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Kings Seed Catalogues 2023 – Available now!

River Gardeners’ Association are offering Members and Non-Members alike an amazing 30% discount on orders from our supplier, Kings Seeds.

Kings Seed Catalogues 2023 – Available now!
Continue reading “Kings Seed Catalogues 2023 – Available now!”

News from the Compost Heap – Summer 2022

Show Secretaries Corner:

At the time of writing this we are in the middle of a heatwave, with the hottest days of the year expected very soon, it has been quite a while since any rain fell and the gardens are in dire need of it, having said that we had a lovely Summer Show in July our visitors were able to see a colourful array of Flowers, Vegetables, Floral Art, Cookery, Photography, Craft and Children’s entries. We welcomed some new exhibitors and helped them to display the items that had been grown or made.

Read more

Our next Show is the Autumn Show which takes place on Saturday 17th September at River Village Hall, Common Lane, River. We are looking for more adults and children to exhibit, if you can bake we have Cookery Classes for you:-

Easy Malt Loaf (using this recipe)

  • 350g (12oz) self-raising flour 1
  • 70g (6oz) currants
  • 60g (2oz) sultanas
  • 30g (1oz) sugar
  • 30g (1oz) dark brown sugar
  • 2½ tbsp Oval tine
  • 4tbsp golden syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 300ml (½ pt) milk

Preheat oven 325F/160C/gas 3

Grease and line a 1kg (2lb 4oz) loaf tin. Sieve flour into bowl, add dry ingredients and mix. Slightly warm milk & syrup together, add to dry ingredients. Mix batter well & pour into tin. Bake on preheated baking sheet for 1-1½ hrs. Place on cooling rack, leave to cool. Ease sides with flat bladed knife & loaf should tap out.

5 Halloween Decorated Fairy Cakes

  • 3 Pieces Bread Pudding (use own recipe)
  • Small Wholemeal Loaf – using 500g Dough
  • Soft Fruit Jam – Approx. 500g Jar
  • Stone Fruit Jam – Approx. 500g Jar
  • Jar Jelly – (small)
  • Jar Pickles
  • Jar Chutney (matured)
  • Bottle of Home-made Cordial – Approx 750mls in clear glass bottle
  • All Bottles and Jars must be clear, clean glass

Attach a plain stick-on label to container with name of contents & date of preserving. Entries must comply with the recipe – if given.

You can enter as many of these classes as you like, but only one entry in each class per person.

Floral Art

If you like arranging flowers, we have Floral Art classes you could enter:-

  • Beginners:- An Arrangement in a Wine Glass
  • Halloween” – An exhibit, up to 75cm wide
  • An Arrangement using Foliage, Grasses & Berries, up to 75cm wide

Young Peoples Entries

For our younger members of our Village, we have classes for you, prize money is given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

  • 7 years and under – A4 Collage using leaves, seeds and flowers etc
  • 8 to 15 years –A Hat for Halloween OR A4 Collage of a Spider in its web
  • Up to 15 years – Largest Sunflower Head
  • Up to 15 years – Photography “ Halloween”
  • Up to 15 years – Photography “Its a Bugs Life”

It is FREE to enter any of the above classes, simply fill in the online form at:- rivergardeners.com/entry-form by 9pm on 14th September or email me bevj.showsecretary@rivergardeners.com to let me know which classes you would like to enter or if you have any questions.

Dates for your Diary, 2022:

  • Deadline to enter Autumn Show – 14 September @21:00
  • Autumn Show – 17 September (Kings Seeds catalogues available, discounts on all orders)
  • Swap Shop – 25 September @ 14:30
  • AGM, Afternoon Tea & 2023 Schedule Launch– 08 October @ 14:00
  • Christmas Afternoon Tea – 03 December @ 14:00 – 16:00

Volunteering

We are always keen to welcome new volunteers onto our friendly Committee. There are a number of defined roles (Secretary, Catering Officer, Committee Member) within the committee, but also the opportunity to just be a part of the team as a general committee member.

Minimal free time is required as we only meet about six times per year (currently virtual) as well as show days and any special events we run.

Find out more here: https://rivergardeners.com/volunteering-on-our-committee/ or email: info@rivergardeners.com

Spring Show 2022 – Success!

Thank you to all those who Exhibited and Visited our Spring Show today, we had a great turn out of Exhibits and visitors!

A Special Thank you also to all our Judges, Committee Members and Helpers, whom without we could not have put on such a great event.

Continue reading “Spring Show 2022 – Success!”

Giant Redwood Trees

A Guide to growing giant Redwood Trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

Giant Redwoods are the tallest tree in the world, the largest of which are over 100 Meters tall. Giant Redwoods are native to the USA, but can be found and grown in the UK (albeit, with some help.)

Why?

