New Year’s Flower Count 2023

In what has become a bit of a tradition, Grayshott Gardeners went out into their gardens at the beginning of January to count as many blooms as they could find.

The very cold spell we had before Christmas (down to -10 in this chilly garden) and the lack of sunshine since then, meant that the pickings this year were slim.  None of the summer flowerers had held on to their blooms from last season, as we saw in previous years.  And the inclement conditions meant that many of the winter performers had yet to really get into their stride.

But that doesn’t mean that our gardeners came back in with empty lists.  They may have been shorter lists than in previous years, but some plants were still braving the elements, and between us we racked up a total of 34 species.  And how heart lifting those diminutive flowers were.  A tiny reminder that spring is on its way …..

Hosta Potpourri, by John Baker

Our first club night lecture of 2023 was given by our very own John Baker, who gave a very entertaining lecture about all things Hosta.

John went right back to the origins of the Hostas we grow in our gardens today – which originated in Manchuria, and from there spread to Korea, Russia and Japan.  They were originally classified as Hemerocallis, or Day Lilies – which explains their common name of Plantain Lilies.

Plant Hunters brought the Hosta back from Japan to Europe in 1790.  The Dutchman Philip von Siebold was the most famous of these hunters – and many hostas today bear his name – sieboldii or sieboldiana.

Hosta ‘June’ is the most popular, and award winning hosta today.  Many of our popular varieties come from crossing the species to provide the unusual leaf markings and varied leaf sizes that we love today.  The current range spreads from the giant ‘Empress Wu’ to the diminuative ‘Mouse Ears’

John couldn’t talk about Hostas without addressing the elephant in the room – Slugs and Snails.  He gave us recipes for garlic spray and told us how to use Epsom salts and Ammonia.  And his top tip was to mark February 14th in our calendars for the Valentine’s Day massacre.

John and his wife June have travelled widely to see hostas growing in the wild, and he showed them growing in swamps, forest floors and in the cracks of rocks near waterfalls.  They have made many international friends along the way – showing how plants and shared enthusiasms can bridge language barriers and cultural differences.

Through it all John’s knowledge, enthusiasm and passion for hostas shone through.  We all came away wondering where we could find space for at least one more in our own gardens.

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.

JOHN.

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 programme@grayshottgardeners.net  (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)

Visits

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

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

events@grayshottgardeners.net

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 www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/January

How to garden the low carbon way, by Sally Nex

In December we were lucky enough to welcome Sally Nex to Grayshott Gardeners.  Sally started her career as a journalist. Ten years ago her eyes were opened to the fact that some of the ways we garden are wreaking destruction on our planet, without us even being aware of it.  She vowed to try and stop that by making changes to the way she gardens, and by encouraging others to be more aware and do the same.

Private UK gardens make up 1 million acres, with more plants per square meter than rainforest – so it really does matter what you do in your own little patch.  They support thousands of species of insects, and are hugely valuable in the ecosystem services they provide.  They conserve water in drought, they prevent flooding, they keep us cool and they clean the air.  Which is a good start for gardens.

But can we go further?  Sally definitely thinks so, and she outlined some of the ways we can garden in a low carbon way.

For example, have a think about the way you use summer bedding – which has probably been raised in peat, sprayed with insecticides, fed with chemicals and delivered in single use plastic.  Could you buy it in peat free compost and pulp trays?  Or raise your own from seed? Or plant perennials in pots instead? Or abandon pots altogether and plant in the ground where the roots will sequester carbon.

Nearly all of the carbon in our gardens is held in the soil – No Dig is the easiest thing to do to make sure we do not release it.  Adding compost to return organic matter to the soil is important too. Switching to peat free compost, using organic rather than synthetic fertilizers and being vigilant about plastic use are all easy steps for the average gardener to take.

Sally’s primary message was “Every Little Helps”.  Do what you can, stay informed and be aware of the impact your actions are having.  We are all tiny cogs in that 1 million acre wheel.  And it was billions of tiny actions that got us into this mess, so billions of tiny actions can get us out of it.

Munstead Wood through the Seasons, by Annabel Watts

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.

