Newsletter February 2021

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

February 2021


Hello everyone…. I hope you all are staying safe and enjoying seeing the beginnings of Spring ….it is just lovely to discover crocus, snowdrops, primroses and hellebores…and more. We had great interest in the first ever Grayshott Gardeners New Year’s Day Flower Count (see page 2) so thank you all who braved the cold to wander around your gardens. Because the safety and well-being of our members are paramount, we have had to cancel our Spring Show, but have high hopes that we will be able to hold our Summer Show and, maybe, the Plant Sale so please keep potting-up and cherishing any plants you have for the Sale.

In the meantime, happy gardening.

Anne Waddell, Chairman


Here’s some timely tips of what to do in the garden this month. More detail is available in various gardening magazines or on websites – here’s what Thompson Morgan say:

– Prepare your seed beds. As long as the ground isn’t frozen, you can cultivate beds and start to warm up the soil, with fleece, polythene or cloches, in preparation for sowing in the coming months.

– Organise this year’s seeds by sowing date. Get hold of a box with dividers, and file your seed packets by the month they need to be sown in. You’ll be so glad of this effort in the weeks to come.

– Check your tools are sound and your garden machinery is working. Give your tools and equipment the once over and apply a little TLC to anything that needs it.

– Blitz perennial weeds in your beds and kitchen garden. Dig them up, roots and all, to get a head start on the blighters before the weather warms up.

WHAT IS IT? Results for No. 2 & Photo for No. 3

The answer for January 2021 was Iris foetidissima, which has the common name of stinking iris. Two members correctly identified the plant – Karen Cozens and Margaret Penfold. It was not that easy.

Photo no. 2: Iris foetidissima

And here is photo no. 3:

If you think you know what it is, please e-mail Gordon Rae.


Our next virtual meeting is on Wednesday 10th February 2021 at 8 pm when Amanda Patton will be giving a lecture ‘Creating Good Plant Combinations’. Amanda runs an award-winning garden design practice with 20 years’ experience creating modern gardens throughout Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. With a background in professional illustration and archaeology, Amanda is inspired by colour, touch and texture.

Please contact Helen Deighan for information on how to register for this lecture 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 amazingly we have over 100 people registered with Helen to access our ZOOM lectures.


The Spring Show might be cancelled, but we still are going ahead with our Photographic Competition. The title is “It Looks Like Spring”. You are invited to e-mail one photo to Gordon Rae. Judging will be carried out by an external judge. There will be the usual prize of £20 for the winner.

So, please start taking photographs as soon as you wish. As well as the Spring competition, there will be the Summer one too, entitled ‘A Cosy Corner’, so you can start taking photos for that too, although entries will not be needed until the Summer.

We will let you know in the March newsletter the closing date for the Spring entries. 

Please don’t forget that a little humour in the photos will be much appreciated!

Here are a couple of photos (taken by Gordon) to inspire you.


The Committee recently met (virtually!) and reluctantly decided that we need to cancel the Spring Show – in view of the continuing uncertainty about the impact of the pandemic. We know this will be a great disappointment to many of you, but please be assured that we will do what we can to continue to offer to Grayshott Gardeners virtual meet ups.

There has been a suggestion of members being able to notify others of plants they have for sale or plants they are looking for……possibly on an exchange basis. These notifications can be posted in the newsletter – if there is support for this suggestion. Please use the contact e-mail on our website (info) if you have any views about this.

In the meantime, we give below details of our Photographic Competition and Potato Competition

We will review at our next Committee meeting in March the position on the Plant Sale due on 8th May and the Summer Show, scheduled for 10th July.


If we are not able to hold the Summer Show on Saturday 10th July 2021, we will still be able to hold the annual ‘Potato Championship’ (Class 49).

Leslia, our Show Coordinator, already has obtained, bagged up and delivered to Gordon Rae’s house, 27 bags of second early potatoes for members to grow however they wish, in open ground, pots or in ‘grow-bags’ for example.

Please let us know that you would like to enter and have your three, free, seed potatoes. We will arrange collection or delivery to you.

We had 13 entries in 2020 and it became a lot of fun, so please try again and get us up to 20! We will arrange the judging later if we are not able to hold a full show.


BBC Radio 4‘s ‘Open Country’ aired a really lovely programme last month about snowdrop mania – when galanthophile Alan Street, head nurseryman from Avon Bulbs, walked us through his snowdrop landscape. The link is here – it makes great listening.


Please find attached our Grayshott Gardeners themed crossword puzzle for February.

Please look out for the answers in the March newsletter. If possible, in future we will try to upload the answers to the crossword puzzle on the website at the same time that the newsletter goes out – so you have the questions and answers at the same time – we know that, for some of you, a wait of a month for the answers is just too long!

Attached to this newsletter are the answers to the January crossword puzzle which featured in our last newsletter.