Welcome to Church Crookham Garden Society

16th December 2016

Church Crookham Garden Society, Fleet, Hampshire UKA vibrant garden society active in Church Crookham, FLEET, Hampshire. We hold several annual events and shows and run a comprehensively stocked stores hut with discounts for members.

HISTORY

Church Crookham Garden Society was formed in 1954 as the Ryelaw Garden Society. It was founded by residents of Ryelaw Road as an outlet for their interest in gardening.

At some time in its early stages, the Society began marketing garden supplies and until 1997 traded from sheds located in Moore Close.

The name of the Society was changed to Church Crookham Garden Society to reflect the wider residential location of its members.

Shows were organised and now two shows per year are held, one in the spring and one in late summer.

In 1997 the ground occupied by the Society’s sheds was subject to planning consent for residential building and the Society moved to a purpose built concrete structure located in the car park of the Crookham Memorial Hall in Sandy Lane, Church Crookham.

The Society is run by two committees:

  • Main committee
  • Show committee

Each committee is made up of elected members, and is chaired by the Society Chairman.

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November Gardening

16th October 2017

November Gardening by Ewshot Gardener

The colour of trees in the garden and wider countryside turns to gold, red and bronze, quite lovely on a sunny day. The ground beneath looks gold plated.
I like to rustle through the colourful fallen leaves, so I am not fastidious about raking them up immediately – they will do no harm for several weeks and will provide food for worms. After too long, they will start to damage grass and provide slug heaven, so I will have to pick them up and make leaf mould!
Dead leaves in the pond should be removed with a rake or net, but leave some as a habitat for invertebrates. Put the extracted leaves near the pond for a day so that any creepy-crawlies can get back into the water.
At this time of year, the fruiting bodies of fungi (toadstools) are visible. It is worth remembering that leaves are broken down mainly by fungi, liberating nutrients. The vast network of tiny tubes (mycelium) from which the toadstools arise is of great importance to the health of trees and shrubs. They live in a mutually beneficial relationship with the roots, increasing surface area for the uptake of water and nutrients. More is being discovered all the time. Fungi mostly only colonise a plant that is already damaged or stressed.
Jobs to do
Greenhouse: clean the glass to maximise light. The RHS says to disinfect staging and pots, but, if you have biological control agents, e.g. Encarsia wasps for whitefly, this will wipe them out and you have to start them again.
Kitchen Garden: When the leaves are down then you can start pruning fruit trees except plums. Remove dead, diseased and crossing branches. I’m told a pigeon should be able to fly through the tree when you have finished! Cut side shoots back to two buds and leaders to six.
Currants should be pruned to give an open structure. Take cuttings from the prunings: push into soil to a depth of 6 inches (15cm)
Sow broad beans and plant garlic cloves now.
Ornamental garden: Prune Acers, put grit round alpine to stop rot, plant tulip bulbs. Raise pots on pot feet to prevent waterlogging. Leave ornamental seed heads as food and shelter for wildlife
For the child in you (or in your home)
Suspend a garlic clove over a jar of water using a cocktail stick. If the base is just touching the water, roots grow in a day or two…MAGIC! You can do the same with an avocado stone, but it takes longer for the root to grow.
Children may like to grow conkers, sweet chestnut, acorns, hazel nuts and walnuts. They need to be cold over Winter in order to germinate, so put in a pot in a cold frame, or in moss in a bag in the fridge.
Warning: they produce BIG trees eventually.

Gardens to visit this month
West Green House near Hartley Wintney open 11-4, 15th Nov to 20th Dec
Winkworth Arboretum for Autumn colour open for NGS on 1st October, open National Trust all year 10am-6pm, except Christmas.
Exbury Garden near Beaulieu, New Forest; expensive (£11.40), but magical. Open 20th Mar to 5th November. (www.exbury.co.uk)

October Gardening

2nd October 2017

by Ewshot Gardener in association with Church Crookham Garden Society

Pumkins

Pumkins and Squash can  be stored in a shed once they sound hollow when you tap them

Here we are, at the beginning of Autumn, the roar of leaf blowers and the scratch of rakes filling the air. I do hope those leaves will be composted to make leaf mould!

Most of the harvesting is done: potatoes lifted and stored cool and dark in hessian sacks, apples stored in newspaper on trays, carrots and beetroot are more difficult, but will not stand frost – why not pickle the beetroot? Pumpkins and squash can be stored in a shed or garage once they sound hollow when you tap them.

Now let us start on next year’s produce by sowing broad beans, planting overwintering onions and shallots, and sowing sweet pea seeds in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. Plant Spring bulbs (except tulips, leave them until November to reduce the risk of ‘tulip fire’)

Now is the time to divide herbaceous perennials, move small shrubs and plant bare-rooted young trees (these will need firm support)
It is tempting to tidy all top growth of plants once they finish flowering:
DO rake up and dispose of diseased leaves from below roses and apple trees; DO cut out fruited branches of blackberries and their relations so you can tie in new growth; DO reduce the height of Buddleias, Lavatera and Sambuca to reduce wind rock and snow damage BUT LEAVE the main pruning until March. Most herbaceous plants can be cut own but some have seed heads useful to birds. DON’T cut down Penstemons, Gaura or hardy Fuchsias until late Spring to protect the plant from frost; similarly, leave Hydrangea flowers on the bush until March to protect next year’s flower buds.

Now you must drag dead foliage from your pond, my unfavourite job, but if you don’t, the pond will become too fertile for clear water and will eventually turn into dry land!
Frogs toads, newts, hedgehogs, slow worms and grass snakes are all great eaters of slugs so I would like them to stay in my garden. An untidy heap of sticks and leaves in a quiet corner will give them somewhere to hibernate. Do, please, remember this before lighting a bonfire!
The pigeons will be after your Brussels sprouts and broccoli so protect the plants with net. Enjoy the sight of squirrels, magpies and jays burying acorns, chestnuts and hazelnuts in your perfect lawn!

To keep that perfect lawn, maintenance continues with scarification, aeration and Autumn feed. I tend to leave the last mowings down to help the worms and the soil structure; it can look a bit messy though!
Autumn sunshine brings out the best in ornamental grass seed heads and maple and beech leaves before they fall. Spare some time to stand (or sit) and stare.

Gardens to visit this month
Chawton House Library open for NGS on 22nd October
Winkworth Arboretum for Autumn colour open for NGS on 1st October, open National Trust all year 10am-6pm, except Christmas.

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