Annabel Watts

Munstead Wood, near Godalming, was the home of the celebrated gardener Gertrude Jekyll.  Turning the conventional order of property development on its head, she first made a garden here, on 15 acres of dry sandy soil, and only then did she have a house designed for the plot by the young architect Edwin Lutyens.  It was in this space that the pair experimented with the ideas in garden design and architecture for which they were to become respectively famous.

The garden was completely lost after the Second World War, when the plot was divided.  The new owners of Gertrude’s house tarmacked and lawned over the beds and the paths, and added a swimming pool, paddocks and a tennis court.   In the hurricane of October 1987 200 trees were lost.  Once the debris from this destruction had been cleared the outlines of the Jekyll paths and borders could be seen.  Using these outlines and Gertrude Jekyll’s writing an ambitious restoration of the garden began.  And hence the garden we can see today was reborn.

Gertrude Jekyll was influenced by William Robinson and his Wild Gardening movement.  So she rejected Victorian carpet bedding in favour of cycles of perennial plants that would provide colour, form and movement throughout the year.   The challenge for Annabel and her fellow gardeners at Munstead Wood, is how to preserve the gardens so that they feel like Miss Jekyll has only just left.  They do this by using the Jekyll planting plans, utilising the plants she specified wherever possible.

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.

The New Gardens at RHS Hilltop Wisley, by Ann-Marie Powell

Ann-Marie Powell pictured at the launch of the £2million public fundraising appeal to build the National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning at RHS Garden Wisley – 2nd May 2018. Credit:RHS and Oliver Dixon

We were delighted to welcome Gold Medal winning designer Ann-Marie Powell to Grayshott Gardeners this month, to tell us all about the design and build of two of the new gardens at RHS Hilltop, Wisley.

The journey started way back in 2017, when the RHS “tweeted” an advert for garden designers to submit proposals for three new gardens which were to surround their new laboratory building at Hilltop – which was to be the “Home of Gardening Science”.  Ann-Marie and her team rose to the challenge and bid for two of these gardens – the Wildlife Garden and the World Food Garden.  They didn’t have long to search for inspiration – a two week window is all that was allowed.  Luckily Ann-Marie is a voracious researcher and found inspiration in the library – the exoskeleton of a bee’s wing seemed perfectly fitting for a wildlife garden, whilst the World Food Garden layout was based on the vascular system of a monocot plant (get those botany books out 😉).

The bids were successful and a long round of presentations followed, along with more detailed plans, plant selection and value engineering (a synonym for “keeping the costs down”).  The building at Hilltop went up, and all was ready for the gardens to be created by March 2020.  And we all know what happened then…….

Covid lockdowns meant that site visits were limited and facetime views of progress were the only way forward.  Material shortages, rising prices and limited access all proved very challenging, so it seemed something of a miracle when the gardens were ready to open as planned in April 2021.

Ann-Marie explained how important it was for the new gardens to be inspiring, and to be able to engage a whole new audience – all income brackets, ages, ethnicities and levels of experience.  They were about showcasing horticulture, and had to have a WOW factor – but they also needed to be provide ideas that were achievable in the average garden, balcony or windowsill.  

The Wildlife Garden amplifies nature, but is not rewilding.  It includes all the elements that are crucial for wildlife – water, plenty of accessible nectar and pollen available over a long season and plenty of places to hide and nest.  

The World Food Garden is divided into 3 areas – one for herbs and edible flowers, a “good to grow” section showcasing vegetables that beginners can have success with, and finally the World Food maze which showcases the wide range of more unusual edibles that we can grow in our climate.

The gardens are a triumph, and are fast becoming the go-to destination at Wisley.  It was a privilege to be taken behind the scenes – I think we will all look at the gardens from a slightly different perspective next time we visit.

Newsletter September 2022

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Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

September 2022

From the Chair

Dear Members

How rare is it that we have been locked out of our gardens due to excessive heat?

