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Bracing for Winter


Autumn colours have been absolutely stunning this year and nicely prolonged given the copious rain and warm temperatures we have been experiencing. The late afternoon light on the bright yellows, oranges and reds has been good for the soul. We may be behind in weeding borders and clearing leaves but there will be plenty of time for that. I took a break from various admin jobs to plant up pots of brightly coloured tulips. I’m bravely trying some new varieties and colour combinations this year, along with adding other spring bulbs like hyacinths, muscari and scilla to the mix. These combinations should lead to different heights, textures and a prolonged display. One thing that you mustn’t procrastinate about is ordering new seeds for next year. You can start to sow hardy annuals like Cerinthe, calendula and nigella as well as sweet peas. These will happily germinate on a warm window sill in any space. You can find monthly advice on gardening jobs under Latest News on our website.


As this goes to press, the Society is looking forward to a full house at Hascombe Village Hall to celebrate the holidays. Rory Dryburgh, Head Gardener at Titsey Place, will be sharing his experiences gardening in their historic walled garden over a tasty plate of lasagne with glass of wine in hand. No doubt Ted Dwyer will have crafted an interesting and challenging quiz for us and hopefully there will be a few pleasantly surprised raffle winners. The Christmas party is an ideal time to gather and reminisce about the year just past and plan for next year.


Speaking of next year, the Society will announce its full programme of events for 2024 in early January and we have some exciting talks and visits in store for members. Our winter lectures will once again be held online via Zoom which means no one has to leave the comfort of their own house. For our first lecture garden historian Cherrill Sands returns to talk about such gardening greats as Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West and Beth Chatto in her talk entitled ‘Women Gardeners of the 20th Century’. The 20th century resulted in some emancipation for women and a growing number went to horticultural colleges and took up jobs as garden designers and nursery women.


Be sure to mark your calendar for these dates:


Thursday 18 January 7pm: Women Gardeners in the 20th Century by Cherrill Sands

Thursday 15 February 7pm: Plants to Encourage Wildlife by George Lockwood

Thursday 14 March 7pm: Resilient Plants with Garden Designer Humaira Ikram

The lectures are free to DHHS members and £5 for non-members. All the talks are being recorded and will be available to registered participants for one week after the event. Attendees will need to book these talks in advance and details on how to book will be available on our website shortly.


Please note that membership is due for renewal from 1 January. Membership remains £10 per person and can be paid via BACS directly to the Dunsfold & Hascombe Horticultural Society Bank Account, the details are as follows:


Bank Name: National Westminster

Sort Code: 60 11 08

Account Number: 16513371

Ref: Surname ‘Subs’


We thank you for your support and wish you and yours a Happy Holiday!

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