These giants can live for 100s if not 1000s of years and grow to become the largest living thing on the planet. Their Colossal size allows them to store huge quantities of carbon from the atmosphere and lock it away for many, many years. Giant Redwoods also produce a large amount of Oxygen.

We also find them very majestic and beautiful trees, their sheer size alone leaves you in awe and wonder.

A Brief overview of this guide

This guide aims to explain how to successfully take a small seed and grow it into a giant. We will show methods to germinate the seeds as well as caring for the sapling. Read on for more information.

  1. Obtaining Seeds

    For the purposes of this guide, we obtained our seeds from a reputable online supplier. You could visit a specialist, perhaps a garden centre or find seed suppliers online as we did. If you are lucky enough to live near a Giant Redwood tree, you could even harvest your own seeds.

  2. Stratification

    Like many trees, Giant Redwood seeds need a period of coldness to break their dormancy. In nature, Winter would kick off this process.
    But, if you don’t wish to wait a whole year, you can easily imitate Winter by placing seeds in the fridge for around 1 month.
    To prepare for the fridge, our seeds were first placed into a Zip-lock bag, the seeds were scattered on top of a moist paper-towel and then spray with a fine mist of water. Vermiculite can be used in place of the Paper Towel, which may yield better results.

  3. Check on progress

    Check in on the seeds every once per week, ensuring there is still moisture in the zip-lock bag and that no mould has formed. It’s also important to ensure that there is not too much moisture build-up, the seeds and paper towel should be damp but not sitting in a pool of water.

  4. Germination

    After approximately 1 month, some seeds may have already begun to sprouted. These early risers should be carefully removed and potted in a suitably sized pot (we’d recommend one that is at least 1 foot deep.) For the remainder of the seeds, these can be placed in a pot, lightly covered with compost and placed in a sunny, warm spot.
    It is important to keep the seeds and seedlings protected from Frost – A sunny indoor window or a greenhouse works well here. After a further week or two, the remainder of the seeds should begin sprouting.

  5. Re-Potting

    As the seedlings begin to sprout and grow, it may be necessary to split and re-pot to ensure each seedling has enough growing room.

  6. Keeping them alive

    Keep seedlings watered well and slowly begin to acclimate them to outdoor temperatures, being careful not to expose them to freezing / frost, particularly whilst young.
    After a few years, they should have grown large enough to plant in the ground. (planting area should be chosen carefully, due to the enormity of adult trees.

Infinite Basil

Basil is a very commonly used herb in many dishes and cuisines. Its easy to grow and is known for its pleasant aroma and fresh flavour.
The leaves are used fresh or dried to flavour meats, fish, salads, and sauces. Basil is a versatile annual herb, used in pasta dishes, pizzas, and Thai curries.

There are many types of Basil, differing in flavour and scent. Although Basil is widely available in super-markets, its so easy to grow why not try growing your own.

It can be cultivated from cuttings easily and with very little time or money needed. Read on for our easy method of propagating Basil. This method can be applied to other plants such as: Mint, Oregano, Thyme, Sage and Rosemary.

Basil propagation, showing roots starting to form
Continue reading “Infinite Basil”

An interview with a young Gardener

Team RGA spoke with a young, enthusiastic Gardener recently about their Gardening experiences, goals and achievements. It was very impressive to see their garden and cultivation area.
It just goes to show, age is just a number and no matter how young or old, ability or experience, gardening can be for you!

Continue reading “An interview with a young Gardener”

Coffee Afternoon Success!

On 05 March 2022 we held our Coffee Afternoon / Table Top Sale at River Village Hall.

We were very surprised and happy to see so many people attend this event, the room was full of cheerful chat and smiley faces. We would like to thank everyone that attended this event and also all of our committee members and helpers. There were many homemade cakes on sale and tea, coffee & biscuits were provided free of charge.

We would like to thank our friends at River Co op for donating some fabulous raffle prizes, which was much appreciated. As a result, the raffle did very well, raising much needed funds for the club.

We would also like to thank the Hawkinge Gardeners Society for the extremely generous and unexpected donation that was made as a result of the unfortunate closure of their club. We would like to extend an invitation to their members and families to any of our future events.

Three local businesses (Primrose Fayre Catering, She sells Refills by the Seashore & Mary’s Crafts) attended our Coffee Afternoon running sales tables, and we hope to see them again at future events.

We were also pleased to see Cllr Beaney attend our event, engaging with many of our visitors. Dover Community Radio was also in attendance and have been helping us promote our events on their local radio station, a big thank you to their team. (listen to a recent advert run on DCR below!)

Recent advert by Dover community Radio advertising our Coffee Morning

River Gardeners’ Sprouts Again!

It is nearly Spring again and we are already looking forward to seeing you all at one of our events. After nearly 2 years, we had our first event in December last year. We held a coffee afternoon and we were pleased to see so many of you there.

