Category Archives: Newsletters

Autumn Herbaceous Perennials

On 20th September CHAPS members and guests enjoyed the first in an autumn series of talks to be held at Quinnettes.
About 40 people were present to hear about “ Autumn Herbaceous Perennials” from renowned plantswoman Rosie Hardy, ably supported by her husband Rob, who was delighted to be introduced as Rob as he is usually “Mr Rosie Hardy!”. Rob began by telling us a bit about their nursery: Hardy’s Garden Plants”, near Whitchurch, on a 3 acre hillside site where they grow 12 – 1300 perennials which are treated “tough”. for more information.
Rosie’s interest in plants began when she completed a Commercial Growing course in 1988 specialising in rhubarb!. This quickly progressed to perennials, then to small shows and thence to Hampton Court flower show and Chelsea where she has won a staggering 23 Gold medals.
Rosie then took over, and from behind a delightful jungle of inviting and exciting looking plants which they had brought along, told us about all of them from a new Salvia “Kisses and Wishes” – Mary Berry’s favourite plant at Chelsea this year apparently – through beautiful 5 ft airy grasses to Sedum (which have irritatingly had their name changed to Hylotelephium just to confuse us all). They are of course still the same autumn flowering plant beloved of pollinators and excellent for our dry, sandy soil. There was plenty of inspiration and many purchases were made. Altogether a very happy and informative evening was had by all.
Our next talk about Winkworth Arboretum, near Godalming, is on
Thursday 18th October at 8pm at Quinnettes and all are welcome.

Italy from Seed to Plate

On 15 February CHAPS members were treated to an excellent talk and entertainment by Paolo Arrigo of Franchi Seeds. We were taken through a brief history of seeds learning that the UK had native seeds for cabbage, lettuce, beans and parsnips which were then added to by the Romans. Parsnips are a peculiarly British vegetable. Emperor Tiberius loved parsnips and took seeds to Germany and had them grown there and delivered to him on mainland Europe. Even now you will find it difficult to buy parsnips outside the UK.
Vegetable growing in the UK became important during the Boer War when the lack of health and fitness in the soldiers became apparent. This was reinforced during WWI when the government realised that something had to be done about food production to stave off starvation. During WWII there was Dig for Victory and the Ministry of Food providing recipes to help people cook nutritious meals. Vegetables were the only foodstuff not rationed. In 1954 food rationing ended and this spelled the beginning of the end for allotments – things have now changed and there are long waiting lists for allotments.
Before WWII there were 40 British suppliers of vegetable seeds. Now there are none. China is the biggest supplier of seeds. As seeds sold in the UK are not produced here many seeds readily available are not appropriate for our climate. Franchi Seeds are all produced in Italy where the alpine climate means a lot of Italian seed varieties are very hardy and suited to UK weather.
The messages we left with were:
• Check the seed packets for country of origin and consider that country’s climate in relation to ours
• Store seeds in a cool dry place and plant them before the expiry date
• Many vegetables need frost or cool conditions so be sure to plant at the most appropriate time
Paolo had brought along his 90-year-old accordion beginning and ending the talk with a very enjoyable musical section.

Winkworth Arboretum

The 18th October saw our second autumn talk given in Quinnettes barn by Dr Peter Herring about Winkworth Arboretum – its trees and history.
Dr Herring has been a volunteer at Winkworth – the National Trust’s only arboretum – for many years and was a fund of information as well as showing some beautiful colour photographs.
Winkworth is the result of one man’s vision and passion – Dr Wilfred Fox – who bought the wooded valley and its two lakes in 1937 to use as a canvas for planting trees to “paint a picture”. Fox was Chairman of The Roads Beautifying Association and for 15 years, together with such well-known horticultural giants as Hillyer and Nottcutt, used Winkworth to experiment with different tree species and planting styles.
Fox had served in WW1 and in 1939, aged 63, he went to France with 2 ambulances to give his medical skills to the war effort, returning from Dunkirk.
Meanwhile at Winkworth, plantations were cleared for the war effort and Canadian troops practised dinghy exercises on the lakes.
After the war Fox began planting in earnest with help from Harold Hillyer and Madeleine Spitter using native trees but with plenty of space for more “exotic” choices between – eg the famous Azalea Glade (now stepped).
In 1952 Fox gave 65 acres of the arboretum to the National Trust and a further 35 acres in 1957 to be run by a Management Committee chaired by Fox and with members from the National Trust and The Royal Horticultural Society represented.
However money was short and more paid ground staff were required as the trees grew and so entrance charges were started. This proved very unpopular locally as over many decades the public had enjoyed free access to what was fondly known as “Dr Fox’s Woods”. Indeed several of us at the talk could remember being taken as children and swimming in the lake!! Dr Fox died in 1962 aged 87 and is buried in Eashing cemetery. He has left a wonderful legacy and the arboretum is a delight to visit at any time of year but undoubtedly spring and autumn are the best and preferably in the morning as the site faces east: to be recommended.

