Diggers and Dibblers

The Forncett gardening club, Diggers and Dibblers, is at the heart of village activities. A popular and lively club, it offers a varied programme of specialist speakers and social activities. It was inaugurated in 2006 as a result of recommendations in the Village Plan. Everyone is welcome to meetings to listen to the talk (often accompanied by slides or beautiful plants) and to enjoy a cup of tea with our very friendly members. The club meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month in Forncett St. Mary Village Hall at 7.30 p.m.

For more information see our List of Events, Membership Details and Contact Details.

Forncett Diggers & Dibblers Garden Club show

Written by Su Leavesley.

Click pic for slide show
Photos: Su Leavesley

There was an extra event on Saturday at the annual produce show in the Village Hall: just before the auction of entries, the Club Chairman Sarah House was proud to present the Village Hall committee with a cheque for £900, from the Garden Club's activities this summer. The Village Hall is undergoing renovation and when the Garden Club decided to hold an open garden event in June, the proceeds were promised to the Village Hall to help things along. Much to everyone's surprise, £800 was raised; added to this was another £100 from the refreshment tent. Village Hall committee member Terry Henderson was very pleased to take delivery of the cheque, saying that it would be a great help, in addition to a Big Lottery Grant that had been approved recently. New windows and a coat of paint would be just the beginning.

Earlier in the day, members took as much care as possible making sure that the exhibits conformed to the schedule; a half inch out and the item is disqualified! Alison Walker is shown fiddling with her entry which proved to be slightly too short.

East Ruston Old Vicarage Trip – Tuesday 25th June 2013

Written by Shelia Gale.

Click pic for slide show
Photos: Su Leavesley

A lovely evening of sunshine was just perfect for the Diggers & Dibblers' trip around the Old Vicarage at East Ruston. The beautifully renovated  Bedford 1959 Coach called “Lyn Ann” picked us up at various points in Forncett and an hour later we arrived at the remarkable gardens. A buffet style supper greeted us on arrival and with so much food we were encouraged to take home doggy bags! This 32 Acre coastal garden is truly remarkable with such clever design. Thanks are due to Su Leavesley again for organising a brilliant trip.

Garden Show 2012

Written by Super User.

The Annual Forncett Garden Produce Show proved to be as popular as ever this year. It took place on a September Saturday bathed in such intense sunshine it seemed summer was trying to make late amends for its earlier capriciousness. Summer had moved into the Village Hall too. Trestle tables laden with blooms, flower arrangements and vegetables created banks of colour which surrounded the central displays. A busy hum of voices continued through the afternoon as friends met, examined and discussed the merits of entries and relaxed over refreshments.

When the doors opened at 2.00 p.m., the judges had already concluded their careful reviews and made their final decisions. They had been rewarded with a fine lunch and wine and thanks must go to all kind and generous contributors to this. The judges included two, Terry and Maureen Rands, who were celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary on that day. We were indebted to them for giving up part of such a special day to use their considerable knowledge on our behalf. Terry and Maureen are organic gardeners from Ovington near Watton. Other judges, to each of whom we are very grateful, included: Olive Rouse who judged handcrafts , Pat Reid, the pickles, jellies, chutneys and jams, Heather Jury, the baking and Christine Hewson, who was responsible for flower arrangements.

The various entries represented a great response from the village in all classes. Many were from members of Diggers and Dibblers but some were not. It was a delight to see the boxes of mixed vegetables, many from the allotments which are becoming well established and productive. As usual there was a mix of entries, often unexpected and intriguing, especially in the handcraft section. One lovely entry from Janet Cutting, called ‘The Angel of Cross-stitch’, used every possible colour of thread (300 apparently), and took 6 months to complete. Another was an endearing knitted sailor from H.M.S. Forncett which will be auctioned at a future event. A traditional Parkin recipe was very popular. One entrant confessed he had tried four times before he was satisfied with his effort.

Visitors included two members of the Diss Constabulary, (helping the judges with their enquiries?) who seemed delighted with their refreshments and the Show in general and clearly found us all to be in order. Of course such an event is only possible when a number of people work extremely hard and others are generous with time and resources. Thanks go to all on the Diggers and Dibblers Committee who lent their enthusiasm and time and others, who lent resources, carried heavy objects, swept, washed-up or helped in any way.

D&D Annual Midsummer Outing - Chippenham Park

Written by Claire Jordan.

This year the chosen destination was Chippenham Park, a fine late 19th century neo-Queen Anne country house in the Cambridgeshire countryside near to Newmarket.  The surrounding extensive parkland has plantings reputed to go back 200 to 300 years.  The 350 acre gardens are a mix of the formal and informal and each spring they are carpeted by snowdrops and aconites.  The house is reached by a drive bordered by elegant tulip trees and large limes and the border of the ancient walled garden is 400 metres long and filled with gorgeous blooms.

The members enjoyed wooded lakeside walks, countless beautiful roses and grand vistas, including 'The Grand Canal' one of the references to Italy.  The weather was not clement, but we were all undaunted, eager to enjoy the stunning gardens, which we did with the help of umbrellas and some fine canapes provided by our kind hosts, Mr and Mrs Eustace Crawley. The evening was concluded by a very traditional stop at a transport cafe (our ever thoughtful driver Jon's idea), as we made our picturesque way home in his vintage bus.

Photographs by Clare Aldus - click on a photo to enlarge it