All Muck and Magic, by Geoff Hodge

This month Grayshott Gardeners learned all about our soil – including how to care for it and how to improve it. Geoff Hodge gave us a very entertaining lecture which unlocked some of the science behind the topic, and gave us a real insight into what is going on with our muck.

Geoff started by underlining how important a plant’s roots are to its health and well-being.  The roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil, which are vital for growth and establishment.  If you want good plants that perform well, you need to look after their roots.

Healthy plants show much more resistance to pests and diseases – and with many pesticides now withdrawn from home use, it is important to grow plants as well as we can so they can fight off problems themselves.

Geoff explained how to look after your soil, by adding BOM (Bulky Organic Matter) to improve its structure and feed the micro flora and fauna that are so important to plant growth.  He then took us through examples of the wide array of fertilisers available on the market, and explained which was best for what function.  We now know how to use liquid, granular and slow release feeds, what to look for in an N:P:K ratio, and the dangers of over-feeding or feeding at the wrong time of year.

It’s a complicated topic, but Grayshott Gardeners are now armed with a little more knowledge that should help us successfully navigate the Garden Centre shelves (and keep our President’s pension in fine fettle).

Fruit for a Small Garden, by Jim Arbury

This month Grayshott Gardeners enjoyed a fascinating talk from Jim Arbury, the RHS Fruit Specialist based at Wisley.  Jim has an encyclopaedic knowledge of top fruit (apples, pears, plums and cherries) and soft fruit (raspberries, strawberries, currants, gooseberries and blueberries).  He shared some of this knowledge with us, with recommendations of what would work well in a relatively small space – a back garden, a section of a larger garden or an allotment.

Jim explained all the things we need to consider before deciding what to grow – a site’s aspect, soil type and micro climate.  He warned that growing in a frost pocket can be particularly challenging due to late frosts damaging the emerging blossom – and without good blossom, there will obviously be no fruit later in the year.

For apples and pears, Jim explained the importance of the choice of rootstock and pollination partners.  He also showed us how trained varieties, such as cordons and espaliers, can maximise production in a small space, as well as bringing very attractive structure to a garden.

Jim had many recommendations of varieties for us to consider – there was much scribbling of notes in the audience.  He also described the RHS apple identification service, which allows you to find out the variety of a tree that you have inherited (or simply lost the label for 😊).  Jim can identify about 700 varieties by sight alone!

The evening gave us a comprehensive overview of the potential our own spaces have for growing delicious fruit – roll on harvest time!

Pottering with Pottage: Wisley, the Flagship Garden of the RHS, by Matthew Pottage

We were delighted to welcome Matthew Pottage to speak to us at Grayshott Gardeners this month.  Matthew was the youngest ever curator of an RHS Garden when he was appointed to lead Wisley at the age of 29.  During the last 8 years he has overseen some of the most ambitious projects that the garden has ever undertaken.

With Wisley just up the road, it is a garden that many of us know and love – so it was fascinating to get a peek behind the scenes.  For example, next time we walk down the beautiful avenue of cherry trees that flank the new Garden entrance we will remember what it is like to have a shopping list of 150 semi-mature cherry trees (white flowering only please), all of which have to be quarantined for a year whilst they are closely monitored for pests and diseases.  This is gardening on a gigantic scale.

We also learned about the newest addition to the garden – Hilltop.  Its laboratories and three new gardens are now one of the go-to destinations in Wisley.  Each garden has a distinct purpose – the wildlife garden proves that catering for wildlife doesn’t have to be “messy”. The World Food garden showcases unusual crops amongst the traditional vegetables, and encourages all to be more adventurous in what we grow.  The Well Being garden is not only beautiful to be in, but also enables scientific research into to the benefits of green spaces to our mental health.

We also learned how change comes with challenges.  A bulging postbag from supporters and detractors accompanies each new development.  Moving the garden forward requires courage and a belief that the destination will be worth the disruption and upheaval.  Thankfully Matt is brave – and Wisley continues to inspire and excite us in equal measure!