After 46 years in North Yorkshire I never thought I would pray for rain. But, balance is gradually returning with “good rain”  of repeated showers instead of cloudbursts, showing the amazing recovery abilities of, seemingly, dead grass. Early in August a full coach of us enjoyed a very interesting visit to Woolbeding Gardens, which included the Silk Route garden leading to the unique Heatherwick greenhouse, if you went on the visit or not it is worth looking at the link  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQkvjpIkMXk which shows it in action.

An additional benefit was, both on the coach and at the gardens, members had the opportunity to mix  with members who they never had the opportunity of meeting previously, a big plus.

Again, our thanks to Vanessa for selecting and organising such a successful visit.

JOHN.

A little something to think about…..

The RHS are looking for volunteers for an experiment/ study on “Well-being” and the garden. As a gardeneing club we feel that the mental health benefits of the garden are really important and we are pleased to see them getting serious about research in this area   Link here…..

https://linktr.ee/rhs.wellbeing

Visits

An interesting invitation from The Chiddingfold Gardening Group.

 Jack Salway has kindly agreed to open his amazing subtropical garden to the public on the 18th September. All ticket proceeds will go to St Mary’s Church, Chiddingfold.

Access to Jack’s garden is via the Combe Lane Allotments Car Park. Walk past the pitch with the allotments on your right hand side and Jack’s garden can be accessed at the end of the football pitch.

To control the number of people in Jack’s garden at any one time, we will be selling tickets for the period of 1-2.30pm, 2.30-4pm and 4-5pm. Tickets are £5 and under 16s go free. To control the number of people in Jack’s garden, it would help if you could buy a ticket in advance at www.eventbrite.co.uk search for Chiddingfold and you will find the event. Tickets will also be available on the day from the entrance to Jack’s garden from the Combe Lane football pitch.

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August Meeting

Martyn Cox was the speaker for our Club Night lecture this month, and he treated us all to a very entertaining evening.

Firstly we learned just how long some of our vegetables have been around.  We saw mosaics from 300BC depicting bunches of asparagus that would not look out of place in today’s supermarkets.  We heard how dried peas were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun – clearly they were the food of kings.  And there are paintings of beetroot on the walls of Pompeii.

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We also heard how some vegetables are celebrated – with tomato throwing festivals in Spain, the Hindhu worship of Basil, and how the Grecian athletes smeared onion juice on their bodies to increase their sporting prowess.

In a history a bit closer to home, we learned how carrots were promoted to the Brits in World War II – mainly because they were easy to grow.  They were said to improve the eyesight of pilots, and help you find your way round in the blackouts (all untrue, but useful propaganda).  And children deprived of sugar by rationing were given carrots on sticks instead of lollipops!

At the end we reflected on the fact that all the vegetables currently grown on our allotments and vegetable gardens have originated from abroad – many from ancient cultures and civilisations.  The humble veg patch is far more exotic than first meets the eye!

More details of this talk can be found on our website www.grayshottgardeners.net

September Meeting

We are delighted to welcome the celebrated garden designer Ann-Marie Powell to present our Key Note lecture this month.

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Her talk – ‘The New Gardens at RHS Hilltop Wisley’ will tell us about this amazing new development on our doorstep!

How lucky we are to live and garden in Grayshott.

Plant of the Month

Japanese Anemone

Although called the Japanese Anemone, it comes from central China in the province Hubei and is a member of the Buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).

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The capital of Hubei is Wuhan –  remember that?

The Japanese Anemone is a reliable, robust, herbaceous perennial which will grace any late summer, early autumn border.

The striking flowers born on upright stems 2-5 feet tall maybe the purest white, pink to near purple, some flushed with a grey-blue reverse.

All have centres of bright yellow stamens, much favoured and pollinated by a wide range of insects.

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There are single, semi double and double varieties available.

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 Cultivation dates back 11-1200 years in China, but was not introduced into Europe until the 1800s.

Japanese Anemones are easy to grow and reliable in full sun or partial shade. They favour a rich soil which does not dry out. This year (2022) ours have suffered from the prolonged dry weather and are shorter, and have far fewer and much smaller flowers.

Plants in good conditions will spread easily and may be divided by splitting clumps in Spring or propagated by root cuttings in late Autumn, early winter.

