June 2022

Our June meeting was attended by 60 members and guests. Following a presentation on Mediterranean Plants for the Kent Coast, we were all treated to a belated Jubilee 'street party'. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so l think we can regard it as a great success. Our thanks go to the hall committee for their efforts in decorating the hall, which made for a great atmosphere.

Our 2022 Grand Plant Sale

On Saturday 7th, the Beltinge Gardeners' Society held our first plant sale since 2019. We were unsure as to how popular it would be, but our members pulled out all the stops and filled the hall with plants, garden sundries, cakes, pastries and preserves, and hoped, nervously, for a good public response. However, we need not have worried. The villages turned out in numbers and turned the event into a great success. Huge thanks must go to our members for putting in a tremendous amount of effort, and to the public who gave us their support on the day. Thank you one and all.

On the 5th April we hosted our first show since 2019.  It was a great success and over 50 members and visitors turned out on the evening.  We are also pleased to report that we are welcoming new members on a regular basis, proving that we are as popular as ever.

 

We have a busy May ahead too, starting with a talk by Caroline Halfpenny on the principles of garden design.  This is at 7.30pm 0n Tuesday 3rd May. Non-members are welcome at a cost of £3.

 

On Saturday the 7th May, we will be holding our annual, and very popular, Grand Plant Sale.  Members of the public are invited into the hall, free of charge, to purchase a wide variety of plants grown and supplied by our members.  We will also have for sale a selection of cakes, jams and pastries, together with a large variety of garden tools and bric a brac.  All for sale at very reasonable prices.  Doors open at 09.00am until 12 noon, but we would suggest arriving early to get the best bargains.  And don’t forget your bags.

 

There will also be refreshments available, together with a raffle.

 

We look forward to seeing you there.

November 2021

We welcome our first and only guest speaker of 2021 in November, Mr D March who will be talking about ‘The Secrets of the Walled Garden’.

We all know that walled gardens are rather special in that they can be real microclimates, so this talk should be full of interest and colour.

A reminder though that entry for non-members is £3.

 

October 2021

Our Annual General Meeting was attended by 30 members, which under the current circumstances, was not bad.

In previous years we have tried to incorporate a fish and chip social evening alongside the AGM, but of course there just wasn’t enough time to organise this after the extended lockdown this year.  Hopefully, we can reinstate this treat NEXT year.

There is little to report from the actual AGM, other than the two vacancies that had arisen on the committee were sadly not filled.  This was disappointing as a full committee is vital when it comes to organising a busy Society like ours.

On this occasion we ended the meeting with refreshments and a good natter.

September 2021

Our September welcome back social evening was well attended with over 50 members turning out to renew old friendships.  Covid is ever present of course, but everyone was understanding as regards the new procedures that are designed to minimise the risks.  The social get-together was a  worthwhile evening which gives us hope for the future of the Society

 

July 2021

You will probably be aware that our Memorial Hall is now open for business as usual.

 

Obviously, the Beltinge Gardeners’ Society want to get back to normal as soon as possible too.  However, our committee must first get together to discuss and plan a way forward.  This we plan to do within the next couple of weeks.  Please be patient and return to this page for further updates.  Thank you.

June 2021

Although the Memorial Hall is expected to open shortly, the BGS are still unsure as to a definite starting date or diary of events for the remainder of 2021.  Please return to this page for further updates, when they become available, or check out the hall notice board. Society members will be notified by email

2020

This new year promises to be every bit as successful as previous years.
We have coach outings planned to Pashley Manor Gardens Tulip Festival, and later in the summer to the RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show in Essex.
We kick start our year of guest speakers on 4th February with another visit from an old favourite, Mike Bundock.  This talk is titled 'Trackway to Motorway', and we look forward to another truly fascinating presentation accompanied by some lovely local photographs from bygone times.
 

