Latest News

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)

Extract from May Newsletter


I hope your allocated plant is thriving. They all looked really healthy. Hopefully you will have stopped it which will encourage it to bush out. I think we will have some splendid exhibits by Show Day.

I was so relieved when our Speaker finally turned up at the last meeting. He had had a very difficult journey, but I felt his talk was well worth waiting for. He gave us lots of tips etc. However, I personally felt that you could only follow all his advice if you had no other interests in life at all. I find it difficult to remember to regularly feed etc., there is always something else going on and other demands on my time. I guess that is why his plants look a lot better than mine!

Our next speaker is Ann Wilmore who will be bringing a selection of antiques for us to recognise and name. She has been to us before but assures me that she remembers what we have seen and will be bringing a new selection of items.

Social Scribes

Next trip Saturday 27 May Wimpole Hall and Gardens

£30.30 p.p.

National Trust members £15.00 p.p.

We will be picked up at the usual place The Catholic Church in Lowshoe Lane at 9.30am Parking £1.00

Treasurers Note

Just a reminder that you cannot use old £5.00 notes after Friday May 5. So look in all your purses and wallets to make sure you do not get left with any.

Annual Show

Hope your show plants are coming along nicely. With regard to pinching out you should now be finished with Triphyllas and Species. Doubles, your last pinch date is May 6 and Singles by May 20. Remember the more you pinch out the more flowers you will get.

If you still have any trophies from last year, we would appreciate if you could return them at the May meeting or if possible arrange for someone to return them for you.

Good Luck with your growing.

(Updated: 2017-05-01 19:55:52)

Extract from April Newsletter


We had a lovely day out a couple of weeks ago visiting the Nurseries to choose our plants. The Fuchsias at Craft were in excellent condition again and I hope you were all able to get what you wanted. The weather since then has been very kind to us and the plants are thriving on the longer, warmer days. I think we all feel better too.

You may be interested to hear that Derek Dexter, the Speaker who was unable to attend the last meeting due to a heart attack, has made good progress and has been able to return to work part-time. He hopes to resume his talks and has put us down for next March. Fingers crossed!

Our next Speaker is Sid Garcia. He came to us a couple of years ago. On that occasion I believe some of you had difficulty hearing him so we will insist he wears the microphone this time.

As you stop your plants please do not forget that we will be needing plants for the Sales Table at the Show, so if you could root a few cuttings for us we will be very grateful.


Our first trip was a very enjoyable day. Everyone seemed to have had a good time and purchased quite a few plants along the way whilst visiting the two Nurseries. The Wooden Fender Pub excelled itself once again by giving us excellent service throughout our lunch and meals were beautifully served up to us with a smile.


Saturday 27th May to Wimpole Hall Estate in Cambridgeshire.

The cost of this trip will be £28.00 p.p. but if you are a National Trust Member then you are able to go in FREE. So if you are interested in going on this trip then please let me know if you are a N/T Member as I have to let them know numbers beforehand. These people will then only have to pay for the cost of their seat on the coach which will be just £12.70 p.p.


This is for a 3-course Lunchtime Meal, followed by a show called SHOW TIME.

The cost of this outing will be £51.00 p.p. which includes the cost of the Coach, Meal and Show. If you are interested let me know quite quickly

POSSIBLE TRIP IN SEPTEMBER: Wisley - 25th Anniversary Flower Show -Saturday 9th Sept.

As we are affiliated Members we get free entrance and therefore we only have to pay for the coach. I will see how things go throughout the year as to whether this will be achievable.

Further details will be given to you nearer the time for all these trips.


Hope you all got the Fuchsias you wanted on the Nursery Trip. In case you did not we will have some for sale at the April meeting. We only have two cultivars which are Pink Marshmallow a trailer and Liebrietz which is a bush. They are only 65p each and we have about 30 of each so it is first come first served.

Also we will be giving out the free plants for you to enter in the Allocated Plant class at the show. If you cannot make the April Meeting perhaps you can get someone to pick them up for you.


Eddie and I had a good day out on Tuesday when we went to the wholesalers where we picked up a lot of trays of hanging basket plants and a few alpine plants. They were really good value and we will be selling the basket plants at 65p each and the Alpines at 90p each at the next couple of meetings so do not forget your purses and wallets.


Ivy Holt has sadly passed away, she has been a member for many years. We would like to send our sympathy to her husband Derek and family at this sad time.

Trophies and Cups

Just to remind you to return them at our next meeting on the 7th April

(Updated: 2017-04-03 15:31:04)

Extract from February newsletter


Do hope you all had a good Christmas and are getting back to normal. At least on a fine day the evenings are gradually drawing out. Hopefully these sharp frosts will kill off some of the garden bugs. They certainly seem to have survived the recent milder winters.

Our old friend, Brian Carline, is our next Speaker and will be starting off the year with one of his lighthearted, amusing talks. I hope that as many of you as possible will be able to come along and support him.

I apologise for the brevity of my contribution but until the season gets under way there is not much to comment on.

I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year and look forward to seeing you on the 3 February.

Social Secretary report

I would like to start by wishing you all a Happy and Healthier New Year for 2017. I hope you all managed to have a lovely time over the Christmas Holidays and the start of New Year.

Thinking back to December, I would just like to thank everyone who attended the Christmas Party and hope you all enjoyed the evening as much as we did.


The cost for the whole trip will be £30 p.p.

We shall be travelling to Craft Nursery followed by lunch at the Wooden Fender then to a The Poplar Nursery. I hope you enjoy browsing around this one for a change.

If you have not already put your name down come and see me at the next meeting and I will let you know if there are any seats still available. These will be offered on a first come first served basis with members given priority.

As you all know, I do not have much time to collect the monies in for this trip due to the fact that there is no meeting in January. I would therefore appreciate the money up front at the next meeting in February. The money for this will be required at the March Meeting by the latest.


Not a lot to say at the moment except that we hope to have a show committee meeting shortly to get things going. Do not forget to get your plants if you are going on the nursery trip.


Just a gentle reminder that if you have not renewed your membership yet please see me as soon as possible.

(Updated: 2017-01-31 19:09:31)