Grayshott Gardeners started off 2021 with our very own Flower Count. Our members wandered round their gardens on New Year’s Day and counted all the different flowers they could find, where flowers were fully open, and not just in bud.
The results surprised us all. There were a grand total of 66 different plant species in flower, all in Grayshott gardens in January. Some flowers were obvious for all to see, some needed more detective work to spot. Some were hanging on from last season, whilst some were braving the icy temperatures to start this year’s display. But all brought a smile to our faces, not least of which the Hebe ‘Midsummer Beauty’, which is clearly one very confused plant.
The full list (English and Latin names) is below:
So why don’t you have a look round your garden and start flower hunting? There may be more happening out there than you think.
Our Zoom lecturer for January was David Hurrion, who came highly recommended after his interesting “World Tour” talk for Grayshott Gardeners in March 2020, our last lecture in the Village Hall. Conforming to Covid restrictions, he did not stray far from home this time, but offered a handy, practical and timely guide on the art of pruning to our Zoom audience of 80+ participants.
As well as writing, lecturing, editing, designing and judging (RHS Shows), David is also an excellent teacher: he managed to pin down the practice of pruning to two rules of thumb: hard pruning at the end of the dormant season for late spring and summer flowering plants, and summer pruning (to remove spent flowers) for everything else. Fortunately he did not leave it at that, there were plenty of examples, illustrated with photos, and a few exceptions to the rules too.
David went on to explain various techniques in order to achieve a specific purpose, whether to correct the shape of a plant, to encourage larger or more flowers or fruit, to extend a plant’s life, or to control pests and diseases, and more. A diagram of the effect of different hormones (sap) rising in the plant’s stem, and the result of clipping or lopping at different areas of the stem was especially illuminating, as was the difference between leaf and flower buds.
To complete his pruning lecture, David demonstrated the different types of secateurs and loppers, not forgetting how to keep them clean, and he ended his talk with a bonus tip: he had it on good authority that we can expect very cold and frosty weather over the next 2 weeks. You have been warned!
David has a website at www.davidhurrion.com as well as a YouTube channel with topical tips for 2021.
Happy New Year to you all and welcome to our first 2021 Grayshott Gardeners newsletter. You will now be turning your mind to ways to enjoy, protect and improve your gardens, and getting ready for a whole year of gardening pleasure and enjoyment. Below are a few ideas for the less seasoned gardeners amongst us.
We very much hope we’ll be able to resume our in-person meetings soon but, until then, stay safe and we’ll continue ZOOMing and keep you posted via the newsletter! Happy gardening.
WHAT TO DO IN THE GARDEN IN JANUARY
Jobs in the garden this month are mostly about keeping things trim and tidy, and getting ready for the year to come. If you’re itching to get growing, there are a few things you can do besides the obvious planting bare root roses, chitting first early spuds and starting off your sweet peas. There are lots of gardening magazines and websites advising what to do. Here’s what Thompson-Morgan say:
– Put your new-year enthusiasm to good use by cleaning pots, tools, water butts and greenhouses in preparation for spring. It’s not the most glamorous of tasks, but it will set you up for a great growing season.
– Start planning what you want to do with your garden in the months to come. Order seeds and plants now from the comfort of your armchair.
– Check your winter protection is still working for you – survey any stakes, supports and ties that might have been damaged in bad weather.
– Continue looking after wildlife – put out food for hungry birds and continue to leave some areas of your garden uncut for shelter until the spring.
NEW YEAR’S DAY FLOWER COUNT
We thought it might be fun to start 2021 with a Grayshott Gardeners New Year’s Day Flower Count.
The idea is that you wander round your garden on New Year’s Day (or the nearest date you can get to that if the weather is rubbish) and count all the different flowers you can find. Flowers must be fully open – not just in bud. You’ll probably be surprised by just how much is out there if you get out and have a good look. You can include any flower you find – which might be things you have planted or things that have arrived by themselves (aka weeds).
Make a note of their names (latin or otherwise!) and email your results to Sue, our Programme Coordinator (you can even include pictures if you want to). It’s not a competition – just a bit of fun.
We will put them all together to show just how much Flower Power there is in a Grayshott January. Watch out for the results in our next newsletter and on our website.
JANUARY 2021 MEETING
Our next virtual meeting is on Wednesday 13th January 2021 at 8.00pm, when David Hurrion will give us his ‘Essential Guide to Pruning’. David, gardening consultant and horticultural journalist, has been growing plants for over 40 years. He is an Associate Editor for ‘BBC Gardeners World Magazine’ and is a regular contributor and expert commentator on TV and radio. We hope that the evening will give us some useful tips and reminders, as we all sharpen our secateurs ready for spring.
Please contact Helen Deighan for information on how to register for this lecture. Details automatically will be sent to all those members who registered for the October and December 2020 lectures.
CAN YOU BE OUR NEXT TREASURER?
Following the virtual AGM in November 2020, Dennis has indicated that he will not be seeking re-election as Club Treasurer at the next AGM in November 2021. Dennis has been Treasurer since December 2013 and feels it is time for someone else to have a go! Should any of the Members wish to be considered for the role as Treasurer please contact Anne (W) or Dennis who can explain what the responsibilities and role entail.
MEMBERSHIP CARDS AND DISCOUNT OFFERS AT LOCAL OUTLETS
Please note that the discount offer from Squires Garden Centres at Milford and Frensham is not printed on the back of the Membership Card – a full list of suppliers is in the 2021 Handbook. Please enjoy a discount at these venues.