Costa Rica Flora and Fauna

On Thursday 18 January CHAPS members were treated to a very enjoyable slide show by Myra Johnson on the Flora and Fauna of Costa Rica following a trip she and her husband took there in 2016.
Costa Rica is not a large country representing only 0.01% of the earth’s surface. It is 300 miles from north to south, 175 miles east to west at the widest point, has an area of 20,000 square miles, with a coastline of 800 miles. It has four mountain ranges and volcanoes. However, it supports more than 5% of the earth’s biodiversity with one million or more plant and animal species and 10% of the world’s butterfly species and bird species.
It was colonised by the Spanish from 1506 following Columbus stepping ashore in 1491. It became an independent country in 1821 and declared neutrality in 1948 and as such has no army.
By the late 1960s, after decades of deforestation and dwindling animal populations, appreciation began to develop that something precious was being lost. This was followed by a tourism boom in the 1980s with a government committed to environmental protection.
Today, Costa Rica is a world leader in ecotourism with protected regions grouped into 11 regional units in a National System of Conservation. There is active co-operation between international and national NGOs, local businesses and government organisations. As a result, ecotourism is protecting the country’s national treasures and provides economic opportunities to rural areas where sustainable development protects landscapes from destructive agricultural practices.
The biomes or life zones in Costa Rica are made up of:
Lowland Rainforest (tropical moist forest or jungle) which comprises a layered ecosystem with niche microenvironments and microclimates. It is typified by tall trees, lianas, creeping vines, huge buttresses, epiphytes, heliconias, orchids, walking palms and is found in the Caribbean lowlands, Pacific slopes in the south, Osa Peninsula. Generally the soil is thin as the leaf litter decomposes rapidly and rainfall leaches the soil. Trees are genetically coded for growth when large trees fall opening a space.
Montane/Cloud forest (1000-2000m) which is often enshrouded in clouds. The trees have broader leaves with huge oaks laden with red bromeliads and other epiphytes and mosses towering above an understory of bamboos and ferns.
Tropical Dry Forest which is made up of deciduous trees which do not form a closed canopy. This is found in north-west of the country.
Mangroves are found mainly on the Pacific and the northern Caribbean coasts. The tree species have aerial roots to allow them to survive in soil inundated with salt water. These trees stabilise the area against tides and storm surges. The root system offers protection to wildlife against predators and also a vital nesting and nursery site for birds and marine life
Coral reefs can be found on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
Myra’s trip started and ended in San Jose. Firstly they went to the east coast to Tortuguero and Cahuita. The trip then crossed the country through Turrialba, La Marta and Savegre to Sierpe, Drake Bay and Corcovado in the South West.
Myra had a wonderful set of photographs of birds, animals, spiders, snakes, cayman and monkeys as well as many pictures of the flowers and vegetation. The only things we were missing to bring a wonderful trip fully to life was the associated noises and the smells.

Dahlias talk by Nick Gilbert

On Thursday 16th March a large number of CHAPS members and their guests were treated to an amazingly informative talk on Dahlias by Nick Gilbert of Gilbert’s Nursery near Romsey.
Having been rather out of fashion (and still not to every gardener’s taste) dahlias are easy to grow – if greedy – and give a wonderful colour to the late summer garden. The dahlia is the national plant of Mexico and was introduced to this country in the early 1800s by a Swedish gentleman by the name of Andreas Dahl ( hence the name Dahlia). They were probably originally introduced as a source of food – the tubers being much like a potato – but as some were allowed to sprout and grow, and there were plenty of potatoes to eat, their value as a flowering plant developed.
Dahlias come in all shapes and sizes and in all colours except blue. We were advised that on our light sandy soil there is no need to lift tubers for the winter but just to make sure they are well covered with soil. Planting in large pots is a good idea as these can then be positioned in a bed for effect or to fill a gap.
Gilbert’s nursery grows some 400 varieties in 2 dahlia fields which are open to the public from mid-August, but the nursery also stocks a large selection of perennials, shrubs, climbers and trees and is open all year. There is an excellent looking tea-room and I, for one, feel an August visit coming on! Nick brought a wide selection of tubers for sale and many were bought by members. We hope to see an excellent display at our Autumn show in September.

