Latest News

Tuesday 26th April 2022 – Ann Pepper

 After almost 40 years as a member of the Gardening Club Committee, Ann Pepper has decided that this is the time for her retirement.  On Sunday the Committee  presented her with a card and a bouquet in thanks for her long service stretching back to 1985.  She has been an invaluable link to the original founders of the Club and to many of our regular exhibitors in the early shows.

The picture shows Ann trying out a (brand new) mobility scooter at Hyde Hall on a Garden Club visit in July 2017


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Monday 25th April 2022 – Oh, what a shame!

Our April meeting was disappointing to say the least.  Not only was the audience very small (don’t people want to come out to face-to face events?), but the speaker forgot to come!

This was a great shame because the subject was attractive: ‘Rose growing made easy’, and our speaker Simon White from Peter Beales Roses was intending to bring some stock with him for sale on the night.

We will have to see if an alternative date can be arranged.

Teuesday 8th March 2022 – Winter Weather Report

The Wickham Market weather report of the Winter Quarter has now been added to the website.  You’ll find it on the Weather tab.

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Monday 1st March 2022 – Our February Speaker

Catherine Horwood, our February speaker, gave us a fascinating account of the life and achievements of Beth Chatto.  She came from humble origins and rose to eminence in the horticultural field, but her life was fascinating in other ways as well.

Catherine has written the definitive biography of Beth and for thismhad access to Beth’s diaries.  You’re going to have to read it for yourself!

Thursday 20th January 2022 – Our January Speaker

Our speaker for January was Sally Morgan from Somerset.  who gave us a fascinating talk on the likely impact of Climate Change on our gardens and our choice of plants. There will be a more extensive report in the February edition of Rake’s Progress.

This was an excellent example of the way in which Zoom allows us to use quality speakers from around the country (or indeed, the world!)

You can find more about Sally at:

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Monday 10th January 2022 -Weather Report for 2021

The Annual Weather Summary for 2021 is now available on our Weather page.

2021 was a notably dull year very short of sunshine!  Let’s hope for a better 2022.

Monday 10th January 2022 – The Christmas Quiz

In the light of increasing COVID infection rates locally we felt that we have no choice but to transfer our Christmas Quiz to Zoom.  In the event almost 30 members were able to take part.

We’re grateful to John Laughlin for setting the questions that gave us a good mixture of Christmas and Gardening themes.

What hope that next year we can meet for a ‘real’  Christmas Quiz?

Thursday 9th December 2021 – Autumn Weather

The Autumn Weather overall was close to the 10-year averages, but within that there was much of interest.

The Autumn Weather report for 2021 is now available on the Weather page of the website.

Thursday 9th December 2021 – November Meeting

Our ‘live’ speaker in November was Jamie Blake, the Head Gardiner, from Bressingham Gardens.  He gave us a fascinating talk about the life and horticultural career of Alan Bloom who established the Bressingham Gardens.

It was a life full of action and innovation (and included a fascination for the preservation of steam engines!).

It was disappointing (not to say embarrassing) – that so few members attended – just 17.  Amid the changing Covid rules it makes one question whether we have to make a return to Zoom

Thursday 9th December 2021 – Our October Speaker

Our speaker for October was  Susanna Sharman and her topic was‘Container Gardening’.  Although she is a well experienced lecturer and trainer, we were a little disappointed that very few of those present felt that they came away with any extra knowledge or inspiration.

Far more important was that this was our first ‘live’ meeting in the Village Hall since February 2020.  It was good to be back together again, even if numbers attending were a bit limited.

Monday 13th September 2021 – The Autumn Show

Our, slightly restricted, Autumn Show was a great success.  We had 220 entries in 77 classes, and many exhibits of the very highest quality.

The Bucket of Potatoes completion saw 16 entries, but the crops were rather poor.  The winning bucket had just 4 lb 2 oz.  This compares with over 12 lb in 2019!  Was this the choice of variety (Bonnie) or was it a result of the very strange growing season that we had this year?

A full set of results will be published in the next edition of Rake’s Progress.

Saturday 4th September 2021 – Our Summer Weather

The Summer weather report for Wickham Market has now been added to the website.  

It was a summer notable for its lack of sunshine and its excess of chilly northerly winds!  See our Weather page.


Tuesday 3rd August 2021 – Show Schedule 2021 sent for printing

Final editing of the Autumn Show Schedule for 2021 is now complete.  It will be printed and collated within the next few days and then the printed version will be available in the village by early next week.

The full version of the text, and a copy of the entry form, can already be found on this website.

