All posts by Sue Wheeler

Planting Pots for Winter Interest and Spring Joy, by Harriet Rycroft

In her enlightening and humorous talk Harriet brought a completely new and exciting dimension to planting pots and showed us the wonderful results that can be achieved.  She emphasised the importance of planning and writing everything down for ongoing reference, showing us her much treasured and much thumbed planning notebook!  Planting in groups for impact, thinking about foliage, form, texture and height, shapes and sizes, blending foliage with flowers and considering the time of blooming of each plant for continuous flowering over a long period. The idea of layering is a great way to maximise the flowering period from pots. Harriet has over 600 pots covering the wall by her back door, with tall shrubs with interesting foliage and structure at the back and smaller pots in the front planted with a wide variety of tulips, narcissi, muscari, crocus, pansies. She suggested using interesting evergreen plants such as black mungo grass, a mixture of grass carex which look lovely during the winter with frost and dew on them and then in the spring allowing narcissi and tulips to grow through them. When there is snow on plants don’t brush it off as it hurts the leaves and shoots, and the melted snow gives nitrogen which is good for plants. 

Planting pots for Spring flowering should be done in October/November and left to sleep over the winter.  Make sure you place pots where you can see them, by the house, driveway, terrace rather than way down the garden!  Be adventurous, try out different combinations of plants and colours – if it works great, if not try something else!!! A good idea for Spring pots with crocus and small bulbs is to scatter small pebbles or grit on the top to prevent squirrels, snails etc. from eating them.

Harriet talked through the months with wonderful photos of February with snowdrops, which she suggests you bring in and enjoy on your windowsill for a few days and then put outside again, and the pretty early iris, like Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’. In March there are lots of her favourite narcissi like Rip van Winkle and Snow Lady, Hyacinth ‘Miss Saigon’, chionodoxa, masses of stunning tulips like dark red ‘Hearts Desire’ and ‘Armani’, the peachy ‘Apricot Beauty’, orange ‘Ballerina’ also many Parrot Tulips which always steal the show. The April colour explosion of multi headed narcissi ‘Freedom Stars’.  Remember to place tulips in a sunny spot and if using Wallflowers, you must firm them in well. Hostas are best left to make a statement in a pot of their own.

Harriet demonstrated how to plant a pot with layering.  A suitable pot should have a drainage hole large enough to put your thumb through, also only use one piece of crock to cover the drainage hole, because lots of crocks can damage the root system of the plant when removed. Use peat free compost with added loam and add some slow-release fertiliser, soil should be loose without lumps. The root ball of the plants must be damp when planted so that they can absorb the water, and the root ball should be one inch below the rim of the pot, making sure all the root balls are at the same level in the pot.  Have the tallest shrub at back and the tallest bulbs in groups next to that, plant bulbs an inch apart and not touching. Then plant variety of other bulbs that bloom at different times plus other small plants. Make sure there are no gaps in the compost around the plants. When finished, tap pot on ground, smooth the surface and water in well.

Our thanks to Harriet for a most informative and enjoyable evening.  We are looking forward to planting a fair few pots of our own …. although maybe not 600!

Just what the Doctor ordered, by Roger Hirons

What more suitable subjects could there be for our return to the Village Hall, than “The Plant Doctor”, Roger Hirons, talking to Grayshott Gardeners about plants which like Acid soil and Shade!

Roger, who is  Dorset born and bred, could call on over 35 years in the horticultural industry with his experience from his education at Pershore, plus running plant centres such as Hilliers and broadcasting on all things plant related.

Roger gave a fascinating talk with tips on how to get the best out of our plants, projecting colour images to clarify the points and recommendations he was making of what we should plant and where.

He stressed how important it was to think ahead prior to planting, and to spend as much time and effort as possible preparing the planting hole which will give our plants such a good start in life. He gave us many useful tips, such as incorporating a handful of chalky soil at the bottom of a deep hole for Clematis.

A further interesting tip was to mark your garden into sections and set up a chart on a calendar, then regularly annotate the chart with the date, colours and plants which are in flower as the year progresses. Thus you are able to move or add different plants to create ongoing colour during the growing season.

Roger advocated the benefit and the importance of good mulching for fast draining and dry Grayshott soil to ensure plants can survive. This included using mulch from broad leaved trees where pines are present to reduce the acidity of the soil, and vice versa.

