Newsletter May 2021

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

May 2021


Dear Members 

Things really are looking up and hopefully we can get together before too long.

I have some sad news to tell you.  Beryl Bamford has recently peacefully passed away.  Beryl was Chairman in 1998 and a long-standing member of our gardening Club, a much loved and very dedicated member for many years and we shall all miss her greatly, especially all the work she did in the Village to keep the flowers looking lovely.

One of our Committee Members, Terry French, unfortunately has had to stand down, so we are looking for someone to replace her on our Shows Committee. Terry was especially helpful on the days of our two shows each year. If you think you can help or would like more information, please contact Pamela Wright at

Keep well and enjoy your Spring gardening.

All the best, Anne Waddell, Chairman


A member, Tricia Henson, has been in touch saying “I had a visiting dog trash our patch of shuttlecock ferns last year and it doesn’t look too promising. If anyone is planning to send some to the (virtual) sales, I’d like to get a few replacements”. If you can help, please get in touch with Tricia via Thank you.


How exciting that, at the time of writing, the GG outing to West End Flower Farm, on Wednesday 26 May IS going ahead. We, of course, need to ensure we are COVID-compliant and do all we can to keep ourselves and fellow members safe.

We meet at the venue at 10.30 am and, at your own pace, you can explore the farm where beautiful flowers are grown. But first you might want to grab a take-away coffee and a slice of one of their delicious cakes and meet for a socially distanced catch-up in a tepee which has been reserved solely for members of Grayshott Gardeners. After your self-guided tour of the farm, there is the opportunity for some retail therapy – local produce and a selected number of products that have been used extensively across the farm – whether it be for growing their gorgeous flowers, serving in the restaurant or using items in their arrangements.

West End Flower Farm is in Froyle, Alton, Hampshire GU34 4JG. To find out more about the farm please use this link .

If you plan to join the outing, please notify Barbara Homer. Please put ‘GG’ in the subject line of your e-mail to Barbara.

MY TOP FIVE PLANTS – for a sunny summer border – from a GRAYSHOTT GARDENER

This month we feature the ‘Top 5 Plants’ of our Programme Coordinator, Sue Wheeler. Sue also takes care of the content of our website:

Just like everyone else who has attempted this exercise, I found choosing my Top Five Plants nigh on impossible.  It’s right up there in the difficulty stakes with trying to choose your Desert Island Discs.  So, I have cheated, and focused my selection on the five flowery plants that I wouldn’t be without for a summer border.  I hope my list will conjure up visions of the sunny days ahead of us …..

Rosa ‘Constance Spry’Constance Spry, climbing over a pergola at the back of a border, is a must for me.  It’s such a pretty pink, with a lovely rosy scent.  It doesn’t repeat flower but makes up for that by giving a spectacular show once a year.  My Mum was a “Connie” – so we call this “Mum’s rose”.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Magical Moonlight’This is a really beefy hydrangea paniculata.  It gets to about 8 foot tall, so perfect for the back of a large border.  Its huge flowers start off pure white, and gradually fade to pink, before finally leaving papery seed heads which last through to the next spring.  
Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’  These wands of flowers have an ombre look – graduating from deep purple at the tips through to white at the base.  It is tall and wavy and flowers all summer.  And you often get fasciated blooms (hence the name) which are weird and wonderful and make a great talking point.  
Thalictrum delavayi ‘Hewitt’s Double’To provide a real contrast, this Thalictrum is frothy, light and airy.  You can see right through it, like a lilac veil.  It makes me want to reach out and run my hand through it.  And it has lovely grey/green lacy foliage too.  
Echinacea pallidaThis is my favourite echinacea.  Not very long lived (I’ve managed to get 3 seasons out of them and then have to replace) but so relaxed, with their reflexed, floppy petals and their distinctive cones that the bees adore.  Watch out for slugs on the new foliage as it emerges in the spring.  

Next month Helen Deighan, who is our communications lead, is going to share with us her list of her top five plants. 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! Please get in touch with our editor, Anne Butler, at, if you have a possible article or would like to discuss an idea.


This month, on Wednesday 12May, we are delighted to welcome Andy McIndoe into our living rooms for his ZOOM lecture on ‘Beautiful English Gardens: A journey around some classic gardens. Lovely pictures and beautiful flowers’.

