MOGGERHANGER GARDENING CLUB
Chair – Anne Hysted
Secretary – Ron Whitlock
Treasurer – Mr Henry Reynolds
Member – Mrs Pat Reynolds-Nunn
Member – Mrs Christine Lloyd
Throughout 2017 there will be several outdoor and indoor meetings. Those indoors will be held in the Village Hall and those outdoors will be held as determined by the programme of events. Meetings usually cost £3, which includes tea or coffee and delicious home-made cakes.
Call Jackie on 640790 for more information.
The next meeting is going to be on 19th April 2017 at Moggerhanger Village Hall 7.30pm.
Speaker: Keith Hichisson of Langford Garden Centre. Colour in the Garden Throughout the Year
The usual price is going to be £3.00. Look forward to seeing you all there; visitors are always welcome.
15th February 2017
Wild Orchids in Bedfordshire
The Gardening Club met on 15th February, when Richard Revels, an active member of the Bedfordshire Orchid Group and author of ‘Wild Orchids of Bedfordshire’, talked about the presence of orchids in Bedfordshire, where 27 of the 60 British varieties are found. Richard is also a good photographer and he illustrated his talk with beautiful shots of the different species, many of which appear in the book he has published on the subject. He showed us the different stages of growth during the year and told us how they propagate themselves. Some need no pollination from visiting insects, though most do; some have microscopic seeds that burst into ‘clouds of dust’ to be carried on the wind. Some species, and not necessarily those that are wind-propagated, have disappeared from their previous area, to be found a few years later quite a distance away. Others have reappeared in a particular place after years, having seemingly died out.
The group monitors and works to protect Bedfordshire’s orchids and is active all over the county. It is working with the authorities to persuade them to leave uncut tracts of grass along roadsides so that wild life, and particularly orchids, can flourish. Orchids tend to be thought of as an exotic plant and it is surprising how many grow along our roadsides.
The Gardening Club then held its AGM. Peggy Gameson and Jackie Warren stood down as Chairman and Secretary. Anne Hysted and Ron Whitlock were elected Chairman and Secretary.
Next meeting of the Gardening Club: Wednesday, 19th April 2017, 7.30 pm, Village Hall.
Speaker: Keith Hichisson of Langford Garden Centre
Colour in the Garden Throughout the Year
Coffee/tea and cakes to finish, cost for evening £3. Visitors, including non-residents, always welcome.
August 2016 meeting
The Moggerhanger Gardening Club met on a mild late-summer evening in August in the lovely garden of Pat and Henry Reynolds. This year we admired a new circular planting of deep red/orange cannas which were spectacular, and especially lovely viewed from the house.
There were about 20 people present and we enjoyed a glass of wine to celebrate the summer. We even had the pleasant distraction of hearing that the airship at Cardington had at last taken off on its maiden flight, after being delayed more than once by too much wind.
Tessa Alexander and Pat Watts from the Willington Home and Garden Centre were there to answer gardening queries from members and the evening finished as usual with tea and coffee, and Pat’s delicious cakes (she makes super profiteroles!)
The next meeting will be in the Village Hall on October 19 when Colin Carpenter will talk on trees. It will start at 7.30 and will end with the usual tea/coffee and homemade cakes. The cost is £3 and visitors are always very welcome.
17 Feb 15
Speaker: Richard Bashford, from the RSPB
After a brief Annual General Meeting, Richard gave us a very interesting talk about birds in the garden, which to look out for, how to recognise them, their feeding habits, hygiene of feeders etc. to reduce the spread of infections, and much more.
He also told us about birds on the increase and others whose numbers are dwindling. Some species overall in Britain are in sharp decline, including the blackbird, the song thrush, some of the pigeon species and of course the house sparrow and starling. In the east of England we don’t particularly notice the falling numbers of sparrows and starlings, but in the West Country they are apparently quite rare now.