He also explained how to obtain the best flowering from a Camellia in the spring is to ensure it is well watered during the previous September and October, plus ensuring it’s roots are confined and competing with other trees and shrubs rather than in free soil, in which the shrub will grow well but not flower well.

Roger was an inspirational speaker whose knowledge of plants was encyclopaedic, and who shared that information with us with enthusiasm and humour.

Newsletter August 2021

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

August 2021

FROM THE CHAIR

Dear Members 

I do hope you are enjoying your gardens – despite the contrary weather. The plants and shrubs might be getting a watering, but so too are the weeds!

I am so delighted that our August lecture ‘The Plant Doctor: Acidic Soils and Dry, Shady Locations’ is going ahead in-person. You received an e-mail recently with the details to help keep us all safe. These are set out again on the page 3.

I am also thrilled that we had so many entrants in the virtual Summer Show. This was our first ever virtual show – and I hope our last!  Thank you to you our members for entering and the Shows Committee for making it happen, congratulations to the winners. The number of entries was high as was the quality of ‘exhibits’ – the entries can be seen on our website at this link and we include some photos on the next page.

Looking forward to seeing you on 11th August.

Best wishes, Anne Waddell

YOUR OPINION MATTERS!

Thank you to all of you who completed the survey seeking feedback on the newsletter and the website. Your opinions really are important in terms of shaping the club’s future development. The results currently are being analysed. They will be considered by the Committee in September, and we will report back in October/November.

WHAT IS IT? Results for No. 8 & Photo for No. 9

The answer for July 2021 was chits on a potato. No member correctly identified the photo.

Photo No. 8

And this is Photo No. 9

If you think you know what it is, please e-mail Gordon Rae at president@grayshottgardeners.net by 15 August 2021. We will provide the answer and the names of those who correctly identified the photo in our September newsletter.

FIRSTS IN GG’S VIRTUAL SUMMER SHOW 2021

This month we are featuring photos of the first placed winning entries of the eight classes. There were 99 entries in total and the quality of the entries was very high. The judges had a hard task to agree the placings – see all the entries on our website. Thank you to everyone who entered and warm congratulations to the winners.

Large Flowered Rose: Doris Marjoram

One Spray of Cluster Flowered Rose: Karen Cozens

Three Leaves of Different Hostas: Gilly Coleman

One Hydrangea Bloom: Dennis Homer

A Single Stem Any Garden Plant: Pauline Hudd

One Stem of a Hardy Perennial: Pamela J Fox

One Stem of a Flowering Tree or Shrub: Dennis Homer

 A Floral Arrangement of Mixed Blooms from Your Garden: Carol Wass

Photography Competition

“A Cosy Corner”

This year there were 12 entries in Class 76 of our virtual photography competition – far more than we would normally expect to see at a Summer Show in the Village Hall.  There was a wide range of interpretations of the brief “A Cosy Corner”. Once again, Kathleen Bird, President of the Ludshott Photographic Club, kindly agreed to judge the entries. 

Kathleen chose the photograph of Karen Cozens of a snake tucked away in the corner of her little pond as the winner.

Kathleen said that it fitted the brief perfectly and was the most imaginative of all the entries.  It would have been difficult to capture that instant, but it had been well done.  The photograph was well exposed and composed.  The snake eyeing the fly on the rock made it! Karen wins the £20 first prize.

Karen Cozens’ winning entry

Kathleen also highly commended:

-Liz Munson’s “Cat amongst the Fuchsias”

-Sheila Aitken’s “A Cosy Garden Scene”

-Carol Wass’s “Squirrel in the Feeder”

These photos are on the GG’s website.

Thanks to all who entered – it is much appreciated.

AUGUST 2021 MEETING

This month, on Wednesday 11th August, we are really pleased to be holding an in-person meeting in the Village Hall. The lecture is being given by Roger Hirons and is entitled “The Plant Doctor: Acidic Soils and Dry, Shady Locations”. Roger has over 35 years’ experience in the horticultural industry and is an enthusiastic speaker and broadcaster on all things related to plants. He qualified at Pershore College of Horticulture, after which he spent many years running plant centres. Roger’s talk will give ideas and tips to help us achieve good results with minimum effort.

