VPA March Update.

Well, it doesn’t seem possible I’m writing for the March issue of the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News already!!  Where is the time going?   In the meantime we have three of our Committee members giving 20 minute talks on keeping chickens on allotments, how to produce top class compost and growing and propogating snowdrops.

The talks take place at Blewbury Manor Barn at 7.30pm on Thursday 2nd March.

Don’t forget the VPA has a selection of tools available for all residents in Blewbury and Upton to use for a donation.  Contact Margaret Maytham (850126) for:  Long arm pruner, garden roller, fertiliser distributor, lawn scarifier & aerator and electric leaf vacuum.  Contact Andrew Forman (850219) for the Mantis rotavator plus various attachments.   We also have a projector which can be hired for a £5 donation – contact Karen Brookes 850219 or at Blewbury Post Office.

Don’t forget to put the two dates of our outings in your diary and full details will be issued in the Blewbury Bulletin and Upton News prior to the event.

SATURDAY 17th JUNE – DAY VISIT TO GARDENERS’ WORLD LIVE AT THE NEC BIRMINGHAM

SATURDAY 12th AUGUST – DAY VISIT TO KEW GARDENS, LONDON

DID YOU KNOW?  The first garden gnomes were introduced to the UK in 1847 by Sir Charles Isham, who brought back 21 terracotta figures from Germany and placed them in the gardens of his home, Lamport in Northamptonshire.  Only one of the original batch of gnomes survives.   Lampy, as he is known, is on display at Lamport Hall and is insured for one millions pounds!

Happy Gardening,

Eileen

VPA Calendar for 2017

The Village Produce Association is organising two outings this year.   We also have events throughout 2017 which are listed below.

Full details of the outings will be issued in the Upton News prior to the event.  You will need to register four weeks before the event. If interested, register at the Blewbury Post Office or contact:   Margaret Maytham on 01235 850126 or Eileen Bracken on 01235 510095  or contact us on moc.liamgnull@pu.lb.ni.apv

SATURDAY 17th JUNE (day visit)  – TRIP TO GARDENERS’ WORLD LIVE AT THE NEC BIRMINGHAM

Watch expert gardeners in action. Enjoy Show Gardens, Floral Marquee and much more…

SATURDAY 12th AUGUST (day visit) – DAY VISIT TO KEW GARDENS, LONDON

Kew Gardens houses the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world”.  Founded in 1840, from the exotic garden at Kew Park, its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants.

 EVENTS

TUESDAY 2nd MARCH VPA “COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ TALKS” at BLEWBURY MANOR BARN – 7.30pm                          Three short talks on: Chickens on the allotment. How to make great compost. Growing & propogating snowdrops.
SAT.  8th JULY ANNUAL SUMMER SHOW at BLEWBURY VILLAGE HALL   2.30pm – 4.00pm
SUN. 22nd OCT PLANT & CAKE SALE AT THE RED LION PUB,  1.00pm – 3.00pm with Sustainable Blewbury’s Apple Day
WED. 1st  NOV ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING  – The Vale Room,  Blewbury Village Hall –  7.00pm                                                   
SAT. 2nd  DEC ANNUAL SOCIAL at UPTON VILLAGE HALL –  7.00pm

We look forward to seeing you on our trips and at our events in the forthcoming months.

DID YOU KNOW?  In the late 1700s Napoleon offered a prize of 12,000 francs to anyone who could come up with a method of preserving food.  Healthy daily rations were essential to feed a huge army on the march.   It was over 10 years before Nicolas Appert, a confectioner known as the ‘father of canning’, scooped the award for his method of preserving food in airtight glass bottles.

Happy Gardening,

Eileen

V.P.A. December News

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION – Your local village gardening club.

Our annual social on the 3rd December was enjoyed by everyone who attended, including the tasty chilli prepared by Karen to go with the Mexican evening.   The quizzes and games also went down well with everyone a winner!!

Work is still going on to finalise our 2017 programme and exact details will be in the next issue of the Upton News.   We can only arrange these events if we have the support of the local community – so please do pop the dates in your 2017 diary.   This is what we have planned.

Thursday 2nd March – A Meeting with “Three ’20 minute talks” being given by committee members.  Venue expected to be Blewbury Manor Barn – 7pm to 9pm.

Saturday 17th June – Visit to Gardener’s World Live at the NEC, Birmingham – Group ticket price:   Adult £18 and Over 65 £16.50 Plus travel cost, expected to be £10 per head.

