Tintern Garden Club

Annual and Monthly Reports

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Report on June 2019 Meeting
For our June meeting, the rainclouds stayed away just long enough for a gloriously sunny evening visit to Woodhaven garden. We were smitten with this colourful garden in Itton. It was surprising to discover that the garden had been developed singlehandedly by our hosts just in the past 13 years, having previously been part of a sawmill and then a breaker’s yard full of old buses and vehicles! The lovely front garden was filled with swathes of purple and white combinations of early summer flowers and a collection of cloud-like acer trees. Our knowledgable hosts then showed us round their main garden, which was bursting with rambling roses, colourful clematis climbing over arches, hidden sculptures, and huge flower beds leading down to a wildflower meadow. We ended our visit with tasty cake and bara brith on the sun terrace, whilst enjoying spectacular views across the valley.

Our next meeting is our Summer Party at 6.30pm on Friday 19th July! Come along to Jim & Jackie’s house at Ty-Melyn, Ruffets Close, Chepstow NP16 5BP. Bring food and drink to share. It should be a lovely evening!

Hopefully you are all getting on well with your own growing plans and preparing some spectacular entries for the Annual Show on 10th August. Remember that all residents of the Tintern area are welcome to enter (not only members!) and children can join in with any category not just the children’s categories. The show covers all sorts of fruit, veg, flowers, crafts, arts, photography and homemade produce. Come and show us your makes! Show programmes have been handed out to all members, along with geraniums for the club competition - if you don't yet have yours, please contact Dave.

We are always happy to see new members (the subscription is great value at just £10 per year) and non-members are also always welcome to come along to speaker meetings for a charge of £2. For more information about Garden Club, contact Colin Dudley on parvafarm@hotmail.com or 07899 980826, or come along to the next meeting to become our newest member.
Report on May 2019 Meeting
Our meeting in May saw the first garden visit of this year. Our intrepid members ventured to Whitchurch for an an evening exploration of the garden at Woodview. We enjoyed a lovely spring evening (with plenty of rain!) viewing the interesting array of hostas and wild orchids. The garden was full of intriguing sculptures and we enjoyed the collection of vintage garden tools, before tucking into some scrummy cakes from our knowledgable hosts. It was a joy to see the owl nesting boxes with young owlets tucked away inside, and the wren nesting pots being well used. A lovely start to our garden visits this year!
Report on April 2019 Meeting
After a sun-drenched and chocolate-filled Easter break, the members of Tintern Garden Club bravely struggled through the wet and windy wilds of Tintern to attend our April meeting. Gardening guru Marion Stainton spoke to us about ‘Colour & Companion Planting’ to wet our appetites for a new season of digging, sowing and planting in our gardens. Marion had some very bright and colourful ideas for contrasting and complementary combinations, using a whole range of shrubs, bulbs, climbers, foliage and perennials. She stressed the importance of planning for a garden to deliver a whole year’s worth of interest. Taking photos of the garden every few months as different plants pop up means that at the end of the year you can look back to work out where all your boring and empty bits are - and make amends by treating yourself to a shopping spree to buy lots more plants! Marion looked at spring and summer gardens, borders with winter interest, cool and hot palettes, and gave some thoughts on pictures of our own gardens. If every members’ garden has a verbena bonariensis appearing this year, it will be Marion’s influence!

This month’s competition was to bring a picture of companion planting, with our guest speaker acting as judge. The winner was Jim Langdon, with his stunning colour combination of rudbeckia and virginia creeper, followed by Judith Dudley in second place and Colin Dudley in third. Many thanks to all our competitors!
Report on March 2019 Meeting
For our March meeting, a last minute hiccup saw our new Chairman step into the breach and save the day with an impromptu talk all about Tintern’s very own vineyard. With lots of interactive props and some very sharp secateurs, Colin Dudley taught us all about his jobs through the year. From pruning vines and directing new shoots, to dealing with constant battles to save the grapes from rabbits and deer and birds and badgers and mould, to yet more pruning and tying, to finally harvesting the crop and choosing the blends for bottling. Judith Dudley gave us a very knowledgable talk about the development of vineyards through the ages, the way the spread of wine-making followed the expansion of the Roman Empire, and the resurgence of Welsh and British vineyards since the 1970s. Maybe the current vineyard really is on the site of the Abbey’s vineyard and maybe Colin and Judith are following in the footsteps of those monks tending their vines 900 years ago? After hearing about so much hard work, we all deserved to sample some of Parva Farm Vineyard’s latest batch of sparkling wine. A very merry end to a very fun talk!

This month’s competition was to bring an item decorated with birds to be judged by our speakers. The winner was Carol Ostler, with Dave Tuffery in second place and Diane Parker in third. Many thanks to all our competitors!
Report on February 2019 Meeting
Our Garden Club members were buzzing with anticipation for our February meeting. The village’s own Master Beekeeper Adam Parker gave us a fascinating talk on the life of bees, the history of beekeeping and why bees are so important for pollination and for the survival of the human race. We saw some incredible video clips of bees gathering pollen, doing their waggle dance and collecting water from ponds. With the help of a bee-flight-cam we even saw that the queen bee mates in flight with up to 13 males (who then all immediately die after their ‘bits’ fall off!). After that gruesome revelation, we sweetened the atmosphere with a tasting session of honeys from all over the world - including Indian, Finnish, Romanian, lavender, chocolate buckwheat and coffee honeys, and, of course, our very own local Tintern honey from the Parker family.

