Newsletter April 2020

Let’s start by wishing the very best to all our members and their families and friends as we go through the very testing time which lies ahead. Plainly none of us knows how and when the worst threats from this terrible virus will be behind us, but does it not seem that gardening in all its forms, is an antidote to many of the tribulations we now face.

For the duration of the crisis most society operations are at a standstill – but one day soon things will begin to get back to normal. We are looking to populate the Society web-site, any suggestions would be welcome.

STORE OPENING: Unfortunately the store has to remain closed until further notice – we’ll keep you informed.
AGM POSTPONED: The AGM is postponed to adate to be agreed when things are clearer.

Unless things change this will go ahead …. so please note the date in your diary. And let’s show that virus that we gardeners will not be beaten:
let’s make this the biggest and best show ever ….

We hope to publish 4 newsletters a year: March; June; August; November – and we hope you will offer offer contributions to enliven them. They can be emailed to Dave Cordingley at – by the middle of the preceeding month please.
A recipe? Something interesting in your garden? A wildlife piece? Something to get off your chest? Something humourous / poetic with a gardening context? A photo? A tip? A crossword?

One of our members has made a particular request …. she wants to draw our attention to the beautiful garden behind the store – which she worries many may not ever have seen. Some of us remember the dreadful dumping ground and eyesore which it always was. There were periodic attempts to ‘have a go at it’, but these seldom amounted to much.

But now? Truly something to be proud of – especially for those few who have put heart, soul, brain, muscle and hundreds of hours into making it the delight it now is. It’s a great pity it remains largely hidden – but, if you’ve never seen it, next time you’re there do wander around the back and be prepared to be amazed. And while we’re at it – let’s all give a vote of thanks to all those who make the store function as smoothly and well as it does, week in, week out: it’s no meanfeat – and all done, as ever, by a smallish bunch of volunteers.

IN THE GARDEN: The April planner is available on the Society web-site following this link:
COMFREY IN THE GARDEN: Comfrey is a wonderful plant for gardeners… It can provide a cost effective nutrient rich source of fertiliser that can be used throughout the year. Download useful guide to proving fertiliser is on the Society website


At the beginning of March the bees were coping with cold and wet weather. Like us they are reluctant to go out, but on warmer days (100C) they were seen bringing in pollen. This is a good sign because it suggests that the queen was laying and the bees would be feeding the new grubs with the protein they need to develop. They don’t hibernate but cluster together, (a bit like penguins at the Antarctic), eating their stores of food to generate heat. The centre of the cluster can be 320C even when it’s freezing outside.
Mice, looking for somewhere warm and with food, can sometimes cause problems in the winter, but a mouse guard over the entrance has kept them out while still allowing the bees to come and go.

The first chance to look inside will be at towards the end of the month when
temperatures reach nearer 140C. So, for now, it’s make sure they have enough food, the wind doesn’t blow them over and fingers crossed for a good year ahead.
More news later….Queenie and Buzz.

A lovely and simple recipe …


Serves 6

Fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs – 6 oz
Butter or marg, melted – 2 oz
Cheddar, grated – 4 oz
Mixed nuts (chopped) or seeds – 4 oz (optional – but helpful)
Mixed herbs – 1⁄2 tsp
Garlic – to taste

Medium sized leeks – 3
Tomatoes – 4
Butter or Marg – 2 oz
Wholemeal flour – 1 oz
Milk – 1⁄2 pint


  1. Put breadcrumbs in a basin and stir in melted butter and remaining ingredients. Press into base of an 11” x 7” tin and bake in oven at 220c until golden brown (15-20 minutes)
  2. Meanwhile, slice leeks quite small & chop tomatoes .
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan and saute leeks until soft. Stir in flour, remove from heat and add milk, stirring constantly.
  4. Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Add remaining ingredients except breadcrumbs and simmer for a few minutes to soften tomatoes and thicken/cook the sauce.
  6. Check seasoning then spoon over base.
  7. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and heat in oven at 180c (gas mark 4) for 20 minutes. Serve straight away.


Garden related items only please!
Please email your ‘ad’ to Dave Cordingley at:
For Sale’ items must be safe and in good condition, as must any items offered in response to a ‘Wanted’ request. Make sure you include your contact details in your ad, which will be published in the next newsletter – and also bear in mind the dates of publication; see below.
All transactions will be the personal responsibility of the parties involved: the Society can accept no responsibilities nor enter into any negotiations / disputes.