Newsletter January 2023

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

January 2023

From the Chair

Dear Members,

May I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year together with gardening success, and I hope everyone enjoyed their turkey and cranberry sauce, (don’t forget to save a jar to enter it into the Spring Show in April!)

Sadly, the good old British weather has prevented some of the last of pre winter garden tidying up, I certainly have more to do.

Looking ahead to 2023, Sue has created another programme of quality and varied speakers for us to look forward to. Also, Vanessa has pre-planned interesting outside visits to gardens for the spring and summer.

May I also thank again, those members who volunteered to assist the committee in the coming year, the committee appreciate your support.

It will be my pleasure to welcome you to our first meeting of the New Year on the 11th January, when our very own John Baker will be presenting to us a “Hosta Potpourri”. As John holds the National collection of Hostas, he has a wealth of experience and advice to hold our attention.

Please take note of the January 1st (or thereabouts) plant in flower count, despite awful weather it always amazes me what unexpected plants retain their blooms in our gardens,

I hope you join in and help surprise everyone with your own count.

Best wishes.


January Flower Count

Sorry for the very short notice but we are still going to run the New Year’s Flower Count. I think we can extend it this year to  the first week in January. This will be the third time of doing this, 66 different species in 21 and 53 in 22. Let’s see if we can beat that in 2023!

The idea is that you wander round your garden on New Year’s Day (or the nearest date you can get to that if the weather is rubbish) and count all the different flowers you can find.  Flowers must be fully open – not just in bud.  You’ll probably be surprised by just how much is out there if you get out and have a good look.  You can include any flower you find – which might be things you have planted or things that have arrived by themselves (aka weeds).

Make a note of their names (Latin or otherwise!) and email your results to Sue, our Programme Co-ordinator, at  (you can even include pictures if you want to).  It’s not a competition – just a bit of fun.

We will put them together to show just how much Flower Power there is in a Grayshott January. Watch out for the results in the February newsletter and on our website.

October Meeting

This month we were treated to beautiful scenes alongside a garden history lesson, when Annabel Watts – Head Gardener at Munstead Wood – came to give our Club Night lecture.

We learned how Gertrude Jekyll was a formidable business woman and a skilled craftswoman who made wood work with ornate inlays, intricate shell work and silver repousse. 

Munstead Wood was the headquarters of her enterprises, where she had a workshop, a forge and a flower shop.

It was fascinating to hear about the life and achievements of this formidable lady, whose influence is still very much with us more than a century later.

Two visits to these wonderful gardens have been organised by Vanessa Thompson in April. (see opposite)


Thanks to our Events organiser Vanessa, we have four exciting trips planned for this year.

More details can be found on our website or in the new green handbook or from Vanessa Thompson at a club night or email

December Meeting

Last month we were delighted to welcome Sally Nex who’s talk ‘How to Garden the Low Carbon Way ‘ was most interesting and informative.

Sally Nex is a gardener and writer whose work promoting sustainable techniques has appeared in leading national publications including Gardener’s World, The Guardian, Grow Your Own and the RHS’s The Garden.

Gordon, our president had to agree that he and Sally were at different ends of the gardening spectrum but was still looking forward to the talk.

‘Every little helps’ was the message. Maybe not buying too much summer bedding, leaving just a bit of your lawn to go wild, using a re-chargeable lawn mower, making your own compost were just some of the ideas.

Sally also showed us how she makes her own pots from newspaper or cardboard. Such a simple thing which costs nothing to us but is worth so much to our planet.

Sally Nex with programme Secretary Sue Wheeler and our chairman John PriOur talk this month will be given by our very own John Baker.

January Meeting – Hosta Potpourri.

Our talk this month will be given by our very own John Baker. John, and his wife June Colley, who has a Masters in Botany, hold the National Collection of Hostas in their  garden, which has featured in Monty Don’s  programme.

John considers Hostas as the perfect perenial and I am sure he will have tips on how to combat slugs and snails I look forward to that!The meeting will be held in

Grayshott Village Hall

 Wednesday January 11th 2023

Light refreshments will be served

Doors open at 7.15pm ready for the lecture to begin at 8pm.

Also at the meeting –

Snowdrops – thanks to Gordon and Judith Rae will once again be on sale.

Subscriptions – A gentle reminder from Jane our programme secretary. Subs for 2023 (£20) are now due and she will be on hand to collect subscriptions, by cash, cheque or card.January might be the middle of winter but as the days lengthen the garden starts to grow. Now is a great time to plan for the coming gardening year and to order seeds and plants. Enjoy the fresh air, on dry sunny days, and check your winter protection, stakes, ties and supports are still working after any severe weather. Also put out food for birds and leave some garden areas uncut, a little longer, to provide shelter for wildlife in your garden.

Jobs for this month

1. Prune apple and pear trees

Pruning an apple or pear tree can be daunting for many gardeners. Rather than be put off completely or panic and inadvertently harm the tree back by excessive pruning, instead try our easy guide and enjoy a well-shaped, productive tree.

2.Clean pots and greenhouses ready for spring

Cleaning greenhouses, whether glass or plastic, greatly improves the growing environment for plants. By removing the algae, moss and grime it lets in more light and helps control pests and diseases too.

3. Dig over any vacant plots that have not been dug already

Soil cultivation or digging may be hard work but, if taken slowly, it need not be back-breaking. In fact, here we describe how it can often be omitted or at least minimised.

More jobs for this month

4. Disperse worm casts in lawns.

5.Inspect stored tubers of Dahlia, Begonia and Canna for rots or drying out.

6. Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch.

7. Start forcing rhubarb.

8. Plan your vegetable crop rotations for the coming season.

9. Keep putting out food and water for hungry birds.

10.Make a polythene shelter for outdoor peaches and nectarines, to protect against peach leaf curl.

For more information visit