We are holding another coffee/tea afternoon on Saturday 5th March at 14:00 – 16:00 at the village hall and there will be free tea coffee and biscuits and a selection of home-made cakes for purchase. There will also be some local businesses with stalls and a raffle. Come along and see old friends and enjoy a cup of tea on us.

We are also intending to hold our shows this year starting with :

  • Spring Show: 09 April 2022 @ 14:00 – 16:00
  • Summer Show: 02 July 2022 @ 14:00 – 16:00
  • Autumn Show: 17 September 2022 @14:00 – 16:00

Why not come along and support local entrants or enter one of the many classes yourself, Whether it is growing, cooking, arts and crafts as well as photography there is something for everyone young and old, Everybody is welcome. Email us at info@rivergardeners.com for further details.

We are also looking for volunteers to help at our events as we are short on numbers and we are also in need of a secretary if anyone is interested.

About RGA:

River Gardeners’ Association is a local, friendly club for amateur and ‘armchair’ gardeners of all ages. Our members’ interests include growing fruit, vegetables, plants and flowers, home produce, crafts, floral art and Photography.

We hold several shows each year in River Village Hall which are open to all members, with separate sections in the shows for children. New members are always welcome.

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rivergardenersassociation

reach out on email: info@rivergardeners.com 

Visit our website: https://rivergardeners.com/

Over 100 Exhibits for RGA “Virtual” Summer Show!

River Gardener’s Association brings Summer Colour with their fun “Virtual” Summer Show which went live on Saturday, A Local Secondary School along with local residents took part in the online event. Visit: rivergardeners.com/virtual-summer-show-2020 or search “River Gardeners Virtual Show” to access the Show for free.

On Saturday, 04 July 2020 local hobbyist’s club “River Gardener’s Association” hosted their 64th Annual Summer Show online bringing a splash of summer colour to local residents from the safety of their armchairs. Due to the CoronaVirus outbreak, holding “Virtual” Shows has become a necessity over the past few months with Public Gatherings and community events currently not-possible amid risks of spreading the virus in enclosed indoor spaces. The forward Thinking committee didn’t let COVID-19 stop proceedings though, and the idea of a completely online show was born.

First Prize in the Category “Setting Sun”

River Gardener’s Association hosted the much loved competition on their website, the first time in the 64 year life-time of this now family favourite event in many Riverites’ calendar. The Local response was overwhelming with over 100 entities across all categories including Photography, Cookery, Crafts and Horticulture. The Photography Class from a local Secondary School also submitted an excellent range of Photographic Exhibits, which were then judged by Mr C Allen a local photographic expert. Alongside the amazing Photographic work, there were Summery Floral displays and examples of the freshest local produce. Some contributors even got busy in the kitchen making jams and chutneys. 

River Gardener’s Association Show Secretary said: “I had thought that we wouldn’t have a Summer Show this year due to Covid 19 but we had over 100 entries in the Virtual Show. I would like to thank everyone that took part and now if you are sitting comfortably, I invite you to sit back and enjoy the Virtual Show.”

The Online Summer Show is now available online for anyone to access and enjoy for free, visit: rivergardeners.com/virtual-summer-show-2020 or search: “River Gardeners Virtual Show” if your interested in getting involved with our next Show, please contact us at: info@rivergardeners.com

River Gardener’s Association in brief:

River Gardener’s Association is a local, friendly club for amateur and ‘armchair’ gardeners of all ages. Our members’ interests include growing fruit, vegetables, plants and flowers, home produce, crafts, floral art and Photography. River Gardener’s Association is based in River near Dover in Kent.

River Gardener’s hold a number of shows each year in River Village Hall which are open Members and Non-Members with separate sections in the shows for children. New members are always welcome.

News from the Compost heap: June 2020 edition.

“Virtual” Summer Show

Unfortunately, with the COVID-19 situation still causing disruption we have taken the decision to cancel our Summer Show to protect the General Public Health, inline with current Government Guidelines. In its place, we plan to hold our Second “Virtual” Show (this proved to be a success for our Spring event, which you can see here: https://rivergardeners.com/virtual-spring-show-2/) We’d like to encourage as many people as possible to enter this Fun, Free Online event. You don’t need to be a member or gardening expert to take part. All you need is a digital camera or Camera Phone. All you need to do is take photos of your “Exhibits” and send them to us at: info@rivergardeners.com by Wednesday 01 July 2020. We will then collate all entries and publish our “Virtual” Summer Show for all to enjoy. The Exhibit Categories along with full instructions are available on our Website at: https://rivergardeners.com/virtual-summer-show-2020/ We are hoping that Autumn Show can go ahead as planned, pending further Government advise and we will confirm this nearer the time.

Quiz 2020

The ever popular Quiz we had planned in May was unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic, however we will be looking to hold this later in the year – watch this space for more details!
We hope you are all staying safe and well and we all look forward to getting back to normal as soon as possible.  

The River Gardeners Team!

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