2018 New Year Newsletter

Dear Gardening Members

Welcome to another gardening year.

The CHAPS Committee has put together another really good programme of activities for 2018 which we will hope you will enjoy. A copy of the programme for the year is on the second page of the newsletter in addition to the back page of the schedule and the CHAPS website. Please note that all the talks will take place at Quinnettes Barn. The shows will be at the Village Hall.

Most of you will now have paid your subscription for 2018 and received your schedule and membership card. If not please look out for the committee member who has been tasked with collecting your subscription – they will be coming to see you soon.

Our day visit is on Wednesday 25 April to Arundel Castle for the tulip festival. Please let Sandra Probert know if you would like to come so she can reserve a seat for you on the coach. The cost is £25 per person which covers the coach and full entry into Arundel Castle. Sandra can be contacted by E Mail on

As you know the CHAPS website is where will find the schedules for each show and entry forms in the Members’ Area – if you have forgotten the password please E mail me on and I will let you have it.

Avalon Garden Centre continues to be our sponsor, as well as continuing to offer members a 5% discount on plants. In addition to Avalon many other outlets kindly give CHAPS members discounts – details can be found in the schedule. Remember to show your membership card at the till before your items are put through.

Thank you to all our loyal CHAPS members, without whose support this society would not continue to flourish as it does. 2017 was a really successful year and the Committee members look forward to seeing many of you again throughout 2018.

With regard to the Committee, Anne Butler has advised me that she will be stepping down from the Committee and her role as Secretary during 2018. This is very sad for CHAPS as Anne has been a key part of the Society for many years. She will be much missed by her fellow Committee Members. Her departure means the Committee is in urgent need of a new Secretary and I would like to invite CHAPS members to come and join the Committee to help with the running of the Society and the shaping of it in the future. I would be delighted if someone can volunteer to take over from Anne and make the role their own. However, new members happy to share out the jobs in the short term while we work on a new approach on communicating with members would be very welcome. Being comfortable with E Mail (we have a dedicated E Mail accounts for each of the named Committee roles so private E Mail addresses remain so) and Microsoft Word would be helpful if you are thinking about volunteering. If you think you might be able to volunteer to join us please contact me on or phone me on 01428 715304 to discuss things further.
I hope 2018 is a very happy one for you and that you continue to enjoy your gardening.

Maggie Wright

Devil’s Punch Bowl talk review

After the 69th A.G.M. of CHAPS (Churt Horticultural & Produce Society) in November, some 40 members listened to an interesting talk about the Devil’s Punch Bowl from National Trust lead ranger Matthew Cusack.

Supported by an array of slides Matt walked us through the past, present and future.

Looking back, Matt explained that Hindhead Common and the Devils’ Punch Bowl were one of the first countryside acquisitions purchased by the National Trust in 1906, funded by public subscription, eleven years after the National Trust was founded by Octavia Hill, local man Sir Robert Hunter and Hardwicke Rawnsley in 1895. It was a hedge against development in the light of property growth such as Undershaw’s, where Sherlock Holmes lived, and Saint Edmunds, then Blen Cathra, home of George Bernard Shaw.

Matt told us about the brutal murder in 1786 on the common of a sailor. He had befriended three men in a local pub in Thursley whilst walking from London to the docks in Portsmouth. Soon after the murder, a stone was erected along the old Portsmouth Road to mark the spot where the poor sailor met his death. The three villains were tried and then hung on Gibbett Hill, near the site of the murder, as a warning to other criminals. After the hanging many fears and superstitions arose around Gibbet Hill and in 1851 Sir William Erle, an English lawyer, judge and Whig politician, paid for a Celtic cross to be erected to banish these fears and raise the local spirits.

In mediaeval times, the Punch Bowl was fields with banks. One hundred years or so ago, local people used to graze their cattle on the commons and broomsquires made besom brooms from the heather and birch. The broomsquires lived in cottages (such as Keeper’s Cottage) on the heath and sold their brooms to grand establishments like Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. George Mayes, was the last broomsquire to live at the Devil’s Punch Bowl and lived at the original Highcombe Farm situated on Sailors Lane. It was blown up with hand grenades by locally based Canadian soldiers who were having ‘a bit of fun’!

