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Gardening Interest Group - Plant swap (or plants for a small donation)
tomato plant Saturday 18th May 2019 : 10.30am to 12.00 noon
Our annual plant swap or plants for a small donation will be on Saturday 18th May from 10.30a, to 12.00 noon in the rear garden of 118 St Stephen's Road. All plants and people are welcome.
As always there will be an opportunity for friendly conversation about gardens and to share your gardening troubles. No prior knowledge of gardening required - our philosophy is to share ideas. Tea, coffee and cake are also available.
If you have any spare plants please bring them along - you can swop for other plants. Alternatively make a small donation for some fantastic additions to your garden.
All our welcome and the event will go ahead whatever the weather.
- Jenny Robson and Sue Herivel
St Stephen’s Churchyard Development : Open Forum
church Tuesday 2nd July 2019 : 7.00 – 9.00pm St Stephen’s Church Hall
The parish priest, churchwardens and PCC of St Stephen’s Church would like to improve the accessibility of the churchyard as a place of quiet enjoyment for local residents and visitors and as a haven for wildlife. They would like to invite you to a meeting at which an ecological survey of the area will be presented and there will be a chance to suggest and discuss ways to develop this community resource.
Agenda :
19.00 : Registration and Refreshments
19.30 : Welcome and outline of the thinking behind the project, Presentation of the findings of the ecological survey, Some options to enhance the churchyard, Discussion of these and other suggestions, Consideration of possible sources of funding and logistical help to create and maintain the improvements desired.
RSVP to Peter Toon, or by phone to 01227 45199.
Summer Social Event AND Pop Master!
art Sunday 14th July

Save the Date ! Members of the Association have planned a summer garden party for members with the additional attraction of prizes for any Pop Masters living in St. Stephen’s.
Participation is not compulsory but you may wish to test your musical knowledge against your neighbours….
The rest of us can watch and learn! More details nearer the date.
[For those not in the know, listen to Ken Bruce on Radio 2 from 10.30 am.]
River Dipping in Kingsmead Field
dipping Twenty children and their families took part in a very successful river dipping activity in Kingsmead Field on Saturday 29th September. The event was led by Lauren Baker, 'Our Stour' officer (below left) who supplied essential equipment and helped children to identify the creatures that they caught. The children used magnifying lenses to examine their catches which included water shrimps, a variety of snails and a Greater Water Boatman beetle (shown in the picture below right) before tipping them back into the river. Thanks to the Friends of Kingsmead Field who helped to advertise and organize the event, which was so successful that we hope to repeat it in the Spring.
Open Gardens Day 2018

tomatoes The Residents’ Association held its very successful second Open Gardens Day on June 24th when fourteen members’ gardens were open to visitors. It was a gloriously hot day and having tea and cake in Jenny’s garden rounded off a memorable afternoon. Quite apart from the beauty of the gardens, there was wine tasting and the opportunity to talk to passionate gardeners about plants, shrubs and topiary. A magnificent yurt in one garden transported visitors to the exotic East and there was a pirate ship in a tree, a bar in another garden, a suspected haha, one garden where the owner had labelled shrubs and flowers, a tranquility garden, a secret walled garden and many other intriguing glimpses into areas that we never normally have the chance to explore.

Thanks are due to the generosity of those who opened their gardens and to our visitors. We raised £675 which we shared between the League of Friends of Kent and Canterbury Hospital, the Pilgrims’ Hospice and the Samaritans. Below you can see a selection of images from the day.

open gardens 2018
Visit to Bus Company Island
What is Bus Company Island ?
For those of you who don’t know, it is a piece of land situated between The Causeway and Kingsmead School Field, and the two rivers. The only permanent access is via the bridge behind Dennes Mill retirement flats. The reason for the unusual name is that it was once owned by the local East Kent Bus Company and was purchased from them by the City Council some years ago, to be kept as a nature reserve. There is a pond containing great-crested newts, but it also provides a habitat for reptiles such as grass snakes and slow worms.

When the council first acquired the site, there was a great deal of interest, both by the council’s environmental department and the Residents’ Association. The council was responsible for maintenance, while the RA planted wild flowers etc. Unfortunately, council cuts have meant that they no longer provide maintenance which is now carried out by a group of volunteers from Friends of the River Stour who cut back the vegetation twice a year. The RA is still involved as we have two members who are key holders and who carry out regular checks for vandalism and damage. We recently had our members’ visit after the Friends of the Riverside completed their spring maintenance work, below you can see some pictures taken during our visit.
bus company island