JANUARY /FEBRUARY 2022 NEWSLETTER

A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIRMAN – JENNIFER HAYNES

Last year we sent out a Newsletter full of hope for a return to normal during 2022. We nearly did it with our Autumn Show in September, an outing to Hyde Hall and our AGM in October with a talk by the very entertaining Edwin Rye. However, we don’t seem to be completely back to normal yet. We still have a rise nationally in COVID infection rates.

But we are, as ever, optimistic for the coming year. We are planning a couple of garden visits which will be restricted numbers, due to the size of the garden and so will be on a ‘first come first served’ basis. And perhaps a coach trip to a country house and garden, or perhaps another visit to RHS Wisley? If you have any requests, please contact us on sarratthorti@gmail.com

There has been a lot of information in the press about using peat free compost and I have been using this myself. It is unfortunately a little bit more expensive but something we must all turn our minds to for the future.

You will see in the rest of the Newsletter that we have all been busy over the past few months. So, here’s to a good growing year and happy gardening!

COMMITTEE UPDATES

At the Horti AGM in October Muir Stratford retired as membership secretary and from the Committee. A gift of wine was given to Muir as a thank you for all his hard work.

New members Audrey Hammett and Cathy Vines were welcomed, with Audrey kindly taking on the role for membership secretary.

MEMBERSHIP & SUBSCRIPTIONS

With no shows in 2020 and Spring 2021 cancelled, no subscriptions were charged in 2021.

2022 membership subs are due in January. We hope to hold both Spring and Autumn shows as well as garden visits and speakers throughout the year.

The subscription is £3 per adult and can be left at the shop in an envelope marked with your name, address and email. New members can complete a membership form which is available from the shop or from the Membership Secretary- Audrey Hammett (audreyhammett1@btinternet.com) and return it with the subscription at the shop. Our committee members will be delivering the show schedules soon. They will also be available on our website with entry forms – www.sarratthorti.co.uk

NEW FOR 2022: In light of recommendations and guidelines from the RHS please note the following in the Schedule:

· ONLY ONE ENTRY PER CLASS is now accepted

· In the Flower Arrangements you will see some classes say “NO FLORAL FOAM/ OASIS TO BE USED” as we try and minimise the environmental impact.

We also have some new Member Discounts at Garden Centres – don’t forget to take along your membership card:

· Greenbloom Growers - This is a small family run nursery selling bedding plants, perennials, trees, acers and shrubs. It is located on Chipperfield Road between Chipperfield and Bovingdon at the crossroads with Flaunden Lane. They have offered our members 10% discount on purchases of plants over £10. The discount does not apply to plants already discounted, other purchases e.g., compost or on top of any other discounts. In order to qualify for the discount, please tell them you are a member of Sarratt Horticultural Society. Further details can be found via the website and Facebook. Please visit http://greenbloom-growers.co.uk/

· More news on other nurseries and garden centres coming soon….


GARDENING HINTS AND TIPS – STEVEN BOOTH

This is the best time of year for gardening. There is much that can be done in preparation for the new gardening year and there’s not a great deal of time-pressure as many plants are in suspended animation for a few months. Bad weather can get in the way but then you can always sort out your seeds and buy what’s needed for the garden. It’s good to get your seed potatoes early so you can get the variety you like and start them chitting in old egg boxes in a cool part of the house.

Borders

The perennials have died back over the last few months and these should be cut down and composted. This will allow emerging snowdrops and daffodils to be seen as they are now beginning to grow. Perennials can be divided to fill in gaps and give them more vigour next season. This can be done easily by lifting the roots and slicing with a spade. Then replant each part.

Bulbs.

Pots that contain Spring bulbs should already have been planted. However, it’s not too late to improve old pots by removing the top layer of soil and replacing with fresh compost. This is easily done by tipping the pot on its side and gently tapping until the top inch or so has fallen out. Some fertiliser pellets can also be added. Pots containing summer bulbs (e.g. lily, gladioli) should be emptied out and the small bulblets that have developed should be removed and the pots reassembled with some fresh compost and fertiliser pellets. Similarly, where these bulbs are in open ground, they should be dug up and replanted having removed small bulbs.

Pruning

It is important to prune some trees now as later in Winter/Spring it harms the plants to prune them when the sap is rising. This is especially true for Acers. Apple and pear trees should also be pruned to remove any dead, damaged, diseased or congested growth.

Gooseberries and currants should be pruned back to three buds above the base and into an open goblet shape.

Planting

Sweet peas can be planted now. Keep in a cool part of the house or a heated greenhouse in a sunny location. When they are about 10cm tall, pinch the growing tip out to encourage a bushier plant.

Micro greens can be sown to provide salad leaves. Place some kitchen roll or other absorbent material on the bottom of a tray and disperse the seeds evenly. Keep on a sunny windowsill and ensure the growing leaves are kept watered by a spray or small amounts of water.

Spring Show

Keep an eye on the plants in the garden and think about which ones you’d like to enter into the Spring Show.

Good luck!

REVIEW: AUTUMN SHOW 2021

A welcome to the Autumn Show and we had a great turnout for entries (over 250) and visitors.

The winners were:

· Dahlia Trophy Flo Garvey

· Arthur Pritchard Trophy (Roses) David Butler & Natalie Morris

· Frederick Barber Trophy (Other Flowers) Natalie Morris

· David Osborne Trophy (Veg & Fruit) Steven Booth

· Best Vegetable or Fruit Cathy Vines

· Loader Trophy (Flower Arrangements) Marilyn Butler

· Elsie Collins Trophy (Cookery) Ian McClelland

· Staughton Cup (Jam) Flo Garvey

· Flight Cracknell Trophy (Arts & Crafts) Kate Soothill

· AE Cox Trophy (Children’s) Sam McClelland/ Jack Harris

Grace Harris/Marshal Cameron

· Three Rivers DC Trophy (Family) Rogers Family

· Clutterbuck Trophy (Champion All) Steven Booth