The national January Bird Watch weekend, which has been going since 1979, produces the figures used to calculate bird numbers and Richard showed us charts giving the spread across the British Isles of the different species. As habitats change they can become more or less hospitable to different species, and this is reflected in the shift of birds from one part of the country to another. For instance, as East Anglia has got dryer various species have moved to Wales and the west, where they can still find the particular food they need. Conversely, the RSPB is working with other bodies to re-introduce species to areas where they used to breed, often with great success.
The evening ended with our usual tea and coffee, and of course our cakes.
7 Oct 15
Pat Whitworth gave a small but enthusiastic group of members a very informative talk about gardening with a view to flower arranging. We even had lots of samples (from Pat’s own garden) and two lovely flower arrangements which Pat kindly donated for the raffle after.
It was a very interesting evening, ending with tea and coffee, and our usual delicious cakes.
At our next meeting we will have the pleasure of Martin Townsey head gardener from Woburn Abbey as our speaker on the 17th December. If you would like to bring a friend or neighbour for this special evening they can have free entry for that night.
19 Jun 14
Victoria Diggle, Assistant County Organiser for the National Gardens Scheme, talked about the work of the charity, which opens thousands of private gardens in England and Wales to raise money for nursing and caring organisations.
What surprised many listeners was how the scheme started – in 1859 a prominent man (William Rathbone) in Liverpool hired a nurse for 3 months to look after his ailing wife. When his wife died just 6 weeks later, instead of terminating the contract he sent the nurse out into the local community to work in the very poor districts. She soon found she needed help, so more nurses were brought in. This needed funding so a few people opened their gardens to raise money.
Thus, the ‘district nurse’ came into being and the concept spread throughout the country. With support from Florence Nightingale and Queen Victoria, the movement became a national voluntary organisation setting standards and training nurses, and in 1927 the National Gardens Scheme was founded to support nursing of various kinds. They currently support Macmillan Nurses, Marie Curie, Help the Hospices, Carers Trust, the Queen’s Nursing Institute, Perennial and Parkinson’s UK.
It was a very interesting evening, ending with tea and coffee, and our usual delicious cakes.
16 Apr 14
We had a very interesting talk about Warden Abbey Vineyard, which is situated on the road from Old Warden to Cardington. The Manager Jane Markham told us that there had been a vineyard there since the 1100s, run by the monks of Warden Abbey until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1537. The modern site occupies about 1/3 of the original one and since 2010 is run by Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity as one of its many projects to foster rural life in Bedfordshire. Planted in 1986 by the Whitbread family, the vineyard’s production is not huge – depending on the year of course – but the quality of what we sampled was very good. Everything is done by volunteers and once the harvest is in the grapes go to a firm in Surrey for pressing and bottling.
We were also told of the Warden Pear, which is mentioned by Shakespeare. Recently it has been replanted and the Vineyard also has a young tree.
Altogether a very interesting evening, with a tasting also, followed by the usual tea and coffee with home-made cakes.
On Wednesday 21st May there is a planned visit to Edible Ornamentals at Chawston for a tour of the nursery and a chilli tasting session. This is an open meeting and everyone is welcome so bring a friend. The evening costs £3, including a friendly atmosphere, tea/coffee and homemade cakes and an extra charge for the wine tasting.
For details and booking contact Jackie Warren on 640790.
19 Feb 14
The Club met to hear Keith Hichisson tell us about “Easy Gardening”. Keith established and runs the Langford Garden Centre and has many ideas on taking the strain out of gardening – such as a long piece of pipe down which to ‘send’ plants, bulbs etc to their position on the ground ready for planting. This would help in planning a border without all the getting up and down, or the bending over to position the arrangement. He also gave the group many tips on what to do and what not to do to make gardening easier – his first being “Avoid rockeries”, because of their difficult access and upkeep, especially the weeding in awkward places.
Keith was a lively speaker and the club had a very enjoyable evening.
14 Nov 13
The club held its first Annual General Meeting at which the following officers were elected or re-elected:
Chair – Mrs Peggy Gameson; Secretary – Ms Jackie Warren; Treasurer – Mr Henry Reynolds
Committee members – Mrs Pat Reynolds-Nunn, Mrs Christine Lloyd
Events for 2014 were suggested. It was also suggested that we promote interest in the village for the Best Kept Village award. This is a national competition judged at county level and Moggerhanger has won the Bedfordshire competition more than once in the past. The main areas judged are cleanliness and tidiness, condition of public and private areas, environmental awareness, community spirit.
