After a year of crafting by zoom, we finally met each other,  many of us meeting in person for the first time.   The sun shone, conversation flowed and plans were made for the upcoming year.

The main comment we how wonderful to do something “nearly normal!”





OPEN DAY 2021 was, like most of the year, not as planned due to COVID 19 restrictions. Instead of meeting inside, with a range of stalls and presentations from group leaders, we met outside distributing flyers and brochures.

It was a really successful morning as we were able to engage with lots of possible new members as well as  meet people we haven’t seen for ages.

Mike Andrews our Town Crier  added to the occasion with his verse 

             Oyez Oyez Oyez

             We’re launching the brochure of your U3A.

             for Education, Exercise and Fun,

             There’s something here for Everyone

             So take a leaflet now, please do,

             And find a group, just made for you.

             God save the Queen

Well done everyone,




When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

The batteries were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married.  They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

When you’ve seen one shopping centre you’ve seen a mall.

Police were summoned to a day-care centre where a three-year-old was resisting a  rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully    recovered.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.  That’s the point of it.

Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

To the pharmacist….. Have you got something for a headache?

Do you want to start one or stop one?




Well, that has to have been the worst spring in my 30 years of gardening – a record dry and cold April, floods and hail at the beginning of May, and now very strong winds in mid May. Several of my plants have lost their flowers/buds, and a few plants have been lost completely, but there have still been some highlights. My wisteria looked great (until the gales!!), my potatoes are thriving, and – with the delayed flowering of many plants due to the weather, it looks like it is going to be a bumper and very colourful early summer.

But actually this week, I haven’t been gardening as much as normal. Taking advantage of the relaxation of COVID restrictions, I had a few days in Devon/Cornwall, including looking at some gardens.

The first was RHS Rosemoor. Most famous for a fantastic rose display, which hadn’t started flowering yet, there were still a couple of excellent displays. The first is in photo 1, and is the Potager Garden. This was a movement started in France, whereby fruits and vegetables were planted as a display, not just as a kitchen garden, and looked great.

The second shown in photo 2, was a lovely spring riverside display, showing candelabra primroses, camassias, irises, persicaria and ferns.

The following day I was at the Eden Project, and spent a lot of time in the Mediterranean and Rainforest biodomes. Photo 3 shows the rainforest biodome, photo 4 some anthurium, photo 5 some proteas from South Africa (my favourite plant), and photo 6 some kangaroo paw.

Once back in soggy and windy Ferndown, I have now started sowing seeds for sunflowers, cobaea scandens, Spanish flag, morning glory, sweet peas as well as several varieties of dwarf French beans. There is still lots of summer bedding plants to be planted out in various tubs and baskets, and of course preparing for the next Greenfingers meeting on Wed/Thurs. Lots to do!!

Happy gardening!!





Well, I am sure everyone is delighted that, after a very cold and dry spring, the weather has turned so that we finally no longer have below-zero nights. This of course means that we can start putting out all the plants from the greenhouse.

Photo 1 shows some outdoor cordon tomatoes, which are already 3 feet high. One point about tomatoes is blight (tomato and potato blight are the same thing). If you go to Blightwatch on the internet, you can register (absolutely free) with your postcode. You will then get email updates as to when blight is likely in your area. Blight is an airborne disease, usually coming from the west, so just close your greenhouse, or cover your tomatoes/potatoes with fleece.

Next out of the greenhouse were the lettuce, rocket etc, shown in photo 2.

Now with the flowers in the many tubs and flowerbeds, there is a slight problem. Because of the cold weather, some tulips and even daffodils have been holding on to their blooms. Normally by now they would all have died down, and you could be taking off the foliage, leaving the bulbs in the ground for next year. However, I am having to take off the foliage before all the goodness has gone back into the bulb, to make way for all the new summer annuals and perennials. I therefore suspect that next spring’s showings of the daffodils and tulips wont be as spectacular, so I will need to put in more spring bulbs this autumn.

Today is the first day of the latest relaxation of COVID restrictions, where up to 6 people can meet indoors, but please do take things carefully and slowly. However, outdoor activities are much safer, so last week Paula and I took a trip to Exbury Gardens, near Beaulieu. Exbury is noted for its rhododendrons, azaleas, acers and camelias (it has very acid soil), and they are looking spectacular at the moment, as seen in photo 3. They will remain spectacular for the next 3 weeks or so, and if you are looking for a nice garden to visit, now is the best time to visit Exbury.

Linda Withrington and Rita Gibson won the gardening prize last year during lockdown, for the maximum flowers and shrubs seen on their daily walks. Would you both like to claim your prize with a trip to Exbury? I am free after this week.

Happy gardening, it is a busy time trying to catch up.