Terry Rand will talk about “Organic
Gardening” and on 17th October Joy King will talk
about ”Growing and Showing Sweet Peas.” Everyone is welcome.
Visitors pay just £1 and this includes tea or coffee! The club
meets in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton Road at 7.30pm.
Mr John Bridge
from the Norfolk and Norwich Hoticultural Society was gust
speaker at the latest meeting of Hethersett and District
Horticultural Society held in the Methodist Church Hall.
John is a well
known gardener, allotment enthusiast and competition judge and
his subject was “starting an allotment.” The talk was
particularly relevant to Hethersett as the parish council is
attempting to find land for rent or purchase for a new allotment
started by showing a photograph of a massive bramble thicket
adjacent to his own allotment and invited discussion on how to
clear it. Depending on how “green” or energetic one was, it
could be either cleared manually, or chemically. Some wily
people used old carpets to cover and kill weeds. Soil should be
ph tested and the result -14 alkaline or 1 acid, used to
determine crops and any neutralising treatment. It would be a
long hard slog! Grass could be dug in, but spear grass should be
heaped and wetted with sulphate of ammonia to encourage
decomposition into compost. Digging prior to winter should just
be “rough”, to allow weather to break up the clods.
and pros and cons and tips came next. These included advice on
only sowing enough seed for cropping needs. Any fruit trees
should have dwarf rootstocks. Leave broad bean roots in after
cropping, to “fix” nitrogen in the soil and avoid buying
other people’s brassica (“greens”) seedlings, to avoid the
risk of importing clubroot. Use old raspberry canes as pea
was too much more by way of useful information to print; but as
a final note, John uses a four year “crop rotation” Year One
- Roots eg carrots and parsnips; then manure the soil. Year 2 -
marrows and peas, Year 3 potatoes, Year 4 greens. He encouraged
people to grow their own food if they have the land. He pointed
out that the exercise involved is healthy for you, the food can
be totally organic, it’s low cost and good for you and your
Mr Alan Barson spoke to the May meeting
of Hethersett and District Horticultural Society on ‘Lawn Care’ in his own
whimsical, inimitable style with lots of basic information
peppered with the odd anecdote to keep his audience on their
He recommended a first class book for
bedtime reading, a Penguin paperback by the Norfolk botanist, C
Hubbard, ‘Grasses’. This had illustrations and corresponding
detailed of some 150 species.
Such a book would ensure that the reader got off to sleep
quickly. However, the audience stayed awake
throughout Alan’s talk to hear him explain the intricacies of
sowing lawn seed mixtures and the science behind scarifying,
aerating and applying fertiliser.
Soil aeration was stressed as this
would encourage rainwater and fertilisers to pass down into the
soil through any thatch formed by the build-up of moss.
Root growth would then be enhanced. The only equipment
needed was a garden fork to spike the lawn at intervals to a
depth of six inches. The final sad fact was to hear that if
we in Hethersett had mossy, weedy lawns, the advice given would
be to dig it up and start again – or even move house to
There we were assured one could find
the two feet of medium loam needed for a good lawn.
This was the “best soil in Norwich”. The next talk to the society on
Wednesday 20th June at 7.30 p.m (this is a change from the
original date of 13th June). will be given by John
Bridge. John is a
regular prize winner at the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural
Society shows and is an enthusiastic vegetable grower.
He will be speaking on ‘Starting an Allotment’.
Meetings are in the Methodist Church Hall, Great Melton
Road, Hethersett and visitors are most welcome.
RSPB’s Robert Lucking, a North Norfolk Reserves Officer, came
as replacement for the advertised speaker at the April meeting
of Hethersett and District Horticultural Society and found
himself being unexpectedly rewarded by having to judge the
monthly table show; the cakes on offer being particularly
welcomed by him.
group was treated to an extensive audio-visual presentation
about the RSPB in its widest context and about the birds of East
Anglia and then onto “attracting wild birds into your
RSPB is a research, campaigning and lobbying organisation on
behalf of birds in Britain and of certain species worldwide.
