Lots to write about so bear with me please.
Tea at the Old Rectory
Firstly huge thanks to Alex last Sunday for her generosity and organisation of the splendid teas at the Old Rectory. Despite the cold wind, the event attracted plenty of people who helped raise the tremendous sum of £405 for church funds; just by eating cake and having a good natter! It seems that some village children also had fun in Alex’s swimming pool, again despite the cold. Thanks also to Nic for organising a raffle and the Flower Festival in the church. Those of us who arrange the church flowers hope that you enjoyed our efforts, there were some truly beautiful arrangements to admire.
Wild flower count
I personally want to thank the 10 children and their parents who came to help identify and count the wildflowers growing in the long grass in the churchyard at the end of May. We had plenty of wildflower books to help with identification, but the many members of the Dandelion family caused some confusion, lots of discussion and quite a bit of merriment! I sent off the results to the charity Plantlife who encourage the No Mow May initiative and very quickly got some impressive figures back. Just 170 square meters of unmown grass and 8 different species of wildflowers gave us a diversity score of 76% with 1,375.20 mg of nectar sugar available. With this a bumble bee could forage for 34 hours or support 125 honeybee workers. Not bad for a first attempt! Sadly, we didn’t see many pollinators that day as it was too cold and then a torrential downpour sent us all scurrying into the church to eat homemade biscuits. Thank you all so much and I’m grateful for the engagement of everybody who came, you were awesome! See you next time!
Plant sale for May 2023
The idea of a village plant sale for next May, date to be arranged, is taking shape but we need more gardeners to commit to contributing plants. Carry Clear has come up with a great slogan “Share a Spare” and that’s really all we’re asking for. So, over the next few weeks of summer please take some cuttings of favourite perennials or sow some biennial flower seeds, in the autumn and winter if you need to divide some perennial plants keep a couple back and next spring sow some extra annuals and vegetable seeds. Please contact me if you are willing to Share some of your Spares, contact details below. If any of you gardeners are worried about the rising costs of compost, have you heard of Connetts Farm, Dunkeswell on the Blackdown Hills? They provide a great range of compost and well-rotted manures, and they deliver to Fitzhead for a reasonable fee, I know, as I recently ordered lots from them, mostly for £2 a bag. Google them if you are interested or contact me for details.
Now to preserves! Yes, the Village Fete looms large in my kitchen and I’m busy making summer jams. However, I can no longer sustain the level of bubbling cauldron activity of the last two years, I’m running out of energy and motivation so PLEASE if you have any extra jars of preserves and spare garden produce that you can contribute, please bring them up to the Produce Stall on the morning/lunchtime of the Fete. Later in the autumn if anyone can spare some cooking apples, I will happily turn them into chutneys to sell, just not as much as I have done in the recent past, I’d like my life back!