KINGSTON WI: Report of the meeting on June 7. Our meeting started with a report from the treasurer, Carol Taplin, that our finances were in good health helped by good attendances at both Tap Dancing and Pilates. Activities include a walk on June 25 starting at Berwick, those interested to meet at the end of The Street at 9.30am Tap Dancing is on the second and fourth Thursday each month, 7.30pm in the Parish Hall. That venue is the same for Pilates each Tuesday 2pm to 3pm. Book Group is on June 21, 8pm, at Penny Crawley’s house. The Craft Group meets each Friday from 2pm to 4pm at the Pavilion. Outings include a June 27 visit to Driftwood an award winning garden near Newhaven; cost is £7.50 with tea and cakes for £4. Our Membership is currently 44 and members were encouraged to try to recruit more to join our WI. Calendars and diaries are soon to be on sale at a cost of £4.70 each. The Grenfell Blanket made of knitted squares was photographed together with the knitters for the WI website. Members were reminded that Kingston WI is serving tea and home-made cakes at the Pavilion on July 7 for the Downland Run.

Our speaker, Vivienne Macey, is one of several gardeners who maintain the gardens at Glyndebourne Opera House built 20 years ago near Ringmer. She described slides showing different areas such as the orchard, vegetable garden, terraces, herbaceous borders, the greenhouse and the newly erected shade house for overwintering plants. Glyndebourne grows thousands of plants for each season which are grown from scratch and go through three changes of pot to encourage strong growth. The site has five lakes and many unusual trees including five tulip trees that take 10 years to flower. There is also a mulberry tree once thought to feed silk worms, but the wrong type had been chosen. Many unusual plants are cultivated in the large greenhouse; this year 4000 plants were produced; 2000 sweet peas grown up wigwams; and 65 cultivars of sage and salvias. Spring displays of tulips, narcissus and blossom-laden trees are followed by pelargoniums which are pot grown, 200 lilies and many scented perennials. There is also a wild area by the vegetable garden, lots of fruit trees including meddler trees for jam making. There is a rose named Rosa Glyndebourne one of 125 roses in the borders. Rabbits cause some problems but there are few slugs and snails. Visitors can take tours of the gardens and the opera goers can sit in the gardens whilst picnicking before a performance.

Our next meeting is the soiree on July 5 at the earlier time of 6.30pm. (Helen Dudley).