1 June – Winning Ways on the Show Bench – Robin Carsberg –- No Show Speaker!

Oh dear – a few minutes before the start of our meeting and no speaker! Panic? No, not at all – just a few concerned Committee members deciding how to deal with this unexpected, unwanted situation.   We need not have worried as there followed an impromptu, interesting meeting with contributions from the floor.

 Of course we dwelt on gardening matters and here was an opportunity for Barry Jones, our Show Co-ordinator to speak in depth about the September Show.  Jenny Brew, our horticultural adviser (how apt is this title!) reminded us again of how to care for our fuchsia plants which would eventually be entered in their special Show Class.

 Our plant stall was full of interesting plants – penstemon, bamboo, young bean plants from Robin Cox to mention just a few.  Jill Vinton brought a tray full of nerines, (Guernsey lilies) beautifully tied in neat bundles.  We were told to plant them, in full sun, snugly in a pot of good soil/compost with grit or gravel to ensure good drainage so that a beautiful show would be assured in late summer.

 Shirley Wittering told us about her recent discovery of the tree bumblebee or Bombus hypnorum,,as Bernard Meggitt kindly informed us. This is a species of bumblebee common in the European continent and parts of Asia. Since the start of the twenty-first century, it has spread to the United Kingdom. These bumblebees prefer habitats that others do not, allowing them to pollinate flowers in areas that many other species do not get to.  Shirley has rescued many from her landing window and bath(!) They are usually docile and no threat to other bees.  So do look out for the tree bumblebee with its gingery thorax and white tail.  They nest in bird boxes and holes in trees and even mouse holes in lawns!  Bernard also told us to look out for the bullocks if we went in search of the Thriplow orchids!  The things we talk about at Gardening Club!

 Barbara Pointon judged our competition – this time it was a vase of summer flowers.  Two excellent entries from Michael Pollard and Jane Dring received many admiring glances and much praise from everyone.  With a musician’s eye for composition, surprise elements and sheer exuberance Jane’s entry was chosen and Barbara described her reasons in a poetic, lyrical way.

So, the Committee need not have worried – a lovely evening came to an end with members chatting to friends old and new.

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