Biddenham Gardeners’ Association – AGM 2017

27th Annual General Meeting of the Biddenham Gardeners’ Association held on 18th July 2017

Chair’s Report
The Chair reported on another enjoyable and successful year. The new membership scheme, where members pay an annual subscription rather than mainly paying for each meeting attended, has been successfully introduced. The Association has 59 Members. Visitors are welcome to attend on payment of £5 per meeting.

Average attendance at speaker meetings was 45.

There have been outings to Ascot House near Leighton Buzzard and Deene Park near Corby.

Treasurer’s Report
With effect from 1 January 2017 the association’s financial year runs on a calendar year basis from 1 January to 31 December. The treasurer presented the accounts for the nine months from the beginning of the previous financial year 1 April 2016 to 31 December 2016. The balance in hand at the end of the year was £2, 385.11. The accounts were approved.

Election of Officers
An unchanged committee was re-elected as follows:

Chair – Jeremy Arthern

Secretary – Paula Church

Treasurer – Ralph Harding

Membership Secretary – Linda Truscott

Programme Secretary – Janet Bird.

Ron Bessey – Website

Liz Hurford – Biddenham Show liaison

Marie Willis – Advertising

Brian Cheyne was appointed as accounts examiner following the resignation of George Metcalf who was thanked for his work for the Association.

The Chair expressed thanks to all committee members and others who have made a contribution to the running (and feeding) of the BGA.

The AGM was followed by a talk on Marston Vale Forest by Jo Roberts, Community Engagement officer, and the evening concluded with a generous summer buffet.

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This Month in the Garden – July & August 2017

TMITG_ds1One of the joys of summer gardening is to be out there working early on a beautiful summer morning and ‘early’ for me means between five and six. With the sun shining and the birds singing this is a magical time which fills me with delight and probably fills the owls amongst you with horror. It is one way though of getting some extra work done at a busy time of the year …

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BGA Outing to Deene Park

On Tuesday, 4th July, 33 members and associates of the BGA partook in a coach outing to Deene Park in Northamptonshire.  Grade 1 listed Deene Park is the ancestral and current home of the Brudenell family.  The house dates back 500 years and has a fascinating history, which was relayed to the BGA visitors via a guided tour.

Many characters are commemorated with their stories being brought to life by the Deene Park guides.
Of note, the Earl of Cardigan and his faithful horse Ronald both of who were the leading characters in the Charge of the Light Brigade, are commemorated with an account of the battle being portrayed.  Ronald himself can be seen (well, his head, tail and hooves) as he is preserved and on display at Deene Park!

After lunch, which was taken in the delightful old tearooms, we were free to wander the beautiful gardens.  Deene Park has a beautiful box edged parterre designed by David Hicks.  A striking feature throughout are the clipped box in the shape of teapots.  Tea was the favourite drink of the late Edmund Brudenell.

The borders were filled with many varied herbaceous perennials, one of which was the beautiful smelling Heliotrope ‘Cherry Pie’.  Many attendees purchased the Heliotrope from the gift shop, resulting in the journey home on the coach being a sensory delight.
Paula Church

click here for more photos

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Clematis – Queen of Climbers – Carol & John Adams

Lady Betty Balfour

On a very hot June evening we were pleased to welcome Carole Adams and her husband to talk to us about clematis.  Carole had the idea of starting a nursery in 1975 and three years later she opened her nursery Adams Plants in Buckden, Cambridgeshire.  Carole and her husband grow and sell a variety of plants but specialise in clematis.  Carole started her talk by telling us that the clematis is a member of the  ranunculaceae  family whose members include buttercups and aconites …

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This Month in the Garden – June 2017


For many people June is the highlight of the gardening year. Maintaining a succession of colour throughout the year is one of the great challenges for the ornamental gardener but most of us can  manage a good display in June. It is a great time for enjoying your own garden and it is a wonderful time for visiting other gardens. One of the loveliest within reasonable distance of Bedford is Coton Manor at Coton, Northamptonshire. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12.00 to 5.30, postcode NN6 8RQ and it has a good restaurant and nursery for plant sales. June is the best time for seeing roses and Coton Manor has plenty of them.
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Fascinating Falklands by Richard Revels – part 2

At our May meeting we were pleased to welcome back, at short notice, Richard Revels who continued with Part 2 of his illustrated talk on the Falkland Islands …
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This Month in the Garden – May 2017

TMITG_ds1This has been a wonderful spring and it seems to have gone on for a long time; starting with the snowdrops in February, daffodils in March and April and now tulips and the first bluebells. Blossom this year has been especially abundant. My garden was previously an orchard and we still have three original pear trees, a damson, a plum and an apple tree and we have added to these with two more plums and two apples. The pears and plums have filled the view upstairs  from my study with a blaze of white and now the apples are taking over with their quieter pink. Last year I had virtually no tree fruit so I have high hopes of better things this year provided we don’t have any vicious late frost. Our amalanchier tree has also been especially striking with its Persil-white blossom and it has been a wonderful sight in the late evening sun. They are one of the best small decorative garden trees and they come with a bonus of berries for the birds and a colourful autumn foliage display … Continue reading

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The Wonderful World of Salvias by Janet Buist

Salvia involucrata ‘Boutin’ Mexico

The speaker at our well-attended meeting on 18th April was Janet Buist on the subject of The Wonderful World of Salvias. Janet was until her recent retirement the owner of Pennycross Nursery which specialised in salvias. There are over a thousand different species of salvia and the number is growing rapidly with new introductions. Janet said she is often asked how to look after them and there are no easy answers as their requirements vary a great deal. Salvias come from all parts of the word except Australasia although chiefly from the New World and these varieties were the main subject of her talk … Continue reading

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This Month in the Garden – April 2017

TMITG_ds1In 2016 the zodiac animal for the Chinese was the monkey but, as far as I was concerned, it was the year of the slug and in my articles I probably bored you with my horror at the damage inflicted on my plants. It seems though, that I was not alone and the March edition of the RHS magazine, The Garden, had a long article on ways of reducing damage from slugs and snails. They are also setting up long-term trials on the subject …

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This Month in the Garden – March 2017


Some people use the opportunity of extra time at the Easter break to get their gardens into shape but Easter is still six weeks ahead  and that will be six  weeks of valuable gardening time lost. For the serious gardener March is the time to get going; the big busy month …
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