The lecture is at 7.30 for 8.00 pm. The arrangements will be slightly different due to present circumstances:

-face coverings to be worn on arrival, when moving around and on leaving the Hall, but optional when seated

-seats will be a chair width apart (approx. 18”)

-the Hall will be well ventilated

-there will be no refreshments

-there will be a PLANT SALE

-in order to avoid over-crowding, on arrival there will be three people manning the ‘Sign-In’

– no pens will be used by attendees, so please give your name clearly to the Committee Member who will tick your names off the attendance list (we don’t always recognise people when wearing masks!).

Thank you for your cooperation.

NAME THAT PLANT

There were some very interesting and unusual plants entered in the virtual Summer Show; if you would like to know what a particular plant is, please email shows@grayshottgardeners.net, and we will contact the entrant and let you know. We can also include the photo and the identification in a future newsletter if several people ask about the same entry. Don’t forget, all the photos are on the website.

POTATO COMPETITION 2021

A huge thank you to everyone who entered the Potato Competition this year (class 49 of the Summer Show), to Mavis Hallt, judge, and to Gordon Rae for organising it. You have excelled yourselves. There were 19 entries out of the 25 who collected their seed potatoes in February, more than any previous year. One more and they would not have fitted on Paul Coleman’s table!

Our judge, Mavis Hallt, the wife of the late Mike Hallt, after whom the cup is named, arrived armed with her list of ‘Judging Criteria and Staging Hints’, ready to make some difficult decisions – see our website for what Mavis was looking for and photos of the exhibits. First prize was won by Andy Karayianni – well done Andy.

Mavis Hallt, judge, with Anne Waddell, Chairman

Andy Karayianni

Winner of the Mike Hallt Cup

The Results are in for the GG Virtual Summer Show

Firstly, a very big thank you to everyone who entered our virtual Summer Show.

In total there were 99 entries across the eight classes, and the quality of the entries was very high.  The judges had a hard task to agree the placings, as you will no doubt see from the photos – which are displayed here  Shows | Grayshott Gardeners

There were some very interesting and unusual plants entered – if you would like to know what a particular plant is, please email shows@grayshottgardeners.net, and we will contact the entrant and let you know.

Grayshott Gardeners Summer Show 2021: Class 76 – Photography “A Cosy Corner”

This year there were 12 entries, far more than we would normally expect to see at a Summer Show in the Village Hall.  There was a wide range of interpretations of the brief “A Cosy Corner”.

Once again, Kathleen Bird, President of the Ludshott Photographic Club, kindly agreed to judge the entries.  Kathleen chose the photograph of Karen Cozens of a snake tucked away in the corner of her little pond as the winner.

Kathleen said that it fitted the brief perfectly and was the most imaginative of all the entries.  It would have been difficult to capture that instant, but it had been well done.  The photograph was well exposed and composed.  The snake eyeing the fly on the rock made it! Karen wins the £20 first prize.

Kathleen also highly commended:

2nd Place: Liz Munson’s “Cat amongst the Fuchsias”

3rd Place: Sheila Aitken’s “A Cosy Garden Scene”

4th Place: Carol Wass’s “Squirrel in the Feeder”

Highly Commended: Lynne Callender

Thanks to all that entered – it is much appreciated.

Daisy Days, by Helen Picton

On 14th July 2021, Grayshott Gardeners virtually welcomed Helen Picton from Old Court Nurseries and the Picton Garden in Colwall, near Malvern. Helen comes from a long line of horticulturalists and is the third generation of her family to be involved in the breeding and cultivation of Michaelmas Daisies. Her talk was entitled ‘Daisy Days’.

Michaelmas Daisies are of the Asteraceae family; Helen explained that they are the second largest family of plants. Despite appearances, the head of a Michaelmas Daisy is made up of hundreds of tiny florets – which make up the centre of the bloom known as the disc floret – the part of the plant which is attractive to the insect pollinators. Gardeners are generally more interested in the petals (or ray florets) of the flower and in particular the range of colours.

