All posts by Sue Wheeler

The New Gardens at RHS Hilltop Wisley, by Ann-Marie Powell

Ann-Marie Powell pictured at the launch of the £2million public fundraising appeal to build the National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning at RHS Garden Wisley – 2nd May 2018. Credit:RHS and Oliver Dixon

We were delighted to welcome Gold Medal winning designer Ann-Marie Powell to Grayshott Gardeners this month, to tell us all about the design and build of two of the new gardens at RHS Hilltop, Wisley.

The journey started way back in 2017, when the RHS “tweeted” an advert for garden designers to submit proposals for three new gardens which were to surround their new laboratory building at Hilltop – which was to be the “Home of Gardening Science”.  Ann-Marie and her team rose to the challenge and bid for two of these gardens – the Wildlife Garden and the World Food Garden.  They didn’t have long to search for inspiration – a two week window is all that was allowed.  Luckily Ann-Marie is a voracious researcher and found inspiration in the library – the exoskeleton of a bee’s wing seemed perfectly fitting for a wildlife garden, whilst the World Food Garden layout was based on the vascular system of a monocot plant (get those botany books out 😉).

The bids were successful and a long round of presentations followed, along with more detailed plans, plant selection and value engineering (a synonym for “keeping the costs down”).  The building at Hilltop went up, and all was ready for the gardens to be created by March 2020.  And we all know what happened then…….

Covid lockdowns meant that site visits were limited and facetime views of progress were the only way forward.  Material shortages, rising prices and limited access all proved very challenging, so it seemed something of a miracle when the gardens were ready to open as planned in April 2021.

Ann-Marie explained how important it was for the new gardens to be inspiring, and to be able to engage a whole new audience – all income brackets, ages, ethnicities and levels of experience.  They were about showcasing horticulture, and had to have a WOW factor – but they also needed to be provide ideas that were achievable in the average garden, balcony or windowsill.  

The Wildlife Garden amplifies nature, but is not rewilding.  It includes all the elements that are crucial for wildlife – water, plenty of accessible nectar and pollen available over a long season and plenty of places to hide and nest.  

The World Food Garden is divided into 3 areas – one for herbs and edible flowers, a “good to grow” section showcasing vegetables that beginners can have success with, and finally the World Food maze which showcases the wide range of more unusual edibles that we can grow in our climate.

The gardens are a triumph, and are fast becoming the go-to destination at Wisley.  It was a privilege to be taken behind the scenes – I think we will all look at the gardens from a slightly different perspective next time we visit.

Newsletter September 2022

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Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

September 2022

From the Chair

Dear Members

How rare is it that we have been locked out of our gardens due to excessive heat?

After 46 years in North Yorkshire I never thought I would pray for rain. But, balance is gradually returning with “good rain”  of repeated showers instead of cloudbursts, showing the amazing recovery abilities of, seemingly, dead grass. Early in August a full coach of us enjoyed a very interesting visit to Woolbeding Gardens, which included the Silk Route garden leading to the unique Heatherwick greenhouse, if you went on the visit or not it is worth looking at the link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQkvjpIkMXk which shows it in action.

An additional benefit was, both on the coach and at the gardens, members had the opportunity to mix  with members who they never had the opportunity of meeting previously, a big plus.

Again, our thanks to Vanessa for selecting and organising such a successful visit.

JOHN.

A little something to think about…..

The RHS are looking for volunteers for an experiment/ study on “Well-being” and the garden. As a gardeneing club we feel that the mental health benefits of the garden are really important and we are pleased to see them getting serious about research in this area   Link here…..

https://linktr.ee/rhs.wellbeing

Visits

An interesting invitation from The Chiddingfold Gardening Group.

 Jack Salway has kindly agreed to open his amazing subtropical garden to the public on the 18th September. All ticket proceeds will go to St Mary’s Church, Chiddingfold.

Access to Jack’s garden is via the Combe Lane Allotments Car Park. Walk past the pitch with the allotments on your right hand side and Jack’s garden can be accessed at the end of the football pitch.

To control the number of people in Jack’s garden at any one time, we will be selling tickets for the period of 1-2.30pm, 2.30-4pm and 4-5pm. Tickets are £5 and under 16s go free. To control the number of people in Jack’s garden, it would help if you could buy a ticket in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk search for Chiddingfold and you will find the event. Tickets will also be available on the day from the entrance to Jack’s garden from the Combe Lane football pitch.

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August Meeting

Martyn Cox was the speaker for our Club Night lecture this month, and he treated us all to a very entertaining evening.

Firstly we learned just how long some of our vegetables have been around.  We saw mosaics from 300BC depicting bunches of asparagus that would not look out of place in today’s supermarkets.  We heard how dried peas were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun – clearly they were the food of kings.  And there are paintings of beetroot on the walls of Pompeii.

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We also heard how some vegetables are celebrated – with tomato throwing festivals in Spain, the Hindhu worship of Basil, and how the Grecian athletes smeared onion juice on their bodies to increase their sporting prowess.