Fast forward to the twenty first century and Matt said the commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl are grazed by Exmoor ponies and Highland cattle. The docile cows are grazers, keeping on top of the scrub, rather than a beef production herd.

A once notorious traffic blackspot has been converted into a top wildlife haven after habitat restoration by the National Trust with Natural England. The Devil’s Punch Bowl, which was separated from Hindhead Common by the A3, has undergone huge improvements after the creation of the Hindhead Tunnel by Highways England. The tunnel is the longest of its type in the UK. The old A3 around the Devil’s Punch Bowl was filled in using sandstone excavated from the tunnel and a mix of seeds to match the surrounding environment.

Six years on from the opening of the tunnel, which saw the restoration of this Surrey Hills nationally protected landscape, management techniques set out under Higher Level Stewardship and Countryside Stewardship have also seen the restoration of fragile and endangered historic heathland habitat, and the return of rare and diverse breeding birds such as woodlark and nightjar. The nationally scarce heath tiger beetle has been sighted, and conditions are now auspicious for the return of the silver studded blue butterfly.

Matt proudly advised that The Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) has now been assessed by Natural England as meeting its nature conservation targets, and is considered to be in favourable condition. It’s not only the removal of the A3 which has made Hindhead and the Devil’s Punch Bowl so special. The SSSI is one of the highest points in Southern England. Just under 1,000 feet above sea level, the relatively cool, humid climate of this “lowland” heathland contains species normally associated with more upland sites such as bilberry, and trees festooned with lichens and mosses. The mosaic of habitats found on site include upland and lowland heath, bog, streams, ancient woodland, and free draining sandy soil, making the site challenging to manage. Matt said he has a dedicated band of local volunteers who support him in this endeavor together with two other paid staff.
Transformation of the SSSI and the restoration of the landscape within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have also boosted visitor numbers, up 20% from 2011 to approximately 700,000 per year, with visitors now choosing to spend longer exploring the stunning heathland and views. New paths created by Matt and his team offer walks for differing abilities around the Devil’s Punch Bowl, enabling visitors to enjoy the tranquility of the site while avoiding wildlife disturbance on sensitive heathland areas. It is a real example of balancing the needs of people and wildlife.

Looking to the future, Matt updated us on the plans to cope with the increasing number of visitors i.e. new loos and grab ‘n go services coming on stream in Spring 2018 and enhanced car parking providing an additional 40 spaces so 220 up from 180 in 2019/2020.

We all agreed it was a fascinating talk and learnt a lot about a much-loved local beauty spot.

Anne Butler
21 November 2017

2017 Autumn Newsletter

Dear CHAPS member,
Since I wrote in the summer we have had several events that were much enjoyed by many of our members. At the beginning of August we had the garden party which I found very enjoyable and hope everyone else had an equally good evening. We then had a very good turnout for the evening visit to Wheatley House later in the month where we had excellent weather to enjoy the colourful borders and beds. The Autumn show at the beginning of September was to our usual high standard with a good range of exhibits. Again we had some new entrants who did well in the classes they entered so hopefully they will feel inspired to enter again in the Spring show.
Our autumn talks programme begins on Thursday the 21st of September with a talk by Barry Newman on the Modern Kitchen Garden. Barry is a well known grower, exhibitor, lecturer and judge. He is Chairman of the Southern Region of the National Vegetable Society (NVS) and serves on its National Executive. As well as being a senior NVS judge, Barry is on the judging panel of the Royal Horticultural Society and South & South East in Bloom. He is also a member of the South of England Agricultural Society’s Horticultural Committee. Barry was formally trained in horticulture at Pershore, York and Bath Botanical Gardens. He lives in Partridge Green in West Sussex.
The October talk on the 19th of October is a change to that shown on the back cover of the schedule. It will be a talk on Insects and Pollination by Andrew Halstead, the RHS Principal Entomologist.
In November we have the AGM on the 16th at Quinnettes followed by a talk on Work and Wildlife in the Local Area by Matthew Cusack of the National Trust.
This year we are preparing the 2018 Schedules and Membership Cards in time for the AGM so all those who renew their membership on the evening will be given their new schedule and membership card. If I could encourage as many people to come to the AGM and pay the £5 subscription (£10 for family membership) it would be a great help to the committee as it will save a lot of shoe leather coming round to collect subscriptions individually!
One item from the new schedule that I would like to bring to your attention now is the day visit. On Wednesday the 25th of April we will be going to Arundel Castle where they are holding a Tulip Festival during April and May – over 32,000 tulips will be flowering during that period. Tickets will cost £25 per person and this includes coach travel to and from Churt and entry to the castle and gardens. It would be very helpful if members wanting to come could book and pay for their tickets as soon as possible. We will be taking bookings at the AGM so if you would like to come please bring the ticket price with you (as well as your membership fee). More information on Arundel Castle, the gardens and the tulip festival (it is in the Garden menu on the website) can be found at .
I look forward to seeing you at some or all of the forthcoming events.
Happy gardening!