August to December 2019

The last half of 2019 was just as successful and interesting as the first.
At our August meeting, Christine Bartlett provided a really interesting talk on the care and cultivation of Orchids.  An enthusiastic speaker, she even brought along orchids so that she could demonstrate how to prune wayward roots and also how to repot them.  A very interesting and knowledgeable talk.
 
Our September 'Autumn Show' was well supported and successful in all areas, and we thank our members for their efforts in this regard.
 
The October AGM was also well attended, although the fish and chip supper that followed may well have been more appealing than the meeting itself !
 
We had a last minute change to our November speaker. Due to ill health, our planned speaker was unable to attend, so we were pleased when Anna Evans of 'Anna's Country Flowers' stepped into the breach to save the day.  Anna grows her own flowers/foliage etc., and uses them in her own bespoke flower arrangements and floral designs.
It was a fascinating talk, backed up by an impressive demonstration of her skills.  
 
 
The last event of 2019 was our Christmas Party. A wonderful evening with Ron & Ash providing the musical entertainment, and members providing the food and fun.
 
So, if you are not already a member of the Beltinge Gardeners' Society, why not come along to one of our meetings.   Check out our diary page for the dates.  
Full annual membership is only £10 per person, but just £3 if you only want to pop in to check us out at one of our meetings.

Our August meeting

OUR JULY MEETING

Last night, 60 members turned out to welcome Robert Smith from the Layham Garden Centre at Staple, near Wingham.  Layham are specialists in roses, and Robert brought along a selection of impressive potted roses to illustrate his talk.

Personally, l have never been successful with growing roses (they scare me and they bite too !) but many of our members, who do enjoy success with theirs, were able to share their stories and air their questions and problems with an expert.
Also on the night was the judging of our annual plug plant competition.
Earlier in the year, we were all given the smallest Argyranthemum you have ever seen, to grow on and nurture to colourful maturity.
Well.  It is true to say that we have never seen such a wide range of growth in any of our previous competitions.  Some plants had hardly grown at all.  Most were at best mediocre, but the winning two plants this year were clearly head and shoulders above the rest.  First prize, and the trophy, went to a very proud Phil Dixon, whilst a very close second was his wife Catherine.  Very well done family Dixon.
 

OUR JULY MEETING ;

OUR JUNE VISIT TO WILDWOOD;

Members will remember Suzanne Kynaston of Wildwood, who visited us last November, when she gave us a fascinating talk on small animal conservation.  
None of us will forget her finishing the evening with the heart rending story of Scruffy and Fluffy, the two rescued European Brown Bears.

Well, on Tuesday the 18th, 14 intrepid members from our Society met at Wildwood Animal Park where we were treated to a 'behind the scenes' tour of the park, led again by Suzanne.  
The weather was kind to us and stayed dry and warm.
We were shown the park's efforts in small mammal conservation, and we had 'hands on' experiences with a water vole, harvest mouse, dormouse and more.
Suzanne led us on a relaxed stroll around Wildwood, educating us with some interesting facts en-route, and even feeding and interacting with otters, ferret-polecats and a weasel.
The tour culminated with a visit to Scruffy and Fluffy in their huge and impressive compound.  It was satisfying to see both bears relaxed, fit and healthy, and obviously very happy with their new life.

A wonderful afternoon, and l hope that the sore feet, knees and aching backs that we all suffered from by the time we finished, are today only a memory.

Our sincere thanks go to Mary Shepherd for organising a really great and unusual afternoon out.

More pictures on our Gallery Page.

OUR JUNE MEETING :

Over 50 members welcomed Stephen Harmer to our June meeting, and we were treated to a truly fascinating talk and slideshow on 'The Arts & Crafts Movement and it's  Gardens'.
Although the movement virtually ended after World War1, when many of the artisan craftsmen and gardeners were killed, many of us still garden today using their general principles.  These include ; intimate garden rooms, hedging, topiary, natural stone walls and steps, water features and rills, pergolas, summer houses, and self seeding plants and perennials, thereby harmonizing the garden with the house.
However, Stephen did ruffle a few feathers when he suggested that our trusted favourites of annuals and summer bedding were, in Arts & Crafts terms, an unnatural  blot on the landscape and were NEVER to be used !
It was also a real eye-opener to learn that, alongside the many good things to come out of Arts & Crafts, many of William Morris’s beautiful floral wallpapers were made using Arsenic based green dyes, and were responsible for many, many deaths in the Victorian period.
All in all, a really interesting and knowledgeable speaker who conveyed his fascinating subject to us with skill and good humour.  A great night.
 