In a history a bit closer to home, we learned how carrots were promoted to the Brits in World War II – mainly because they were easy to grow.  They were said to improve the eyesight of pilots, and help you find your way round in the blackouts (all untrue, but useful propaganda).  And children deprived of sugar by rationing were given carrots on sticks instead of lollipops!

At the end we reflected on the fact that all the vegetables currently grown on our allotments and vegetable gardens have originated from abroad – many from ancient cultures and civilisations.  The humble veg patch is far more exotic than first meets the eye!

More details of this talk can be found on our website www.grayshottgardeners.net

September Meeting

We are delighted to welcome the celebrated garden designer Ann-Marie Powell to present our Key Note lecture this month.

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Her talk – ‘The New Gardens at RHS Hilltop Wisley’ will tell us about this amazing new development on our doorstep!

How lucky we are to live and garden in Grayshott.

Plant of the Month

Japanese Anemone

Although called the Japanese Anemone, it comes from central China in the province Hubei and is a member of the Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).

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The capital of Hubei is Wuhan –  remember that?

The Japanese Anemone is a reliable, robust, herbaceous perennial which will grace any late summer, early autumn border.

The striking flowers born on upright stems 2-5 feet tall maybe the purest white, pink to near purple, some flushed with a grey-blue reverse.

All have centres of bright yellow stamens, much favoured and pollinated by a wide range of insects.

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There are single, semi double and double varieties available.

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 Cultivation dates back 11-1200 years in China, but was not introduced into Europe until the 1800s.

Japanese Anemones are easy to grow and reliable in full sun or partial shade. They favour a rich soil which does not dry out. This year (2022) ours have suffered from the prolonged dry weather and are shorter, and have far fewer and much smaller flowers.

Plants in good conditions will spread easily and may be divided by splitting clumps in Spring or propagated by root cuttings in late Autumn, early winter.

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Varieties which have thrived in Grayshott are:-

A.‘Honorine Jobert’, –  single  pure white

      A ‘Hadspen Abundance’pink

  1. ‘Wild Swan’ attractive blue grey reverse.

Jobs for this month

September is generally a cooler, gustier month than August and the days are noticeably shorter. While there’s not as much to do in the ornamental garden at this time of the year, if you have a fruit or vegetable patch, you’ll be busy reaping the rewards of harvest. It’s also time to get out and start planting spring-flowering bulbs for next year and you can collect seeds for next summer’s colour too. Make the most of the remaining warmth while you can!

1.Divide herbaceous perennials

Dividing perennials regularly will ensure healthy, vigorous plants that will continue to perform year after year. It also offers the opportunity to multiply your plants.

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2.Pick autumn raspberries

Harvest regularly, to get fruits at the peak of ripeness, when richly coloured, plump and easy to pull off. Pick on a dry day, so the berries aren’t wet.

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3.Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals

Growing plants from seed is generally straightforward and inexpensive. It is an opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free.

4. Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them

5.    Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway

6.    Keep up with watering of new plants, using rain or grey water if possible

7.    Start to reduce the frequency of houseplant watering

8.    Clean out cold frames and greenhouses so that they are ready for use in the autumn

9.    Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting

10.Plant spring flowering bulbs

    More details on all of these jobs can be found on the RHS website

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/september

In memory

The funeral for Gillian Rawcliffe will be held on Friday 2nd September 2022 at 11.30

Green Acres, Heatherley Wood, Grayshott Road, GU35 8LA

Please wear bright colours with  co-ordinated accessories etc  – those of you who knew Gill will appreciate this!

 No flowers but donations if desired to Alzheimers Research or  RNLI can be done via Grayshott – Gould & Chapman

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The Secret History of Vegetables, by Martyn Cox

Martyn Cox was the speaker for our Club Night lecture this month, and he treated us all to a very entertaining evening.  Martyn has worked in gardening since he left school, and is best known as a gardening journalist – he writes for the Mail on Sunday, Amateur Gardening and Gardening News.

Martyn likes to add interest to the articles he writes on vegetables, by including lesser known facts amongst the more usual advice on how to grow and eat the produce.  Over the years he has built up quite a collection of these stories, and his lecture shared some of these anecdotes with us.

Firstly we learned just how long some of our vegetables have been around.  We saw mosaics from 300BC depicting bunches of asparagus that would not look out of place in today’s supermarkets.  We heard how dried peas were found in the tomb of Tutankhamum – clearly they were the food of kings.  And there are paintings of beetroot on the walls of Pompeii.

We also heard how some vegetables are celebrated – with tomato throwing festivals in Spain, the Hindhu worship of Basil, and how the Grecian athletes smeared onion juice on their bodies to increase their sporting prowess.

In a history a bit closer to home, we learned how carrots were promoted to the Brits in World War II – mainly because they were easy to grow.  They were said to improve the eyesight of pilots, and help you find your way round in the blackouts (all untrue, but useful propaganda).  And children deprived of sugar by rationing were given carrots on sticks instead of lollipops!

At the end we reflected on the fact that all the vegetables currently grown on our allotments and vegetable gardens have originated from abroad – many from ancient cultures and civilisations.  The humble veg patch is far more exotic than first meets the eye!

