This was updated on June 2nd

Evening trip to Scotney

The members had a very enjoyable trip to Scotney castle where we were shown round parts of the garden that were not open to the public before the National trust took over. Part of the lawn has been alowed to grow naturally and now have a good selection of wilf orchids growing

Hints for June

Garden Hints for June
          When I first started as a garden boy my head gardener made me keep a diary so that I knew how and when to do certain jobs. He did say that you could not keep to dates each year as the weather etc, would be different, this could not be more applicable than this year. You may well be doing things in the garden that other years would have been done 2 or 3 weeks ago so all I can do this year is list some things that ought to be done now if not before.
Make sure that your potatoes have been well earthed up so as to avoid those close to the surface going green. Runner and French beans can be planted along with sweet corn and any other plants that you have started in the greenhouse such as marrows and cucumbers. When hoeing around carrots if you can move some soil to cover the tops it will help avoid the green top that often occurs. Some early crops of broad beans, lettuce and such can be harvested; if the tips are removed with broad beans this can help clear small attacks of black fly.
If you are growing tomatoes in grow bags do be careful with the watering as it is easy to keep them too wet or too dry and irregular watering is often the cause of  blossom ends rot when you get a hard black part where the flower was on the fruit. 
It was found some years ago that if you sowed your parsnip seed on the late side you did not get so much canker .When the seed germinates the very first root is your parsnip, all it does is grow and if that very fine root is damaged by frost then the canker fungus has a way in, so by sowing late you could avoid this damage hence less canker so maybe this will be a good year for parsnips.
Annuals that were sown where they are to flower will need thinning to get the best from them. Any plants growing in containers or baskets will need careful watering and if you have not used slow release fertilizers will also need feeding.
Once sweet peas come into bloom they need to be picked as soon as they are out so as not to put a strain on the plant and stop other flowers forming.
Roses can benefit from a feed of high potash food which can be hoed into the surface. The foliage should be left as long as possible on spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils so as to build up the bulbs for next year. Please try and avoid tying the foliage in knots as this defeats the purpose for which nature put it there.
Sweet peas need to be kept cut so that seed does not form and stop the flowering, if you are growing them as cordons they will need frequent tying and tendrils removed. 
Regular mowing with the blades not too low during May and June will give a good base to the lawn, a light feed of lawn fertilizer will keep the grass growing and help against moss. Do not however apply this in dry hot weather as you can burn the grass.

Visit to the Walled Nursery in Hawkhurst

Our July meeting this year was to the Walled Nursery in Hawkhurst. It really takes you back in time when you see all the pold greenhouses and frmes as they used to be many mant years back. The National Heritage are now involed in restoring the houses as they are such a unique collection.. If you missed our trip it is worth going on your own to see such old buildings.

Spring Show 2014

Our spring show was held on Saturday April 12th and was very successful with many entries of a very high standard. The judges were impressed and had quite a problem picking out the winners.

Annual General Meeting

Our A.G.M. was held on November23rd when the chairman reported on a good year with all meetings going as planned.  At this meeting Ann and Laurie Manser retired from their posts as Gen. sec,. and chairman, after having served 24 years and 25 years each. Their were given a very nice rose dish , a bouquet of flowers and a sum of money collected as donations from the members who all had signed a card.

Annual Dinner 2013

We held our annual dinner in the Brown Trout at Lamberhurst on Tuesday 6th August. There were 22 members and friends present and a really good meal and pleasant evening was had by all.
Ann made buttonholes for each of the ladies out of roses and sweetpeas.

July Meeting

Our monthly meeting in July was an evening visit to the Folly Wildlife Centre on Broadwater Forest.
We had had a visit by Aimee to talk about the Folly and the work they do when she had brought along some young hedgehogs that had been taken in. It is quite an eye opener to see the numbers of animals of all sorts that they help and just how busy they are. We were only there for just under 2 hours but 3 new animals arrived whilst we were there.

This is a young pheasant that had been released earlier but knowing how well it would be treated kept coming back

June outing to Spillsiil Court

18 of our members visited the garden at Spillsill Court Staplehurst for our June meeting. The weather did us proud when you think what a poor year it has been. We were met by Mrs Marshall and then allowed to make our own way round the very large garden. Most times the kitchen  garden is out of bounds to visitors but on this occasion we were given a complete free time. Refreshments were served in a very large  old barn.

May Meeting

Mr & Mrs Waterman from Staplehurst were our speakers for the meeting in May, they spoke about " The Thrifty Gardener " this was a very interesting talk outlining the various ways you can save money whilst gardening. Some things like cutting up white plastic containers to make labels might have been used in the past but for all the labour and money saving hints out together in one talk made a good event.   A news letter giving travel details for our two evening outings were given out along with the menus for our annual dinner in August.