Our June Meeting

May 11th Grand Plant Sale

Our annual Grand Plant Sale was yet another outstanding success.  Our members carried the flag yet again by supplying huge quantities of plants, cakes and pastries, jams and preserves, and an absolute 'Aladdin's Cave' of garden related bric-a-brac, all for sale to the general public, and at knock down prices.

The villagers, and friends from even further afield, turned out in their numbers to snap up the many bargains on offer.  There were many happy customers, and we thank everyone, in whatever capacity, for their support and help on the day.

8th May - Outing to Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Hard on the heels of our Tuesday meeting, 50+ members and friends joined us on a day trip to Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens in West Sussex.  By the time we arrived, the rain had stopped and we enjoyed a lovely day in the beautiful gardens.  The Rhododendrons and Azaleas were at their best, and an added bonus was the amazing "Beyond the Doll's House" exhibition.  This was a wonderful collection of minutely detailed dioramas that left us all in awe of the skills of the modeller.  A fantastic day.

Tuesday 7th May meeting

A really enjoyable night when we welcomed Jim Buttress to our meeting.  Some will remember Jim as the gravel voiced vegetable judge on TV's 'Big Allotment Challenge'.  However, there was so much more to this charismatic man's life in horticulture, and he kept us enthralled with his many interesting and humorous stories.  A great night.
 

DECEMBER 2018 CHRISTMAS PARTY

70+ Members joined us for our Christmas Party, and most agreed that it was one of the best for a long time.  Members pulled out all the stops when supplying food for the buffet, but the highlight of the evening was the entertainment, in the form of  Ron & Ash.  A talented and lively duo

who kept us entertained with music ranging from Country, to Sixties, to Rock n Roll, and a good old fashioned knees up too!  In fact they were so popular that we hope to get them back for our 2019 party.  (See our Gallery Page for pictures)

 

So that was it for 2018.  Yet another successful year for the Beltinge Gardeners’ Society, and it is all down to your continued and much welcomed support.  Thank you all.

 

Finally, we would like to wish all of our members and friends a healthy and prosperous New Year, and look forward to welcoming you all to our February meeting when Roland Stevens will give us a talk on ‘A Year In The Life Of A Lawn’.

NOVEMBER 2018 MEETING

50 or so members attended our November meeting, and we were rewarded with a thoroughly fascinating talk from Suzanne Kynaston.  Suzanne is a qualified zoologist and conservationist at the nearby Wildwood Trust.
Supported with a host of wonderful slides and videos, she talked about the Trust's conservation projects with British mammals and their success in reintroducing a variety of small animals to the wild.
To finish her presentation, Suzanne, herself a published expert on bears, told us the heartwarming story of Fluffy and Scruffy, two rescued European Brown Bears who are now thriving in their large woodland enclosure at Wildwood.
In 2014, these two underweight and stressed bears were rescued from appalling conditions at a disused bear breeding station in Bulgaria, where they had been kept in small barren concrete cells for their entire lives.
To cut a long, harrowing and expensive story short, these two poor creatures were eventually rescued and brought to Wildwood where they are now thriving and happy in their large natural woodland home.  A wonderful story to end a most enjoyable evening.
A great reason, if one were needed, to visit our local wildlife park.

Our Upcoming November Meeting

As gardeners, we have an affinity with all types of nature, from bees through to hedgehogs, and we just love all aspects of the living world.
So, you will all find something of interest when we welcome Suzanne Kynaston as our guest speaker at the November meeting.