Members’ attention was drawn to two RSPB worldwide campaigns,
firstly the slaughter of albatrosses by “long-line” fishing
for tuna type fish in the world’s oceans; and secondly the
acquisition of a substantial area of tropical rain forest in
Indonesia to protect all species of wildlife.
fresh water meres to hand, Bitterns find East Anglia’s reedy
beds just perfect and Avocets have prospered on the marshy
scrapes for many years now, since Minsmere and other reserves
have been tailored to their needs. Most of Britain’s Marsh
Harriers are found over the East Anglian reserves, millions of
winter waders exist in the Wash, Stone Curlews are found in
Breckland type habitats, Little Turns on the coastal Denes,
Greenfinches, Goldfinches and Yellowhammers in the hedgerows.
core important message received from Rob was, that if gardens
were likely to be visited by wild birds, they must provide
winter and summer food and springtime nest sites and water.
Apart from our Ladies cake crumbs, other good bird foods include
Nyger seed, sunflower seed or proprietary seed mixes.
planting was considered the best to provide food and shelter in
the garden, honeysuckle, lavender and climbing ivy were amongst
members were shocked to learn that if a sparrow hawk starts
taking your garden birds, it must be viewed as an accolade to
your bird friendly garden.
chairman expertly dispatched the AGM portion of the meeting and
then moved swiftly on to introduce Mr Ben Potterton to talk
about "Plants for Shady Places".
soon made clear his Norfolk credentials, as being soundly
grounded at Easton Agricultural College and moving on via a
first career post as a Wyevale Garden Centre manager, to running
his own modestly sized nursery called "Blacksmiths Cottage
Nursery" at Langmere near Dickleburgh, set up with the aid
of a Prince’s
Trust grant. Here not only does Ben propagate nearly 4000 plants annually,
but he also devotes part of his site to the breeding of
threatened bird species of the crane family. Alpacas, poultry
and ducks complete the picture.
specialty is Woodland Perennials. In his talk he described in
the order of 25 different small species appropriate to woodland
environs, many of them providing colour to brighten the dull
days of a Norfolk winter and some of them good at mulching out
weeds. How could we forget the "Double Green
Celandine", the "Mouse Tail Plant", and the
"Wood Anemone"? We flitted past fritillaries, we oo-ed
over the mini tulips and the hairy yellow-flowered "RipVanWinkle"
mini-daffodils. Aided by feeds of chicken manure, as recommended
by Ben, one's Shady Place Plants should do well!
his concluding remarks Ben mentioned a couple of humorous
anecdotes related to his exhibition garden at a national show
where he was also supporting other Norfolk-related displays.
Having finished "dressing" several thousand small
plants onto these displays during a long hot day, he swiftly
arrived back in the evening in his dickey-bow suit to meet the
bigwigs. However feeling somewhat hungry, he found succour in a
stick of Yarmouth's best rock borrowed from the adjacent
display. "Hello" said a voice from over his shoulder
"pleasure to meet you"; turning around Ben found his
sticky pink hand shaking that of the exhibition's chief VIP
visitor! Oh YUCK!!
wondered whether our speaker, Mr Alan Barson had been taking
lessons from John Cleese. In an extremely witty delivery, Alan
nearly had us in stitches on several occasions as he recounted
several anecdotal aspects of his gardening experiences whilst
talking about “Waking Up the Garden”!
with the desirability of lawn aeration, which also allows CO2
gas to escape, we moved swiftly onto scarification to aid
removal of this year’s excellent crop of moss.
declared that one third of the ornamental garden should be
planted with evergreens shrubs, and then went on to suggest some
deciduous shrubs which flower early and are highly perfumed to
ensure attracting pollinating insects; eg winter flowering
late February with sap starting to rise, gardeners could take
hardwood cuttings, remembering to cut optimally just below a
node to get the position of future rooting cells present; and
then scrape off a sliver of bark to expose the cambium layer,
apply a smear of fresh rooting powder on the scrape and then
plant out and not disturb for 12 months.
then delved into the options for soil improvement, organic
blood-fish-bone, “grow more” fertiliser, alkaline mushroom
compost, hop compost and different types of farmyard manure. We
were to remember that wood chip based manure will remove
nitrogen from soil and is best stored in a compost bin for 12
months before use.
moved on to airing and spraying dahlia tubers on trays of peat
to encourage them to shoot.
of garden pests Alan recommended putting up a Lacewing
’hotel’ box, as apparently these insects are very welcome in
the garden because they eat aphids.
said Alan, hoicking a bottle of beer out of his box, to which
was tied to a string; “the best use for waterbutts is keeping
my beer cool and the string is essential“!
January's meeting enjoyed a holiday from matters
normally and strictly Horticultural!
