EVENTS 2018‎ > ‎

Monthly Newsletter



The Club meeting on Tuesday 13 March is about Poisonous Plants. Dr Kathryn Harkup will tell us about sinister seeds and fatal flowers. The talk explores a ‘potted’ history of plant poisons and the part they have played in myths, magic and murder. Expect witches, Vincent van Gogh and a three-headed dog. Kathryn is a chemist and author and is now a science communicator delivering talks and workshops on the quirky side of science. Should be extremely interesting.

After a brief AGM last month Paul Patten told us all about the vast choice of plants that are available in his talk on Growing for the Kitchen. Ably illustrated by pictures including some new suggestions.


This year’s grow on at home entry is Begonia Picotee Sangria. Delicately frilled flowers in varying shades of yellow and orange with deeper edges, ideal for containers or the front of the border. Height and spread 25-30cm. Tubers will be on sale at the March Club meeting priced at cost 70p. Growing instructions will be available for any of you who need them.



·                     Beechenwood Farm, Hillside, Odiham, Hook, Hampshire, RG29 1JA. Opens every Wednesday 28 March to 30 May 2 - 5pm. 2-acre garden in many parts. Lawn meandering through woodland with drifts of spring bulbs. Pots with spring bulbs and later aeoniums. Fritillary and cowslip meadow. Walled herb garden with pool and exuberant planting. Orchard including a white garden and hot border. Greenhouse and vegetable garden. Rock garden extending to grasses, ferns and bamboos. Shady walk to belvedere. 8-acre copse of native species with grassed rides. Admission £4.00. Home-made teas.

·                     Timber Hill, Chertsey Road, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8JF. Saturday 17 March and Sunday 8 April, 11am - 3.30pm. Beautifully kept 15-acre park like garden and woodland with views to North Downs. Fine oaks, liquidambar and liriodendron. Early witch hazel walk, a sea of snowdrops and species crocus; beech, cherry, maples, acers, over 200 camellias and magnolias. Drifts of spring narcissi, daffodils and stunning camassias, tulips in borders. Admission £5.00. Delicious home-made cakes and tea served in a beautiful old Surrey barn.

·                     Vann, Hambledon, Surrey, GU8 4EF. Sunday 25 March 11am - 5pm, Sunday 15 April to Wednesday 18 April 10am - 6pm. 5-acre English Heritage registered garden surrounding Tudor and William and Mary house (not open). At the front, brick paved original cottage garden; to the rear, newly dredged lake, yew walk with rill and Gertrude Jekyll water garden. Snowdrops and hellebores, spring bulbs, spectacular Fritillaria in Feb/March. Island beds, crinkle crankle wall, orchard with wild flowers. Vegetable garden. Gertrude Jekyll water garden and spring bulbs. Admission £6.50.



Just a reminder that we will be looking for photographs for twelve gardening months so have your camera ready when you go out visiting. Or you might find you have some hidden gems flowering in your own garden, which other Club members would enjoy looking at for a month. Calendars are not just for the summer!

JOBS FOR THE GARDEN IN MARCH (as always dependant on the weather!)

As soon as they look untidy, deadhead daffodils by removing the flowerheads and seedpods behind them. Never cut the foliage away. Weed and tidy your borders before the onslaught of the coming months. Lift and divide herbaceous plants on a dry day. When you replant them, they will be raring to go. Don’t forget to water them in. Go around the garden checking for frost and snow damage. Cut back any affected stems. Prepare the ground for planting by digging the soil and then levelling it. This is a good time for planning. Walk around the garden, looking for potential problems and things you’d like to develop or change. Re-pot pot-bound plants using fresh compost. Check for vine weevils while doing so. Prune repeat-flowering roses. March is a good time to mulch your borders, as long as the soil is wet. Before you start, make sure you have thoroughly weeded the bed and that you have sufficient mulching material – this could be leaf mould, compost, well-rotted manure or bark chippings. Always leave a gap around the stem of plants.


Sunday 24 June
, afternoon visit to Shalford House, Kingsley Green, West Sussex. This 10-acre garden two miles south of Haslemere, owned by Sir Vernon and Lady Ellis has been designed and created from scratch over the last 24 years. It is in a beautiful hilly setting with streams, ponds, waterfall, a sunken garden, azaleas, good late borders, and a walled kitchen garden. A wild flower meadow with orchids, prairie style plantation and a stumpery merge into seven acres of woodland. There is an additional 30-acre arboretum with beech, rhododendrons, bluebells, ponds and specimen trees. Details to follow.


·                     Kew Gardens - Orchids Festival. Visit Kew’s 23rd annual Orchid Festival, Saturday 10 February to Sunday 11 March in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Immerse yourself in a celebration of Thailand’s vibrant colours, culture, and magnificent plant life.


·                     NT - Clandon Park, West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RQ. From Saturday 3 March each weekend enjoy the magnificent sight of a traditional Clandon springtime with thousands of daffodils bursting into bloom. Look out for a pictorial trail which will guide you through the garden, using historic images to whisk you back in time.


·                     RHS - Wisley Spring Plant Fair 23 - 25 March. Pick up inspiration and advice. Meet specialist nurseries and choose from a wide range of quality plants. Begin with instant impact from colourful shrubs or start your summer by choosing bulbs and annual seeds for scent.


·                     WGC - The Annual Coach trip this year is to Beaulieu in Hampshire on Saturday 7 July.  There are over 800 years of heritage to be seen on the Beaulieu Estate, which has been in the ownership of the Montagu family for over four centuries.



Plant Sales start so bring along any plants you have divided or just don’t want. Don’t forget a label.


Pony poo available from Club member Drusilla Hodges. Cost 50p a bag, collection only. Please contact Drusilla directly on 07913547984 or email her at