News and Events

March 2023 – things to do in the Garden

March is the first month of Spring, longer and brighter days at last! After a relatively mild February this year, there are likely to be some cold weeks but overall the average daily temperature will be increasing, encouraging our gardens into life again.

Plants to buy or enjoy in March

Herbs: Seek out small herb plants to pot up in containers near your back door

Young bedding plants: Look for good value young bedding plants to grow-on in your greenhouse, until they can be planted out.

Some plants to enjoy: Bergenia, Camellia, Daphne, Hellebores, Primroses.

General garden maintenance

• If dry enough, mow lawns and re-cut the edges with a half-moon edging tool
• Dig out a small pond to attract more wildlife
• Put slug barrier products around the new shoots of Hostas
• Replant pots of flowered bulbs from indoors into borders
• Check that tree ties aren’t too tight and that stakes are still firmly in the ground
• Prune out any wind-damaged branches on trees and shrubs
• Check for new shoots of ground elder, fork these up & remove all roots you see
• Place bug boxes in sheltered corners, for insects to lay their eggs
• Keep putting out food for garden birds, as the breeding season gets underway
• Cut back winter-flowering Jasmine to tidy it up and encourage flowers next year

Flowerbeds & pots

• Deadhead any daffodil seedheads on daffodils leaving the leaves to die back naturally
• Finish pruning roses early in the month
• Cut Dogwoods, Willows and Cotinus right down to the base to promote vigorous new growth
• Start sowing hardy annuals outdoors, including California poppies & Nasturtiums
• Tidy up alpines as they start to flower, removing dead foliage, then mulch with grit to keep the foliage off damp soil
• Plant lilies and other summer-flowering bulbs in pots
• Feed ericaceous shrubs, such as Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Camellias and Pieris, with an ericaceous fertiliser
• Tidy up borders, removing established and newly-germinating weeds, then mulch generously with garden compost
• Plant new roses and other shrubs and climbers
• Sow native wildflower seeds in trays or modules, to produce plants for your own mini-meadow
• Scatter general-purpose fertiliser over flowerbeds and around roses, shrubs and hedges

Fruit & Vegetables

• Give blackcurrant bushes a high-nitrogen feed
• Sow tomatoes, chillies, sweet peppers and aubergines in pots indoors
• Plant onion and shallot sets, spacing them 10-15cm apart, and keep the bed free of weeds
• Avoid carrot root fly by sowing an early crop of carrots under cloches or fleece
• Make the first outdoor sowings of spinach, covering with cloches or fleece
• Plant early potatoes in trenches in the ground or in pots
• Sow parsnips as soon as the soil starts to warm up, as they’re slow to germinate and need a long growing season
• Plant a fig tree in a large container to restrict its roots, which encourages fruiting and limits its overall size
• Start hoeing veg beds as soon as the weather starts to warm up, as weeds will germinate quickly
• Plant strawberries in a hanging basket or trough to keep the fruits away from slugs

Greenhouse or Windowsill

• Open greenhouse vents on sunny days to prevent humidity building up
• Get celeriac, celery, lettuces and parsley off to a good start sowing indoors, to transplant into the garden later
• Sow a selection of vibrant annual climbers, such as Spanish flag (Ipomoea lobata) and black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)
• Sow Coleus on a warm windowsill to enjoy their vibrant foliage indoors or in tropical-style displays outside
• Sow dwarf French beans in a large pot for an early indoor crop in June
• Pot up overwintering cannas into fresh compost, water in, then place in a warm spot to spur them into growth
• Sow sweet peas in deep pots and keep in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill
• Protect greenhouse sowings of beans, peas & sweet peas from hungry mice

South Norfolk Community Awards 2023 – Nominations Open!

Say thank you to local volunteers, neighbours and groups that go the extra mile in your community. Winners will receive £250 to spend on a charity or community group of their choice.

Nominate easily online by searching South Norfolk Commmunity Awards or call 01603 430591.

Those shortlisted for the awards will be invited to attend our awards evening, consisting of a two course sit down meal followed by presentations from our sponsors and councillors.

Nominations Close on 3rd May 2023.

The categories and category descriptions are listed below. If you have a group or individual in mind, please nominate here

·       Inspiration of the Year – someone who strives to achieve their best at work, in their studies, in sports, the arts, or in the community

·       Young Person of the Year – a young person who has made a remarkable and inspiring achievements in support of their community (Aged 18 and under)

·       Volunteer of the Year – an individual who has volunteered their time to make an outstanding contribution to their community

·       Helping Hand Award – a friend, neighbour or carer who always goes the extra mile to help or support others

·       Green at Heart Award – an individual, school, business or community group who has made an extra effort to have a positive impact on the environment.

·       Business in the Community Award – a local business that has led or supported community initiatives and values

·       Community Group of the Year – a community group that has made a significant contribution to the residents of their local area

·       Community Hero – a person who has made a positive impact on an individual or their community. Someone who deserves special recognition for their effort and commitment.


Notice of local Elections 4th May 2023

There are local elections on Thursday 4 May 2023. Please find attached the details, including how to nominate candidates.

Hardcopies will be on the village noticeboards.

This is the link to the council Elections page for the above elections, which will be updated regularly District & Town/Parish elections Thursday 4 May 2023 – Broadland and South Norfolk (

Proposed changes to the OurHire Bus service through Alpington

The bus company have asked us if we can raise awareness of this proposal to change the 86 bus service from September.