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Varieties which have thrived in Grayshott are:-

A.‘Honorine Jobert’, –  single  pure white

      A ‘Hadspen Abundance’pink

  1. ‘Wild Swan’ attractive blue grey reverse.

Jobs for this month

September is generally a cooler, gustier month than August and the days are noticeably shorter. While there’s not as much to do in the ornamental garden at this time of the year, if you have a fruit or vegetable patch, you’ll be busy reaping the rewards of harvest. It’s also time to get out and start planting spring-flowering bulbs for next year and you can collect seeds for next summer’s colour too. Make the most of the remaining warmth while you can!

1.Divide herbaceous perennials

Dividing perennials regularly will ensure healthy, vigorous plants that will continue to perform year after year. It also offers the opportunity to multiply your plants.

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2.Pick autumn raspberries

Harvest regularly, to get fruits at the peak of ripeness, when richly coloured, plump and easy to pull off. Pick on a dry day, so the berries aren’t wet.

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3.Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals

Growing plants from seed is generally straightforward and inexpensive. It is an opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free.

4. Dig up remaining potatoes before slug damage spoils them

5.    Net ponds before leaf fall gets underway

6.    Keep up with watering of new plants, using rain or grey water if possible

7.    Start to reduce the frequency of houseplant watering

8.    Clean out cold frames and greenhouses so that they are ready for use in the autumn

9.    Cover leafy vegetable crops with bird-proof netting

10.Plant spring flowering bulbs

    More details on all of these jobs can be found on the RHS website

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/september

In memory

The funeral for Gillian Rawcliffe will be held on Friday 2nd September 2022 at 11.30

Green Acres, Heatherley Wood, Grayshott Road, GU35 8LA

Please wear bright colours with  co-ordinated accessories etc  – those of you who knew Gill will appreciate this!

 No flowers but donations if desired to Alzheimers Research or  RNLI can be done via Grayshott – Gould & Chapman

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The Secret History of Vegetables, by Martyn Cox

Martyn Cox was the speaker for our Club Night lecture this month, and he treated us all to a very entertaining evening.  Martyn has worked in gardening since he left school, and is best known as a gardening journalist – he writes for the Mail on Sunday, Amateur Gardening and Gardening News.

Martyn likes to add interest to the articles he writes on vegetables, by including lesser known facts amongst the more usual advice on how to grow and eat the produce.  Over the years he has built up quite a collection of these stories, and his lecture shared some of these anecdotes with us.

Firstly we learned just how long some of our vegetables have been around.  We saw mosaics from 300BC depicting bunches of asparagus that would not look out of place in today’s supermarkets.  We heard how dried peas were found in the tomb of Tutankhamum – clearly they were the food of kings.  And there are paintings of beetroot on the walls of Pompeii.

We also heard how some vegetables are celebrated – with tomato throwing festivals in Spain, the Hindhu worship of Basil, and how the Grecian athletes smeared onion juice on their bodies to increase their sporting prowess.

In a history a bit closer to home, we learned how carrots were promoted to the Brits in World War II – mainly because they were easy to grow.  They were said to improve the eyesight of pilots, and help you find your way round in the blackouts (all untrue, but useful propaganda).  And children deprived of sugar by rationing were given carrots on sticks instead of lollipops!

At the end we reflected on the fact that all the vegetables currently grown on our allotments and vegetable gardens have originated from abroad – many from ancient cultures and civilisations.  The humble veg patch is far more exotic than first meets the eye!

Newsletter August 2022

Grayshott Gardeners Newsletter

August 2022

From the Chair

Dear Members

Congratulation again to the Shows Committee for a Summer show which attracted a record number of entries, which is also a thank you to club members for all your support, this gave us a record entry.

We must never forget to thank those members behind the scenes without whom the Show would not succeed, including another Successful Plant Sale. The sun which we were so happy with, to bring on our plants for the Show, appears to have outstayed it’s welcome, with the lack of rain now damaging our gardens.

I must apologise personally , as I thought it my duty to the club to create rain, I did my best with a rain dance, but alas it was a failure!