Extra April visit

On Monday 22nd April we were invited to have a conducted tour around Coolings nursery at Knockholt. The nursery is celebrating 100 years of trading at Knockholt. We were shown round the growing area that normally the public do not see. It is so different to a garden centre which just but and sell plants to see over 90% of the plants being grown on site. Much of the work is now done by machines which used to be hand done. 16 members attended which for our small association was a very good turnout.

Our Spring Show

This years spring show was held on Saturday April 13th which is normally thought to be a late show but this year with such a long cold spring many blooms were not out. The show however maintained it's usual high standard although the number of entries was down. Nobody won more than one trophy so the high standard was spread amongst all the exhibitors. The ladies gave good support with the home-produce classes and there was an increase in the number of visitors many of who commented on the large range of flowers on show.

January Social

The attendance at our social in January was below normal but when you think what the weather was like it was not surprising. There was doubt about cancelling but we did go ahead and a good time was had by all who attended.
We  had an anagram of birds competition which was won by Jill, this was followed by a few games of bingo. What would we do without that as a standby.
Then came the eats, as the weather was so cold we had hot mulled wine in place of the ususal cups of tea. The members had brought along a table full of eats and we did our best to clear it all but failed. The 2013 handbooks were handed out so if you missed out make sure you are at our next meeting in February.

November Meeting

Our meeting in November was our Annual general Meeting at which a report on the last years programme was given showing all had gone as scheduled. All the officers were re-elected with Ray Horton offering to help with the treasurer's duties. The programme for next year was read to the members and trophies won at the monthly competitions were awarded.
The meeting was brought to a close with hot mince pies and mulled wine.

October Meeting

Our October meeting was one of the largest we have had for a while, Brenda Skilton was telling us about her trip to the Galapgos Islses and with the help of Barbara Uren was showing us the beautiful pictures she had taken. It was an evening we will remember for a long while, we have already booked Brenda for a simialr evening next year.

Annual Dinner

On Tuesday Oct 2nd we held our Annual dinner in the Waterside restaurant at Bewl.
21 members and friends attended and enjoyed a very good meal, next year we will be having it in the months with light evenings so that we can enjoy the view whilst eating. 

September Meeting

All the members present stood for a short time in memory of Les Allen who had been show secretary for 27 years as well as doing many other things for the society
Harry Townsend has spoken to our members on several occasions and always the talks are very interesting, his talk in September was different in most ways. When Harry lost his wife to melanoma he spent a lot of his time setting up a charity to raise money to help publicise the dangers of too much sun. This meant his garden got into a bad state, his talk showed how he has turned it into a different type of garden. Harry says " I do not do normal" and his garden shows this with a painted shed, many unusual plants etc.
There were entries in both competition classes with Jill and Laurie getting first prizes.

July Meeting

Our July meeting was an evening visit to Perryhill Nursery near Hartfield. We were given a conducted tour by Mr Peter Chapman who showed us the progress of plants from cuttings etc. to saleable plants.

In June we visited the garden of Mr  & Mrs Nye in Horsmonden, this garden was featured in Kent Life last year and proved to be a very interesting and pleasant garden to visit.  Once again the weather was fine for us dispite a very unsettled period of rain and wind. 
Our Spring Show held on Saturday April 14th was very good regardless of the strange weather we had had . There were many varieties of daffodils and narcissus on show , including some varieties not seen in our show before.The number of entries were down slightly but the hall was still well filled.The trophies were shared amongst several exhibitors which is always a good thing. The only thing lacking was the public , for a village society the show is as good as any in the area but we fail to attract visitors in large numbers.

March Meeting

Mr & Mrs Wagner came along to our March meeting with their presentation "Phantasmagoria" very few of us even knew there was such a thing but it turned out to be a very special evening. The word itself means  a modern magic lantern show and that is what we had. The show included flowers, animals and scenic views together with humorous little shows. I am sure we will be asking them to return.
The chairman was given an NAS at the February meeting when he entered potatoes when it should have been onions but at our March meeting he did win the seed potato class with Steve Jones coming 2nd. Jill won the floral class with yet another of her lovely small arrangements.

Annual General Meeting

 Also at the AGM a small sale of garden items were auctioned with the money going to association funds.

October Meeting

Ken Turner was our speaker at our October meeting when he spoke to our members about water features with our gardens. Explaining how water attracts wildlife and creates a peacefull feeling within the garden.The talk was illustrated with pictures showing what plants etc. can be used.

August Meeting

. There were several entries in the competitions with Jill & Steve being the main winners.

Evening visit to Bounds End

On Tuesday July 26th a group of our memebrs visited the gardens "Bounds End" in Bidborough. We have always been very fortunate with the weather for our outings and this one was no exception. The gardens owned by Mike & Carol contains a very wide range of trees and general plants. It is open on other occasions for the NGS and is well worth a visit.