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Extract from March Newsletter

Tricia's Thoughts

Hi Everybody

As you know it was suggested at the AGM that instead of a Fuchsia Show this year we try a Flower Show. This was mainly because it was unknown how much of a problem the Fuchsia Gall Mite would cause, bearing in mind that many of us have already lost fuchsias to this pest. This matter was discussed in depth at the last Committee Meeting and we have earmarked Saturday, 4th August for the Show. We thought this would work well as we can carry out all the necessary preparations on the 3rd, our usual Club night.

Of course there are still many things to decide but we did feel that it may be easier for you all to bring along flowers and plants to display. At least you will not have to worry about classes, pot sizes, saucers etc. We will keep you informed as our plans take shape but in the meantime perhaps you could be deciding what you may be able to bring along. We look forward to your support.

Our next Speaker is Derek Dexter. He was taken ill last year and could not come so hopefully all will be well this year.

Take care, see you all on the 2nd March.

Social Secretary's Report Trips

Sunday, 18th March Thriplow Daffodil Weekend Country Fair

£18 p.p.

From Catholic Church Hall in Lowshoe Lane, Collier Row at 10 a.m.

Saturday 19th May Hylands House Estate

£18 p.p. further information to follow.

(Updated: 2018-03-02 12:36:06)

Extract from February Newsletter

Trish's Thoughts

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you all. I hope you all had a good Christmas and have managed to dodge the nasty colds etc. that are doing the rounds. I was very sorry to miss the Christmas meal which, I hear, was a great success.

Our February speaker is Brian Carline who I know you always enjoy. He will be starting off our year with a non-fuchsia talk on his amusing experiences as a teacher. I know it will be very entertaining.

Social Secretary's Report

Hi everyone, just like to start of by saying I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year in 2018.

Hope you all had a lovely time over the Christmas holidays and as quickly as it came it had gone - in a flash!!

I just wanted to say a big thank you to those Members and their friends who joined us for the meal at the Moby Dick Carvery on the last Friday meeting that we had in December. I think most people that came enjoyed themselves.

I would like to say another thank you to Jan Haley for all those lovely handmade boxes of sweets which she gave to all the ladies and the men had a small bottle of wine each which made it an extra special occasion. I had also put After Eight Mints and Party Poppers on each table so these went down very well too. Everyone that I spoke to seemed to have had a good evening so I think it was a great success.

Another New Growing Season

Happy New Year to Everyone.

Here we are nearing the end of January and looking forward to seeing all the new shoots appearing in the garden. I'm rather anxiously waiting to see what Gall mite problems I've got to face this spring.

At the end of last year I cut out all signs of gall mite before I put my plants away for the winter and will be carefully watching the new growth so that I can do the same the minute it appears. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I don't seem to be losing many plants this year.

No doubt many of you have got fed up hearing me say that I don't have any success taking cuttings whatsoever and my survival rate is about 1 per cent, if that. Last year I took some cuttings and again not a single one rooted, so I left the exact pots, compost, water and feed on the bench and asked Jan to do exactly the same as I did. 90% success rate! I now knew it was something about me. Well after some thought I went out and bought some very thin surgical gloves which allow you to a certain extent feel what you are doing. This was too late really and I had to search for decent shoots from which I could take cuttings. I was only able to find about a dozen, so with these gloves on I potted them up and put them in the greenhouse. Guess what? they all died! No I'm kidding, at the last check a few days ago they are all doing well. So roll on spring when I'll don my gloves and take loads of cuttings from my favourite plants. I only hope it wasn't just a one off! So if you have problems taking cuttings you might try what I did.


Sales Table

Happy New Year to you all

Hope those members who joined us at the Moby Dick for the Christmas meal enjoyed themselves. The service was a bit slow but over all a really enjoyable evening, hopefully followed by a good Christmas.

Look forward to seeing you all at the February meeting. If anyone is interested in taking over the sales table could you please ring us before the meeting as we shall be selling the items off at half price if nobody comes forward.

Many thanks. Jan

(Updated: 2018-01-24 15:36:47)

Extract from December Newsletter

Scial Scribes

We were all delighted with the turn out of Members at the AGM in November and it made for a nice evening with friends over tea and cakes afterwards. It was lovely to see a few craft stalls in the hall once again.

As you already know, this year we are going out for our Christmas Festive evening. There will be 33 of us this time so that is great. We will be meeting at 6.30 pm on Friday, 1st December where we will have a 3-course meal. Tea & Coffee is also supplied, but you will have to purchase your own drinks from the Bar Area. Looking forward to having a fun evening with friends over a delicious meal.

For those Members who are not able to join us for the evening, I would like to wish you all a lovely time over the Christmas Hols and a Happy Healthy New Year for 2018.

Treasurer's Report

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has supported us since we joined the society. Over the years the committee have made my job as Treasurer so much easier. You have supported the Sales Table every year and made the xmas get togethers a success.

On top of all that, with your support we have had some wonderful annual shows that we will always remember. If that was not enough, every other year you have come to our open garden to support Essex Wildlife Trust.