Newsletter August 2022

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

August 2022

From the Chair

Dear Members

Congratulation again to the Shows Committee for a Summer show which attracted a record number of entries, which is also a thank you to club members for all your support, this gave us a record entry.

We must never forget to thank those members behind the scenes without whom the Show would not succeed, including another Successful Plant Sale. The sun which we were so happy with, to bring on our plants for the Show, appears to have outstayed it’s welcome, with the lack of rain now damaging our gardens.

I must apologise personally , as I thought it my duty to the club to create rain, I did my best with a rain dance, but alas it was a failure!

Look forward to meeting you at our next meeting on the 10th August.
JOHN.

Visits

Both the Woolbeding trip and the Special Wisley trip are now full.

Vanessa has opened a waiting list and has also asked that if you have booked but find that you cannot attend, please let her know to allow others to take your place.

Info from Vanessa Thompson at a club night or email events@grayshottgardeners.net to reserve your place(s)

Volunteers needed

The committee would really appreciate help with the following jobs. Contact any one of us for more information.

Publicity – Short articles for local publications
Posters – distribution around the village

Communications – Distribution of emails to members

General Secretarial duties – support for the chairman.
Plants sales – support for Jan Bebbington

July Meeting

In July we welcomed Peter Moore to Grayshott Gardeners, to talk to us about Buddlejas – something he is very well qualified to do, as keeper of the National Collection of this Genus at Longstock Nursery in Hampshire. He started developing the collection in 1993, and by sourcing cuttings and seed from around the world has built it up to an impressive display of international acclaim.

Peter took us through what he considers to be the best garden-worthy varieties. He warned us that some species don’t quite live up to their advertising hype. The Buzz Series, for example, is free flowering but not the dwarf variety that it was initially billed as. They can reach 2 meters in height – enough to block most windows if planted in a flower bed just outside!

He showed us what a wide range of flower colours are available, from the darkest purple through to magentas, reds and pinks, and they can be upright or have a weeping form. Leaves can be plain or variegated – and some flowers can be variegated too, like the new introduction “Berries and Cream”. Most of the garden varieties are hardy in the UK, but a few special ones need a glasshouse to overwinter them successfully

August Meeting

This month we are delighted to welcome Martyn Cox to speak to us.
His talk ‘The Secret History of Vegetables’, sounds fascintaing and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Martyn is a prolific garden writer and author with a tiny, but plant packed garden in East London. Martyn writes a weekly column for The Mail on Sunday and monthly for Grow it! His work regularly features in BBC Gardeners’ World, The English Garden, Grand Designs and Sainsbury’s Magazine.

The meeting will be held in

Grayshott Village Hall

Wednesday August 10th 2022

Light refreshments will be served and there will be plants on sale as well as secondhand books

Doors open at 7.30pm ready for the lecture to begin at 8pm.

Summer Show

Building on the great success of our Spring Show this year, we made a few changes to the arrangements, allowing a bit more time for entries to be displayed and a bit more space for refreshments and the plant sale.

More time was much appreciated by those entrants with a lot of entries, and overall we had 282 wonderful exhibits. In the ten years before Covid, the number averaged around 250, so a huge thank you to all who entered. For those who contributed for the very first time – we
know it can a bit nerve wracking, and do hope you enjoyed it, ready for next time!

More space for the refreshments was welcomed by all, and using the Studio allowed for a great display of some lovely plants to take home for your gardens.

Given the combination of the hot weather, the attraction of a Ladies Wimbledon Tennis Final on TV and the Hampton Palace Garden Festival enjoying its final day, our footfall of members and visitors was naturally impacted – that said, feedback was very positive and clearly everyone enjoyed themselves, with most people having a flutter on the raffle too.

Congratulations to the ‘Team’
And to Gilly Coleman

The award winners were:

TrophyWinner
Davies Rose CupDennis Homer
Smith CupJill Meech
Davies TankardLynne Callender
Mike Hallt CupGordon Rae
Littlejohn Rose BowlLynne Callender
Novice CupLynne Callender
Banksian MedalLynne Callender
Floral Arrangement TrophySue Erler
Home Produce CupJill Meech
Best in Show PlateGilly Coleman
Photography PrizeDiana Grant
Juniors under 8Grace Strowger

Plant of the Month – Hydrangea

However mundane the Hydrangea may be considered as a garden plant there is one for many different garden situations, be it is for sun, shade, shrub or climbers, deciduous, or

H. macrophylla ‘Mophead’

evergreen. You can even make them change colour from pink to blue and vice versa.

There are about 80 species of Hydrangeas around the world. Most are native to the Himalayas, China and Japan, but
H. arborescens is native to NE USA and the evergreen species, H. Integerrima comes from Chile.

We have four species growing happily in our Grayshott garden.
H. macrophylla is the common pink and blue Hydrangea recognised by most people. There are two separate groups within H. macrophylla the Hortensiaor mopheadsand the lace capswith flat opens heads.

H. macrophylla ‘ Lace Cap’

These can be persuaded to change colour. In acid soil the flowers are blue, in alkaline soils the flowers are pink.

H. petiolaris, the climbing hydrangea is best planted at the base of a rough barked tree on to which the aerial roots may cling.