The name Aster means star-like, and the plant has been known since ancient times. In earlier times it was called Starwort. From the 1920’s it became known as the Michaelmas Daisy; in recent years there has been a re-evaluation of the many different species from different parts of the world with new names now being attributed to the existing groups. There are five main groups: Aster Amellus and Associates (the first to be introduced into the U.K,), Symphyotrichum Novi Belgii (New York, the biggest group), Symphyotrichum Novae Anglicae (New England), Small Flowered Species & Cut Flower Hybrids and Other Species.

The heyday of the Michaelmas Daisy was in the large country estate gardens of late 19th century and early 20th century with the development of the more naturalistic approach to borders as extolled by such famous gardeners as William Robinson, Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Beckett. The founder of Old Court Nurseries, Ernest Ballard (who was in cider vinegar production and from a wealthy Herefordshire family), led the way in the breeding of new stronger colours and more complex flowers (from about 1907 onwards until his death in 1950) making Michaelmas Daisies freely available to the ordinary gardener. Post the Second World War, Helen’s grandfather – Percy Picton – took over as Nursery Manager and the 50’s and 60’s saw Michaelmas Daisies become hugely popular with numerous new varieties coming onto the market. By the 1970’s, however, they fell out of favour (as did many old herbaceous border favourites) and many cultivars were lost. Largely thanks to the work and dedication of two ladies from Bristol, Miss Isabel Allen and Miss Joy Huish, who began collecting in the 1940’s, many cultivars were saved and eventually the Michaelmas Daisy was recognised by the Plant Heritage Society as one of the first National Collections.

The most important requirements seemed to be to provide a rich, moisture retentive soil and to divide regularly. Helen said that in Grayshott, with its acidic, free-draining soil, probably the best Michaelmas Daisies to grow are from the New England group and the Small Flowered Species group.

Helen’s closing advice to her attentive audience was that there is no excuse for poor colour in autumn and her slides certainly demonstrated this – from good companion plants with other herbaceous perennials, good performance in containers and excellent cut flowers.

Grayshott Gardeners Summer Show 2021: Class 49-Potato Competition

Gordon Rae thanked everyone who entered the competition and was delighted with the results. Grayshott Gardeners excelled themselves. There were 19 entries out of the 25 who collected their seed potatoes in February, more than any previous year. One more and they would not have fitted on Paul Coleman’s table!

As we were unable to hold a Summer Show in the Village Hall, undaunted, we held the potato competition out of the rain, in the garage.

There was a wide range of shapes and sizes. Helen Deighan’s were the largest by far and looked as though they had been fed on steroids and Helen Sanderson’s were very close behind.

That said our judge, Mavis Hallt, the wife of the late Mike Hallt, after whom the cup for class 49 is named, arrived armed with her list of ‘Judging Criteria and Staging Hints’, ready to make some difficult decisions. Mavis used the following guidance to come to her final decision.

The three potatoes exhibited should :-

  • Be carefully washed
  • Be shallow eyed
  • Be of uniform size
  • Be similarly sized as this is more desirable than being the largest/heaviest.
  • Have clean unbroken skins
  • Have no sign of disease or scab
  • Be of a good size

After considerable deliberation, sorting and re-sorting, Mavis delivered the result.

First Prize and the Mike Hallt Cup     Andy Karayianni

Second Prize                                      Dick Smith

Third prize                                           Gordon Rae

Fourth Prize                                        Mary Herbert

Mavis considered that Andy’s potatoes, taking into account and balancing all the above criteria were worthy winners of the First Prize and the Mike Hallt Cup.

The cup will be presented to Andy, by the chairman Anne Waddell, at the first meeting we are able to hold back in the Village Hall.

Thanks once again to everyone who entered what is a fun competition when the GGs cannot hold a proper show.

There are particular thanks from the President and ‘Mrs President’ who have several fine boilings of exhibition spuds!

Newsletter July 2021

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

July 2021

FROM THE CHAIR

Dear Members 

Welcome to our July newsletter. I do hope you are continuing to stay safe.

I am sure that you are as disappointed as I am that the Summer Show has had to be cancelled because of the delay in easing COVID restrictions. However, all is not lost. We have a VIRTUAL Summer Show! You should have received details a few days back – and they are set out on page 3. I very much hope you will submit some entries (closing date 9th July) and my warm thanks to the Shows Committee for their sterling work at organising this at relatively short notice.

