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Usually, our April meeting is the last indoor talk until the autumn, but this year we started the outside visit season a month early. This visit was primarily a retail opportunity. The nursery at Didlington is a bit tucked away, but well worth the effort. If your garden requirements do not include clothes, confectionary, barbecues, books, etc., but a very wide selection of reasonably priced plants, then Didlington might just be the place for you.
The nursery was established in 1962 by Edwin Rickard and when he retired, was carried on by his son, Sean. The nursery occupies a four-acre plot within a walled garden, believed to be largest in England. Guarding the nursery, when they are awake, are two large cuddly dogs.
It was one of those occasions when no one really wanted anything, but everybody seemed to come away with something – in some cases, quite a lot. In my experience the problem is not just planting the stuff, but having to move several existing plants in order to accommodate each new acquisition.
Didlington, being primarily about plants, did not have a coffee shop. No matter, we all stopped off at a friends place for refreshments and to have a look around their garden. We had a guided tour by the owner who explained many of the techniques he had employed in the creation of this unique garden. Meanwhile, the lady of the house had prepared a delicious spread on which the members showed their appreciation by eating most of it.
Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 15thof May and will be to Jane Steward’s medlar orchard at Eastgate. Jane has previously visited our club when she gave a very interesting talk about how she had set up her enterprise. We are looking forward to this visit where another retail opportunity will probably be available. The timing of this visit is later in the month than usual as we are hoping to see the trees in bloom, but as this cannot be accurately predicted, there may be a last minute date change.
Leave Hockham village green at 13:00 for a 14:00 arrival.