Saturday 31st July 2021 – Our Social Gathering

About 30 members came together in Dick & Penny’s garden on Thursday on 22nd July for our social evening.  Refreshmants were taken and wine was drunk, in fact a good time was had by all.  It was wonderful to feel that we were really back together again (if still socially distanced!)

Friday 4th July 2021 – Plant Sale – final total

The final total for the plant sale was £442.23. A outstanding amount!  Much thanks again to Penny for organising the sale and to all all those members who donated plants.

Sunday 20th June 2021 – Report of the June Meeting

Fascinating talk (via Zoom) by Dr Ian Bedford on Thursday evening.  Who knew that wasps could be so varied and so useful in the garden.  Ian’s enthusiasm is infectious and I am sure that we’ll all view wasps in a under light in future!

Friday 4th June 2021 – Plant Sale

Our street-side Plant Sale which has been going throughout May is now coming to an end.

Over £300 has been raised for Club funds.  A wonderful achievement!  Much thanks to Penny for organising the sale and congratulations to all all those members who donated plant to sell.

Friday 4th June 2021 – The June Committee Meeting

Just to report that the members of the Gardening Club Committee met yesterday evening.  Their  first meeting (other than via Zoom) since March 2020!

It was a pleasant, warm evening allowing us to come together outside – socially distanced, of course!

Friday 4th June 2021 – Spring Weather Report

It really wasn’t the best of Springs for the garden!  For the most part rather chilly with a lot of frost and occasional strong winds.  Many plants were certainly 2-3 weeks late coming into growth.

You can read all about it on our Weather page.

Sunday 23rd May 2021 – Garden Visit Aldeburgh

About 30 members of the Gardening Club enjoyed a visit to the garden of Heron House in Aldeburgh on Friday afternoon.  The garden was open for a private club visit, but under the Nation Garden Scheme.

The weather was awful for garden viewing – rain and very strong winds – but it was a very enjoyable occasion.  A varied and interesting garden and the first opportunity for Club members to get together (socially distanced, of course) for over a year.

Thursday 20th May 2021 – May Speaker

Our speaker in May, Mick Poultney, gave us a fascinating introduction to ‘No Dig Gardening’.  The deep raised beds on his allotment – and the giant vegetables that he is able to grow there – were something to behold.

Mick is very active on You Tube and you’ll find him easily at:

Mick Poultney – YouTube › user › mickpoultney

Monday 11th May 2021 – Back to face-to-face meetings?

With the gradual lifting of COVID restrictions the Committee is starting to look at the possibilities of face-to-face meetings again.  We are wondering about the practicality of a social  meeting (outside and suitably cautious, of course) in August.  As they say “watch this space” for more information.

So far we have not planned any events beyond the Autumn Show in September.

Saturday 17th April 2021 – New Website goes live!

BT having been hosting the Gardening Club website for a number of years as a free Community service for local non-commercial groups.  We are very grateful to them for this.

However this service be will terminated on 24th May and the old website will then be deleted.

Saturday 17th April 2021 – Report of the April Meeting

John Laughlin gave us a fascinating walk on growing tomatoes.  He told us a little of tomatoes history and about commercial growing methods (old and modern), but he told us a lot about growing tomatoes for amateurs. Really interesting stuff! He told us that one of the major new developments in the world of tomatoes is to have grafted plants.  This allows good varieties to be grafted onto strong rootstocks giving much healthier plants and heavier crops. You can even graft a tomato onto a potato rootstock!

Tuesday 13th April 2021 – Potatoes now ready for collection

As reported in the April edition of Rake’s Progress, seed potatoes for entry in Class 177 of the Autumn Show are now ready for collection.

You’ll find all the rules of the competition on the Autumn Show pages of the website.


Friday 19th March 2021 – The March Meeting

Our speaker for March (via Zoom) was Doug Stewart who gave us a fascinating talk about the Chelsea Flower Show.  He has a real ‘insiders’ knowledge and it all made for a most enjoyable evening.

Tuesday 2nd March 2021 – Winter Weather Report 2021

The Winter Weather report for Wickham Market has now been completed and added to the Local Weather page – and what a dull, damp winter it was.  Not to mention a lot more snow than we have had locally for many a year!

You can go directly to the report by clicking the image on the left.

Tuesday 2nd March 2021 – Potato in a Bucket Competition

Whatever kind of Autumn Show we are able to have this year, the Committee has decided that there will be a Potato in a Bucket Competition (Autumn Show – Class 177).  Seed potatoes have been purchased and are currently happily chitting ready for distribution later in the Spring.  

We’ll sort out detailed arrangements later, but it looks as if you will need to collect your potato from the Chairman’s house during April.  Details will be confirmed in Rake’s Progress.