WHAT IS IT? Results for No. 1 & Photo for No. 2
Thank you to all of you who had a go at our first ‘What is It’ photographic quiz last month. It drew some interesting responses, including ‘Cordyline Australis’ and ‘Hosta’. The honours however, go to Helen Deighan and Karen Cozens, both of whom correctly identified the leaf of a ‘Phormium’. That said, the ‘top honour’ has to go to John Baker and June Colley, who identified, with uncanny accuracy, the genus, species, sub-species and variety down to the last vowel, consonant and inverted comma as:
Phormium cookianum, sub sp. hookeri ‘Cream Delight’.
Not even Gordon is certain it is ‘Cream Delight’ and it is growing in his garden!
Photo no. 1: Phormium
And here is photo no. 2:
If you think you know what it is, please e-mail Gordon Rae by 15 January 2021.
We will provide the answer and the names of those who correctly identified the photo in our February newsletter.
ZOOM LECTURES & CATCH-UP FACILITY
Grayshott Gardeners now have had two ZOOM lectures with a third coming very soon. We all know that they are not the same as having a live lecture in the Village Hall, with our social gatherings and plants for sale, but they are the next best thing under the circumstances. So far, we have 81 members registered for GG ZOOM lectures, which is great. We would like to get members’ views on the ZOOM lectures. More particularly we would like to receive any ideas you may have on how to improve them.
We also would really welcome your comments on the ‘Catch-Up’ facility. We were very fortunate that Adam Pasco, who gave us a brilliant lecture in December, kindly recorded it for us. We sent out the link to you soon after the lecture. This gave any Grayshott Gardener that could not make it on the night the chance to see what they missed. Or, to give those who joined us on the evening, the opportunity to watch it again (Adam ran through rather a lot of plant names!). As with ‘Catch-Up’ TV, we could even fast forward through bits if we wanted to. At the time of writing, the video has had 36 views. So, please tell us what you think about this ‘Catch-Up’ arrangement. While it will not necessarily be available at all virtual lectures, as it will be at the discretion of each speaker, we would be interested to know your thoughts to inform future plans for Grayshott Gardeners. And remember, a summary of each lecture is always posted on our website.
Please send your comments and ideas about the ZOOM lectures and the ‘Catch-Up’ facility to Helen Deighan, Sue Wheeler, Anne Butler, John Price or Gordon Rae and your ‘ZOOM’ team will try to deal with them.
ANNUAL SALE OF SNOWDROPS
As you have heard Gordon say before ‘Every garden in Grayshott should grow a Galanthus’.
There now are 120 snowdrops potted up in his and Judith’s garden ready for sale to Grayshott Gardeners’ members. This year there are about 20 different named varieties with 6 bulbs of each one. Most would cost about £5 – £12 per bulb, but there are 5 varieties listed in catalogues at £20 – £30 per bulb.
To raise funds for Grayshott Gardeners, we would like to sell these at £3 per pot or 4 pots for £10 for 15 of the varieties. For the 5 less common varieties, they are £5 per pot or £27 for 6 pots. Some will still be in bud, rather than in flower.
For several years, the snowdrops have been sold at our lectures in the Village Hall from December through to February. As we are unable to do that this year, we will have a different sale.
The snowdrops will be available to buy from the garage of Gordon and Judith Rae on Saturday and Sunday, 6 & 7 February 2021 from 10am until 12 noon on each day (weather permitting!).
You will be free to go into the garden to see the snowdrops which are in flower at that time (COVID restrictions permitting).
Please do help us to sell the snowdrops. Gordon and Judith do not wish to keep them for another year.
SPRING & SUMMER SHOWS 2021
As we were unable to hold either the Spring or Summer Shows in 2020, we did not have our usual Photographic Class in each show.
In the Grayshott Gardeners Handbook for 2021, you will find the two themes which have been carried forward from 2020. They are:
Spring Show: “It Looks Like Spring”
Summer Show: “A Cosy Corner”
Assuming the two shows can take place, the photographs will be judged by the members at each show. If, heaven forbid, we are unable to hold our shows, the Photographic Class still will go ahead.
Members will be invited to send their photos, by e-mail, on the given theme to Gordon Rae. Judging will be carried out by an external judge. There will be the usual prize of £20 for the winner of each theme.
So, please start taking photographs as soon as you wish, and we will decide how they will be entered and judged in due course. The closing dates for entries, if we are unable to hold our shows, will be announced later.
Please don’t forget that a little humour in the photos will be much appreciated!
This is ‘Bottoms Up’ – the photo taken by Doris Marjoram and winner of our 2020 virtual photographic competition – well done Doris.
GRAYSHOTT GARDENERS WEBSITE
Don’t forget we have a website which is regularly maintained by Anke and is an enjoyable browsing destination.
The write-ups of our lectures are particularly good and they, together with our photo gallery, have some amazing pictures. They serve as a great reminder of the beauty of all things gardening.
Please find attached our second Grayshott Gardeners themed crossword puzzle.
This is much more legible than the one in the December newsletter – so it should be easier on the eyes! We know there is one misspelling in our answer to clue 5 across – the last ‘i’ is missing – sorry; whilst we may have improved the clarity, we have yet to master the new software, so any typos in the early drafts can easily be made – we are not quite there yet! Please look out for the answers in the February newsletter.
Attached to this newsletter are the answers to the ‘November’ crossword puzzle which featured in our December 2020 newsletter.