They may take time to establish, as did ours against a Scotts pine, but is now 50 – 60 feet high.

Each year it rewards us with a show of white/cream flower heads and beautiful, butter yellow foliage in the Autumn

H. paniculata has, as the name suggests, impressive, terminal panicles of white flowers.

H. quercifolia with it’s more open habit and oak-like leaves has darker green, reddish leaves and grows well in shade with good autumn colour.

H. quercifolia

Hydrangeas are best suited to organic rich, moisture retentive soils, responding well to an annual spring mulch.

August is usually one of the hottest months of the year – making watering essential. Try to use grey water wherever possible, especially as water butts may be running low if it has been a dry summer. August is traditionally holiday-time, so you might need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away. When you are at home, take the time to prune Wisteria and summer- flowering shrubs such as lavender once they’ve finished flowering.

Jobs for the Month

1. Prune Wisteria

Wisteria needs regular pruning to keep the growth and size under control, but it will also improve the flowering display. Although it seems complicated, wisteria pruning is quite simple if you follow our simple guide.

2. Dont delay summer pruning fruits trained as restricted forms.

Summer pruning is mainly for apples and pears trained as restricted forms. It will allow sunlight to ripen the fruit.

3. Deadhead flowering plants regularly.

Remove spent flowers as soon as they look scruffy – thankfully, a few days delay won’t make a difference. The simplest method is to just pinch off the faded blooms with finger and thumb.

4. Water containers and new plants, preferably with grey recycled water or stored rainwater

5. Collect seed from garden plants

6. Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready

7. Continue cutting out old fruited canes on raspberries

8. Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners

9. Keep ponds and water features topped up

10. Feed the soil with green manures

More details on all of these jobs can be found on the RHS website

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/ august

Beautiful Buddlejas, by Peter Moore

In July we welcomed Peter Moore to Grayshott Gardeners, to talk to us about Buddlejas – something he is very well qualified to do, as keeper of the National Collection of this Genus at Longstock Nursery in Hampshire.  He started developing the collection in 1993, and by sourcing cuttings and seed from around the world has built it up to an impressive display of international acclaim.

Buddlejas get their name from the Reverend Adam Buddle, an English cleric and botanist from the 17th Century.  They are naturally present in all the Continents of the world bar Europe and Australasia, and many of today’s garden plants are hybrids between species from different continents.  Peter has introduced many hybrids himself – including “Pink Pagoda” and “Sugar Plum”.

Peter then took us through what he considers to be the best garden-worthy varieties. He warned us that some species don’t quite live up to their advertising hype.  The Buzz Series, for example, is free flowering but not the dwarf variety that it was initially billed as.  They can reach 2 meters in height – enough to block most windows if planted in a flower bed just outside!

He showed us what a wide range of flower colours are available, from the darkest purple through to magentas, reds and pinks, and they can be upright or have a weeping form.  Leaves can be plain or variegated – and some flowers can be variegated too, like the new introduction “Berries and Cream”.  Most of the garden varieties are hardy in the UK, but a few special ones need a glasshouse to overwinter them successfully.

Peter also gave us tips on how to grow Buddlejas well, in full sun with well drained soil, and how to prune them properly.  He also warned us that the dust they give off can be an irritant, so wear protection when pruning, and better to do it on a rainy day.

It was great to see how, with careful selection, it is possible to have a Buddleja in flower for 10 months of the year – which is great news for the bees and butterflies in our gardens. 

Peter Moore, with Programme Secretary Sue Wheeler

Newsletter July 2022

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Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

July 2022

From the Chair

Dear Members

Wonderful Sun!

But oh for some rain!

We gardeners are like farmers too little or too much we are never satisfied. However, This weather has encouraged our gardens to produce it’s fruits all ready to enter our Summer Show. If you have not entered before visit our website, go to “Photo Gallery” scroll down to “Summer Show 2019” and look at the pictures which may give you ideas.

You will even see our President proud of his “failure”. Please try to enter at least one class, you might win the silver egg cup like our President!

Looking forward to seeing you on the 9th July at our summer Show.

JOHN.

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Our chairman, John Price ready for action on the Grayshott Gardeners stall at the PIG day celebrations in June

Stop Press

The Plant Sale at the Summer Show has a new home.

It will be in the Studio at the Village Hall. This is the building to the left of the main hall – used to be the library .

This means there will be more space for you to enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake in the small hall as usual.

Visits

The last chance to grab a ticket for this rather special trip

Friday 5th August 2022

  • Door to door service on our private coach
  • Exclusive welcome presentation on arrival.
  • New for 2022- The Silk Route garden (plants from the ancient trade route designed by Fergus Garret from Great Dixter)

Cost £25 per head. £10 deposit required

Info from Vanessa Thompson at a club night or email events@grayshottgardeners.net to reserve your place(s)

June Meeting

Our June speaker was Professor Dave Goulson, who gave us an insight into the lives of some of the tiny creatures that live in our gardens, and gave us tips on how to garden so that we can encourage as many of them as possible to flourish.