The monthly competition was to bring along something decorated with bees, judged by our speaker. The sweet taste of success went to our winner Judith Dudley for a lovely honey-spoon, with Colin Dudley in second place and Lindsay Cobb in third. Thank you to all competitors.
Report on January 2019 Meeting (AGM)
The January meeting of Garden Club was our AGM. It was great to see so many members attending to discuss the successes of 2018 and to get ready for a brand new programme this year.

Our Chairman, Jane, reminded us of highlights over the past year, including the wide range of speakers organised by Terry, the lovely summer party at the Vineyard and the great support for our garden stall selling plants and produce at the village hall table sales and the village fete. Jane has stepped down as Chairman after a great three years and we all thanked her for her hard work over the years. Dave reviewed the successful annual show last summer and inspired us to start planning our plantings, veg growing and crafting for this summer! Bernard, our Treasurer, reassured us that our finances are in sound shape and that membership levels are hearty. The new 2019 programme will be handed out soon to all members.

Each month we hold a competition and, as they say, points win prizes! The overall winner with the most points for 2018 was Lindsay Cobb, who won a lovely scarf with a beautiful hare design. The runners up were Dave Tuffery and Judith Dudley.

The committee for 2019 is Colin Dudley (Chairman), Sue Hassell (Vice Chairman), Bernard Bradshaw (Treasurer), Terry Morrison (Programme Secretary), Dave Tuffrey (Show Secretary), Carole Ostler (Minutes Secretary) and Lindsay Cobb (Publicity Officer).

Chairman’s Annual Report for 2018

2018 kicked off with the talk & demonstration by Clyde Hoare on Basket Making. This talk prompted us to book Clyde for a half day course later in the year to make a forage basket. In March Henry Hodge gave an interesting talk about hidden Chepstow, encouraging us all to pay more attention to our local buildings and heritage. In April Marion Stainton explained how raised beds can work in gardens and we now have a couple of these that Dave constructed on the ground by the Filling Station Café. Last year tomatoes, chard, beetroot and leeks were grown and there is also a herb wheel please do help yourself to the herbs. In May we went to Coleford to look around Meadow Cottage Garden. The evening was delightfully warm so we were able to have our tea and cake sitting outside. For the Garden visit in June we went to Rockfield Park where I was amazed by their vegetables - much further advanced than mine. Also in June we had the plant stall at the village fete this was very popular with the buyers. However we do rely on donations of plants and garden related items so if you are planting up any seeds or dividing plants grow a few extra for the fete. It is a great opportunity to promote the club to the villagers and visitors and makes us a bit of money as well which goes towards the cost of the speakers.
July’s Garden Party was held at the Vineyard, many thanks to Colin and Judith for hosting this. August we had the Annual Show which Dave will talk about later. September the talk was about Fred Hando and although I was not there I gather it was good. October saw Wendy Conway come back and talk about their latest photographic trip to South Africa. We rounded off the talks for the year with Alan Parker telling us how sundials work I did not realise how decorative and varied they can be. Then in December we had our usual Christmas party.
Many thanks to Terry Morrison for providing us with such a varied & enjoyable programme, and to all of you for coming to the meetings, entering the competitions and providing the teas.
The new Garden at the hall is coming along courtesy of funding from TAP and volunteers from the village hall and garden club. We do need to work on the next phase this Spring and cut back quite a few more of the shrubs and honeysuckle so look out for dates in the newsletter.
January 2019

Show Secretary’s Report for 2018

This year’s show had a record number of entries and entrants. There were a total of 348 confirmed entries, up on last year’s figure of 295. The breakdown was:-

Show secretary's report for 2018

Only two classes did not have any entries being Ball dahlias and Short carrots.
A total of 60 people put in entries of which 21 were members of the garden club, 9 were adult non-members from the village and 30 were children. This shows that opening up the show to non-members in the rest of the village has been worthwhile as there has been a steady increase in entries in the last six years.
The room was quite full of entries with the new hall stage units being successfully used as additional table space. We also had a good number of people, both local and passing tourists who came through the door to have a look and have some tea and cake. Thanks to those that helped on the day and before with stewarding, baking cakes to sell and serving teas etc. All in all a good team effort. It was an excellent show case for the village and the talents of the residents.
The long standing judge for the cookery section, Mary Cook, has finally decided to hang up her apron and retire from judging. Apparently it was only our show that she still judged. A card of thanks signed by the members has been sent to her.
I am prepared to do another year as show secretary, if there are no other takers, but I hope that someone else will step into the breach the following year.

Dave Tuffery, Show Secretary