BGA – July 2020 Zoom mtg

On 21 July we held our second distanced meeting using Zoom. Paula Church, our secretary, hosted the meeting and the speakers were our Chair, Paul Fricker and a former Chair, Peter Carter.

Most of us had never heard of Zoom before March this year but we are beginning to get used to it and, in many of the ways that we used to meet together, it has proved  a great blessing. It will never replace face to face contact but we can see and chat to each other and still appreciate the activity that would have brought us together in other circumstances. A drawback is the amount of work involved in setting up a meeting and we have to thank Paula for all the work of setting up a meeting, preparing the speaker’s material for presentation and holding everything together while the meeting is in progress …

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Alert – Poisonous Courgettes!

Last Saturday evening we sat down to what should have been a tasty dinner of fish pie, carrots and home-grown courgettes.  However as soon as we started eating, it was apparent there was something seriously wrong.  An incredibly unpleasant bitter taste.  ‘Revolting’ said Richard, spitting out a mouthful.  What could possibly be wrong?  We couldn’t understand it.  The courgettes fried in butter were terrible, but the taste seemed to permeate the whole meal.  I had to throw the lot away, but the taste remained in the mouth.

Later on, I found the cut end of the courgette and licked it.  Lo and behold, it was incredibly bitter. 

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Zoom Meeting for BGA Members (16th June)

Tuesday 16th June 2020 provided a “first” for Biddenham Gardeners Association – our first virtual meeting that is.  Who would have thought, this time last year, that we would be doing this.  At 7.30 pm thirty three members of the BGA came together on Zoom to meet each other and listen to Paula Church’s presentation …

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This Month in the Garden – July 2020

Many of us living in Biddenham during the period of Lockdown are lucky enough to have a garden and what a boon that has been!  Two months of lovely sunny dry weather was an added bonus and a garden and good weather, plus more time than usual, have kept us busy and active and given us a lot of pleasure.  You probably had to spend quite a bit of the available time on watering the garden but rain has now come to our rescue and my garden has probably never looked better. A spectacular display of roses is just beginning to fade ..

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This Month in the Garden – June 2020

Apologies for the late publication of this June article – but as always,  it is worth publishing and reading!

This month’s publication date of The Loop coincides with the traditional advice that the best date for trimming box topiary is Derby day, 1st of June. The race itself won’t be run this year but perhaps you can celebrate it by cutting any box topiary in your garden. I have got 25 box balls to cut in my front garden plus one in  a pot on the patio. Finding the time to do it on the right day may not be a problem just now but the amount of sunshine we have been getting lately may be because the advice is to … Continue reading

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Chairmans newsletter – May 2020

Dear Biddenham Gardeners’ Association member,

We have seen some beautiful late Spring colours in the gardens and I hope you have been able to visit our Gallery of Members’ Photos. It must be one of the most inspiring photo galleries of any local gardeners’ association and it is a reflection of the commitment and dedication you have shown to your gardens. We also appreciate the hard work of Ron Bessey in his presentation of the photos on the website. Thank you, Ron.

Many of the Spring flowers are now coming to an end but we are seeing the early summer colours. The roses are just beginning to come out –  my favourite being the Gertrude Jekyll rose. Allium is now in flower and if you have osteospermum and calendula plants, they offer a blaze of colour. Plants like penstemon are well on their way. I am sure you have many other plants that are giving colour to your gardens.

We have so many sources from which we can get advice on how to make our gardens flourish. We are very fortunate to have our own garden expert, Jeremy Arthern, who writes in the Loop and whose articles you can also find on our website.  I am sure you have been watching Gardeners’ World where Monty Don has been giving some useful tips. The programme has enabled us to enjoy very different types of gardens. There have been some interesting recorded programmes presented by Alan Titchmarsh. 

It is now permissible for garden centres to open. If you are thinking of visiting a local one, do check that it is open (one or two have decided not to open for the foreseeable future) and that safety measures are in place. At this moment, Milton Ernest Garden Centre is offering a delivery service if you telephone, as is Kempston Nursery. 

I am sure we are all looking forward to meeting up again. The Prime Minister in his address from Downing Street on Sunday 10th May has made it clear that it will be some time before public meetings can take place. We will keep you informed. I hope you will keep well and safe and will enjoy your gardens. Thank you again to all those who have contributed to the Members’ Photo Gallery.

Best wishes
Paul Fricker (Chairman)

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This Month in the Garden – May 2020

For a while now, the RHS has been running a campaign promoting the benefit of gardening for mental health and wellbeing for individuals and communities and the prolonged lock-down is bringing home to those of us lucky enough to have a garden what a huge benefit they are. We are not confined to four walls, there is always something to do and we can enjoy all the benefits of being in the open air, hearing the birds sing and revelling in a long period of wonderful sunshine. Lovely as it has been to see the April sun, gardeners will have been thinking it was time for rain and today, as I write this, there has been some really good rainfall; perfect timing to save me putting the sprinkler on the lawn after a treatment of fertiliser … Continue reading

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Plants & Vegetables for Sale in Biddenham

Dear BGA member,
I have been informed by my neighbour, Julie Clay, that Katie Lee of Kempston whose family sell plants at Bedford market will be selling and delivering plants and vegetables to the Biddenham/Bedford area at weekends.

If you are interested in purchasing, ring Katie on 077639 60604

examples of prices – a 12 pack of vegetables such as peas, runner beans, chard etc are £2, pot grown vegetables £1, perennials including hardy ferns are £3 and shrubs in a pot are £7.

A massage from Katie: ‘One thing to note – we do sell on a market but it’s not bedford market, we don’t want to upset anyone ‘

I and all of the BGA Committee hope that you are all keeping well. We look forward to happier times in the (hopefully) not too distant future, when we can gather together to share our love of gardening.

Best regards,
Paula Church (BGA Secretary)

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A message from our Chairman …

Dear BGA member,

Despite these sad and difficult times, many people have found great pleasure in spending time in their gardens. We have enjoyed some wonderful spring colours. The magnolia blossom was beautiful. We have seen displays of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, camellias, hellebores, primulas, pansies,  forget-me-nots – and in our garden we have calendula and osteospermum in flower.  Also the forsythia has been impressive …

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Biddenham Gardeners’ Association – Important Message

As new reports of Coronovirus (Covid-19) continue to develop along with Government advice to withdraw from social activities, the BGA Committee took the decision to cancel the Gardeners’ Question Time talk which was due to take place on Tuesday, 17th March. The health, safety and wellbeing of our members and visitors is always our first priority.  This is an unprecedented and dynamic time which is continuing to evolve.  At the time of writing (17th March), we are pleased to say that there are no known reported cases of the virus amongst our membership.  We hope this remains the case and we are closely monitoring the changing Government guidelines.  

Unfortunately, the 30th birthday celebrations and talk from Nick Bailey in April has also been cancelled. With regards to our future talks in May and beyond, it is currently impossible for us to know if they will be able to go ahead.  We believe it is critical that we do our bit to help reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

We hope that our members and associates keep well and take comfort in the fact that we are all connected through our love of gardening.  Please do refer to our website for further updates and for a source of support and inspiration with regards to our love of gardens.  All comments and queries are welcome on the website.  Further queries can be made to Paula on 01234 602039. For any queries regarding membership, please contact Linda on 01234 270747. 

In addition to the above changes, please note that our outing to Theobalds FarmHouse, Wednesday 24th June, 2020 – is also Cancelled

Paula Church (BGA Secretary)

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