Newsletter March 2021

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Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter :

March 2021


Welcome to our March Newsletter.  Spring is here at last and we have got through the mainly dull days of winter and can look forward to more daylight, more sunshine and more gardening.

We will be deciding if our Plant Sale in May can go ahead at our next Committee Meeting in March but, if not, we will find ways of selling to you the plants we have ready.

And thank you to everyone who took photos of ‘Snowy Scenes’. What an amazing response. Some of the pictures can be found on our website or use this link

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new members who have joined us and we look forward to meeting you when we are all back together enjoying our usual activities

Anne Waddell, Chairman


Various gardening magazines and websites advise what we need to do this month – here’s what Thompson Morgan say:

– Fertilise your beds. Once your soil is workable, dig a 5cm (or more) layer of compost or well-rotted manure into your beds to prepare for the growing season ahead. You can also work in a general-purpose fertiliser, such as pelleted chicken manure, or fish, blood and bone.

– Put supports in. If any of your garden plants need supporting this year, put them in now, so plants can grow up through them. Adding supports afterwards is trickier and often looks unattractive.

– Move deciduous trees or shrubs. Now is the time to do this task, provided the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged.

– Resurface paths before plants start to grow and smother them.

WHAT IS IT? Results for No. 3 & Photo for No. 4

The answer for February 2021 was the floral parts of Paeonia officinalis. Other suggestions were hellebore and dahlia. Karen Cozens was the only member who correctly identified the plant. Well done Karen.

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             Photo no. 3: Paeonia officinalis

And here is photo no. 4: (and no it is NOT a teddy!)

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


One of our members, Karen Cozens, has suggested that we have a monthly feature provided by a member. What a great idea! So, this month we kick off with Karen’s ‘Top 5 Plants’ – she has written the words and husband Jim has taken the photos, so we are delighted to showcase these.

My top 5 plants… really, how tricky can that be?  As it turns out – very!  I pick up my pen and start to list the plants that I absolutely cannot live without … I put down my pen as I reach 15 as I’m barely getting into my stride.  To help me focus I try to imagine what my garden would look like if I were restricted to only 5 plants – a miserable thought, immediately dismissed!  So, in the end I’ve decided to go with the first 5 I wrote down on the list! I will just have to save my top 5 roses and top 5 clematis for another day…

Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’I love alliums in all their forms.  The flowers are stunning but so too are the seed heads and they quietly multiply over the years.  Many to choose from but this is my favourite.
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfeniiYes, I know you need gloves to handle them because the sap is an irritant, but this plant is interesting all year round… a large structural plant with bright lime green flower heads.  My favourite is Humpty Dumpty, mostly because of the name.
Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican Sunflower)A striking annual for a sunny spot – easy to raise from seed, rich orange flowers on a tall plant, non-stop flowering later in the season if you keep deadheading, loved by pollinators and produces loads of free seeds for propagation next year!
Verbena bonariensisMy absolute favourite plant. Lovely colour, easy going, self-seeds, tall, light and airy.  This year I decided to leave the seed heads on and so glad I did.  It turns out that our visiting squadron of goldfinches love them!
Wisteria floribundaAt my previous house I inherited and nurtured a wonderful old wisteria, but I had to wave it a tearful goodbye when we moved.  Upon arrival in Grayshott I bought two new plants already in flower and nestled the pots in amongst the building works where they sulked and waited.  Battered and neglected, they eventually got their feet in the ground a year or so later and pretty much scaled the pergola in a single year to produce much needed shade but alas only one flower… I have high hopes for this year – wish me luck!

Thankyou Karen and Jim. Our April newsletter will have a feature provided by Gordon and Judith Rae. We welcome articles from members for future newsletters – let’s see if we can do one every month this year – there is so much horticultural enthusiasm in Grayshott, it would be lovely to have contributions from members and share them with our readership. It has been suggested that one article could be on water features, another on a recycling/eco project, a before and after story, wildlife visitors to the garden etc., etc. Or we could just stick with the heading ‘My Top Five Plants’. The only criterion is that it is about your garden! Please get in touch with our ‘editor’, Anne Butler, if you have a possible article or would like to discuss an idea.


Our Zoom lectures continue to be very popular. This month Ben Pope will be giving us some advice about “Making the Best of What You Have” on Wednesday 10th March starting at 8pm, although as always members can log in at 7.30pm for a bit of a chat before we are all ‘muted’ ready for the lecture.  Ben Pope has been in the horticulture industry for the last 19 years, studying and training at Merrist Wood and RHS Wisley, where he was awarded Best Practical and Best Overall Student. His work experience ranges from nursery practices and propagation in Australia through to design and horticultural research in London for the practice of Arabella Lennox-Boyd. For the past 10 years he has been leading a team of four to maintain and develop a private garden in West Sussex, whilst growing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers for the house.

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.

Don’t forget that, when possible, we record our lectures too and they are available, after the lecture, for a time limited period if you didn’t have a chance to ZOOM in or you want to listen to it again. Warm thanks to John Price for making this a possibility after our last lecture. You receive details of the recordings via e-mail so do watch out for them.


We would also like to let you know about a change to our Programme in May 2021.  We are still not sure whether we will be back in the Village Hall by then, so have changed our May lecture to one that could be offered as a Zoom lecture if needs be.  So, on Wednesday 12th May Andy McIndoe will be talking to us about “Beautiful English Gardens”.  Pandemic permitting, there will be a GG outing to Andy’s own garden, Sandhill Farm, on 23rd June, so perfect timing! We have arranged for our original May speaker, Pamela Holt, to visit us in 2022 instead.


Those of you who are enjoying the virtual world of gardening might also be interested to know that the National Garden Scheme (NGS or Yellow Book Gardens) is offering virtual garden visits on their website – here’s the link. These are made up of gardens nationwide, but there are a couple of little gems from Hampshire amongst the gardens on offer.

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We have received from the NGS their Hampshire Yellow Booklet. It is attached to this newsletter.

The booklet is very different this year to previous years – there are no advertisers and no photos, but all the information is here. The hope is that in 2022, we will be able to view the booklet in all its glory. Please check the NGS website before you venture to any of the gardens.


As reported in our last newsletter, our Spring Photographic competition is going ahead, even though we regretfully have had to cancel the Spring Show. 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.

The closing date for the Spring entries is 1st April 2021. 

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