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Newsletter of the Norfolk Group of the Alpine Garden Society Spring 2014

With the AGM now behind us, we have just one or two changes in personnel on the committee but, to our membership, there should be no obvious changes in the way in which the Group is run. We continue to move from strength to strength, with well-attended meetings and thought-provoking presentations. Hopefully, our ‘show and tell’ sessions will, once again, become a fixture at meetings – why not bring in a plant or a group of plants and say a few words about their botanical features or give some advice on how best to grow them.

The Group has set some very high standards in areas other than its monthly meetings. In 2013, we saw near record numbers of exhibits at the Show at Wymondham and also attracted plaudits from AGS HQ, AGS judges and members of the Joint Rock Committee. Once again, this success reflects the effort and commitment of the organisers, John and Brenda Foster, and the massive band of helpers who rally round to make the event a success.

My thanks go to all on the 2013 Committee for their support and for making the year a success.

2012 seems a long time ago and 2015 stills seems a long way off but the success of our previous Regional Conference has spurred us into planning another such event next year. Because the venue for 2012 was so ideal, we have already earmarked the Abbey Conference Centre (on the Unilever UK Foods site) for 2015. Feedback from people who attended in 2012 suggested that the combination of high-quality speakers and hands-on practical sessions was appreciated by all. We are targeting a similar format for September 2015, when we will see yet another internationally known speaker, Peter Korn, from Sweden as the keynote presenter. As this year progresses, we will look to roll out further information about speakers and subjects and will confirm the agreed date in good time to allow you to get it in your diaries.

In the shorter term, we are planning a trip which will include a behind-the-scenes visit to RBG Kew. Again, we will look to advise on the date and details of this trip in the very near future.

As the rain continues to fall and the wind keeps ranging from gale to severe gale force, the temperatures have remained generally above the seasonal norm and this seems to be promoting an accelerated emergence of spring plants. I just wonder how they will cope if and when the Winter really sets in. We know, however, just how resilient nature is to fairly massive variance from what we consider to be normal. I look forward to yet another ‘interesting’ year of gardening and I wish you every success in your own broad acres or small plots.

Ian Black
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