Maggie Wright, Chairman

Modern Kitchen Garden talk review

On Thursday 21 September CHAPS members were treated to an excellent talk by Barry Newman on the Modern Kitchen Garden. Barry is passionate about growing your own fruit and vegetables as it allows harvesting at optimum maturity, produce is high in flavour and nutrients and varieties which are too delicate for transportation and storage can be grown. The UK imports 50 % of vegetables (of which 80% arrives by air) and 95% of fruit.
There are three approaches to cultivation – Open Ground, Container Growing and Raised Beds.
Open ground is the traditional approach and is suitable for larger gardens. Compartmentalising allows for easier crop rotation. It is important not to put down paving to give clean access to the plot as snails and slugs love living under the slabs and then eat the produce you have so carefully planted.
In a small space squashes can be grown vertically up hedges or a cargo net thrown over a shed.
Vegetable growing can also be integrated with flowers.
Container growing is a very versatile way of growing where space is restricted. Pots, troughs, grow bags, old sinks can all be used. So long as the plants have access to water, nutrients and air (uncompacted ground) they will grow. Barry recommended that containers have a depth of at least 8inces or 30cm and that liquid feed is provided little and often as over feeding can slow growth down. Barry showed us several horticultural sundries he uses to grow vegetables in or to support vegetables as they grow. He sources these from LBS Horticultural Supplies.

The website address is where you can either download a catalogue or request one to be sent to you.

Herbs grow well in a strawberry planter but to ensure the bottom openings also support growth put a brick at the bottom and rest a vertical length of drain pipe on it so you can get water all the way from the top of the pot to the bottom without the root system of the intervening herbs taking it all up before it reaches the bottom. Also turn the pot every week or so to allow sufficient light to reach all the plants.
Potatoes can be grown in bags with holes in the bottom let into a trench to keep them cool. Dig a trench, fork Vitax Q4 into the bottom of the trench, plant one potato at the bottom of each bag and fill with compost. The roots will go through the holes into the trench and the potatoes will grow in the bags. The recommended varieties are Kestrel, Nadine and Charlotte. Cut the leaves off a week before lifting the potatoes. Pour the compost and potatoes out, pick the potatoes and put the compost aside to use again next year. This way no potatoes are left in the ground to sprout next year. The bags can be reused for 4 to 5 years.
Raised beds, also known as deep beds use space very efficiently. The width should be around 4’6” or 140cm so the centre can be reached from both sides. The depth should be 6 to 8 inches or 20 to 30cm. Use wood chip or bark for the paths between the beds on a weed membrane. The wood chip will keep the slugs and snails away and the weed membrane will prevent worm casts and moles. Raised beds warm up quickly and drain quickly. Raised beds can be constructed from sleepers, new wood, concrete or supercrete.
With raised beds there is no soil compaction as you do not walk on the beds which means there is good soil structure, less digging and good drainage.
Barry suggested growing courgettes up 6 foot or 2 metre tree stakes. Set the stake into the ground and plant the courgette to the stake. When it starts to run lift it gently and tie very gently to the stake with bailer twine. Tie it every 4 inches or 10cm for the first 2 feet or 60cm, then tie in every 8 inches or 20cm. The courgette plant will run up on a single stem and keep the fruits off the ground. Recommended varieties are Ambassador, Venus and Defender.
The benefit of raised beds is all weather access, crops are easy to reach and crop rotation is simple – four raised beds and each year move everything round one bed.
Other tips were:
o Prune tomato trusses to 14/15 fruits and always keep the roots moist
o Plant Cobra variety French beans
o Earth up beetroot to keep the tops red and smooth
o Use a mix of 60% soil and 40% compost in containers or raised beds
o If working with raised beds apply organic matter to one bed each year – lightly fork over the surface before the end of the year, apply a 4 to 5 inch (10 to 12cm) layer of organic matter over the top, cover with weed resistant fabric and brick down the edges, leave until February, lightly fork in and plant through it

The talk was very well received by members who had many questions. We all left inspired to try out some of the techniques we had learnt about during the evening. I am looking forward to seeing the results at the shows throughout 2018.