Life on earth needs insects to continue – without them our ecosystems would rapidly collapse.   And insects are in trouble, with well documented declines in many species, particularly those that are habitat specialists. 

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Chairman, John Price with Programme secretary Sue Wheeler and Dave Goulson

Gardeners may think of themselves as “green”, but when you consider that the average trip to the Garden Centre results in the purchase of a plant that has been grown in peat, in a heated greenhouse, treated with insecticide, in a disposable plastic pot it is obvious that changes need to be made.

Dave gave us some steps to maximise the insect life in our gardens.  Use plants with open flowers.  Reimagine weeds as wild flowers. Mow less.  Build bug hotels to provide homes for insects. Plant flowering trees – which can provide continuity of food supply for insects from March through to June.  AND STOP USING PESTICIDES. Simple!

Dave has some very useful and entertaining videos on YouTube if you want to find out more.

July Meeting

After the talk last month on making our gardens more insect friendly it seems very appropriate that this month we have a Buddleja  expert, Peter Moore, coming to Grayshott to prsent a talk entitled ‘Beautiful Buddlejas’.

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Peter Moore has been propagating plants for many years and now holds the National Collection of Buddlejas at Longstock Gardens. In Spring 2016 there were 164 different Buddleja in the collection and now maybe there are more.

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The meeting will be held in

Grayshott Village Hall

 Wednesday July13th 2022

Light refreshments will be served and there will be plants on sale as well as secondhand books.

Doors open at 7.30pm ready for the lecture to begin at 8pm.

Summer Show

Looking forward to the Summer Show!

Saturday 9th July 2pm – 4pm

Grayshott Village Hall

Time flies, it’s been three months since the Spring Show, and we’ve had plenty of sunshine and rain to help our gardens grow in that time.  Bugs and slugs have grown too, though hopefully there are still some beautiful things in your garden you would like to show. As well as the plants, flowers and vegetables, please do share your culinary skills and enter the home produce classes.

Entry forms are in your handbook and also on the website – please give your completed forms to Tanchoux by 5pm on Thursday 7th, or send as an attachment to shows@grayshottgardeners.net.

As a reminder, there is a change of arrangements on Show Day – please can entrants come along to the hall  with their exhibits from 8.40 until 10am (rather than from 9 until 10.20am).  If you are intending to enter a lot of classes, we can accommodate you coming along to the hall earlier than 8.40am, which we hope will make things a bit less frenetic for you!

As well as some super exhibits to view, there will be a plant sale and some mouth-watering cakes to sample with your tea or coffee. A lovely way to spend an afternoon!

Please do contact Pamela at shows@grayshottgardeners.net if you have any questions.

Items of Interest

Update on our Data Privacy Statement

You may remember that back in 2018, we issued a Data Privacy Statement to all of our members. Time and legislation moves on, and we have updated our privacy statement accordingly.

We have now included our privacy statement on the website – it can be found on the Membership page.

Should you have any questions, please contact our Data Controller, Alan Wright at admin@grayshottgardeners.net

The Green Hub Project for Teens

We are on the hunt for some more garden volunteers – might this be something that you’d be interested in? Or maybe someone you know? 

 We have 3 adult volunteers at each of our two Saturday sessions (they last about 2 hours), guiding teens on garden and craft projects. We would be delighted to receive some more applications from people keen to join our Saturday team.

More information of this very worthy cause can be found on their website www.greenhub.org.uk

Plant of the Month

Hoheria Sexstylosa Stardust

Although bought as a ‘compact shrub’ our Hoheria is now a good 20 feet tall and best described as an upright tree.

Hoheria or Ribbonwood or Lacebark is a member of the Mallow family and is a native of both islands of New Zealand.

It has several outstanding garden features, two being the evergreen, toothed, glossy, dark green leaves held throughout the year and the clusters of pure white, fragrant flowers with their prominent anthers and stamens.

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Hoherias will grow in a wide range of soils, including our more acid, sandy soil in Grayshott and will tolerate full sun and partial shade. Although we do not do it, a winter mulch to protect the roots is often recommended.

Hoherias are generally free from both pests and diseases and require a little pruning. If pruning is required, it is best done in Spring or after flowering, when the semi ripe cuttings can be used for propagation.

Butterflies and other insects are attracted to Hoheria.

Our Hoheria is beginning to outgrow its allotted space, but our garden would be the poorer without its elegant shape, evergreen habit and the reliable profusion of white blossom every summer

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Jobs for this month

1. Deadhead bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials, to ensure continuous flowering.

Keep plants looking attractive and encourage more blooms, whether in beds and border, containers or hanging baskets.

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2. Care for houseplant while on holiday.

Most houseplants will tolerate a few days’ absence without suffering, but absences of more than a week call for some creative measures to provide valuable moisture in the right quantity.

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3. Water tubs and new plants if dry, but be water-wise.

Watering is one of the most important jobs when growing plants in containers. Roots need a balance of air and water to grow well which is easy to provide if you have a good quality compost or soil.

