Lodders March 2018
The annual trip to Lodders in Holland was from 12th March to 15th March.
Four members met at the home of Shirley, in spite of the police presence on the other side of the road.
We loaded the bags into the nine seater and left to pick up the last passenger Paul in Bulford.
It was dry when we left and not cold, but it did rain on and off as we went onto the A303 and then joined the M3.
There was a warning light came on on the dasboard which we deduced to be the Ad Blue warning light. We were stopping for diesel and had to get some Ad Blue as well.
We did not stop at the Fleet services, but continued to Clackets Lane. After a quick stop, we proceeded to Dover and were able to get the 02.05 ferry. The ferry was almost empty, we left a few minutes early.
Clocks changed half way across and after a meal we landed and proceeded towards our destination., It was at times raining quite hard but we still made good time.
After another break we arrived at Lodders at just on 11am.
It was cold and wet but Gerrit greated us warmly. We dived into the greenhouses and started to examine the trees.
I found a couple that I might have and Clive K found one as well. The rest were picking up all sorts. I wanted some pots so I went up the stairs to see what I could find. I had remembered a tape measure but they did have one I could have
We left Lodders and made our way to the hotel and about 3.30pm., as ww were getting very tired. I did lay down but only dozed.
We agreed to meet in the bar at about 7pm., and then went to the Chinese restraunt next door.
The meal was excellent, and after we went back to the bar, Gradually, bodies retired to bed one by one, until the two Clives were left alone.
Next morning after breakfast we made our way back to Lodders and continued to select or change what we had picked. It was dry and sunny and quite warm.
I had found a nice Pyracantha and also a small Hornbeam, but Clive talked himself into a nice Hornbeam that costa bit. I won't say how much but it was quite a lot.
In the afternoon we went to a garden centre for a look around with some bits bought.
That night we went to the Chinese again, and had another good meal, and back at the bar the talk was mainly about electric cars. Again, one by one bodies fell off the perches, and I finally gave up at about 11.40pm., The same two were left although I did hear the next day that Grahame having gone to bed discovered that he had left his phone and had to go down to get it to find the two Clives still there.
Thursday morning after breakfast and a walk arount the town, we went to Lodders to pack the boxes. We left at about 11am., and had an uneventful drive with two stops making it to Dunkirque with time to spare so went to the hypermarket.
Wine and cheese and other things were bought and after
a drink we continued to Calais. After a grilling by both French and British border we were just too late for one ferry and had to wait 1.5 hours for the 6.50pm.
This ferry was full, but we had a good crossing. Filling with deisel at Dover we continued on. I won't mention taking the wrong road or crossing the hatched area, but no harm. Stopped at Cobham services for a drink, we saw that the M3 was closed from junction 7 to 9. We needed 7. The diversion was slow, but kept going.
Having dropped off Paul we arrived in Salisbury at about 11pm. The van was unpacked in double quick time and we went on our various ways.
I got to Motcombe at 12.15am. The trees stayed in the car until the morning.
It was my second trip there and hopfully, will not be the last. Great time was had by all with some good trees bought.
Tropical Bonsai Amelia Williams.
This month was a talk by Amelia. Her passion is for tropical species for bonsai and in particular Ficus.
Amelia talked through the various species of Ficus that are suitable for bonsai, starting with the first one she bought over ten years ago. Defoliation is one of the main ways of styling and maintaining th species.
Tere are over 800 species of Ficus but not many are suitable for bonsai. Amelia also talked about the other species that are suitable. These can include Sagarettia and Fuchsia and Bouganvillea. Chinese Elm also.
It was an interestinng and informative talk covering soils and pests as well as position for keeping them.
Pictures from Paul Baron