A Newsletter in two halves – one good news and the other not!

1.  Another successful and well attended meeting on the 6th March when John Baker treated us to an excellent and informative talk on Hostas.  Thank you to all those who entered the daffodil competition – 21 entries covering a wide variety of daffodils – which made a lovely display though regrettably, pictures were not taken by me – did anyone else take one?  Interesting to note that the people’s choices this year were not the big in your in-your-face displays, but the smaller, more delicate ones. Your choice for the results was as follows:

  • First – Margaret White

  • Second – Jo Graham

  • Third – Jim Adams



2. A couple of points on the admin for the meeting:

a.Could members please note that the two car parking slots at the end by the Church Door, facing the main road when you turn right in the car parking area, are designated disabled bays. The markings may not stand out in the dark but could you please respect the designation and only use them if you have a Blue Badge on display.

b. A way of speeding up the service of tea and coffee has been identified (thanks Pam!).


3. Show Programme. Looking forward to the Annual Show on the 6th September, the Show Programme how been published and is available on the website for all to peruse. Hard copy is available from the Show Manager, Rupert Lambert, for those not on the internet. Please start your planning for planting and growing now for the best results!


4. Plant Sale. The plant sale is due less than 2 months away – hopefully your offerings are either in pots already or about to be put in pots – please ensure they are properly labelled.


Now for the bad news!


5. Regrettably, the Covid-19 virus situation has deteriorated rapidly over the last fortnight since the March meeting. The Committee is therefore following the recommendations given by the Government about social activities. We have therefore decided to take the following actions with the Club activities in the short term:


  • The meeting Friday 3rd April - CANCELLED. Knowing many of you are intrigued by the title ‘Say it with Poison’ we plan to rearrange this talk for when things are back to normal.


  • The trip to Chartwell – 23rd April – CANCELLED. The National Trust are closing their Houses as of this weekend. Having spoken to a member of staff at Chartwell today, we should have a phone call next week to check if it is viable for our visit to be rearranged. If no alternative date is possible, all payments made in full for this trip will be refunded. If a deposit has been made as well for Mottisfont, then it will be carried forward.


  • The meeting Friday 1st May – TBC – we will keep you informed


  • Plant Sale - Saturday 16th May – TBC – we intend to carry on as normal and see what develops. We may have an opportunity to have our fund raising session for the Show at a later date.


  • The meeting Friday 5th June – TBC – we will keep you informed


  • The trip to Mottisfont – 18th June – The National Trust have not given any indicative date for re-opening but as a comparison the RHS has stated that their (current) cancellation period is to 30 June.


  • Beyond this, decisions to follow.


6. Looking on the positive side, self-isolation offers the opportunity to spend more time in the garden – only hope the weather improves soon!


7. As a final thought, here is a picture of a happy and attentive audience at the last meeting – let’s hope we can get back to this soon

Louise and David

07842 975145 



A bit of good news:

  • RHS gardens will remain open

  • National Trust houses and facilities are closed but they will keep as many gardens open as possible where social distancing can be applied – with free entry – but check the site first to see which ones are open.

  • English Heritage free to-enter sites are staying open, but not paid-entry sites.



1.  In spite of all the rain and wind, this winter has been very mild and nature has taken advantage of this. The bulbs are putting on a magnificent display and we even have tulips and bluebells in flower already! While you may recall that the ‘Beast from the East’ last year hit us in late March, let’s make the most of what we have now and enjoy it while dodging the showers.

2. This year’s exciting programme got off to a really good start with 71 people enjoying the team from the local Ottershaw Cacti telling us how they went from a hobby to a passion to a Gold Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This was our first evening in the new venue and it ran very smoothly. The Committee identified a couple of points where we could improve, the most notable being to raise the screen a bit to allow a clearer view from the back. If you have any other suggestions, please let us know. One point, could you please not arrive at the door before 7.15 – our booking starts at 7.00 at we need time to lay out the hall before people get there. The arrival procedure has been streamlined to avoid queuing at the entrance and there is no shortage of good seats!

3. The next meeting is on Friday 6th March, starting at 7.45 in the All Saints New Haw Church Hall. The talk, titled ‘Heavenly Hostas’ by John and June Baker, will cover

  • How hostas were discovered and how they have been developed.

  • How to grow and propagate hostas.

  • How to avoid slug and snail damage.

  • Where to use hostas in the garden and which companion plants look good with hostas.

  • In addition, see some of their collection of over 1700 hostas and gardens in the USA where hostas are the Number 1 perennial.


Last year their collection was awarded National Collection status by Plant Heritage so we are looking at national experts in their field.

4. At the February meeting, a couple of updates on the programme were announced:

  • The visit to Mottisfont will now be on Thursday, 18th June. This is the middle of the rose season, for which Mottisfont is renowned. The booking form for this and for the Chartwell visit (23rd April) in available on line (www.wnh-horticlub.co.uk/coach-trips). Please book as soon as you are able to enable us to confirm numbers to the venues.


  • The Annual Show (Sunday 6th September) will take place in Byfleet Village Hall. We cannot use the Church hall as it is needed for Sunday Church activities.



5. When putting the programme together last autumn, the spring flowering season was not known. This early spring has brought out the daffodils very early so the daffodil competition, planned for the April meeting would be at the tail end of the daffodil flower season. It has therefore been decided to bring forward the ‘fun’ daffodil competition to the March Meeting – please bring 5 stems in a vase and try to win the ‘peoples’ prize.