There also is a Potato Competition and a Photography Competition – thanks are due to Gordon who has done the organising of these. Details are on page 4 and 5.

Finally, I want to mention the survey. It will be sent to you (from GG Comms) on Monday 5th July and needs to be done within two weeks. It is very quick to do, and the feedback will help the Committee enormously to make improvements for Grayshott Gardeners. Thank you.

All the best, Anne Waddell, Chairman

WHAT IS IT? Results for No. 7 & Photo for No. 8

The answer for June 2021 was a sweet chestnut. It was in St. Luke’s church yard. Yet again,

member, Karen Cozens, was the only member who correctly identified the photo.

Photos no. 7 above.

And here is photo no. 8:

If you think you know what it is (and no, it’s NOT Paddington Bear!), please e-mail Gordon Rae president@grayshottgardeners.net by 15th July 2021. We will provide the answer and the names of those who correctly identified the photo in our August newsletter.

MY TOP FIVE PLANTS – from a GRAYSHOTT GARDENER

This month we feature the ‘Top 5 Plants’ of Committee member, John Price, our data protection lead and ZOOM coordinator, and his wife Margaret.

  Allium Siculum bulgaricum Nectaroscordum    This pretty flower with bells, which is very popular with the bees, is something different in the garden, because when in seed head form it looks castle like and remains attractive.
      Achillea Filipendulina Cloth of Gold        This has always been one of John’s favourites and we have them around our garden in pink form as well as the gold.
  Lathyrus Odoratus Sweet Peas  What can’t you say about these prolific and multicoloured flowers which have such sweet perfume? Like most things, we have had more success in Grayshott than Skipton – they don’t seem to like the wind and rain in Yorkshire!
              WisteriaWe have always admired these beautiful flowers on houses and hotels, thinking we had made it when we bought an old Victorian house in Skipton with an established wisteria growing against the house. After two years and two blooms a year, we happened to be in London and saw a sign in Selfridges saying there was a gardening expert in the basement to help you with your gardening problems. We rushed down to find this chap  all by himself, so asked him for help. He said, “where do you live?”, we said “Skipton in Yorkshire”! Thinking this would challenge him, he said ” I know it well – I was brought up in Ilkley a few miles away”! It was Alan Titchmarsh prior to his TV fame. He gave us suggestions, but despite feeding and pruning, when we left nearly 20 years later there was no change. So, when we arrived back in the sun belt of Grayshott (everything is relative), we bought a plant in bloom to make certain we knew it did bloom. We transplanted it into a large pot and placed it in a sunny spot against a large tree stump. NO BLOOMS the next year. Karen Flood assured us it was just settling into its new pot. She was right! This year at last we had a wisteria with nearly 100 blooms.
  Family Iridaceae FreesiasMargaret loves the perfume and beautiful colours, also, the novelty of growing your own, because again they would not grow in Skipton. Don’t get us wrong Skipton is a lovely town on the edge of the Dales where we enjoyed living for 46 years, but it’s not a gardener’s paradise!

As yet, we don’t have any member lined up for a contribution to our next newsletter. So how about something from you? Don’t forget that any member can submit an article; it can be about your ‘Top Five Plants’ or about any garden related topic – the only criterion is that it is about your garden! Contact the editor at newsletter@grayshottgardeners.net

14th July 2021 MEETING

This month, on Wednesday 14th July, we are delighted to welcome, via ZOOM, Helen Picton, whose lecture is ‘Daisy Days’. Helen is a specialist grower of autumn-flowering asters. The Picton family operates Old Court Nurseries and the Picton Garden in Herefordshire. The nursery was established in 1906 by Ernest Ballard, the first nurseryman to popularize autumn-flowering asters. The Pictons hold the Plant Heritage National Plant Collection of autumn-flowering asters, with more than four hundred forms present in the collection.

Helen joined the business after completing a botany degree at the University of Reading, and since has been working full time with asters. She also lectures and gives talks throughout the U.K. and is the author of ‘Plant Lover’s Guide to Asters’.

This club night lecture is open to all members starting at 8pm, but as always you can log in at 7.30pm for a bit of a chat, before we are all ‘muted’ ready for the lecture.

