I was looking forward to writing this newsletter a week ago and, with covid infections on a steep decline, I was determined to be positive. I am sure, like me, what is happening in Ukraine has really changed the mood in Britain. The video clips seen daily on our TVs portray images that I hoped I would never see in one of our European neighbours. I find the suffering that the Ukrainian people are going through is most distressing. At the time of writing this I cannot see Russia under the leadership of Putin ending this violent attack on democracy and the people of Ukraine.
It was so good to see so many of you at our meeting on 23rd March. Our guest speaker, Dr Henry Oakeley, gave a wonderful account of his explorations in Peru. His 28 trips to Peru gave us an insight into those parts of the country that he traversed in his search for orchids – certainly parts that were far off the beaten tourist track! This month our speaker brings us back down to earth literally with a talk on “ Gardening in a modern environment” on Wednesday 30th March. One of the biggest growth industries over the last 30 years has been that of garden centres and now supermarkets are getting in on the act with the sale of bedding and pot plants. Certainly during lockdown I know that many of you found getting into the garden your way to escape from the worries of coronavirus. New houses being built have much smaller gardens so I am looking forward to hearing John Allbut on the challenges that budding gardeners will have in trying to get the best out of their smaller garden spaces.