We will be here for a while yet but we are not getting any younger and things get more difficult as you get older. So once again thank you all.

See you at the meal and hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Editor's Report

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy 2018. Look forward to seeing some of you on Friday 1st. December and everyone else on the 2nd February 2018. Best wishes

(Updated: 2017-11-28 15:59:15)

Extract from October Newsletter

Trish's Thoughts

Do hope you all enjoyed our last speaker, Tim Carter from Longhouse Plants. He is always very interesting. I felt he spent some time on his grasses which did seem to be his favourite plant. Since his talk I have visited his garden on one of the Open Days. It was well worth a visit and although grasses do little for me, his were quite spectacular mainly, I think, because he has the space to do them justice. If you have not yet wandered round his garden I can recommend a visit next year.

Our next Speaker should be the Reverend Susan Mayes talking about her experiences as a Prison Chaplain. I say "should" as I have booked her twice before and on both occasions something has happened to prevent her from coming. So, fingers crossed, third time lucky etc. etc.

Look forward to seeing you all on the 6th October.

Social Scribes

Trip to Brick Lane - Show Time - Thursday 5th October

This includes a three-course meal. Pick-up at 11 a.m. at the Catholic Church Hall in Lowshoe Lane, Collier Row where we have our Friday meetings. Just a reminder, don't forget we cannot leave our cars this time in the school car park as it will be during the daytime and the school will be open, so you will have to find somewhere outside to park this time.

The Theatre opens it's doors at 12.15 pm when we will be able to find out where our reserved tables are, so please make sure everyone is able to sit with friends and not to be left out on their own. We will be served a 3 course meal at 1.00 pm followed by the show at 2.30 pm. The show should end about 4.45 pm and we are expected to leave about 5.00ish for our journey back to Collier Row. Let me know asap if you have food allergies etc so I can inform the Theatre.

Sales Table

I am sorry to say that I shall not be able to run the Sales Table any more. Is there anybody out there that would like to take over. The person running it would need to stocktake, order new supplies in the new year from the suppliers, sort the order, weigh out the vermiculite and perlite into 2 kilo bags. Pass the takings to the treasurer at the committee meeting. At meetings they would need to get the supplies out of the cupboard and put them away at the end.

If anyone is willing to take the job over, please come and have a chat at the next meeting.


Deepest Sympathy

It is with great sadness I have to inform you that Jan Barnes' husband, Roger, passed away on Saturday 23rd Sept. Roger had been very ill for some time. He will be sadly missed by some of our members who knew him.

Our thoughts are with Jan and her family at this sad time.

Membership Renewal.

On a happier note, it is that time of year again. Membership is due for renewal this month.

I look forward to seeing you on the 6th.Oct.

(Updated: 2017-09-28 17:49:48)

Extract from September Newsletter

Trish's Thoughts

Our next speaker is Tim from Longhouse Plants. He is passionate about his plants all of which he propagates himself. He always brings a very good selection of hardy plants to sell so don't forget to bring your cash.

Social Scribes

Brick Lane Theatre Outing Thursday 5th October 2017

We will be picked up at the usual place outside the Catholic Church Hall in Loweshoe Lane, Collier Row and the coach will arrive at 11 a.m. and leaving by about 11.10. The Hall opens at 12.15 lunch is served at 1.00 p.m. and the Show starts at 2.30 p.m. We should finish around about 5.00 p.m. when the coach will be ready to take us back to Collier Row. I will put these details down again in the October Newsletter if possible. Unfortunately we will not be able to park our cars in the school playground area due to the fact we are going on a week day and the children will be in school, so you will have to park either in the Church car park or in the street.

Open Garden

Once again we can't believe how extraordinary lucky we were to get through the day with literally 2 minutes rain. The day itself was excellent, we had just over 200 visitors and the other garden had about 65. The plant stall did well and the teas and cakes sold like hot cakes!

Essex Wildlife Trust took about 870 in gate money from the two gardens combined and we were able to make that up to a round 1000 from the takings of the plants and refreshments.

Thank you all for supporting this charity and we know from the feedback that you all seemed to enjoy the day.

(Updated: 2017-08-30 10:43:16)

Extract from August Newsletter

Trish's Thoughts

I have just returned from spending a delightful couple of hours at Jan and Eddie's Open Garden. Every time I go it just gets better and better and it never ceases to amaze me how two people can maintain a garden of that size on top of everything else they do. Thank you Jan and Eddie for allowing us to share the magic once again.

Since the last Newsletter we have, of course, had our Annual Show which was a resounding success. This was Eddie's last time master-minding the Show so it was good that everything went so well. Thank you to everyone who helped set up the night before, on the day and dismantling at the end of the Show. Elaine's boys were brilliant again and dealt with the tables at top speed. Jan and Doreen did us proud with the tea and cakes, what a selection! Quite a day to remember.

Traditionally we do not have a Speaker at the August meeting. It will be a pleasant get together to chat about the Show and where we go from here. We are always pleased to receive your feedback. Don't forget the Chairman's Challenge at this meeting, which is a white fuchsia.