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4. Check clematis for signs of clematis wilt

5. Pick courgettes before they become marrows

6. Treat apple scab

7.Clear algae, blanket weeds and debris from ponds, and keep them topped up

8. Order catalogues for next year’s spring-flowering bulbs

9. Give the lawn a quick-acting summer feed, especially if not given a spring feed

10. Harvest apricots, peaches and nectarines

And the most important job of all – select and prepare all your exhibits for the Summer Show.

More details on all of these jobs can be found on the RHS website

Looks like quite a busy month in the garden!

More details on all of these jobs can be found on the RHS website.

The Garden Jungle (or Gardening to Save the Planet), by Dave Goulson

Our June speaker was Professor Dave Goulson, who gave us an insight into the lives of some of the tiny creatures that live in our gardens, and gave us tips on how to garden so that we can encourage as many of them as possible to flourish.

Chairman John Price and Programme Secretary Sue Wheeler with Dave Goulson

Dave is a professor of biology at Sussex University, with a passion for entomology.  He has written many books, and his lecture was based around one of his latest bestsellers – The Garden Jungle.

He began by showing us the diversity seen amongst insects.  Some are colourful – to disguise themselves, for camouflage or to advertise that they are poisonous.  Others are mimics, with some flies pretending to be bees. They have also adapted cleverly over the time they have been inhabiting the earth – for insects preceded the dinosaurs by many millions of years.  Next time you see a bee you can think of it as a vegan wasp, that switched to feeding on pollen rather than insect prey.

Life on earth needs insects to continue – without them our ecosystems would rapidly collapse.   They provide food for birds, fish and reptiles; they recycle dung and corpses; they keep the soil healthy; they distribute seeds; and they play a vital role in pollination.  And insects are in trouble, with well documented declines in many species, particularly those that are habitat specialists.  Human behaviour has driven habitat losses, with our enthusiasm for agricultural monocultures, and our use of pesticides has wiped out many insect populations.

So how can gardeners help these insect populations recover?  Gardens, parks and verges combine to form a far greater area than the country’s nature reserves.  So by making them more wildlife friendly, we can reverse the declines. 

Gardeners may think of themselves as “green”, but when you consider that the average trip to the Garden Centre results in the purchase of a plant that has been grown in peat, in a heated greenhouse, treated with insecticide, in a disposable plastic pot it is obvious that changes need to be made.

Dave gave us some steps to maximise the insect life in our gardens.  Use plants with open flowers.  Reimagine weeds as wild flowers. Mow less.  Build bug hotels to provide homes for insects. Plant flowering trees – which can provide continuity of food supply for insects from March through to June.  AND STOP USING PESTICIDES. Simple!

Dave gave us an entertaining but very thought provoking evening.  We now know how we can make a difference.  The rest is up to us!

Newsletter June 2022

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Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

June 2022

From the Chair

Dear Members

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Plant Sale, Jan took on a difficult task and all who helped by either donating plants or buying them should be congratulated on raising £3,000 for our funds. 

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We have always relied on a good plant sale to strengthen our finances which enables us to keep our subscriptions low as well as attracting great speakers.

We now look forward to our next big event The Summer Show, please support Pamela and her team by entering the various competitions on the 9th July.

By the way look out for us on PiG day, we will have a stall in the car park promoting the club.

JOHN

May Meeting

 Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

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This month we welcomed back Pamela Holt, a judge at our Spring Show, to hear her insights into the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Pamela was a student at Kew in the 1970’s. She also went on several plant hunting trips for the gardens.

Pamela started by explaining the derivation of the name Kew – originally Cayo – which describes a dock (Cay or Quay) on a spur of land (Ho – like in Westward Ho!) on the River Thames in West London.  The Royal connection comes from its founder Princess Augusta, mother of George III.  And the Gardens (note the plural) comes from the fact that it is actually an amalgamation of several gardens.

It was a really interesting evening and Pamela gave us lots of reasons to go and visit the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew very soon.

June Meeting

We are delighted to welcome back Dave Goulson to speak at our meeting this month.

Dave, Author of Sting in a Tale, first came to Grayshott in 2016 when he gave us a fascinating talk on Bumblebees.

This time his lecture is entitled ‘My Jungle Garden – gardening to save the planet’ and will be all about making our green spaces more insect and wildlife friendly.

There are already a myriad of small creatures that live in our gardens but with a few minor changes we can encourage even more and Dave will tell us how and also explain just why this is so important.

The meeting will be held in Grayshott Village Hall , on  Wednesday June 8th 2022

Light refreshments will be served and there will be a secondhand book sale

Doors open at 7.30pm ready for the lecture to begin at 8pm.

Summer Show

We’re looking forward very much to our Summer Show, and I’m sure there will be some great exhibits in all classes.

As a trial to make things easier for everyone involved , we’re changing the arrangements slightly.  Please can entrants come along to the hall  with their exhibits from 8.40 until 10am (rather than from 9 until 10.20am). 

If you are intending to enter a lot of classes – firstly a big thank you, secondly, we can accommodate you coming along to the hall earlier than 8.40am, which we hope will make things a bit less frenetic!

Please do contact Pamela at shows@grayshottgardeners.net if you have any questions.

Enjoying the rain…

 Pamela

Grayshott Gardeners Outings

A great time was had by all when we visited Millais Nurseries last month.