Should you wish to comment you can email

Or call 01493 752223.

Please send comments on the changes by April 17th if you have any.

In a nutshell for our village and Bergh Apton the highlights are:

The early morning bus through the village is proposed to be retimed and rerouted to serve Poringland and Arminghall. Arrive Alpington 07:53 arriving in Norwich at 08:15. This will enable students to use the service to attend Fram Earl high school.

(currently service is arrive Alpington 07:27 arrive Norwich 07:45 – via A146)

There is also an additional service leaving Norwich at 15:00 via Arminghall and Poringland which will ensure students are able to get home again.

Police street surgeries – Poringland and surrounding areas

Here is a list of times and locations that our local beat officer PC Andy Sneddon will be available for people to chat about any local concerns, on Thursday 23rd March 2023.

09:00 – 16:00

PC Andy Sneddon will be holding street surgeries on Thursday 23rd to chat about local concerns- come along to discuss issues in your area or ask him a question.

Trowse Common 9-10am

Stoke Holy Cross Playing Field 10.30-11.30am

Tasburgh Village Hall 12-1pm

Poringland Community Centre 1.30-2.30pm

Rockland St Mary Post Office 3-4pm

Road Closure – Burgate Lane Alpington 8-9th March 2023

Burgate lane in Alpington is closing on 8th to 9th March 2023 for guardrails repair works.

From the official notice:

… affecting the U76372 Burgate Lane from 215m west of its junction with U76373 Reeders Lane for 50m north-westwards in the PARISH OF ALPINGTON to facilitate Norfolk County Council guardrails repair works.

The road will be temporarily closed (except for access) from 8th to 9th March 2023 for the duration of the works expected to be about 2 days within the period.

Alternative route is via: Burgate Lane, Hall Road, Yelverton Road, Framingham Earl Road, Church Road, Wheel Road.

You will need photo ID to vote in a polling station at upcoming elections

On Thursday 4 May 2023, local elections are taking place across England. Just so residents are aware ahead of time:

To vote in a polling station, residents will need to bring photo ID.

The requirement will be extended to all elections by the end of the year. See the below website for more info.

No ID? You can apply for free voter ID.

Find out more at

or call 0800 328 0280

Jobs to do in the garden – Feb 2023

February is the month which should signal the end of Winter, when we can all start preparing for Spring and enjoy being out in our gardens more often, as the weather permits.

Plants to buy or enjoy this month

Shrubs: Early flowering Camelias, Jasminum nudiflorum (winter flowering Jasmine), Garrya elliptica (also known as the Silk Tassel tree)

Perennials & Bulbs: Hellebores, native Primroses, Pulmonaria. Also early Daffodils, Crocuses and Aconites.

General Garden maintenance

• If snow falls, knock it off evergreen shrubs & conifers to prevent branches snapping or bowing under the weight
• Firm back down any plants that have been lifted by frost
• Put garden compost or well-rotted manure on beds and fork it in
• Clear away old plant debris from pond margins and scoop out any leaves that have fallen into the water
• Spread a layer of well-rotted manure around roses and shrubs
• Install a nest box with a camera, so you can watch birds raising their young in Spring

Flowerbeds & Pots

• Cut down deciduous ornamental grasses left standing over winter, before fresh shoots appear
• Divide large clumps of snowdrops and Winter aconites after flowering and replant to start new colonies
• Divide congested clumps of herbaceous perennials and grasses to make vigorous new plants for free
• Move dormant deciduous shrubs growing in the wrong place
• Pot up containers with hardy spring bedding, such as primroses, wallflowers and forget-me-nots
• Sprinkle slow-release fertiliser around the base of roses and other flowering shrubs

white daisy flowers


• Prune hybrid tea and floribunda roses, before growth restarts
• Prune late-summer flowering clematis, cutting stems back to healthy buds about 30cm from the base
• Trim back ivy, Virginia creeper and other climbers if they have outgrown their space, before birds start nesting
• Prune winter-blooming shrubs such as mahonia & winter jasmine after they’ve flowered
• Cut back wisteria side shoots to three buds, to encourage abundant flowers in spring
• Give winter heathers a light trim after flowering, removing shoot tips but not cutting back into old wood
• Prune buddleia and elder down to 1m or to the base to keep these vigorous shrubs to a reasonable size
• Cut away all the old foliage from epimediums with shears, before the spring flowers start to develop
• Finish winter-pruning fruit trees and soft fruits, including apples, autumn raspberries and blackcurrants

Yellow secateurs


• Remove any faded or yellowing leaves from overwintering plants
• Wash greenhouse glazing inside and out to let in more light
• Sow sweet peas in deep pots and keep them frost-free in a greenhouse and pinch out Autumn-sown sweet peas to encourage side shoots
• Sow summer bedding and tender annuals, including cosmos, lobelia, dahlias, nasturtiums and snapdragons
• Sow tender crops such as tomatoes and chillies in a heated propagator
• Plant dahlia tubers in trays to encourage shoots to develop
• Start planting summer bulbs in pots indoors, including begonias, gloxinias, lilies and agapanthus
• Cut back overwintered fuchsias and start watering them sparingly to encourage new growth