Suzanne is an expert in Zoology and conservation, and is to be found at The Wildwood Trust at nearby Herne Common.
Those of you that have visited Wildwood will know that enormous emphasis is being placed on the conservation projects there, which are aimed at the protection of our native British wildlife.  However, Wildwood is also home to many 'non-native' animals who are also in need of protection.  High on this list are the bears !
I mention the bears, primarily because Suzanne has written and published books on 'wild bears of the world' !  She also tutors courses at Wildwood on British mammals, from identification (from tracks and droppings), surveying (by humane trapping), to general conservation.
Suzanne is a true expert, and l am sure her talk will be of enormous interest to us all.

The November meeting will also be an opportunity to pay for your 2019 membership and collect your new Programme & Show Schedule.  
As well as some exciting new speakers next year, there are also some added fun classes in the Show Schedule too.  How about trying your hand at fruit or vegetable carving, or proudly displaying that weird and crazily shaped carrot or parsnip to get a few childish sniggers from your friends ?  ? ??
12 months membership remains at £10 pp.

Thank you, and we hope to see you all on 6th November.  

OCTOBER 2nd MEETING &  2018 AGM

Over 50 members attended our meeting and AGM last night, for which we thank you.  Unlike previous years when fish and chips were provided, on this occasion we welcomed a guest speaker, Mr Christopher Wade.  His talk was entitled 'A Four Seasons Walk Through Kent'.  
Chris works for the KCC Common Land and Village Greens Service, and his wonderful assortment of colourful and atmospheric slides showed off his intimate knowledge of our county.  Add to this his extensive knowledge of public footpaths, bridleways and regulations, Chris provided us with an enthusiastic and witty talk that had the membership enthralled.  
I would hope that we could invite Chris back at some time in the future, as his top quality slides, anecdotes and good humour left us all wanting more.  Thank you Christopher Wade for a lovely evening.

The AGM passed uneventfully for the most part.  We had the usual reports from the President, Chairman and outgoing Treasurer Ray Cherry.  This was Ray's last task as Treasurer as he has now stood down after many years in the job.  Thank you for all your work over the years Ray.  It really has been appreciated.
His successor is Moira Hughes who has many years experience in accounting, so we thank her sincerely and wish her well for the future.
The committee were voted back 'en-bloc', together with a new committee member, Mr John Partridge.  Welcome John, the committee thank you and hope you enjoy helping out with the many unsung tasks that happen behind the scenes.

The other unexpected announcement of the night was that Mary Cook, our Show Secretary of many years, was standing down from the job after the 2019 season of shows.
Mary is a very enthusiastic and active committee member, doing much on a day to day basis.  As Show Secretary, she has done a fantastic job over the years, ensuring that the shows run seamlessly and efficiently.  I don't think any of us realise just how much work is involved with this job.  Thank you Mary, you are, and always have been, greatly appreciated.
The Society now has one year to find a replacement 'Show Secretary' !  If anyone thinks that they have the organisational skills to take on this job, then please let a committee member know.  Mary will be happy to teach someone the ropes over the coming year.

After my recent plea for help with the heavier tasks at meetings, l am pleased to say that several male Society members came forward to offer help with this.  It is greatly appreciated, thank you chaps 

Thank you all again, and we hope to see you at the November meeting when we will be welcoming Suzanne Kynaston from nearby Wildwood.  Suzanne has written a book on bear conservation, and currently lectures on courses of small mammal conservation (UK wildlife) at Wildwood.  This will surely be an interesting night, so please make a note to come along.
It will also be an opportunity to pay for your 2019 membership (£10) and obtain your Schedule for next year.

 

AUTUMN SHOW 2018

Our 2018 Autumn Show went well, with some really great exhibits on display.  This was all the more impressive when you consider the long hot summer we have all had to endure this year.  Sadly, my runner beans gave up the ghost weeks ago !
Before you go to our gallery page to look at some pictures, we must first thank everyone who took part on the night, from the many exhibitors, to those that helped set up for the show and clear up at the end.  Also, we must not forget all of the unsung heroes that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make these events so successful.  I think most of us don't realise the tremendous amount of work involved in putting on a show.  Special thanks therefore, must go to our Show Secretary, Mary.
Now, please go to our Gallery for some pictures from the show, including some of our many proud prize winners.  Well done all . . . 