Look forward to meeting you at our next meeting on the 10th August.
JOHN.

Visits

Both the Woolbeding trip and the Special Wisley trip are now full.

Vanessa has opened a waiting list and has also asked that if you have booked but find that you cannot attend, please let her know to allow others to take your place.

Info from Vanessa Thompson at a club night or email events@grayshottgardeners.net to reserve your place(s)

Volunteers needed

The committee would really appreciate help with the following jobs. Contact any one of us for more information.

Publicity – Short articles for local publications
Posters – distribution around the village

Communications – Distribution of emails to members

General Secretarial duties – support for the chairman.
Plants sales – support for Jan Bebbington

July Meeting

In July we welcomed Peter Moore to Grayshott Gardeners, to talk to us about Buddlejas – something he is very well qualified to do, as keeper of the National Collection of this Genus at Longstock Nursery in Hampshire. He started developing the collection in 1993, and by sourcing cuttings and seed from around the world has built it up to an impressive display of international acclaim.

Peter took us through what he considers to be the best garden-worthy varieties. He warned us that some species don’t quite live up to their advertising hype. The Buzz Series, for example, is free flowering but not the dwarf variety that it was initially billed as. They can reach 2 meters in height – enough to block most windows if planted in a flower bed just outside!

He showed us what a wide range of flower colours are available, from the darkest purple through to magentas, reds and pinks, and they can be upright or have a weeping form. Leaves can be plain or variegated – and some flowers can be variegated too, like the new introduction “Berries and Cream”. Most of the garden varieties are hardy in the UK, but a few special ones need a glasshouse to overwinter them successfully

August Meeting

This month we are delighted to welcome Martyn Cox to speak to us.
His talk ‘The Secret History of Vegetables’, sounds fascintaing and I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Martyn is a prolific garden writer and author with a tiny, but plant packed garden in East London. Martyn writes a weekly column for The Mail on Sunday and monthly for Grow it! His work regularly features in BBC Gardeners’ World, The English Garden, Grand Designs and Sainsbury’s Magazine.

The meeting will be held in

Grayshott Village Hall

Wednesday August 10th 2022

Light refreshments will be served and there will be plants on sale as well as secondhand books

Doors open at 7.30pm ready for the lecture to begin at 8pm.

Summer Show

Building on the great success of our Spring Show this year, we made a few changes to the arrangements, allowing a bit more time for entries to be displayed and a bit more space for refreshments and the plant sale.

More time was much appreciated by those entrants with a lot of entries, and overall we had 282 wonderful exhibits. In the ten years before Covid, the number averaged around 250, so a huge thank you to all who entered. For those who contributed for the very first time – we
know it can a bit nerve wracking, and do hope you enjoyed it, ready for next time!

More space for the refreshments was welcomed by all, and using the Studio allowed for a great display of some lovely plants to take home for your gardens.

Given the combination of the hot weather, the attraction of a Ladies Wimbledon Tennis Final on TV and the Hampton Palace Garden Festival enjoying its final day, our footfall of members and visitors was naturally impacted – that said, feedback was very positive and clearly everyone enjoyed themselves, with most people having a flutter on the raffle too.

Congratulations to the ‘Team’
And to Gilly Coleman

The award winners were:

TrophyWinner
Davies Rose CupDennis Homer
Smith CupJill Meech
Davies TankardLynne Callender
Mike Hallt CupGordon Rae
Littlejohn Rose BowlLynne Callender
Novice CupLynne Callender
Banksian MedalLynne Callender
Floral Arrangement TrophySue Erler
Home Produce CupJill Meech
Best in Show PlateGilly Coleman
Photography PrizeDiana Grant
Juniors under 8Grace Strowger

Plant of the Month – Hydrangea

However mundane the Hydrangea may be considered as a garden plant there is one for many different garden situations, be it is for sun, shade, shrub or climbers, deciduous, or

H. macrophylla ‘Mophead’

evergreen. You can even make them change colour from pink to blue and vice versa.

There are about 80 species of Hydrangeas around the world. Most are native to the Himalayas, China and Japan, but
H. arborescens is native to NE USA and the evergreen species, H. Integerrima comes from Chile.

