Wells Voice Article February 2022

'Come my spade'   W. Shakespeare  

The perils of winter can last until the middle of May. We have, however, always managed to cope with whatever the climate throws at us. What has booted us off the path is that other thing and it does look as though the fightback has begun. So it is a delight to say that Wells & District Gardening Club is back in business. Our first proper meeting is scheduled for the second week in February. The details are below.

Too much time has passed during these last two years peering into a crystal ball clouded with cumulonimbus, stratus cumulus or plain fog. All this in an attempt to make tentative predictions about the future. Now is a moment for much more optimism. In fact it is a time for rousing action, a time to leave those winter armchair fantasies behind or put them to the test. The path to the compost heap is paved with grandiose projects and lost horticultural dreams but the way ahead is clearer.

Tucked away behind the shoe brushes are those packets of seeds we salivated over in the mid-winter gloom. Time to examine them more closely and decide where they will fit in. Before we fully commit ourselves, here's a question. Is there a gardener who does not take childish delight in shaking the packet to hear that promising rustling inside, just making sure of what we already know? Yes, they are annuals, perennials being too long term and anyway, annuals are making a comeback.

Tithonias, zinnias, nasturtiums and asters… because colour is what we need. I hesitated over Californian poppies simply because eschscholzia was too difficult to either spell or pronounce. Mind you, it would make an excellent tie-breaker at a quiz night.

The really tricky part lies ahead. Sowing is fine, watering with care, delight at first emergence hugely satisfying but then the rapid growth turns the flimsy seedlings into anaemic wireworms leaning at 40 degrees towards the ailing light on the window sill. Undaunted, we urge them on. Nothing ventured etc. Success lies far ahead and it's something to look forward to. While our seeds rise upwards, there's the rest of the garden to tackle.

Which brings us back to the beginning. At last: the Gardening Club will meet on Thursday 10th January at 7.30pm in the Town Hall. There will be no admission charge but a chance to meet once more, welcome visitors and new members to a pleasantly informal evening. There will be a very short general meeting followed by an equally informal Quiz with refreshments to follow. More details will be on the website at wellsgarden.club soon. Pip.

Since publication of this article we have issued the following guidance for the meeting of members on 10 February 2022: 

This will be a sociable evening with a short AGM followed by one of Pip's fiendish quizzes with prizes for the winning table. There will be liquid refreshments so please bring your own cups if you can, but we do have some paper ones  so that you will not go without if you forget. Although the Government has relaxed Plan B in relation to mask wearing, we would recommend the continued use of these. Tables will be set out in groups of 4 rather than 6 as previously and hand gel will be available. We thought it best under current circumstances not to provide food but please bring your own snacks if you would like to. We will not be renewing memberships at this meeting to avoid people queuing and will ask you to do this by post instead and details will be given in the next newsletter.