Seed Sowing and Plant Propagation, by Ray Broughton

Finally the weather is warming up, and us gardeners are inevitably drawn to thinking about new plants.  So it was very timely to be able to welcome Ray Broughton to Grayshott Gardeners to give us a wealth of hints and tips about how to successfully grow our own plants from seeds and cuttings.

Ray has been a lecturer at Sparsholt College for many years, and his expertise in teaching shone throughout the evening.  He gave us so many tricks that it was hard to keep up – around the hall many scraps of paper were being filled with hastily taken notes. Grayshott Sainsbury’s may well have seen a run on Heinz tomato ketchup, cornflour, cling film and vinegar the following day.

He taught us how to clean our secateurs, make black seed visible, use static to collect wayward seeds (along with a useful dance move to discharge the static when it is no longer required), enrich the carbon dioxide in our greenhouses or conservatories, where to store our hosepipes, a space saving way to store hardwood cuttings, and how to break dormancy in seeds that are notoriously tricky, like parsnips.

It was an extremely entertaining evening, as well as an informative one.  We all left enthusiastic to put our newly gained knowledge into practice.

Ray very kindly donated his lecture fee to the charity Perennial.

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    www.bbcgardenersworldfair.com.

*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

John

News in General

Membership

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 shows@grayshottgardeners.net and we look forward to seeing you all there!

 Visits

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: events@grayshottgardeners.net  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: www.witleygardening.org 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.

www.grayshottgardeners.net

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.

The Trowels and Tribulations of taking on a Historic Garden, by Maggie Tran

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

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.

Bramdean House Garden is a “plant lover’s garden” in Hampshire covering 5 acres. The house itself dates back to the 1740s but the garden has been established since the 1940s by then owner, Victoria Wakefield, and her mother. Victoria was a Kew trustee and part of the RHS judging panels.

Victoria was an avid plantswoman and packed the borders with as many different and diverse plants as she could find.

Unfortunately, for some years the garden was left to do its own thing until it was passed down to the next generation – Victoria’s son Teddy and his family who, along with Maggie are working hard to bring it forward to contemporary times and practices. A difficult task by any standards but with a workforce of only 5 (Maggie being the only full-time gardener) sustainability became the order of the day. In 1944 there were 40 gardeners employed!

So it started, but instead of doing a massive, much needed clear-out, Maggie restrained herself for a year to just watch and see what developed. Time was not wasted however as she began to cut back the obvious climbers which were not only entering the roof space but also covering the windows. She said it had been like carefully removing layers to expose the gems beneath.

The Mirror Beds, for which the garden is famous, were completely restored and are now quite magnificent throughout the year. Each one mirroring the other – that is along as the plants behave and don’t start wandering.

The walled kitchen garden which extends to over an acre, the greenhouse and the shed were all also desperately in need of a makeover.

Maggie told us that there were enough leeks growing to feed the whole of Hampshire – well nearly! She and her team have now divided the plot into smaller beds and using a non-dig method are growing a larger variety of vegetables and cut flowers.

All this as well as maintaining the massive sweet pea collection, the orchard with a beautiful meadow and the grand old Grandfather oak – what a task!

All in all 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

Maggie very kindly donated her lecture fee to the charity Perennial.

Newsletter February 2023

From The Chair

Dear Members,

At last we are thawing out!

Gordon tells me his Snowdrops in pots, which are partly buried in the soil, are frozen in. But with the thaw, he expects them to be ready for our next meeting.

Despite the frosts, unlike us, it never fails to impress me that the plants are putting their heads out!

As you return to the garden, will you please think ahead to our important plant sale, where if you can split plants, Jan on behalf of the club will be most grateful for your contribution.

I look forward to welcoming you to our next meeting on Wednesday 8th February when Maggie Tran, Head Gardener at Bramdean House, will be regaling us on  “The Trowels and Tribulations of taking on an Historic Garden”

Best wishes.