Saturday 8th July – ANNUAL SHOW

? August – Visit to Kew Gardens, London (date to be confirmed)

Sunday 22nd October – Cake & Plant Sale at the Apple Day with Sustainable Blewbury at the Red Lion

Wednesday 1st November – Annual General Meeting

Saturday 2nd December – Annual Social

Have a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year and we look forward to seeing you at our meeting in March.

DID YOU KNOW?  The wood of the ASH TREE is remarkably strong and flexible, and is excellent for construction because it doesn’t split when manipulated.   In the past it was used to make stagecoaches, railway wagons, cartwheels, oars, early aeroplanes and the frame of the Morris Minor car!

Happy Gardening

Eileen

V.P.A. November News

Without saying how many days are left to Christmas, it’s hard to imagine that
we are almost at the end of another year. Weather-wise, although 2016
began a little cold and wet we have had a pretty good summer and an
exceptional autumn. Now it’s just a question of putting the garden and
allotments to bed for the forthcoming winter.
Our next event is the VPA Annual General Meeting. Taking place on
Wednesday 2nd November at 7.00pm in the Vale Room, Blewbury Village Hall,
everyone is invited. We commence with a complimentary glass of wine and
nibbles, continue with a short meeting at 7.30pm and conclude with a quirky
quiz.
The final event for this year is our Annual Social which takes place on
Saturday 3rd December at Upton Village Hall – it will be a Mexican Evening!
Food, Drink and Fun & Games. Tickets are £9 per head and will be on sale
from the 1st November at Blewbury Post Office and from Maggie Maytham at
Upton.
Did You Know? The leaves of the laurel tree were made into wreaths and
crowns in Roman times for military heroes and poets, hence the title ‘poet
laureate’, meaning ‘the wreathed or crowned poet’. Traditionally, laurels
were planted near houses to ward off witches and protect the house from
lightning.
Happy Gardening
Eileen

Weather Ruins VPA Visit

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION – Your local village gardening club

Well, the weather beat us when it came to our April garden visit to Batford Arboretum – we had to cancel because of rain, wind and almost sub-zero weather conditions.  Maybe we can fix an autumn visit and be luckier with the weather.

Don’t forget our Summer Garden Visit takes place on SATURDAY 4th JUNE and we will depart from Blewbury Village Hall at 9.30am and have a pick point in Upton at the Village Hall at 9.40am.  Our trip is to HIDCOTE MANOR GARDEN in the morning (arrive 10.30am) and KIFTSGATE COURT GARDENS in the afternoon (arrive 2.00pm), both in CHIPPING CAMPDEN.  Cost:  Hidcote Manor – £10.90 (National Trust members free) / Kiftsgate Court – £8.00.  Plus – Transport £8.00.  Café at Hidcote for lunch.

PLEASE BOOK YOUR TICKET AT BLEWBURY POST OFFICE OR THROUGH MAGGIE MAYTHAM in Upton (01235 850126).

Some of you may have heard how Didcot allotment holders had a recent battle with the Town Council against the sale of one of the allotment sites.   We succeeded and have a reprieve – for the time being.   We have formed Didcot Allotment Society and are now honoured to act as hosts to the National Allotment Society (Southern Region) for their Annual General Meeting on SATURDAY 25th JUNE at the Fleet Meadow Community Hall – next door to the New Road Allotment Site.   Starts at 10.30am – there will be a short AGM and a speaker on bee keeping, all with tea/coffee and homemade cakes.   Any Allotment Holder or Leisure Gardener is welcome to attend.   Do come along – there will be lots of interesting gardening information.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY – SATURDAY 9th JULY – VPA ANNUAL SHOW.   SCHEDULES ARE NOW AVAILABLE FROM BLEWBURY POST OFFICE OR MAGGIE MAYTHAM IN UPTON .   START PLANNING YOUR ENTRIES!

Also have a look on the website – https://blewburyanduptonvpa.wordpress.com/

DID YOU KNOW?  1 – There are more GREENHOUSES per capita in Britain than in any other country in the world.  2 – Peppers contain up to five times as much vitamin C as oranges.  The highest levels are found when the peppers are in the early green stage of ripening.

Happy Gardening

Eileen

VPA Prepare for their Summer Trip

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION – Your local village gardening club

Our summer garden visit takes place on SATURDAY 4th JUNE and we will depart from Blewbury Village Hall at 9.30am and have a pick point in Upton at the Village Hall at 9.40am.