6. The Sales table is now a regular feature at our meetings. Please bring anything horticultural that is surplus to your requirements and donate it so others can acquire it for a donation to Club funds. Don’t wait for the Plant Sale if you have stuff that is ready earlier.


Look forward to seeing you all on Friday 6th March – with your 5 daffodils in a vase!

Louise and David

07842 975145  





1.  The main item to report this month has been the AGM which was held on the 8th November. Rather than present Minutes at the next AGM and ask for their endorsement as a true record of the proceedings when the majority of what happened has long been lost in the mists of time, a copy of the Minutes is attached to this Newsletter. If there is anything that you are unhappy with, could you please raise it now rather than in over a year’s time at the next AGM.

2. December’s meeting. The talk on Friday 6th December will be by Cherrill Sands whom we welcome back for the third time, this time to talk about ‘Festive Plants for Wintertime’. Evergreen holly, ivy and mistletoe are rich in myth and folklore and have long been part of our festive traditions, while Christmas trees are a comparatively recent addition. We will hear stories relating to these plants and about festive gifts such as poinsettias, cacti and amaryllis.

The evening will include mulled wine and mince pies to ensure we are in the mood for Christmas!


At the meeting you will be able to renew your membership (or join) for next year. Could you please bring either a cheque for £6 per person, or cash in a labelled sealed envelope, and hand it in when you arrive. During the talk, your membership Cards will be prepared, ready for you to collect at the end. The Card will include next year’s programme.

Membership renewal will be separate from the normal entry fee collection and this separation will speed up entry.

3. Tea Rota.  We will be reinstating the tea rota next year. It would be most helpful if anyone who is prepared to take a turn would sign up. It should only be once a year if everyone pitched in!


Look forward to seeing you all on Friday 6th – 8.00pm at the Community Centre

Louise and David

07842 975145   





1.  The good weather has finally given way to autumn wind and rain. However, the garden is still a blaze of colour with dahlias, fuchsias and now nerines in full flower. Let’s enjoy them while we are tidying up and preparing the garden for the winter period and beyond into next year.




2. Visit to an NGS Garden – Wednesday 7th August. Thirty six members paid a visit to Margaret Arnott’s garden in Cobham under the National Garden Scheme. The garden was a delight and the range of plants was stunning and as the weather held, we could all enjoy our tea and cake and marvel at what had been created in a not very large space.

3. Club Annual Show – Sunday 1st September. The Annual Show was a great success with increased entrants as well as visitors. While prizes were spread over many entrants, after a quiet year last year, Jim Adams was back in force though closely pressed by Keith Hinds and several others. The Deputy Mayor of Runnymede opened the Show and was very impressed with the range and standard of entry. This year a sales table was set up and visitors were able to snap up donated fruit and vegetables while making a contribution to the Club funds. Special thanks to all the members who came forward to assist with the Show to ensure it ran smoothly.

4. RHS Metre Square Garden Competition. Our entry into the RHS metre square Garden, masterminded by Beda Dunkley, was awarded ‘Highly Commended’. In addition, the Club was given a Certificate of Appreciation by the RHS for entering this new competition.

5. Pictures of all these events will form part of the slide show of the year’s activities evening at the AGM on the 8th November.

7.  October Meeting – 4th October. For the October meeting, Jacqueline Aviolet  gave a very amusing and informative  talk entitled “A History of Nuts” which kept us all entertained. The fun competition, or as I prefer to call it, the micro-show, was a single class entry of 5 dahlias. A wide range was exhibited and the popular choice results were as follows:

            1st, Louise Clubley, 2nd Amanda Goldsmith, 3rd, John Foster.



8. Three members of the Club opened their gardens for the Open Gardens Day on Saturday 10th August for All Saints Church, New Haw - again, pictures will be in the Slide Show but between them, they raised a tidy sum for the Church.


9. The next Club meeting will be the AGM on Friday 8th November, a week later than usual, moved to reduce the impact of Halloween and Bonfire Night. The Calling Notice has already been distributed and we look forward to seeing you all there at the 60th AGM of the Club, which will be celebrated accordingly! One unusual item on the Agenda is the tabling of a new set of Rules and a Constitution for the Club. The present rules were prepared when the Club was a trading organisation and are very dated, over-precise in some areas, decidedly lacking in others and certainly not really applicable to the Club as it stands at the moment. A new set have been prepared and will be distributed about 3 weeks before the meeting for your perusal and comment. It would be best if comments were received before the meeting so that they can be considered and a reasoned and co-ordinated response prepared. This will ensure the meeting is able to address any major concerns, rather than receive comments cold, perhaps having to delay implementation and potentially extending the AGM.

10. The Meeting will start at 8pm. There is no entry charge for the AGM so the entry procedure will be just a signing-in of members so there is no need to arrive very early. A Super Raffle will be held with a single prize of 2 places on one of the trips being organised for next year – cost will be £5 per ticket. The trips and the rest of the programme will be revealed on the night.

11. The AGM is your chance to have your say on the way the Club is run. We will report on last year’s activities, present the accounts, cover election of the Committee and reveal next year’s programme. Please come and bring your ideas and comments so we are able to ensure that the Club moves forward to meet the member’s aspirations!


See you then!


Louise and David

07842 975145    wnhhorticlub@gmail.com




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