THE first meeting of 2015 was held on January 20. The chairman, Margaret Burns, opened the meeting with notices for members and to confirm that our treasurer has again negotiated a 10 per cent discount with a local nursery. Forthcoming events were confirmed, February 24 we will be holding a joint meeting between our society and the Herne and Broomfield Allotment Society and on April 21 we have An Evening with Steve Bradley (of Radio Kent’s Sunday Gardening programme) — Your Gardening Questions Answered, who will be taking questions from the floor. Tickets for this meeting are on sale at £3.50 please call Sue Forrester on 07729 255839 or Margaret Burns on 01227 369365.
Our speaker, Chris Lane, gave a very informative talk, together with slides, on the Wonder of Witch Hazel (Hamamelis); a winter flowering plant. Chris gave a brief overview of his time at Hadlow College where he saw witch hazel for the first time and where his interest began. He spoke of where the first four shrubs came from originally — America (hamamelis virginiana and hamamelis venails, Japan (hamamelis japonica) and China (hamamelis mollisols). The botanists that brought the specimens back included Charles Manes and Ernest Wilson, both were commissioned by Veitch and Sons of Chelsea to search for new hardy plants. Chris gave the meeting hints on how to plant and look after hamamelis and which were scented. From the slides we were able to see the multitude of colour combinations available. It was an interesting and informative evening on a plant that not much is known about and sparked an interest for many of our members.
Our next meeting is on February 17, when Philip Johnson will be speaking to us about Sweetpeas — How to Grow and Show Them. As stated above, we also have an extra meeting booked on the February 24 when we will be joined by the Herne and Broomfield Allotment Society for a talk by Margaret Burns on Growing Your Own Vegetables, with time for tea and cake and for members of both societies to have a chat. Our meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month except August and December at the Institute Hall, Canterbury Road, Herne. Doors open at 7pm with the speaker commencing at 7.30pm. New members are welcome, the subscription fee for 2015 is £10. Visitors are also welcome, the visitor fee for 2015 is £2. For further information on membership/visiting please contact Sue Forrester (membership secretary) on 07729 255839 or for information on the society please contact Margaret Burns, chairperson, on 01227 369365.
Herne Bay Times, February 4th 2015