August Outing to RHS Hyde Hall 

On Wednesday 1st August, Beltinge Gardeners organised a coach outing to the RHS garden at Hyde Hall in Essex.
Those of you that came on the last visit to Hyde Hall will remember a dull and wet day, and a really quite miserable experience.
This time, happily, it couldn't have been more different !  It was a very hot and sunny day.  We found huge changes to the facilities on-site, and as a bonus, it was day 1 of a 5 day flower show.

So, where to start ?

Well, the flower show was more akin to the Detling Garden Show, with trade stands, nurseries displaying and selling their amazing plants, food courts, and entertainment, etc.   It WAS busy, extremely busy, but everything was well spread out and comfortable to explore.  Hats off to the RHS, because the organisation and planning was excellent, with plenty of staff members on hand to assist.

Members will remember the Thatched Barn Restaurant on top of the hill ?  It is still there but the RHS have built two large and modern buildings, one of which is a bright and airy restaurant. 

The gardens were in tip top condition, as you would expect, and the grass was greener than anyone has seen for weeks and weeks.  There was also another bonus element with the amazing 'Thompson & Morgan Floral Fantasia' garden.  A large garden packed full of colourful bedding plants.  A real feast for the eyes.

All in all a most wonderful day.  Check out some photos of the day on our Gallery page.

JULY MEETING & GERANIUM COMPETITION

Our meeting last night was interesting and colourful, if a little subdued.  Numbers attending were down quite considerably on the norm (for various reasons, not just football), but we were still treated to a worthwhile evening.
Our guest speaker was Don Wilks.  Don is a regular visitor to us, who never ceases to impress with his amazing slide shows, his encyclopaedic depth of knowledge, and terrific sense of humour.   He didn't disappoint on this occasion either.   We learnt a lot about the weird and wonderful world of fungi - the fact and the fiction, the gourmet treats for those in the know, and the deadly traps for the ignorant and unwary.  
We also learnt a lot about beautiful dragonflies, and the not-so-beautiful flies.  Who knew that there were so many different species?  All with different needs and habits, and consequently having various effects on both nature . . .  and us ?
Thanks to Don's gruesomely graphic descriptions, every one of us left the meeting realising how vitally important it was to protect our foodstuffs from the seemingly harmless house fly!
  
Don was also kind enough to judge the Geranium competition for us.  A colouful but difficult job, given that the plants all looked so similar.
However, the eventual winner was Mrs Catherine Dixon.  Sadly, she wasn't with us on the night, so the trophy was collected on her behalf by her very proud husband, Philip.

Next month we welcome another guest speaker, Mike Bundock from the Herne Bay Historical Society.  His illustrated talk will be "Beyond Beltinge".  
Mike is always interesting, and one not to be missed.

Our upcoming July Meeting

Our next meeting on 3rd July features our old friend, Don Wilks.  Don has visited us on many occasions over the years, and his colourful slide shows, accompanied by his  excellent commentaries, are always a delight for those present.
Next month's presentation is entitled " Fungi, Dragons and Flies", and whatever you imagine that to mean, we know that we will be guaranteed an interesting evening.
Please make a note in your diary and come along.

Also at the July meeting :

In early Spring, Society members were each given a complimentary Geranium plug plant.  The idea (as we did with a fuchsia last year), was for members to nurture their plants through to maturity and then to bring them back for judging.  
Well, judging time is here, so all members are asked to bring their Geranium plant back to the July meeting.
It doesn't matter if your efforts were successful or not, whether you are proud of your charge or not, the more plants on show means that the better the spectacle and judging will be.