JOHN.

News in General

Membership

Subs of £20 are now due. Your membership from last year will expire at the end of this month.

Ways to pay :-

Cash,card or cheque at a club night.

Bank transfer (details on the web site)

Flower Count

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 list may have been shorter 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 …..

Plant of the Month

There are over 100 species of crocus, so although it is a full botanical mouthful ‘Tricolor’ is my choice for the February plant for the month.It is one of the earliest and most striking of all the crocuses and it is fragrant. Just 3 – 4 inches tall. Leaves and flowers emerge at the same time. The leaves have an attractive white silvery stripe along the middle, but it is the flower for which this highly desirable crocus is noted. The flowers are tripartite. They have a mauve top, a white central band and a bright yellow, orange base.

Crocus sieberi subsp. sublims ‘Tricolor’

They remain closed in dull weather, but in sunlight open to reveal a rich yellow centre and dark orange stamens. With the light behind the flowers they positively glow.

Easy to grow in any well-drained soil in most aspects from sun to shade. They multiply naturally producing more corms or can be propagated by the seeds.They are hardy.

Unfortunately like Winter Aconites, mice and squirrels do have crocus corms on their diet of choice!

That said do try to grow ’Tricolor’ it is a visual treat in the cold days of February and early March.

Visits

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

But some places are still available for Beechenwood Farm – A private 2-acre garden near Odiham, Hants

Saturday 1st April 10.30am

 Developed by the owners since 1965 this tranquil garden offers maturity, a lightness of touch, peace and inspiration.

Woodland, herb garden, orchard, veg patch, specimen trees and extensive views from the belvedere!

Homemade refreshments and plant sales

Lunch visit afterwards! (optional)

 Cost £10 per head.  In aid of the National Garden Scheme Charity

January Meeting

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.

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 Baker with our chairman sporting his magnificent Christmas jumper!

February Meeting

This month we’ll be welcoming Maggie Tran to give a talk on

The Trowels and Tribulations of taking on a Historic Garden

 Maggie is the current Head Gardener at Bramdean House and brings a wealth of experience to share with us on the rare and unusual plant collection and mirror borders that can be found there.

Bramdean House Garden is a “plant lover’s garden” in Hampshire covering 5 acres. The house itself dates back to the 1740s but the garden has been established since the 1940s by the present owner, Victoria Wakefield, and her mother

The meeting will be held in

Grayshott Village Hall

 Wednesday February 8th 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 snowdrops 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.

Jobs for this Month

Its February and Spring is in sight

This month there are signs of the approaching spring, with bulbs appearing and wildlife waking up as light levels and temperatures increase. There’s plenty to do indoors this month to prepare for the season ahead. Outdoors, as the garden comes to life again, it’s time to prune shrubs and climbers, such as Wisteria as well as evergreen hedges.

Don’t forget the Valentine’s Day Massacre of slugs and snails.

1. Prepare vegetable seed beds, and sow some vegetables under cover

Knowing which vegetables to sow where, when and how means you can maintain constant supplies throughout the season

2. Chit potato tubers

It’s important with earlies, and a good idea with main-crops, to ‘chit’ the seed potatoes before planting. This means allowing them to start sprouting shoots.

Not forgetting the special competion potatoes ready for the summer show on 15th July 2023

These can be collected at the next club night 8th February.

3. Protect blossom on apricots, nectarines and peaches

Most top fruit and soft fruit are very hardy but once they start into growth in spring, flowers and buds are especially vulnerable to frost and may need protection to crop well next season.

More jobs for this month

 4. Net fruit and vegetable crops to keep the birds off

 5. Prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering

6. Divide bulbs such as snowdrops, and plant those that need planting ‘in the green’

7. Prune Wisteria

8. Prune hardy evergreen hedges and renovate overgrown deciduous hedges

9. Prune conservatory climbers such as bougainvillea

10. Cut back deciduous grasses left uncut over the winter, remove dead grass from evergreen grasses

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