Chairmans report

With the cloak of autumn wrapping ever tightly around us, we gardeners and growers reflect on the year while focusing on mulled wine, mince pies and what the coming year will hold. For those thinking about seed orders Peter and Jill Cooke have taken on the task placing orders and still have catalogues available. Regarding the shop, after long discussions at our committee meetings and taking into account members views the decision has been made to give it a further year of trading. The old adage of use it or lose it applies, it will re-open mid -February and each Sunday until the end of June 09.30 -11.00. We were not successful in getting anyone to take on the role of shop manager but will try and operate with the duties split between the volunteers who will man it.

To date we have not received any volunteers to take over as show secretary. None the less those that have assisted Ramon Porter in his many years of dedicated effort as show secretary are committed to making the continuation of the two shows a success. This year we all pulled together with the result that regardless Ilkley holding their show on the same day, we had our largest entry. The constraints on the size of the memorial hall and its layout means we will have to reconsider the number of classes and where best to display them. Some of the display equipment is getting tired. An application was made for funds from the Gala to assist in renewing some of this gear, we were not successful this time but like the prisoner in Shawshank redemption we will keep trying all avenues. Eventually he got Mozart, so hope springs eternal.

With spades and forks cleaned and stored away we have the talks splendidly arranged by Sue Appleyard to sustain us. Details are on membership cards and they promise to hold our attention.

Finally and on a sad note, the great contributions made by John Bottomley and Tom Benstead are recognised with plaques being place on the gate and bench at Stamp Hill allotment area.

Presidents Tip for Hyancinths

Some of you will recall that several years ago the Association ran a competition to grow 3 hyacinth bulbs for exhibition at the Spring Show. One of the problems faced by members was to succeed in managing to get all 3 bulbs to flower at the same time. To overcome this problem I buy my bulbs in early September but plant them individually in 3” pots with bulb compost. I then put the pots in trays (marking which colour is which) cover with newspaper and check watering every 3 weeks.

In early December I check bulbs and can select which are most advanced, approx. 2” high stems, and plant these on into the bowls I intend for display. These planted up bowls can then be placed in a lighter plus slightly warmer area till hopefully they all burst into flower at same time!!   This may be too late for this year but remember for next year!!

 Speaker News

Our Winter season of meetings began with a Garden Question Time when our brave team attempted to answer unseen questions from the audience. They did a fine job, the answer to one question was comprehensively confirmed a few weeks later from Ramon’s mobile whilst he was on holiday in Cyprus….strange what people get up to when they’re away !

Our October speaker was Tracy Foster, who’s a Chelsea gold medal winner and designer of many fine gardens. She gave an excellent talk with lots of advice on how to plant a beautiful border.

As I write this we’re about to welcome Meg Morton who volunteers with the horticultural charity, Perennial. When the final member of the Spencer family died the house and garden at York Gate, Adel were left to the charity. Meg has volunteered there for many years and is going to take us on a virtual tour of the garden and tell us about its history.

January’s meeting is our AGM, and then in February (22nd) if you’re a keen allotmenteer or simply grow fruit and vegetables in your garden at home, you must come along to hear Phil Gomersall, President of the National Allotments Society, who’ll be talking about allotments and how to get the most from them. Whether you’re a novice or experienced gardener there’ll be advice for everyone. Our March meeting (22nd) is all about growing fruit, flowers and vegetables in containers. Really useful for those of us who have very small gardens, or even just a patio. Local  show judge, David Allison, will be presenting that talk. And then our Winter season ends with our famous quiz night on Thursday 26th April. Compiled by John Tolan the questions are by no means restricted to gardening, so it’s a quiz for everyone.

Finally, following on from the success of our visit to Thornton Hall Garden last summer, in 2018 we’re hoping to arrange another outing. We’ve got some ideas of our own but if you want to suggest somewhere please feel free to let us know.

School Garden Club news

We have now put the garden to bed for the winter. Although the Wednesday group have been growing potatoes for Christmas in the greenhouse. They have also planted bulbs in terracotta pots that they have decorated. They look lovely.

Happy gardening  Addingham school gardening club

Seed Ordering Scheme

For many years John Bottomley organised the group seed ordering scheme on behalf of the Association and we wish to continue to offer this, valued, service to members.

We are, therefore, offering members the opportunity to again purchase seeds and other products from Dobies through their group ordering scheme. Purchasing through this channel means you receive free postage and packing and a significant discount while the Association also benefits financially.

An initial order was placed at the end of November but we are able and willing to place further orders. Please send your individual orders to Peter and Jill Cooke, who are administering the scheme this year by email to (spreadsheets are welcomed) or by post to 2 Hodgson Fold, LS29 0HA, and not directly to Dobies. When we receive the goods from Dobies we will arrange delivery of individual orders and collect payment.

If you do not have a copy of the Dobies catalogue please let us know as we have a few spare. You can also look at their website  Peter and Jill Cooke

Secretary footnotes

A reminder that our AGM will be on 25th January in Mount Hermon at 7.30.   Any nominations for Committee welcomed.   Can we see some of the latest allotment holders showing an interest in taking Association forward please.

Membership subs were due on October 1st –still many outstanding. Orange cards are this years colour and you will need one if you require to use the shop or borrow Harlow Carr tickets. Payment accepted at Newsagents or Allotment shop when open.