Our June Meeting

The special guest at our June meeting was Philip Ostenbrink, head gardener at Canterbury Cathedral.  Philip is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker, and around 60 members and visitors were treated to an interesting talk.  It covered the history of the Cathedral grounds, through to the current projects happening around the site.  A fascinating insight as to what horticultural treasures hide behind those many doors which boast that most familiar of signs - 'PRIVATE' !
Roll on next year's Cathedral Open Gardens weekend.  I will be first in the queue.

GRAND PLANT SALE 5th MAY 2018

Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who supported our Grand Plant Sale today.  To the many contributors who brought along the vast quantity of plants, bakery and bric-a-brac items to sell, and to the friends of the Society and members of the public who came in to buy our goods on the day.
Our produce did sell out quite quickly this year, mostly down to the fact that people have realised that to get the best bargains, you must arrive early, and this they did in large numbers.
So, thank you all for your tremendous support, which ensured that our Plant Sale this year was an outstanding success yet again.

MAY MEETING 2018

On Tuesday 1st May, we again welcomed Steve Edney, who gave us an illustrated talk on Dahlias.  Steve, as we all know by now, is Head Gardener at the Salutation Gardens at Sandwich.  Although the garden is famous for its variety, Dahlias are an important element there too, and one of Steve's many personal passions.

Some of us find that Dahlias, although undoubtedly beautiful and long flowering, are sometimes difficult, especially when the tubers need lifting and overwintering.    But Steve showed us that Dahlia tubers are really quite robust and that we probably kill them with kindness . . . . and maybe too much watering ?  
Overall, it was a very interesting and enthusiastic talk with many colourful slides.
 


In answer to one of the many questions from the floor, Steve was able to talk about his own garden in Ash, Nr Sandwich.  It transpired that he and his partner Louise (who happily joined us on the night), open their garden 'Sweetbriar' to the public in the summer, as part of the National Garden Scheme in aid of charity.
Amazingly, and somewhat surprisingly, their own garden (also pictured here) is described in the Yellow Book as an 'Exotic Jungle Paradise', and 'A lawn free tropical oasis'.  "No room for weeds here !" smiled Louise, who Steve admitted was a major part of this private project ! 
Another side to the talented Steve Edney that most of us would never have imagined ?

Perhaps worthy of a visit !   (Now where did l put this year's NGS Yellow Book ?)

April 2018  Outing to The Tulip Festival at Arundel Castle

On Tuesday 24th, 45 members joined us on a day trip to Arundel Castle in West Sussex to see the Tulip Festival there.  What an amazing sight!  The grounds and gardens were filled with beds of colour.  Tulips of every hue met you at every turn from the moment you walked through the gates.

 

Sadly, the sun declined to make much of an appearance, but the day was mostly dry, and some members were able to eat their packed lunches within the formal gardens and surrounded by displays of wonderful colour.

 

Others took advantage of the Restaurant and Coffee Shop within this beautiful Castle.

 

Our tickets gave us almost total access within the castle, from the Main Castle Rooms, to The Fitzalan Chapel, and  the Castle Keep, although not many members managed the 131 steps to the top of the Keep.  However, those that did were treated to amazing views of the town and surrounding countryside (or so I am told ! ).

 

Arundel Castle and gardens sit high on a hill, but little motorised buggies were running up and down all day, so as well as a lift within the castle, our less mobile members were able to see most of what was on offer.

 

Please see the pictures of this successful day on our Gallery page, because all agreed that we must make a return visit sometime in the future. 

 

Reculver & Beltinge Memorial Hall

 

149 Reculver Road

Beltinge

Herne Bay

CT6 6PL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car Parking

There are limited "one hour" bays nearby and limited parking in local roads.

 

There is a car park around 5 mins walk away.  About 400 yds towards Reculver, turn left into Reculver Drive.  The car park is 100 yds on the left. From April to September, 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, there is a charge of  £1.50 per day.  Weekends & Bank Holidays £3 per day.  Pay by RinGo App only.

Postcode CT6 6QE

Print Print | Sitemap
© Reculver and Beltinge Memorial Hall