Monthly Archives: April 2018

Grayshott Gardeners Spring Show 2018

The Grayshott Gardeners Spring Show on Saturday proved a huge success with 234 exhibits, and 138 gardening fans (74 members and 64 visitors) despite the preceding cold weather. A full report, including a results list, is published on the Shows pages, and a selection of photographs taken by committee member John Price can be seen on the photo gallery page. Also on the committee is Helen Deighan, who has submitted a report and photographs to the Haslemere Herald, the Messenger and the Surrey and Hants News.

You will find a link to the Summer Show Schedule on the Shows page. This Schedule will be shown in full on the Shows page in good time, so there will be no excuse not to start planning and preparing now for the Summer Show on 7th July!

Karen Flood and her many helpers are busy collecting together a fresh supply of quality and unusual plants for the Annual Plant Sale on 5th May, when eager customers will be queueing up to be first through the doors at 10 am.

Steve Bradley zooms in on Summer in the Garden

With 22 years of teaching horticulture, and 40+ practical gardening books under his belt, Steve, or ‘Brad’ as he is known,  was never going to serve us up a long and lazy Summer. Instead, he provided us with a wide range of techniques and skills to make the most of summer-flowering plants, as well as fruit and vegetables, by preparing at the right time, and working with the plants, using their inbuilt defence systems and intrinsic growth and/or fruiting promotors.

Steve Bradley, ‘Brad’, at Keukenhof, Holland, 2017

Steve punctuated his talk with anecdotes, some relating to his collaboration with Peter Seabrook, and offered many  tips and techniques, always explaining the why and wherefores. Pelargonium cuttings, for instance, should be taken in Summer, when the plant hormones are active, rather than wait till Autumn.  An avid reader and collector of Victorian gardening books, he revealed that 19th C gardeners used to leave their cuttings briefly in a shady spot in the greenhouse over lunch, as the cut would seal itself and the plantlet’s hormones would flow to the wound and promote root formation – no rooting powder or gel required!

Steve’s eminently practical advice touched on bulbs, seed propagation, pruning, lawn aeration and watering, including getting children to eat fruit, and was illustrated by a series of enjoyable and clear slides. He finished by answering  some questions from the audience, who had turned out in large numbers to hear the gardening correspondent of The Sun. Although too late perhaps for the Spring Show on Saturday 14th April, we may expect even better than usual results for the Summer Show if we follow Brad’s suggestions!

Steve answering questions with his wife Val at the Loseley Show 2017