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.


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.


February Hints and Tips 2019

31st January 2019

In January, my garden is in a muddle.  At least 17 different plant types are flowering: leftovers from last year, like Fuchsia, Abutilon and Hederantha, genuine winter flowerers like Helleborus, Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’, Iris unguiculata, winter jasmine and witchhazel, and Pulmonaria and primroses that think it is spring!

It is difficult to predict how things will develop from now.  It may depend on whether we get another ‘Beast from the East’.  With any luck, we should be enjoying daffodils and crocuses and noticeably longer days.

Some plants that flower on new season’s growth, like late-flowering clematis and Buddleja, need to be stimulated by pruning back to a framework now.

Buddleja before pruning

Buddleja after pruning










So… Jobs you could do in February

Ornamental garden

Prune late-flowering clematis to just above a low pair of healthy buds 6-12” (15- 30cm) above soil level.

Prune winter jasmine after flowering has finished; cut back vigorous stems and old and crossing stems

Finish pruning rambling and climbing roses and start pruning bush roses at the end of the month.


January Hints and Tips

9th January 2019


Reasons to be Cheerful

The shortest day has been and gone and the daily period of light has, almost imperceptibly, increased.  The infra-red wavelengths penetrate the soil and activate enzymes, via chemicals called phytochromes, that start seeds and dormant plants growing.

Witch hazel, Sarcococca, Daphne odora and Mahonia are just some of the scented flowers you can enjoy now.  Wintergreen ferns give a wonderful textured foliage effect in sheltered shady spots, so do the leaves of Cyclamen hederafolia and Pulmonaria.  Cyclamen coum flowers in early spring and combines well with winter aconites or snowdrops. (The peak flowering time for most snowdrops is February, but varieties like Galanthus elwessii, G.nivalis and G.woronowii are earlier.)

Jobs to do

Kitchen garden Prune gooseberries, red and white currants to maintain an open centred bush with 8 – 10 main branches – this avoids mildew. Prune last year’s growth by half.  Finish winter pruning of fruit trees (except plums and cherries).  Continue harvesting winter vegetables like parsnips and Brussels sprouts.

Ornamental garden Start pruning wisteria.  The current season’s growth, tamed in July, should be cut back to 2-3 buds from old wood.  If the old wood is tangled or overgrown, cut it back to a fork or side branch, maybe back to ground level.

Start cutting old leaves from ornamental grasses to make room for new growth. Also cut off old leaves on hellebores to expose the flowers, unless grown for foliage effect.

Prune winter jasmine when the flowers fade.

Plant deciduous hedges like beech, hornbeam, blackthorn and hawthorn.


Feed Christmas flowering Hippeastrum (amaryllis) to build up the bulbs for next year.  Start ‘chitting’ early potatoes by placing them in egg-boxes in a cool light position. Sow begonias, lobelia, salvia, pelargonium and sweet peas in pots on a windowsill, cold frame or greenhouse.

A bit of botany!!

I’m not sure if this is being patronising or helpful, but I thought I might untangle some of the mysteries of terminology and some explanations of gardening practices.  This month it is….

Bulbs and corms

Bulbs are leaf-bases swollen with sugars stored from the summer.  The sugars are used by the plant to put up a flower stalk before the competition shades them; as it does the stores shrink and the ‘empty’ leaf bases form the papery protective coat of the bulb.  Bulbs have a very short stem – think of an onion, that conical hard bit with roots at the bottom. Daffodils, tulips and snowdrops have bulbs as well.

Corms are short swollen stems that stay underground with only the leaves and flowers emerging.  After flowering a new corm forms on top of the old one, and contractile roots pull the new corm back into the soil. Crocus, cuckoo pint, crocosmia, gladiolus and acidanthera are examples of plants with corms.