July 2016 – Summer Soiree Elmfield Cottage – Bernard & Brenda Meggitt

This year’s Gardening Club Summer Soiree was held at Elmfield Cottage, Thriplow, being hosted by Bernard and Brenda Meggitt. Around 50 members enjoyed a warm mostly sunny evening walking round their recently made-over new garden. The old mainly large square lawn had been planned, landscaped and planted mostly by them into four garden rooms separated by mixed herbaceous and perennial borders. The veranda lawn with old sun-dial statuary connected west through a climber clad pergola to the fruit-summerhouse quarter and north to the pond-lawn section. Both had gates in a picket fence (Beagle-proof!) round a vegetable garden with 9 raised beds, a ‘hydroponic greenhouse’ and compost bins.

Members’ gardening knowledge was well tested with Bernard’s quiz on various flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetable plants. Did you know that raspberries belong to the ‘Rose Family’ and lavender to the ‘Mint Family’? That the special adaption in climbing bean leaves was their ‘heliotropism’- turning daily to face the sun and in their roots having the ‘nitrobacter’ nodules – nitrogen fixing bacteria? After 20 challenging questions, the result was close but congratulations to Sue Ainsworth, the worthy winner who was presented with the garden token prize by our Chair, Mary Duff.

Thanks to Robin Dring and Fowlmere Village School, tables and chairs were provided for all members to enjoy comfortably the delicious and varied Club buffet followed by fresh strawberries and cream. With some trepidation, Brenda and Bernard offered their recently made ‘Thriplow Elderflower Champagne’ and were amazed by its popularity with more being drunk than the wine!

The plant stall and raffle managed by Jill Vinton and Jane Dring were well supported with the proceeds going to the ‘Perennial Gardeners Charity’. At the close, Mary Duff thanked everyone who had helped and Brenda and Bernard for hosting such an enjoyable Soiree.

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