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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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

There are single, semi double and double varieties available.

 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.

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.

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.

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