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All aboard our coach to Woolbeding Gardens

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Door to door service on our private coach

Exclusive welcome presentation on arrival with refreshments

New for 2022 – the Silk Route garden (plants from the ancient trade route designed by Fergus Garret from Great Dixter)

Cost £25 per head.  £10 per head deposit required.

Info from Vanessa Thompson at a club night or email events@grayshottgardeners.net to reserve your place(s)

Calibrachoa

An article on this plant featured in Grayshott Today earlier this year. There is no apology for including it in our newsletter. Calibrachoa is an outstanding summer plant for a Grayshott gardener, especially for a container or a hanging basket.

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‘Miniature Petunias on speed’ is the nearest description I can dream up for Calibrachoa.

The plants are full of multicoloured flowers from late April until autumn, growing best in a sunny position. It does not need any deadheading.

Calibrachoa is a plant that is well visited by both bees and butterflies.

Intensive hybridisation in recent years has led to a wide variety of colours being available

Having a a trailing habit Calibarchoa is ideal for pots, hanging baskets or cascading over a wall.

As it was so successful last year in our garden, fresh plants have already been bought for 2022. Calibrachoa plants are inexpensive and reliable in a sunny position.

If you have not grown it before it is suggested that you might like to give it a go.

Jobs for the month

1. Position summer hanging baskets and containers outside

Choose vibrant bedding plants for a short-term show or herbs, shrubs and evergreens for a long-lasting display.

2. Be water-wise, especially in drought-affected areas

Watering is key to growing plants well, so here we look at how to get it just right. This not only means providing the water our gardens need, but using it wisely.

3. Pinch out sideshoots on tomatoes

Removing the side-shoots is simple – every time you water, check the plant for any shoots sprouting just above each leaf, from the joint between the leaf and the stem.

4. Harvest lettuce, radish, other salads      and early potatoes

5. Hoe borders regularly to keep down weeds

6. Mow lawns at least once a week – but consider leaving some areas uncut for wildlife

7.Plant out summer bedding

8. Stake tall or floppy plants

9. Prune many spring-flowering shrubs

10. Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and prevent scorch

Looks like quite a busy month in the garden!

More details on all of these jobs can be found on the RHS website

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, by Pamela Holt

This month we welcomed back Pamela Holt, a judge at our Spring Show, to hear her insights into the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Pamela was a student at Kew in the 1970’s. She also went on several plant hunting trips for the gardens.

Pamela started by explaining the derivation of the name Kew – originally Cayo – which describes a dock (Cay or Quay) on a spur of land (Ho – like in Westward Ho!) on the River Thames in West London.  The Royal connection comes from its founder Princess Augusta, mother of George III.  And the Gardens (note the plural) comes from the fact that it is actually an amalgamation of several gardens.

The gardens have a number of distinctive ornamental structures which have been created over the years – for example the Pagoda which dates from 1762.  Other structures appear ornamental but have a more practical purpose – the Italian style campanile actually served as a chimney to take the soot away from the original coal fired boilers that heated one of the glasshouses.

The Gardens were passed from the Royal Family to the State in 1838, and the first Director, William Hooker, set out to develop the vision of George III to make a collection of plants from all across the Kingdom.  Not long later it also introduced training for horticulturalists and founded the Plant Science Laboratories that it is world famous for today.

Pamela told many amusing stories of Kew behind the scenes, and proudly showed us the silver medal she was awarded for coming second in the “Clog and Apron” students’ race along the Board Walk.

It was a really interesting evening and Pamela gave us lots of reasons to go and visit the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew very soon.

Newsletter May 2022

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Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

May 2022

From the Chair

Dear Members, 

Following our very successful Spring Show, at last the real Spring has decided to join us!

In a week’s time on 7th May we are holding our Annual Plant Sale in the Village Hall. Enormous effort has been made to provide you with a wide range of plants at bargain prices. The Sale starts at 10am and finishes at 11.30am. 

If you want more tips on collecting plants, then join us for our next speaker Pamela Holt, former “Plant Collector for The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew” who will be speaking to us on Wednesday 11th May at 7.30 for 8pm.

Happy planting.

JOHN.

Grayshott Gardener’s Plant Sale

Saturday May 7th 2022

Grayshott Village Hall

10am – 11.30am

A word of warning: queues start to form well before the doors are open!

There are a number of ways members can help:-

1. Any plants from your garden, after splitting, need to be potted up in good compost and taken to Jan Bebbington before Friday 6th May to give time to put them through sorting-tidying-pricing process. As such no plants can be accepted on Friday or Saturday (the day of the sale)

2. If you have suitable transport to help move plants from Jan’s to the Village Hall at 6 pm Friday that would be appreciated. Please contact Jan if you can help.

3. Please bring cash preferably or cheques to pay for the plants also bags to take away your plants.

4. Most importantly –

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS.

More information from Jan Bebbington: plantsales@grayshottgardeners.net

May Meeting

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Our speaker this month is Pamela Holt. A Horticulturist since leaving school, Pamela has worked variously in private gardens, nurseries, garden centres, the Home Office, Horticultural Colleges and for Local Authorities.

