Newsletter March 2023

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

March 2023

From The Chair

Dear Members,

A brief update.

*Sadly we have heard our member Sue Byrne has died  (Gordon has sent a card on our behalf). Funeral 1pm Tuesday, 7th March at Greenacres, Heatherly Wood, Headley Road, Grayshott, GU35 8LA.

* Following John Bakers presentation and the high interest in keeping Slugs off Hostas. Our Secretary Sally has purchased some bulk Garlic Crystals and is bottling a strong mix with which she is filling 500ml bottles, this dilutes to approx 20 litres, to spray onto the plants. She proposes selling it at our next meeting under the name “Slug-er off” !  £3 per bottle. All proceeds to club funds.

* BBC Gardeners World Fair returns to Beaulieu on 28-30 April 9.30am – 5pm contact

*Nick Bailey “365 Days Of Colour in the Garden” See Page 2

I look forward to seeing you all again on Wednesday 8th March for our very special Keynote lecture by Tony Kirkham


News in General


The final date for payment of 2023 Annual Subscriptions is on Wednesday 8th March at our Club Night in Grayshott Village Hall when the £20 payment by cash, cheque and card can be made.

Spring Show

Now that Spring appears to have sprung, hope you’re all poring over the Show Schedules, ready for entering on 15th April – let’s make it a show to remember.

 Any questions, please contact Pamela Wright at and we look forward to seeing you all there!


The Munstead Wood Garden visit is now full. Vanessa has opened a waiting list.

But some places are still available for

Beechenwood Farm

Saturday 1st April 1Information from Vanessa Thompson at a club night or email:  to reserve your place

Plant of the Month

Chrysosplenium macrophyllum

Roy Lancaster told me that it is a very good ‘thank you’ plant to take to your host instead of chocolates or wine!

The plant is the Giant Golden Saxifrage(Chrysosplenium macrophyllum), an unusual and rather dramatic woodland plant from China.It is grown more as a ground cover plant in moist or moisture retentive soils for its foliage rather than its flowers.

The leaves are large (hence the Latin name)rather like a Bergenia, succulent, ovate, brownish when young and hairy, producing a good ground covering mat.

It is a low maintenance plant. It flowers early in February/March, the pinkish/white flat headed umbels borne on 15 to 30 cm (6”-12”) stems bursting from large swollen deep pink buds.

The flowers attract pollinating insects after flowering.

Each plant produces a mass of long strong growing stolons like the ‘Day of the Triffids’, scrambling over the adjacent plants and rooting at the tip, thus spreading the colony. Each year Judith pulls all the stolons off to keep our patch under control. If left, the new plants, being shallow rooted, are easy to transplant, pot up, to give away or sell at GGs!

The Giant Golden Saxifrage is best planted in full or partial shade in a sheltered spot, is tolerant of a wide range of moisture retentive soils, is largely pest (slugs!) and disease-free and fully hardy.

It is worth growing. Please let us know if you don’t have it in your garden and we will try to find one for you.

Local Events

Nick Bailey

Tickets for this event cost £10 and must be pre-booked as seating is limited.

Go to: Go to ‘next event’, Select ‘Celebrity speaker registration’, Fill in the form and submit

Proof of registration will be sent to you.

£10 is payable on the door on

February Meeting

We had the pleasure of welcoming Maggie Tran to our monthly meeting on February 8th to give us a fascinating talk.

‘The Trowels and Tribulations of taking on an Historic Garden’

Maggie turned from a fine arts background to a career in horticulture. She trained at Wisley for two years and obtained scholarships to places both in this country and abroad. A very impressive list – Great Dixter, Cambo gardens in Scotland, Sissinghurst, Kerdalo in Brittany, Tresco Abbey Gardens – Scilly’s subtropical gem and lastly Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania where, much to her delight, she found 80 acres of original wild meadow land to wander through!

Finally, in 2018 she took on the formidable task of restoring the gardens at Bramdean House to its original splendour.

It was  a most entertaining and inspiring evening – well worth the effort of stepping out on a very cold and frosty evening.

Bramdean House garden is open  under the NGS on Sundays 19 February and 25 June (13:00 – 15:30)  Visits also by arrangement March to September.

More information and pictures can be seen on our website.

March Meeting

This month we’ll be welcoming Tony Kirkham for our special Keynote lecture this month

Trees, a Cut Above The Rest

Tony Kirkham retired from his role as Head of the Arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, at the end of July 2021, after over 40 years’ devoted service to the management of its trees.

Tony joined the team at Kew as a supervisor after completing a diploma there – and he has never looked back. Over the years he has been responsible for the development of the arboretum into the world-class venue it is today, caring for over 14,000 specimens, with 150–200 more trees planted each year.

Well known through many books, articles and television programmes, his infectious enthusiasm for all things arboricultural has won him a place in the hearts of the general public, and when he teamed up with Dame Judi Dench, first in the TV programme about an oak tree near her home and later with a research trip to Borneo, his fame was secured as part of a duo of ‘national treasures’!

The meeting will be held in

Grayshott Village Hall  Wednesday March 8th 2023

Light refreshments will be served and there will be a raffle

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

Jobs for this month

Spring arrives (fingers crossed)

Spring usually arrives by mid-March and the frequent sunny days provide the opportunity for an increasing range of gardening tasks. It’s time to get busy preparing seed beds, sowing seed, cutting back winter shrubs and generally tidying up around the garden.

1. Prune bush and climbing roses

These general tips for rose pruning will help you improve the health and lifespan of any rose.

2. Plant shallots, onion sets and early potatoes

Onions are such a versatile vegetable – they feature in so many recipes, and growing your own means you’ll always have them to hand.

Dont forget to plant your competition potatoes ready for the Summer Show on 15th July

3.Plant summer-flowering bulbs

Bulbs make a fine display planted in containers or borders, especially daffodils, snowdrops and tulips in spring.

More jobs for this month

   4. Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials.

Please pot  some up ready for The Annual Plants Sale on 13th May

    5.Top dress containers with fresh compost

    6.Mow the lawn on dry days (if needed)

    7.Cut back Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) grown for colourful winter stems

    8.Hoe and mulch weeds to keep them under control early

    9.Start feeding fish and using the pond fountain; remove pond heaters

    10.Protect new spring shoots from slugs.

Get your magic mixture at the club night on March 8th.