The Sheepwash Sandwich Board is a new group page on Facebook where you can share village information, post your For Sales and Wants, notify the group about lost and found things, ask for and offer help with anything, tell the group members about events and businesses, and so on.
Click here to visit the Sheepwash Sandwich Board group page on Facebook.
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RETIREMENT NOTICE TO ALL THE PATIENTS AT BLAKE HOUSE SURGERY
After 24 years at Blake House Surgery the hour of retirement has arrived and it is with a lot of joy and some sadness I am writing to let you know of my retirement.
However, I will continue to work at Blake House Surgery on a part time basis and be available for appointments 2 days of the week, Tuesday and Thursday.
I leave the Practice in the safe and capable hands of Dr Alan Howlett. Most of you will be familiar with him as he and his trusty dog Pip, have been at the practice for 5 years.
Dr Howlett will continue to provide friendly professional healthcare that combines the traditional values of general practice with evidence based modern medicine
Dr Asad Al-Doori
Saturday, 23 August – that’s the date to pop on your calendars for the 2014 Summer Fete and it’s Bank Holiday weekend! We are making a return to the Jubilee Park this year, so whatever the weather we will be beneath the marquee for all your favourite traditional stalls and games with an extra surprise or two to boot.
This is, of course, the first fete to be held since Jean Jones sadly passed away last year. Jean organised the church fete brilliantly for over 30 years, all the while working so hard fund raising for St Lawrence Church. We are very pleased therefore to hold the fete in memory of Jean and honoured to have the Jones family to open the fete at 2pm.
Proceeds from the fete will be for St Lawrence Church, the village hall and the village shop. In addition, 10% of the funds raised will be given to the League of Friends at Black Torrington surgery, a deserving cause, which is very supportive in our community.
If you have any ideas for new stalls, games or activities for the fete – please get in touch, your suggestions are very welcome and if you would like to help out with the setting up, running a stall or game, your assistance would be much appreciated.
More details of the all fun to be had will be in the next issue of the Chronicle.
We’re looking forward to it already!
Enquiries: 231425 firstname.lastname@example.org
What to write about at this time of year and with this appalling weather? The ground is too wet to do any digging, or even to walk on your borders to clear the dead growth from last year to tidy them up for Spring. So, I think my thoughts for this issue are going to be fairly brief! Phew, you say, thank goodness, methinks he normally doth protest too much!
Anyway, I’ll get a bit in. I know I’ve mentioned it before, and without meaning to bore everyone, but apple and pear trees should be pruned, and also Japanese maples, as these will bleed if pruned once they start to grow, as will grape vines – they can bleed to death if pruned too late in the year. Autumn fruiting raspberries can be cut back to ground level. All of this should only be undertaken if you can do it standing on a lawn or a hard surface, like a plank, so as not to compact the saturated soil.
Vegetable gardening is basically a “no-no” at the moment, though I’ve bought my shallots and red onion sets for planting as soon as possible, and I’ve also got some early crop seed potatoes, which I’ve set out in egg trays to chit. They need to be in the light, in a frost free place, to develop good strong buds ready to spring into growth and produce a wealth of lovely small, waxy delicious spuds – dream on for early Summer!
One crop that is growing is my garlic. I planted the cloves in November and I’ve got some more to plant asap! We are just now using our final cloves of garlic from last year’s crop, and they’re still delicious.
There’s obviously nothing to report on the hedgehog front, and I can’t say that the dogs have done anything exciting recently, so with all that in mind it’s TTFN.
February (Winter) 2014
Despite the extremely dry weather, crops have produced. We are lifting acceptable roots of potatoes and picking the peas, which, although initially covered in flat pods, have managed to fill out. I don’t know how many pounds we’ve picked and frozen, but if you don’t get them quickly they will go tough and unpleasant. The next crop is the broad beans, shallots and garlic having already been lifted and spread out to dry before storing.
Enough of vegetables, except to say, watch out for blight in your potatoes and cabbage white butterflies on the greens – look out for the tell tale cluster of orange eggs on the underside of leaves and rub them off, but don’t delay – they hatch into voracious caterpillars in no time and can thin your crops! Keep watering the runner beans and mist their flowers to help pollination and bean set.
The flower garden should now be in full swing and dead heading of all flowering plants will help to keep them flowering, as will constant picking of sweet peas. Water as and where necessary, and certainly water pots and baskets of summer bedding every day and feed once a week.
What more can I say? ‘Tis the time to enjoy the garden before the work starts again for winter preparation for spring sowing. How the year goes by!
Here we are, all on tenterhooks, hoping that the weather is actually improving and that which we have sown we shall duly reap! But it all seems a bit slow and vegetable crops are certainly slow at coming forward – but they will catch up. It’s just that what you would normally (though what is normal?) be doing now will be done in a few weeks time.
Hopefully, your peas, broad beans and potatoes are now all thrusting through the soil, ready to produce a bountiful harvest. I think one of the finest meals is boiling bacon with freshly dug new potatoes, freshly picked broad beans and fresh parsley sauce – a summer feast – I shall be looking forward to that!
Plants that you can be getting on with now are courgettes, marrows (these will need frequent applications of feed to produce good yields), and sweet corn. Sow sweet corn in a block, not a row, as it’s wind pollinated – pollination will take place in a block, whereas in a row it won’t.
Salad crops can be sown in short rows at about fortnightly intervals to give successional cropping.
Runner beans should be sown now, as should French beans, but do erect the canes or poles for these before sowing. Tomatoes and cucumbers can be set out in the greenhouse, but wait until next month to try outdoor tomatoes.
The blossom on apple trees is amazing this year – I just hope there are enough bees about to pollinate, as they seem very few on the ground. Which makes me wonder how well the swallows and martins are doing with so few insects for them to feed on. But I digress. Back to gardening.
Spring flowering bulbs should be deadheaded and given a good feed to encourage the bulb to develop well for next year. Don’t tie up or cut back the foliage until it has naturally died back to allow the plant to store up reserves for next year.
Once spring flowering plants, like polyanthus, have finished flowering they can be lifted, split and planted out in a shady situation to grow on for replanting where you want them in the autumn.
Plant out sweet peas on the frames you want them to grow up. I know this probably sounds a bit late, but as I said earlier, this year is somewhat backward. You should nip out the centre growing tip of sweet peas, as this encourages strong lateral buds to develop, which grow better.
Supports for perennial plants, such as delphiniums, oriental poppies and lupins, should be done now so that as they grow they hide the support.
And so to summer bedding. The choice is vast and I’m not going to make any recommendations. All I’ll say is, don’t rush to plant them out (we can still get some cold nights), but when you do, regular feeding once a week will give a good result. Hanging baskets need watering every day – but here I’m probably teaching granny to suck eggs, as they say!
There’s lots more I should write about, I’m sure, but memory starts to slip with age, so that’s it, folks. Except to say that our hedgehog is back and active, the swallows have looked at their nest under the tallet but have rejected it, but the martins have built and are using a nest right next to our bedroom window, so the need for an alarm clock has been superceded by their very early morning twittering – and I don’t mean computer usage!
June 2013 (Summer issue)