We have four species growing happily in our Grayshott garden.
H. macrophylla is the common pink and blue Hydrangea recognised by most people. There are two separate groups within H. macrophylla the Hortensiaor mopheadsand the lace capswith flat opens heads.

H. macrophylla ‘ Lace Cap’

These can be persuaded to change colour. In acid soil the flowers are blue, in alkaline soils the flowers are pink.

H. petiolaris, the climbing hydrangea is best planted at the base of a rough barked tree on to which the aerial roots may cling.

They may take time to establish, as did ours against a Scotts pine, but is now 50 – 60 feet high.

Each year it rewards us with a show of white/cream flower heads and beautiful, butter yellow foliage in the Autumn

H. paniculata has, as the name suggests, impressive, terminal panicles of white flowers.

H. quercifolia with it’s more open habit and oak-like leaves has darker green, reddish leaves and grows well in shade with good autumn colour.

H. quercifolia

Hydrangeas are best suited to organic rich, moisture retentive soils, responding well to an annual spring mulch.

August is usually one of the hottest months of the year – making watering essential. Try to use grey water wherever possible, especially as water butts may be running low if it has been a dry summer. August is traditionally holiday-time, so you might need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away. When you are at home, take the time to prune Wisteria and summer- flowering shrubs such as lavender once they’ve finished flowering.

Jobs for the Month

1. Prune Wisteria

Wisteria needs regular pruning to keep the growth and size under control, but it will also improve the flowering display. Although it seems complicated, wisteria pruning is quite simple if you follow our simple guide.

2. Dont delay summer pruning fruits trained as restricted forms.

Summer pruning is mainly for apples and pears trained as restricted forms. It will allow sunlight to ripen the fruit.

3. Deadhead flowering plants regularly.

Remove spent flowers as soon as they look scruffy – thankfully, a few days delay won’t make a difference. The simplest method is to just pinch off the faded blooms with finger and thumb.

4. Water containers and new plants, preferably with grey recycled water or stored rainwater

5. Collect seed from garden plants

6. Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready

7. Continue cutting out old fruited canes on raspberries

8. Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners

9. Keep ponds and water features topped up

10. Feed the soil with green manures

More details on all of these jobs can be found on the RHS website

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/in-month/ august

Beautiful Buddlejas, by Peter Moore

In July we welcomed Peter Moore to Grayshott Gardeners, to talk to us about Buddlejas – something he is very well qualified to do, as keeper of the National Collection of this Genus at Longstock Nursery in Hampshire.  He started developing the collection in 1993, and by sourcing cuttings and seed from around the world has built it up to an impressive display of international acclaim.

Buddlejas get their name from the Reverend Adam Buddle, an English cleric and botanist from the 17th Century.  They are naturally present in all the Continents of the world bar Europe and Australasia, and many of today’s garden plants are hybrids between species from different continents.  Peter has introduced many hybrids himself – including “Pink Pagoda” and “Sugar Plum”.

Peter then took us through what he considers to be the best garden-worthy varieties. He warned us that some species don’t quite live up to their advertising hype.  The Buzz Series, for example, is free flowering but not the dwarf variety that it was initially billed as.  They can reach 2 meters in height – enough to block most windows if planted in a flower bed just outside!

He showed us what a wide range of flower colours are available, from the darkest purple through to magentas, reds and pinks, and they can be upright or have a weeping form.  Leaves can be plain or variegated – and some flowers can be variegated too, like the new introduction “Berries and Cream”.  Most of the garden varieties are hardy in the UK, but a few special ones need a glasshouse to overwinter them successfully.

Peter also gave us tips on how to grow Buddlejas well, in full sun with well drained soil, and how to prune them properly.  He also warned us that the dust they give off can be an irritant, so wear protection when pruning, and better to do it on a rainy day.

It was great to see how, with careful selection, it is possible to have a Buddleja in flower for 10 months of the year – which is great news for the bees and butterflies in our gardens. 

Peter Moore, with Programme Secretary Sue Wheeler