She trained at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew with Alan Titchmarsh and taught Charlie Dimmock whilst a lecturer in Somerset. An intrepid traveller Pamela has collected plants in Peru and Bolivia for Kew.

Kew Gardens has one of the most diverse collections of living plants of any botanic garden in the world.

Grayshott Village Hall

 Wednesday May 11th 2022

Light refreshments will be served and there will be a secondhand book sale

Doors open at 7.30pm ready for the lecture to begin at 8pm.

April Meeting

Last month our lecture was given by our very own President – Gordon Rae VMH.

At the beginning of the Covid 19 Pandemic, when we were all locked down and confined to our homes and gardens, Gordon got out his notebook and his camera and started to record events as they unfolded.  He took thousands of photographs of the plants that grow in his garden (and if they grow in his Grayshott Garden, then there’s a good chance they will also grow in yours).  And he also noted the extraordinary milestones of the time – from the shortage of loo rolls, to the roll out of the vaccine, the rule of six and all those family gatherings in gardens and carparks.

Gordon also shared some of the cards he had received from family members. One of which really made me smile – the sender obviously knew Gordon very well!

A full report of his talk can be found on our website

www.grayshottgardeners.net

Spring Show

Our first show for three years was a great success.

A very big thank you to all of our entrants, who between them provided almost 200 wonderful exhibits.  A great effort on such a frosty morning for the plants and flowers, and also some beautiful crafts and tasty home produce. The super quality of the exhibits gave the judges quite a challenge!

Please see below for the award winners:-

Spring Cup                          Judith Rae

Gardeners Cup                  Judith Rae

Denyer Cup                         Sue Erler

Gladys Willmott Cup        Jill Meech

Novice Cup                         Alan Wright

Whitehouse Cup               Judith Rae

Best in Show             Sue Erler

Craft Prize                           Margaret Stokes

Juniors Under 8                 Florence Strowger

Sue Erler with her beautiful prize winning exhibit.

And thank you to all those who came along in the afternoon to enjoy the scrumptious cakes with tea, buy a book or a plant and take a chance with a raffle ticket.

With members and guests, there were 181 people, our best attendance for some years.

Roll on July 9th and our Summer Show!

Thank you to those budding bakers who have asked for clarification on the tin size for the Lemon Drizzle cake recipe, class 67. 

The tin to be used is a 2lb loaf tin, we appreciate these come is slightly different sizes and this is fine.

Any questions, please contact Pamela Wright at

shows@grayshottgardeners.net

Grayshott Primary School

We have received a request from a governor of Grayshott Primary School (Tim Roberson) asking for guidance and advice on planting flowers and vegetables in the school garden.

The emphasis is on guidance!

Sue Wheeler is prepared to advise on plants, but we need a volunteer to advise on growing vegetables, can you help please?

The actual work is being carried out by PTA members, Governors and Parents, during the school summer holidays.

As the Village’s gardening club I hope we can help. You might be advising a future member of Grayshott Gardeners!

Please contact me for further information. JOHN   chair@grayshottgardeners

Plant of the Month

Madeira Orchid – Dactylorhiza foliosaThe meeting will be held in

It is a misconception. Orchids are not difficult to grow in a Grayshott garden.

If you wish to try, there are two which have proven themselves in our garden. Dactylorhiza and some varieties of Cypripedium, the Lady’s Slipper Orchid. Dactylorhiza foliosa, the Madeira Orchid, was the first we attempted some years ago and it is grown well and flowered regularly.

It is a native of Madeira, growing in damp woodlands and open grassland. It is in an herbaceous perennial producing bright green, shiny lance shaped leaves and conspicuous spikes a bluish/rosy pink flowers in May/June.

It is easy to grow in a well-drained damp humus rich soil, ideally with its feet in the shade and its head in the sun. It will tolerate a wide range of soil types from acid to alkaline. Dactylorhiza  will bulk up and can be divided in the autumn

The Madeira Orchid is fully hardy and will benefit from an autumn/ winter mulch.

After Dactylorhiza move onto Cypripediums which will cost you a little more for each plant!

Jobs for the month

1. First and foremost

Watch out for late frosts. Protect tender plants

Frost can affect many plants, and is particularly damaging to tender new growth and blossom in the spring. The risks of frost damage can be reduced by taking some simple steps to protect the plants in your garden.

2.Earth up potatoes, and promptly plant any still remaining.

Especially the ones you are growing for the Potato Competition in July

Potato plants need ‘earthing up’ as they grow, to protect early shoots from frost damage and ensure the developing potatoes aren’t exposed to light, which turns them green and poisonous.

3.Plant out summer bedding at the end of the month (except in cold areas)

4.Water early and late to get the most out of your water, recycle water when possible

5.Regularly hoe off weeds

6.Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days

7.Mow lawns weekly – but consider leaving some areas uncut for wildlife

8.Check for nesting birds before clipping hedges

9.Lift and divide overcrowded clumps of daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs

10.Watch out for viburnum beetle and lily beetle grub

The above list was taken from the RHS website where you can also get more information on each topic.