Social Scribes

I cannot believe we will be into August already the summer time seems to be going very fast indeed. Although we did have very hot weather a few weeks ago which was quite exhausting at times now we are getting drenched with heavy showers.

Well what a good Show we had in July, I think Eddie was so relieved to see so many entrants in the end it certainly made a good display on each table. We were thrilled to see how many people turned up on the day with a steady stream coming through the door throughout the day. It was very busy for Jan, Anne and myself in the cafeteria area with making constant cups of tea and so many cakes to choose from etc. but so nice to see so many people socialising and enjoying the day, making it all worthwhile.

Now I must take this opportunity of saying a big "Thank You" to everyone who supported my Craft Stall selling items that I had made for St. Clare's Hospice in Epping. I made an astonishing amount of 190 on the day, and then another 66 which my son-in-law raised for us by selling my left over cakes to his office staff on the following Monday, plus a few more of my fairy gardens, making a total amount of 256 so well done to you all, and many thanks for your support.

Next Outing

Brick Lane Music Hall on Thursday 5th October - Show and three-course lunch.

The name of the show is "Show Time". As yet I do not know what the meal will be. Unfortunately the cost will be 50.50 per person, I know this might sound quite a lot of money, but due to the fact we are going to a Show, plus meal and then the cost of your seat on the coach, I hope you understand that is how much things cost nowadays to go into London. I have booked a 28 seater coach and have managed to get 26 names of people wanting to go. Could you please let me have a cheque for the full amount at the next meeting if possible, as I've just received an Invoice from Brick Lane for the full payment.

Annual Show 2017

Once again we managed to put on a pretty good show considering the weather we have had this year - Cold and wet, unbelievably hot sunshine and incredible humidity and that was all in one day! Seriously though, we did not have the best weather for growing Fuchsias so to achieve the standard we did is a credit to everyone. So we can all give ourselves a pat on the back.

Sadly the time has come for me to stand down as Show Committee Chairman. I've enjoyed doing the last seven shows, but have found the last couple of years a bit of a strain with my physical abilities not what they used to be. Also I've found the mental side of things getting more and more taxing with me having to rely on other people more and more.

So it just remains for me to say "Thank You" for all the help and support I've been given over those last eight years. I've never been an expert grower as I basically grow fuchsias for our garden and usually walk round the garden a few days before the show trying to find some plants suitable to enter.

Therefore I've had the easy bit, with a checklist in my hand making sure everything is done in the right order. All of you on the other hand have had all the difficulties every year of producing show standard plants, how you did it I will never know and for which I will be eternally grateful. I only know that I feel privileged and honoured to have been a part of those shows of which you made such a success every year.

Hopefully, you will be able to find someone to take over this role for next year and I wish you all the best for the Fuchsia, sorry future.

Eddie Haley

(Updated: 2017-08-05 12:06:30)

Extract from June newsletter


Thank you to Doreen for organising yet another brilliant day out, this time to Wimpole Hall in Hertfordshire.

Doreen puts so much hard work into organising these outings but you can always guarantee she has done her homework and everyone has a great time.

I do hope all your plants are behaving to plan. My allocated plant does not seem to be doing much and seems to be a very slow grower. I hope yours are doing better.

I look forward to seeing you all next Friday when representatives from the Remus Horse Sanctuary will be coming to give us their third talk. They always bring cards, souvenirs etc. to sell so do not forget to bring some money. It is such a good cause.

Social Scribes

I would just like to say what a wonderful day we all had at Wimpole Hall Estate in Cambridgeshire.

I must say a big thank you to everyone that came on the day for turning up so punctual meaning that once again we could get off early for our journey.

See you on Friday 2nd June

Annual Show

It is less than eight weeks to the show now, so hope your Fuchsias are doing well and it does not get too hot for them in the next few weeks.

We have had another show committee meeting and hopefully we have got everything covered and it goes well.

We will be giving out the entry forms at the June meeting for you to fill in and return by the July meeting. Please do not be put off by the form, you can bring it along to the July meeting and we will help you if you need it.

If you might be able to enter but are not sure then please tick the box anyway so that you are covered. It is better to be able to enter at the last minute than have plants that you cannot enter.

We would appreciate any help you can give on the Friday night prior to the show, please come to the hall at 7.30pm.

The Hall will be open from about 7.30 am on show day so that you can get your entries on the benches in time. If you have a problem please do not touch other peoples entries but call Barbara our steward or one of the show committee members.

We need plants to sell at the show so if you have any that you can donate that are in a sellable condition please bring them along on the Friday night or the Saturday morning.

Why not get your friends and neighbours to come to the show, apart from the Fuchsias there will be one or two stalls and of course the refreshments with no doubt the usual fabulous selection of cakes.

Keep feeding the plants regularly and keep the soil just moist.

The sales table will be out again at the June meeting so you will be able to stock up on anything you need.

Open Garden

Make a note to come to our open garden on Sunday July 30th.

If you can make it we would love to see you on the day between 12 noon and 6pm

Jan and Eddie Haley (Updated: 2017-05-30 11:22:22)