May 2022 – Jobs to do in the Garden

April this year was another very dry month. Experts say that rainfall in 7 out of the last 10 Aprils has been significantly lower than in previous years. Although our gardens are a lot drier due to the lack of April showers, the beautiful display of Primroses, Cowslips and Bluebells show us that Spring is well advanced and our gardens are gearing up for the Summer months.

Lawns and Mowing

This is the time for active lawn maintenance and really the last chance to sow or lay new lawns until Autumns.  There has been a lot of publicity recently about “no mow May” to benefit pollinators, insects, other smaller birds and animals. If you can leave some part of your lawn – maybe a corner or strip under some trees – to grow longer and slightly wild for a while, then you may see a lot more wildlife activity in your garden. 

Planting

Plant out any strawberries and sow runner beans outside, constructing your wigwams or cane supports for them. The latter part of this month is the best time to plant out tender courgettes, aubergines and the colourful summer bedding plants.

Now is also a good time repot pot-bound container plants in pots about 10cm bigger than the current ones. Give them a good feed and tie-in any long climber shoots to their supports with soft twine or string.

Protecting from pests

The insects are  now becoming much more active as temperatures rise, so be especially vigilant about pests. Pick off scarlet lily beetle from your lilies (their larvae rapidly defoliate plants). Watch for vine weevil in container plantings – irregular-shaped notches to leaf edges are tell-tale signs (the young grubs in the soil eat the roots really quickly!) If possible, use natural nematodes to control them at the end of the month. 

Check your roses for black spot, remove and discard all infected leaves on the plant to prevent it spreading. They may need spraying with a fungicide throughout the growing season to keep it under control.

You can now cover soft fruit bushes with netting to prevent birds eating the fruit. If you are growing strawberries, put straw around or under them. 

Pruning Spring-flowing shrubs 

Your Spring-flowering shrubs will soon be finishing their flowering display so now is the time to prune these  – eg:- Ribes, Weigela and Forsythia, these all flower on this year’s growth, so prune them back into shape just after they have finished flowering to give a beautiful display next year.

“The Chelsea Chop”

To check the growth of perennial plants which can grow very tall, you can make the plants branch out by cutting or pinching off the growing tips. Plants which respond well to this treatment are Rudbeckias, Solidago, Heleniums, Phlox and Michaelmas Daisies. This should reduce their overall height by about 25% and although they may flower a week or two later, they won’t be so prone to collapsing or being blown over at flowering time.   

Feeding

Feed your spring bulbs with a granular fertiliser, blood, fish and bone, or liquid seaweed to give them an energy boost and help them flower next Spring.

 Time in your garden

May is the best month to heard the incredible dawn chorus so if you can get up around 5am for just one morning and venture out into your garden with a tea or coffee, you will be rewarded with the most amazing sound of Spring birdsong. Also take some time to sit in your garden to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and atmosphere of your beautiful surroundings.

Volunteer opportunities at Alpington Guiding (Rainbows Brownies Guides and Rangers)

Alpington Guiding has been running in the village for 30 years, running Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, and Rangers, and they are currently looking for new volunteers to keep the groups running.

This group is massively important to the community and to the girls who attend, so please consider helping out if you can, and share this if you might know anyone who could help out!

From the leadership team:

Alpington Guiding has been in the village for 30 years we are currently looking for new leaders or unit helpers to come and join the team. We have 4 different sections which are

Rainbows 4-7 years old, Brownies 7-10 years old, Guides 10-14 years old and Rangers 14-18 years old.

We meet on a Thursday night starting with our rainbows 4-5, Brownies 5:15-6:30, Guides and rangers 6:45-8 at Alpington village hall.

No experience required just an interest in a voluntary role in a thriving group.

We do things from cooking, crafts, singing, camps, trips out and games. We have an amazing group of girls and leaders but due to a retirement and leaders work commitments we are hoping we can have more adults join us to keep the units going.

We have a massive 100 girls in the groups so would be such a shame to reduce numbers or close as this is a great safe space for girls of all ages to spend time together in a safe environment. If you are 18 or over and think you might be able to volunteer please either register on the link below or email us at alpingtonguiding@gmail.com for more information. 

Thanks for reading and take care

Suzi (Tawny owl) and all the owls 🦉 

Road Closure – Back Road Yelverton 23-24th May

Back Road in Yelverton is closing on 23d and 24th May for surfacing works.

From the official notice:

… Back Road from its junction with C374 Slade Lane for 50m south-eastwards …. because of NCC surface dressing preparation works.

The road will be temporarily closed (except for access) from 23rd to 24th May 2022 for the duration of the works expected to be about 2 days within the period.

Alternative route is via: Back Road, Slade Lane, Church Road, Bergh Apton Road (Yelverton, Alpington).

The person dealing with enquiries at Norfolk County Council is Harvey Woodyatt (Community and Environmental Services) Telephone 0344 800 8020.

Wine Tasting Evening – Fri 3rd June Alpington Village Hall

As part of our Village Festival celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee we are holding a Wine Tasting evening on Friday 3rd June at 7.30pm at Alpington Village Hall. 

Tickets are £10 per person and it’s for over 18s only.

Wine tasting evening flyer

There will be a glass of sparkling wine on arrival and then local resident Jess Anderson will guide you through the tasting of four white wines and four red wines.  Cheese and nibbles will be available but just as a snack!

There will also be the opportunity to order the wines if you find one or two (or more!) you really like.

Why not join us for a convivial evening? There’s a limit on the number of people who can attend the event so get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.  Contact Louise on 01508 492599 or Sue on 01508 491185.  Please pay by cash if possible.