Our trip is to HIDCOTE MANOR GARDEN in the morning (arrive 10.30am) and KIFTSGATE COURT GARDENS in the afternoon (arrive 2.00pm), both in CHIPPING CAMPDEN.  Cost:  Hidcote Manor – £10.90 (National Trust members free) / Kiftsgate Court – £8.00.  Plus – Transport £8.00.  Café at Hidcote for lunch.

PLEASE BOOK YOUR TICKET AT BLEWBURY POST OFFICE OR THROUGH MAGGIE MAYTHAM in Upton (01235 850126).

A REMINDER FOR ALL GARDENERS IN BLEWBURY & UPTON – We have a selection of tools and equipment available for use – for a donation.  Here is a reminder of our list of equipment:

Mantis Rotavator with various attachments and a Projector for presentations – contact Karen Brooks 850219

Fertiliser Distributor, Long Arm Pruner and Garden Roller – contact Joyce Gilbert 850388

Gazebos, Lawn Scarifier & Aerator and Electric Leaf Vacuum – contact Margaret Maytham 850126

Don’t forget we have an e-mail addressmoc.liamgnull@pu.lb.ni.apv   If you have any gardening problems, please send us an e-mail and one of our members will be in touch to help you with advice.   We do have a lot of experts in our team.  Please take advantage by talking to some of our members who have a vast amount of experience and knowledge.

We also have a website!! Please have a look – https://blewburyanduptonvpa.wordpress.com/

DID YOU KNOW?  Caterpillars can devastate a crop of cabbages like a biblical plague of locusts, but you can help protect younger plants by adding about half a tablespoon of salt to your watering can.  The plants absorb the salt, making them unpleasant for caterpillars who bloat and die if they consume it, but the cabbages will have expunged the salt by the time they reach maturity.

Happy Gardening

Eileen

VPA Program for 2016

BLEWBURY & UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION      

GARDEN VISITS AND EVENTS 2016

The VPA is organising a series of garden visits and other events during 2016. Full details of costs for the outings will be issued in the Blewbury Bulletin and on the Upton News Website prior to the event and you will need to register four weeks before the event.

If you are interested in visiting any of these gardens listed below, registration will be available at the Blewbury Post Office or contact:   Margaret Maytham on 01235 850126 or Eileen Bracken on 01235 510095 You can also contact us on our e-mail address:   moc.liamgnull@pu.lb.ni.apv     We will advise transport arrangements when we have numbers.

SATURDAY 16th APRIL (day visit)

BATSFORD ARBORETUM, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos.

Is home to a unique collection of some of the world’s most beautiful and rare trees, shrubs and bamboos.

SATURDAY 4th JUNE (day visit to two gardens)

HIDCOTE MANOR GARDEN, Chipping Campden, Glos. (Morning visit)

Is one of England’s great Arts and Crafts gardens. Created by Major Lawrence Johnston with outstanding herbaceous borders

KIFTSGATE COURT GARDEN, Chipping Campden, Glos. (Afternoon visit)

Three generations of women gardeners have designed, planted and sustained this garden, with spectacular views of Malvern Hills

SUNDAY 4th SEPTEMBER (day visit)

LOSELEY PARK, near Guildford, Surrey

The garden is part of the grounds of Loseley Park and Includes a walled garden largely based on a design by Gertrude Jekyll

EVENTS

SAT.   9th JULY ANNUAL SUMMER SHOW at BLEWBURY VILLAGE HALL   2.30pm – 4.00pm
SUN. 23rd OCT PLANT SALE AT THE RED LION PUB, BLEWBURY 1.00pm – 3.00pm with Sustainable Blewbury’s Apple Day
WED. 2nd NOV ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – The Vale Room 7.00pm                                                    
SAT. 3rd DEC XMAS SOCIAL at UPTON VILLAGE HALL – 7.00pm

VPA to visit Batsford

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION – Your local village gardening club

We are about to have this year’s first garden visit.   It takes place on SATURDAY 16th APRIL and we will depart from Blewbury Village Hall at 9.30am and have a pick up point in Upton at the Village Hall at 9.40am.

Our trip is to BATSFORD ARBORETUM in GLOUCESTERSHIRE which is home to a unique collection of some of the world’s most beautiful and rare trees, shrubs and bamboos. (The Café serves hot lunches 12noon – 2pm and snacks). The cost – including transport is £17 (£16 for seniors).