With over 40 years-experience in retail and production horticulture, Andy McIndoe is an author and regular contributor to a number of magazines, blogs and BBC Radio. Andy works freelance spending most of his time advising on, designing and planting private gardens of all sizes. His plant knowledge, practical approach and eye for planting combinations are put to good use both in creating gardens from scratch and transforming established gardens. He and his wife Ros welcome visitors by appointment to their 2.5acre naturalistic garden, Sandhill Farm, Hampshire during the spring, summer and autumn. Grayshott Gardeners has an outing planned there for 23 June – we are sure Andy’s enthusiasm will inspire you to want to visit.

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, 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.


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. You will receive details of the recordings via e-mail from .

WHAT IS IT? Results for No. 5 & Photo for No. 6

The answer for April 2021 was the floral parts of the Toad Lily, Tricyrtis. Congratulations to member, Karen Cozens (yet again!), who correctly identified the photo.

Photo no. 5:

And here is photo no. 6:

If you think you know what it is, please e-mail Gordon Rae by 15 May 2021.

We will provide the answer and the names of those who correctly identified the photo in our June newsletter.


One of our members, Belinda Pope, is a trustee at The Hunter Centre (see more here) in Haslemere. It offers day care for those with dementia and respite for their carers as well as advice and guidance on dementia in general. The trustees are keen to develop the services offered at the Centre and one initiative being progressed is to start catering for people with lower need dementia who are still pretty independent but who would benefit from increased stimulation and social interaction. There is a lovely secure garden behind the Centre which is being developed further and one of the proposals is to start a gardening club for an afternoon a week (Tuesday or Saturday) where clients could come and potter in the garden, tend the tubs and raised beds, plant a few things, weed, deadhead, water, tend seeds etc with a little supervision and assistance if required. We are looking for volunteers to help run the club and wonder if there is anyone in the Grayshott Gardeners who’d have any time and inclination to support this initiative even if not every week. Please contact the secretary at the Hunter Centre if you are able to help or would like more information.


When you’ve spent time in the garden and are enjoying a well-earned cuppa, why not tune in to the podcast

 “grow, cook, eat, arrange”; this is by gardeners Sarah Raven and Arthur Parkinson, who’ve worked together for nearly ten years at the beautiful Perch Hill Farm in the South of England. The link is here.

Sarah loves gardening in general, but growing produce both food and flowers is the part she loves the most. She also loves to cook straight forward garden-picked food every day with the minimal amount of ingredients and palaver but the greatest amount of taste! Arthur is Sarah’s friend and workmate who picks beautiful arrangements for photoshoots and open days at the farm, from buckets of scented sweet peas to huge armfuls of dahlias and towering gladiolus.


Thank you to everyone who submitted photos in our Spring Photographic competition. Entitled “It Looks Like Spring”, the closing date was the end of April and the difficult task of judging is under way. We will put the winning entries on our website here; the winner in first place will be awarded a prize of £20.


Attached is our Grayshott Gardeners themed crossword puzzle for May.

Please look out for the answers in the June 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 ( or here) on 7th May 2021, in the ‘newsletter’ tab.

Attached to this newsletter are the answers to the April crossword puzzle which featured in our last newsletter. These answers also are on our website: or here, in the ‘newsletter’ tab.


The club has set up new email addresses for some of the GG Committee members, so that we do not have to publish personal email addresses, and to give a consistent approach.

The ones created so far are as follows –:                Helen Deighan – communications to members                        Rosario Henshall – Hon. Secretary Jane Jones – Membership Secretary Anne Butler – newsletter related items Gordon Rae – President, potato & photographic competitions   Sue Wheeler – Programme Coordinator and the Grayshott Gardeners website Pamela Wright – Show Coordinator Dennis Homer – Hon. Treasurer

You will see these being used, as relevant, on the website, in the programme, on posters, in the newsletter etc.

If you need to communicate with the committee members, please send your email to the appropriate person using the email addresses listed above.


Here is the second tale about Grayshott Gardeners which Gordon Rae, our President, has told.

This may have been related before in Grayshott. It was a special birthday for my wife, Judith. I asked her if there was something special she would like. As she was not able to think of anything, she suggested a surprise.

Being an ‘incurable romantic’, I gave it some serious thought and finally came up with a surprise present. I bought her something she did want – a new garage door!

The following February we went to an R.H.S. Snowdrop Show in London. It was Valentine’s Day and Judith wanted to buy me a named snowdrop as a present for my collection. She found one specially for me. It is called “Grumpy”!

If you have a Grayshott Gardeners Tale you’d like to share, please get in touch with the editor at