Ray’s credentials – Wisley, 12 years at Sparsholt, teaching for 38 years – are impressive, so when he helpfully listed gardening jobs for the days ahead, all plans for short breaks were cancelled. Joking apart, this (his 250th!) lecture was packed full with tips and advice, as well the latest findings and opinions on new products such as tools and fertilisers. All researched, improved or evaluated in years of practice by Ray (or his students).
The range of jobs, sorry tips, was breath-taking and Ray took us through them at a brisk pace, with slides presenting a helpful illustrative backup, from a gruesome tomato-ketchup soaked sawblade (softwood type preferred), to Dutch rolls (hardwood propagation) and nutro parcels (feeding hedges), via a highway for moles crossing an immaculate green and flat lawn (thanks to sulphate of iron).
Ray still managed to find time to answer some questions from the audience before ending his very useful and timely talk to Grayshott Gardeners.
Our Annual General Meeting will be held on the third Wednesday in November (21st) at 8 p.m. in the Village Hall. A printable copy of the Agenda can be found here, and the 2017 Minutes (for approval at the 2018 AGM) are listed under the Committee tab.
We are thrilled to announce that the Snow Cup, the annual flower arranging competition open to local horticultural societies which was hosted by Headley at their Autumn Show on Saturday, was won by Grayshott Gardeners, with Telford in second place and Headley coming third. It is the first time GG have won since 1995! Well done to Gill Purkiss for her imagination, ability to be creative and for arranging everything so well, with help from Suzi Gordon.
The A272 runs through some of the most beautiful and historical landscapes in the country, the only road which has a book written about it (A272 – An Ode to a Road by Pieter Boogaart). Lucky for Grayshott Gardeners then, that the destination on this sunny September Sunday was Sussex Prairie Garden in East Sussex.
Inspired by Piet Oudolf, owners Paul and Pauline McBride designed their eight acres garden as a series of interlocking areas of large planted borders in a naturalistic style, with tracks through the plantings for visitors to get up close to the flowers, shrubs and grasses. The Prairie Garden was planted in May 2008 in the shape of a nautilus shell, which allows for contrasting leaf forms, stems, stalks, flower shapes and textures. The colours, at their best in late summer, are muted and harmonise beautifully together.
This was a rare opportunity to view a garden in a style which, as suggested on Gardeners Question Time recently, only requires two days of maintenance a year – one to add compost for feeding the plants, and another to scythe off the flower heads. Yet it still manages to look beautiful, as the pictures show.
A range of ‘prairie plants’ were available from the nursery, and an added bonus was the sale of rare plants held on this day, making for a greater number of visitors than is normally the case.