Further details about logging in can be obtained from Helen Deighan at comms@grayshottgardeners.net, if you are not already registered. Details automatically will be sent to all those members who registered for the previous ZOOM lectures. On the night of the lecture, it will be possible to admit up to 100 people on ZOOM – so first come, first served.

As COVID restrictions gradually start to ease, we are looking forward to returning to the Village Hall. We very much hope that the August lecture is in-person – watch this space!

SUMMER SHOW 2021

We are really excited to be putting on a virtual Summer Show in the light of the cancellation of our Show scheduled to take place on 10th July. You all should have received details recently (from ‘GG Comms’), and they are on website too here . Here they are again, in case you need them:

The Show is just for fun and there are no prizes, but we do hope you will get a lot of pleasure out of going round your garden to take your photos and then deciding which ones to enter. If nothing else, you will have a wonderful record of your garden this summer. The deadline for sending in your photos is 5pm on Friday 9th July.  The classes are:

  1. One large, flowered rose
  2. One spray of cluster flowered rose
  3. Three leaves of different hostas
  4. One hydrangea bloom
  5. A single stem of any garden plant
  6. One stem of a hardy (herbaceous) perennial
  7. One stem of a flowering tree or shrub
  8. A floral arrangement of mixed blooms from your garden

You can enter one photo for each class, and you can send your entries separately.  You cannot enter a class more than once, and members are asked that the photos have been taken in the month leading up to 9th July. Please send your entries to: shows@grayshottgardeners.net.

E-mails should have the subject line “Show Entry from (your name)”, and your attached photos should be named with “Your name and class being entered”.

The judging will be undertaken by members of the Show Committee, and results will be published on the website. Please do submit entries and enjoy!

GG OUTING 28th JULY 2021

Unfortunately, our GG outing on Wednesday 23rd June to Sandhill Farm near Romsey, home of Andy and Ros McIndoe, had to be cancelled. If any of you would still like to visit this private garden, please do look on Andy’s website here and keep an eye out for days when he and Ros are hosting individual bookings.

Our next Grayshott Gardeners outing is on Wednesday 28th July 2021, to Houghton Lodge Gardens near Stockbridge. Idyllically set above the tranquil waters of the River Test, there are both formal and informal gardens, a traditional kitchen garden enclosed within chalk cob walls, an orchid house, topiary dragon and peacock garden; see here for more information.

If you are interested in joining this outing, you’ll need to contact Sue Wheeler, our Programme Coordinator, programme@grayshottgardeners.net.

As always, we need to ensure we are COVID-compliant and do all we can to keep ourselves and fellow members safe.

WE WANT YOUR VIEWS

This month, Grayshott Gardeners Committee is running a brief survey for your views on the newsletter and the website. The Committee will

be so appreciative if each member completes it …remember that Grayshott Gardeners club is only as good as its members – so please do tell us what you think so we can consider your feedback and where, we can, make improvements. The survey will be sent to you on Monday 5th July 2021; it closes on Monday 19th July 2021.

POTATO COMPETITION 2021

Once again, we are running our Potato Competition at arm’s length.

Class 49 of the Summer Show Schedule

3 potatoes of the variety supplied by the Society for the Potato Competition and grown however the exhibitor wishes.

For the competition:

– Please deliver your 3 potatoes in a bag with your contact details – including name, address, telephone number – and confirm in an e-mail to Gordon Rae, by 6pm on Friday 9th July 2021

– Please state if you wish to reclaim your exhibit from Gordon’s house on Sunday 11th July

– Gordon has arranged for Mavis Haltt (the widow of Mike Haltt, after whom the cup was named, but donated by our ex-president, Olive Robinson) to judge the competition this year at 10am on Saturday 10th July at Gordon’s house

– The winner, 2nd and 3rd places will be announced by e-mail to members and the Mike Haltt Cup will be presented to the winner at a future meeting

– We know that many of you have been growing the Grayshott Gardeners potatoes and we hope that you will enter and yet again help to keep Grayshott Gardeners alive during these difficult months

– The other reason for wanting a good entry is that the President and Mrs President hope to get another decent sized boiling from any unclaimed potatoes left at their house after the event!

PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION

SUMMER 2021

Although our Summer Show scheduled for 10th July has reluctantly had to be cancelled, by the Committee, due to Bojo’s ongoing COVID restrictions, the Photographic Competition will still go ahead by e-mail.