Our Treasurer, Brian Clark, indulged the many members present in a slide
show of excellent photo transparencies taken by him and his wife Sybil,
during two trips to the Falkland Islands, via Brize Norton, and Ascension
Island and Mount Pleasant airfield.
Neglecting for a moment the unpaved roads of the Falklands, Brian said that
the worst part of his journey was in travelling from Hethersett to Brize
We now know the names of the five main constituent plants which form up the
"Dwarf Heath Shrub Community", found over much of the rocky outcrop of
the islands which constitute the Falklands. We can advise on the breeding
and nesting habits of four differing penguin species and we are now
acquainted with the predatory habits of the striated caracara bird and its
carnivorous intentions toward fellow avians.
On Ascension Island we were shown the raucous Sooty Terns at Wideawake Bay,
the semi-feral donkeys, the mountaineering land crabs and the beautiful sandy beaches on which
Green Turtles come to breed. Mountain or hill tops sprouting radar dishes,
microwave links and the suspected "elint" facilities were all there to see
on Ascension Island with its 2 mile runway; a half way pitstop on the 8000
miles, 16 hour journey to the Falklands.
Mr Nick Gibbons
was guest speaker at the December meeting held in the Methodist
He spoke about
Thetford Forest and its wildlife and explained that far from
being just a forest, it was originally land cleared during the
Stone Age and contained much grass land. Its geology was of a
chalk base with soil or sand on top. It was so varied that the
soils could be either acid or alkeline and where sandy it could
The land was
originally mainly tussocky grass, inhabited by rabbits, one of
Britain's inheritances from the Romans. Sheep followed in the
aftermath of the land enclosures of the 1800s. There are many
meres resulting from the Ice Age "Pingoes" or marl
extraction pits. Marl was used to improve the land but
nevertheless the land continued to be poor for agriculture.
of Britain's forests in support of our armed services during the
First World War resulted in a desire to plant new woodland.
Coincidentally many huge impoverished estates in Norfolk were
waiting to be bought up. Aforestation by the Forestry Commission
appeared just perfect for the unproductive lands surrounding
about 1919 and has now been resumed after harvesting began in
about 1968. Indeed the rotational clearances and return to
grassland or heath are key to the survival and multiplication of
bird life. Nightjars, woodlarks, crossbills and curlews are all
prospering under this rotational regime.
plants such as Green Hellebrine and Tower Mustard seeds
germinate after long periods of rest when clearance has
happened. The vote of thanks was given by Mrs Audrey Howard.
Ms Robin MacDonald spoke to some 40 members of the Hethersett & District
Horticultural Society and visitors on Wednesday 15th November,
2006. She told of
the earliest records of orchids being about 300BC when the Chinese were
known to use them in medicine or for perfume.
Only species orchids produce
perfume, the hybrids do not. In the 1800's the rich and famous spent small
fortunes in acquiring and growing newly discovered orchids from around the
world; though many dead orchids later it was realised that buoyancy of the
air and humidity, not heat, were essential for the promotion of healthy
Robin referred to the magnificent contribution to the development of
orchids in Britain made by John Lindley. He was the son of a Norfolk
nurseryman and became a Professor of Botany in London and secretary of the
Horticultural Society, now the Royal Horticultural Society. His treatise on
orchids took ten years to compile and was regarded as highly authoritative.
Robin went on to talk about the care of orchids and finally we were
>treated to a most exciting slide show of just a few of the most beautiful
of the 25,000 species (in 750 genera) known today.
On the 18th October,
2006, Somerleyton's renowned gardener, Mr Bob Coutts, returned to address the Hethersett
&District Horticultural Society on the subject of "Just Pruning".
From the wealth of information which flowed down from Bob, down at a
breathtaking pace, it is plain that he is a veritable
encyclopaedia of Pruning knowledge.
Demonstrating with a variety of shrubs which Bob brought with him, he soon
made clear, that whilst Annual Pruning is essential for almost every shrub
and fruit tree, it is also essential for Gardeners to know what the shrub
needs and what he or she seeks from that shrub.
Pruning for best results does not mean that every plant is pruned in the
autumn, sometimes it is flowering or fruited spurs which are to be removed,
sometimes it is complete limbs which must be removed.
Bob also reviewed the merits of various types of pruning tools and by the
way, DO MIND YOUR FINGERS!!
If we have at all wetted appetites to know more about Gardening; do please
come and join us.