Headley Allotments Holders Association
Newsletter September 2018
Welcome to our latest newsletter. We are hoping that you will find this of some interest and if you have other topics that you would like us to cover or any suggestions for future newsletters please let us know.
- Jennifer Mitchell - Secretary
- Martin Potter – Plot membership
- Malcolm Roffe
- Oliver Mason
- Simon Manville - Treasurer
- Paul Charman - Chairman
Manure and wood chippings
It is not often that you get anything free these days but we have sourced a good supply of both well-rotted manure and wood chippings. These are for your use at the allotments and so fill your boots (not literally). We hope to keep this supply going for the allotments in future.
From time to time we have to repair damaged or sunken sections of the access tracks or parking areas. Thanks to those who have helped us in the past, we have now accumulated a sensible amount of broken bricks/blocks/stone so please do not bring any more to the allotment site without checking with a committee member first. It is probably worth mentioning that we never use any sharp objects such as bathroom tiles or sanitary fittings so please don’t bring these onto the allotments.
The 'recycling area' (next to the communal shed) works well most of the time, so if you have anything that you no longer use and that might be of use to other plot holders, that's the place to put it - BUT please remember that if it is not good enough for you (ie broken/cracked etc) then it is not good enough for your fellow plot holders either. In that case, please, take it home or to the recycling centre in Bordon for disposal. The section next to the 'recycling area' is for tarps and blocks/tyres etc that belong to HAHA and that we use to cover plots between lets. Please do not remove/borrow these items. If you really are unable to dispose of burnable items and decide to use the fire, then OK but why not set fire to it while you are at it - somebody has to do it.
We do have a couple of mowers that have been donated to the allotments and these are retained within the communal shed. One is a four cylinder mower and for those who want to dispense with their gym membership a push along variety. If you are interested in using either of these to keep the paths on your allotment in pristine condition then we will be happy to let you borrow a key. This will allow you to gain entry at a time that suits you against a small deposit of £5 to cover any replacement cost. If you are interested then please let a member of the committee know and we will organise this for you.
It is said that you are never more than 50 metres from the nearest rat in the UK. Well you were, until very recently, a lot closer than that within our allotment site. In fact they were probably outnumbering active gardeners on the site at one point! I am pleased to report that this has now been brought under control and whilst we are probably not completely rat free they have largely disappeared. If you do see evidence of rats in future can you let a member of the committee know so that we can take the appropriate action.
Meet the plot holder
We thought that it might be a good idea to get to know each other a little better. We therefore intend producing a few notes on plot holders for this and future editions so that you have some idea of their background and what makes them tick. This may help when you are next discussing the weather and life over your rows of cabbages.
We sent our roving reporter Paul out and, not knowing where to start, he took the easy route and selected his plot next-door neighbour John Baker and June Colley. John and June live at Narra in Frensham Lane Lindford.
John was born in 1939 in London where his mum and dad met. On the outbreak of war his mother moved back to her home town of Sheffield to keep the family out of harms way whilst dad served in the Army. With dad away and mum working full time on the tram system John spent a good deal of his early life with his grandparents. His Grandad had an allotment and taught him how to garden. By the age of eight John had his own space allocated by Grandpa and he grew dahlias and wallflowers. This early introduction to gardening fired up John’s enthusiasm that has remained undimmed throughout his life. June was born on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. Her father was a professor at the University. In addition, he was an artist with a burning interest in butterflies and conservation so he established a butterfly sanctuary on the island that is still providing a natural habitat for these wonderful creatures today. Her father used the discarded wings of butterflies that had died of natural causes to create amazing butterfly mosaic pictures.
Both John and June have a mutual interest in gardening, travel and cooking. They met at the Alton Wine Circle in the early 90s and have been together ever since.
They share the work at the allotment and as well as growing a full range of vegetables including potatoes, spinach, kale, leeks, beans, beetroot etc. they also grow 250 Daylilies on the plot that provide dramatic colour during June and July. With the aid of their freezer, they are very nearly self sufficient in vegetables and as their other main interest is cooking they are never short of lovely meals including warming soup created from pumpkins or other vegetables.
Their garden is something to behold as they have several National Collections including European and Asiatic Hostas, Species Hostas and Hemerocallis Species. There are over 1,700 hosta plants of all types including some miniature hostas. Many are hanging varieties. The garden is open through the National Gardens Scheme that raises funds for charity. Having walked round the garden with John, I can thoroughly recommend a visit and I will certainly come back when it is next open. I am sure that the colour must be amazing in the height of the summer.
In addition to all this gardening both John and June are kept very busy with editing the Journal for the Hosta Society and June writes for the US Hosta Society Journal. John also writes the Garden Questions and Answers page for the Parish magazine. They give talks and presentations on hostas and other gardening topics to gardening clubs and societies.
Unfortunately, being new to the world of reporting I failed to take a camera with me. However, still photographs of the garden would not have done it justice (particularly with me taking them!) so if you do want to see what the garden looks like you should Google “Hanging Hostas of Hampshire” and there is a video shot by the BBC for Gardeners’ World that you can watch.
I am very grateful to John and June for giving up time in their busy schedule and for putting up with me for the afternoon.