There being no other business, the meeting closed and was followed by a light-hearted quiz on gardening topics, which was won by Mr Henry Reynolds, with runners up Mrs Christine Horton and Mr David Horton.
After the first seasonal celebration of savoury nibbles and mulled wine, Mrs Gameson showed the group how to make use of the last single blooms in the garden.
The meeting ended about 9.15 pm.
17 Jul 13
The Moggerhanger Gardening Club met in the lovely garden at 25 Park Close. To a background of tinkling water and cooing wood pigeons, about 20 people listened to Martin Cooper talk about the history and development of Cottage Farm Nurseries in Cardington, from its setting up in 1971 when things were done largely manually, to its modern-day automated equipment and huge production, supplying local councils, big businesses and many other clients large and small. Martin also gave advice on various aspects of gardening, such as commercial composts, plant foods, pruning roses and other questions asked by participants. At the end of a fascinating talk, there were plants from his nursery on sale and these went like hot cakes. Then came tea and coffee plus superb cakes made by our hostess, which were also much appreciated. The evening ended about 9.30.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, 19th September in the Village Hall, when John Law from Home Farm, Moggerhanger Park, will talk about their new project for producing and selling soft fruit, called Moggerberry (click the link then scroll down the page).
15 May 13
The club met again in the Garden Room at Moggerhanger Park on 15th May, when Sarah Panter from the Dunton Community Garden gave a very interesting talk on the ‘no-dig’ principle – which really does mean you don’t ever dig but hoe to keep weeds down and you put compost/mulch etc on top for the worms to take down into the soil. Used by Charles Dowding on his organic produce farm in Devon, the photos shown by Sarah prove that the method works. Sarah also told us about a quick composting method which produces results within 3-4 months. A very interesting evening.
12 Mar 13
The Moggerhanger Gardening Club met at the Village Hall, when Eva Aldridge from Asterby and Chalkcroft Nursery talked about plants for Moggerhanger. With her knowledge of local soils she was able to give examples of plants that would grow well in different parts of the village. (Yes, those who live in the clay part find it hard to believe that other parts of the village are sandy!)
There were some 22 people present and after the break, when tea and coffee and homemade cakes were available, there were questions and answers. Then the programme for the next meeting was decided as follows:
7.30 pm on 15th May in the Garden Room at Moggerhanger Park, Sarah Panter from Dunton Community Garden to talk on no-dig gardening and quick-cook composting. (Date of July meeting to be agreed.)The meeting closed at about 9.15.
16 Jan 13
The first meeting took place in the Guinea pub. Twenty-one people attended and there were four apologies.
It was suggested that visits be made to:
Group visits to open gardens. – To join/share a coach with Blunham Gardening club.
NGS Garden visit: 35 Digswell Road, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 7PB (open end July – end Oct).
Lavender fields, Ickleford, Hitchin.
Garden show, Abbotts Ripton.
Victorian Garden MGS (Sandy).
Kathy Brown’s Garden – Stevington.
The speaker for the evening were Susan Panter of Dunton Community Gardens and Jo Hollington who organises the Moggerhanger Plant Sale every year.
Sarah has just taken on the role representing Dunton community gardens, which is run as a charity. The gardens have been going for 12 years starting in someone’s back garden and 7 years ago those running it took over a 1½ acre field pimarily growing organic vegetables etc. (web site: https://www.duntoncommunitygarden.org/. Sarah has offered to come and talk to us as a group on a variety of subjects. We are also welcome to visit Dunton at any time. They run a wide variety of workshops.
23 Oct 12
An open meeting was held in the Guinea to discuss setting up a Gardening Club. Those present agreed to go ahead and a committee was formed. The first meeting of the Club took place on 16 January 2013 in The Guinea. Eighteen people attended and there were lots of suggestions for visits and activities.