Class 76 of the Summer Show Schedule 2021

‘A Cosy Corner’ – a photograph taken by the exhibitor.

To enter, please e-mail your entry (one entry per member) to president@grayshottgardeners.net .

Entries will close at 6pm on Friday 9th July 2021.

CROSSWORD PUZZLE

Attached is our Grayshott Gardeners crossword puzzle for July.

Please look out for the answers in the August newsletter. For those who can’t wait a whole month…or perhaps need a clue, the answers to the crossword will be posted on the website here on 7th July 2021, in the ‘newsletter’ tab.

Attached to this newsletter are the answers to the June crossword puzzle which featured in our last newsletter. These answers also are on our website grayshottgardeners.net in the ‘newsletter’ tab.

SURREY HORTICULTURAL FEDERATION: GARDEN VISITS ON 18th JULY 2021

We have received notification of the SHF Garden Visits on Sunday 18th July 2021, and they look like a great afternoon out. One is in Wonersh and the other in Albury. Here are further details.

 2 CHINTHURST LODGE, WONERSH COMMON, GU5 0PR. Open from 11.30 am, Closes 5pm.

VALE END, CHILWORTH ROAD, ALBURY, GU5 9BE. Open from 2.30 pm, Closes 5pm.

Refreshments will be available at each garden. Tickets £5 – gives entrance to both gardens.

Grayshott Gardeners Summer Show goes Virtual!

We’re delighted to announce that we will be holding a virtual Summer Show this year!

This is just for fun and there are no prizes, but we do  hope you will get a lot of pleasure out of going round your garden to take your photos and then deciding which ones to enter. If nothing else you will have a wonderful record of your garden this summer.

The deadline for sending in your photos is 5pm on Friday 9th July, and the classes are:

1One large flowered rose
2One spray of cluster flowered rose
3Three leaves of different hostas
4One hydrangea bloom
5A single stem of any garden plant
6One stem of a hardy (herbaceous) perennial
7One stem of a flowering tree or shrub
8A floral arrangement of mixed blooms from your garden

You can enter one photo for each class, and you can send your entries separately.  You cannot enter a class more than once, and members are asked that the photos have been taken in the month leading up to 9th July.

Please send your entries to:

Shows@grayshottgardeners.net

Emails should have the subject line “Show entry from (your name)”, and  your attached photos should be named with “Your name and class being entered”.

If you have any queries regarding taking photos of your entries, please contact John Price.

The judging will be undertaken by members of the Show Committee, and results will be published on the website.

Please do enter – and enjoy!

Why buy from abroad? by Iain Pentney

On 9th June Grayshott Gardeners gave a virtual welcome to Iain Pentney of Classiflora Imports, a wholesale nursery in North London which specialises in the import of hardy European specimen plants, trees, shrubs and topiary.  His lecture addressed the pros and cons of importing plants to Britain.

The disadvantages are perhaps more obvious – given the transport miles and their associated carbon emissions, and the potential for importing pests and diseases.  So why buy from abroad at all?  Iain took us through some of the benefits that we enjoy when we use plants that have been grown in Mediterranean regions.

The first, and perhaps biggest benefit is that we can “buy time”.  Plants mature much faster in a climate where winters are much shorter and growing seasons are much longer.  And plants need to have reached maturity to flower, when they become most desirable to gardeners.  If we choose climates where winters are as harsh as Britain then we know that the plants will be hardy in our gardens.  So mature, garden worthy plants can be raised in about half the time it would take if they were raised in the UK – and, as we all know, time is money. 

Another advantage of the Mediterranean climate is that it has two dormant seasons – one in the winter and one in midsummer, when it is too hot for plants to grow.  Since plants are best lifted in the dormant season, this means there are two windows for lifting, as opposed to one in Britain.

There are also many trees that are being displaced by development, or no longer produce a commercial crop – for example olive trees and grapevines.  These plants have ornamental value, and there is a growing market for them in Britain.

Iain also explained how the issue of importing pests and diseases is now managed, with many controls, passports and certificates. So lots of paperwork, but providing vital safeguards.

So next time we see an imported plant on sale in a Garden Centre,  we will understand why.  Our choices would be poorer (and so would our pockets) if the plant had not made that journey!