2017 Spring Newsletter

Dear CHAPS member,

We’ve had an excellent start to the year with talks on Planning and Planting a Border and Secret Gardens of Sussex. On the 16th of March we have our next talk on Growing Dahlias by Nick Gilbert.

Our next event is the Spring show on Saturday the 8th of April – hopefully the weather will be kind to us and we’ll have a good show of daffodils. Please have a look through your schedule to see if you can make a few entries. For those of you with children don’t forget to have a look at the children’s classes to see if there is something to tempt an entry. You can enter one of three ways: by completing the form in the handbook and posting it in the CHAPS postbox outside the village hall; by E mailing a list of entries to; or by via the CHAPS website through the form in the Members’ Area

Please don’t forget to sign up for our day visit. This is on Wednesday 21st June when we will be visiting Borde Hill, Haywards Heath. The trip will cost £20.50 and the bus departs from the Village Hall at 9.30am.

You can sign up at the March talk or at the Spring Show or sign up via the CHAPS website through the form in the Members’ Area
The Churt Fete is on the 10th of June and as usual CHAPS will have a stall selling plants. If you have any plants you can bring along for us to sell and raise funds please bring them to the CHAPS stall on the day. Any unsold donated plants will be passed on to Phyllis Tuckwell to help with their fund-raising.

We have a number of vacancies on our committee and would love to welcome new people on to the committee. We would like to appeal particularly to the younger members of CHAPS to step forward. We have four committee meetings a year and any additional time commitment would depend on the roles any new member choses to take on. If you are interested in joining the committee please contact me on or speak to me at one of the talks or shows.

Other events which may be of interest to you are:

A talk on Wednesday 15 March on Exbury Gardens – Heaven with the Gates Open by John Anderson at Ewhurst village hall at 7.30 for 8pm. Tickets cost £10.
Dorking Barnado’s Helpers Group have Jim Gardiner talking about Shrubs for Seasonality on Wednesday the 15th of March at Mickleham Village Hall at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12.50.

The Land of Nod will be opening their 7 acre garden on the 6th and 7th of May as part of the National Garden Scheme and also to raise funds for St Lukes Church in Grayshott. The address is Land of Nod, Grayshott Road, Headley Down, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 8SJ. The garden will be open from 2 to 5pm. Admission will cost £4 and dogs are allowed on leads. Tea, cake and ice cream will be available on the day as well as a plant stall.

Apple Court Garden has been in touch to let us know that after being closed for several years the gardens will be re-opened the public on May 24th of this year. The garden was originally created by Diana Grenfell and Roger Grounds and contains many rare and unusual plants as well as impressive collections of day lilies and hostas. There is a beautiful White Garden and a lovely Japanese Garden with koi pond. The opening hours will be 10-3pm Weds – Fri and 10-5pm on Sat/Sun. The cost will be £5 per person, to include tea and coffee.

The Hidden Gardens of Grayshott will be open again over the late May bank holiday weekend – Sunday 28 and Monday 29 May. There will be 20 gardens open from 12.30 to 6pm and entry will be £6 per person. The entry fee allows entry on both days so you can take your time to visit and enjoy the gardens, homemade teas and plant sales. Entry programmes can be purchased from Pins and Needles in Grayshott from the 28th of April.

Greenhills House in Tilford will be open to members of clubs within the Surrey Horticultural Federation on Sunday 18 June from 2 to 4.30pm. There are 3 acres of walled gardens and grounds including a formal terrace, rose garden, Italian garden, wildflower meadow, fruit trees, dry garden and wooded area. Please let me know if you would like to go as we have been asked to give an idea of visitor numbers from CHAPS.

We have been notified of a book entitled Easy Digital Plant Photography by John Presland who studied natural sciences at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, became a biology teacher, then pursued a career as an educational psychologist. Botany and its recording in photographs has remained a major interest for over 55 years. The book is a guide to digital photography of plants. Step-by-step help is provided, firstly in taking effective photos by doing little else but point and shoot and then gradually making use of the other features of a typical digital camera. Editing digital photos is described through a similar approach. The book is fully illustrated in colour and is available on Amazon priced at £11.50.

Happy gardening!

Maggie Wright, Chairman