Netherfield news
Netherfield news

ST JOHNS CHURCH: The service at St Johns Church, Netherfield, on Sunday July 31, is at 10am. There will be a Baptism combined with a Book of Common Prayer service and everyone will be made welcome.

For many years Jean Holland from Brightling has been our church organist and now that she is nearing retirement, a replacement for her is needed. So if anyone can play our organ once a month, or indeed piano, as we have one of those too, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Reverend Anne-Marie Crosse at Brightling Vicarage 01424 838504. Thank you, Gillian Slack, Secretary, PCC.

REFLECTIONS ON A GARDEN: Despite my early protestations of a passing season, the summer, it does still seem to be holding on by its fingertips. In our part of the world the sun has continued to shine through the cumulonimbus, which because of its height, has not deigned to shed the rain it stores in its fibrous infusion. Now we have cracks appearing in what was once a soggy mess. With a garden underpinned by a thick layer of clay, I begin to wonder what the world is coming to. The red and white lilies are still continuing to grace the confines of our pond and their leaves are the perfect resting place for the profusion of mayflies or shadflies as they are also known. They are aquatic insects belonging to an ancient group known as Ephemeroptera. They have an extremely short life (a couple of days at most) and are there during the summer months to enact the process of procreating next year’s crop as fast as they can. What you can learn reading the Battle Observer. Whilst there are many varieties of these colourful insects the ones in our garden tend to be blue and pink.It is also the time of year when the herbs begin to grace the garden with their flowers. Yellows, reds, purples, pinks and a host of other colours and hues attract the bees, butterflies and other assorted flying wonders as they seek out the pollen and nectar, which flavour their honey and support their relatively short lives. The evening primrose stretches towards the heavens as it continues its relentless pursuit to make each dusky viewing a profusion of delicate tissue blooms. It seems strange to think that this same plant goes into so many beauty products.

Our hops are looking decidedly scruffy now. On the male plant the vibrant yellow leaves are now looking dark brown, almost terminal. The stems arising from the base are now seen as the hairy octopus-like tentacles that were growing at a rate of about a foot a day at the start of the season. It is either happy where it is or a rampant thug. I am not sure which but at the rate it grows each year, it is probably the latter.

The Crocosmia Lucifer is beginning to fade as I write this blog. It has graced the area we call Gracelands. By that comment you can determine that either my wife or I are Elvis fans. Well we both are. Elvis must have liked his garden too as he sang about Petunia, the gardener’s daughter in his film Frankie and Johnny and the gardens in the real Gracelands are spectacular. However, I digress. With lucifer on the wane we now have Crocosmia Montbretia lighting up the garden. A shade of orange which may not be as colourful as the red of lucifer but it is still spectacular.

More next week....

CONTACT: If you have any stories or articles of interest that will give our readership a reason to buy the paper please contact me on 07957588172 or via email at

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