YOU WILL NEED TO BOOK YOUR TICKET BY THE 16th MARCH AT BLEWBURY POST OFFICE OR THROUGH MAGGIE MAYTHAM in Upton (01235 850126).

Let’s hope the weather improves so we have a nice dry day.   Let’s hope it also improves so we can get into our gardens and onto the allotments to get everything shipshape for the spring.

Don’t forget we have an e-mail address: moc.liamgnull@pu.lb.ni.apv – we are offering a special service to you for the first time – it’s absolutely free!! If you have any gardening problems, please send us an e-mail and one of our members will be in touch to help you with advice or sorting out any gardening queries you may have.   We do have a lot of experts in our team. (No, we won’t come and dig the allotment for you!!) But please take advantage of talking to some of our members who have a vast amount of experience and knowledge.   We also have a website!! Please have a look – https://blewburyanduptonvpa.wordpress.com/

DID YOU KNOW? Charles Dudley Warner wrote in 1871: “I am told that abundant and rank weeds are signs of a rich soil, but I have noticed that a thin poor soil grows little but weeds.”

Happy Gardening

Eileen

VPA February News

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION – Your local village gardening club

We might be complaining about the rain and wind here – but aren’t we lucky we don’t live in Cumbria and further north. I do hope they are drying themselves out and getting back to normal.

First sprinkle of snow when I woke up this morning (17th Jan) – but didn’t last long. Hopefully this cold snap will get rid of these horrible ‘flu and cold bugs which have hit a few of us this winter.

Last year, the Committee made the decision not to have monthly meetings during 2016 but to have garden visits throughout the year.

Our first visit will be to Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire on Saturday 16th April. Full details will be in next month’s Bulletin.

We’re all planning our garden and allotments chores, once the weather improves.   Don’t forget that the VPA has a variety of tools available for use by all residents of Blewbury and Upton.   A donation is all that’s required which helps to keep the equipment in tip top condition. These tools are great for the garden or allotment.

Mantis Rotavator with various attachments – contact: Karen 850219

Long arm pruner. garden roller, fertiliser distributor – contact: Joyce 850388

Lawn scarifier and aerator, electric leaf vacuum, gazebos – contact: Margaret 850126

DID YOU KNOW? Camomile lawns were popular in Tudor times. Drake’s famous game of bowls before he set sail to defeat the Armada was played on a camomile lawn.

Happy Gardening

Eileen

VPA December News

BLEWBURY AND UPTON VILLAGE PRODUCE ASSOCIATION (Your Village Gardening Club)

We concluded our 2015 programme with our Xmas Social – a very enjoyable evening was had by all, with lovely pizzas provided by The Blueberry – really delicious, plus lots of fun and games.

As you may already be aware, the VPA is not holding monthly meetings during 2016, but we have planned garden visits instead. The Programme of Outings and Events will be in the February Blewbury Bulletin and The Upton News.   To enable you to make a note in your 2016 diary, the Garden Visits are listed below.

Saturday 16th April          Batsford Arboretum, Gloucestershire.

Saturday 4th June            Hidcote Manor Garden & Kiftsgate Court Gardens, Gloucestershire

Sunday 4th September  Loseley Park, Surrey

Full details will be given two months before the date of each outing in the Blewbury Bulletin, Upton News and Blewbury Post Office to enable you to book your tickets one month in advance of the event.

Another important date is SATURDAY 9th JULY 2016 which is the day of the ANNUAL SUMMER SHOW.

 There are many new residents in the villages who may be reluctant to take part in the Show – PLEASE DO!   The Show has a long standing tradition and fosters pride and friendly competition. The Schedule is being re-designed and being made more user friendly.   It will be available at the Blewbury Post Office and by e-mail (moc.liamgnull@pu.lb.ni.apv) in early Spring.

Finally, the VPA Committee thank you for your support in 2015 and we are hoping it will continue in 2016.  On behalf of the VPA Committee – HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR.

DID YOU KNOW: John Evelyn, the influential gardener and garden writer of the mid-seventeenth century, leased his house, Sayes Court in Deptford, to Peter the Great of Russia for three months in 1698.   He was horrified to discover the state of repair into which his garden had fallen when he returned.   Peter the Great apparently enjoyed being transported in a wheelbarrow, in and around, through and over, Evelyn’s immaculately laid-out plots!!

Happy Gardening

Eileen