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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
More pictures on our Gallery Page.
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.
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.
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’.
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
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.
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.
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 . . .
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.
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
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.
Perhaps worthy of a visit ! (Now where did l put this year's NGS Yellow Book ?)
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.
149 Reculver Road
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