Back by popular demand, this May there are 3 'bring and buy' dates at the Trading Store,
We have vintage tools, gardening books, and spare plants for sale to raise money for Show funds. Bring your spare plants, unwanted gardening books and any surplus tools to help swell the Show Kitty! Pick up a bargain for yourself too.
There are still some seed potatoes left (at the time of writing this) and they are now at bargain prices. If you have a bit of spare ground you've not been able to prepare to your satisfaction this spring, why not quickly pop some extra spuds in! Potatoes are very tolerant and their fine roots break up the soil while the top growth of lush foliage smothers out the weeds.
Though it was a shame we weren't quite able to get enough people for the guided tour to run, our group trip was very jolly indeed and Sissinghurst in the full glory of its spring show. The Lime Walk, Nuttery and Dleos (the areas designed by Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson specifically for spring colour) were absolutely spectacular. A bright breezy day meant it was warm and dry enough for outdoor picnics but there weren't the hoards of people who can sometimes make a visit a bit overcrowded.
Some of us were particularly keen to see the newly-established vegetable and fruit garden, which is intended to provide produce for the restaurant and was started in 2009. It was clear that most of the work had been done very recently, with the fruit bushes only planted a few weeks before. A huge amount of effort had gone into the various support structiures - showy and expensive, with flashy techniques - but it was agreed the soil preparation seemed to have been lamentable.
The garden is advertised as using 'no dig' beds. It would seem they use a pared-down version of this where dusty, poor-quality bagged compost made mostly of composted bark is simply poured a couple of inches deep over the heavy, unimproved soil of pastureland which has had the turf stripped off. There was no topsoil as such to be seen - very strange. As my old granny would say, "All fur coat and no knickers"
The pumpkin show was a modest affair, and there are definitely allotmenteers out there who would have won bottles of wine, vouchers for seeds and other goodies if they had brought their pumpkins and squash along!
The pumpkin show was judged by Kirsty Cato with help from Vivienne Lawson as one class was very close. Tony Fagg as Show Secretary wished to compete so stood aside as judge.
Gilda also won '3 different squash, one of each' (yes, that's me, it was embarassing) and donated her prize of £10 worth of Thompson and Morgan vouchers to Tony for the sake of fairness.
There were no entries in the classes 'Heaviest Marrow' or 'Ugliest Squash', so you all missed out there, folks - the prizes were there for the taking if you had come along.
Prizes included bottles of wine and vouchers for Thompson and Morgan Seeds, vouchers for Tuckers Seeds, and bulbs and garlic kindly donated by friendly local nursery Harringe Plants on the A20 at Sellinge.
As you'll have seen earlier this month, the produce stall at the Pilgrim's Hospice raised a good amount. We don't expect quite so many people at the Summer Show (we haven't got a minibus laid on or anything like that) but all money raised will be very useful, so please do take a few minutes to walk over your plot and scoop up your surplus of whatever you have a lot of. All contributions incredibly welcome!
Results of the 'Best Plot' competition, plus all the photos we could get, are now there for you to see. Certificates will be awarded, plus the vintage silver cup for Best Plot, at the Summer Show on Saturday.
Chairwoman Penny and Show Secretary Tony manned the stall at the Hospice Fair on Saturday 2nd August, and turned your surplus fruit, vegetables and jam into much-needed funds for the Hospice.
Above: If you don't grow courgettes yourself, then this is a sight to make the mouth water at this time of year!
Penny writes: "We had a very successful day and raised £97.70, our best total yet. We had a wonderful selection of fruit, vegetables and flowers together with lovely homemade jams. Thanks to all who helped and donated in particular plotholders at Musgrove, Cryol Road, Henwood, William Road and Repton. The day was sunny and perfect for the fete with over 2000 visitors and (a couple of very large marrows aside) we only had a few courgettes over which were given to the kitchen. So very successful!"
At this year's summer show on 23rd August, there will be a secondhand gardening book stall to raise money. So we urgently want your unwanted garden and gardening books! they do not need to be specifically fruit and veg - all gardening books are welcome, also books on related subjects such as country crafts, cooking with vegetables, jams and preserves and so on. We are advertising it as vintage, secondhand and antiquarian, so do not worry if your books are past the first flush of youth or are even older than you are!
Books can be brought to the Trading Store on the 9th of August, or can be brought along to the show on the day. If you have books and can't deliver them on either of those two dates, get in touch and we'll arrange something.
Support the Pilgrim's Hospice Summer Fair by bringing your surplus produce to our fund-raising stall on August 2nd
For many years now the Allotment Society has supported the Pilgrim's Hospice with a stall selling surplus fruit, veg and plants to raise funds. Plotholders please take the time to pick some of whatever you can spare for the stall, to make a good show, raise loads of money and show off the lovely stuff we grow.
The hospice Summer Fair is on August 2nd; you all know the hospice, it is just past Tesco Crooksfoot on the A20 towards the garden centre, after junction 10. Set your satnav for TN24 0NE
You should bring your produce direct to the hospice Summer Fair for about 9.30 to 9.45am, where Penny will be waiting to receive it and set it out. You can park in field opposite the hospice, but to deliver only (there is a free 'park & ride' for anyone coming to the fete). Anything sells well, so bring cut flowers, spare plants and of course vegetables and fruit. All the money made goes to the charity.
The Summer Fair is free and starts at 12 noon. (Closes at 4pm) There is a huge range of fun for all. To save traffic chaos, the Hospice is operating a free 'park & ride' to the hospice gates - leave your car safely at the 'Secret Garden' carpark a little further down the A20 at Mersham Le Hatch and hop on the bus! Click here to go to the Hospice website - scroll down the page to see details of the Fair.
Aldington & Bonnington Gardening Society
This website is happy to publicise all garden-related events.