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'In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb'

Weather folklore abounds particularly for this time of year but alas it rarely has any predictive quality which is such a shame for us gardeners. March has been one of the greyest that we have experienced in the last decade or so. We have been whipped around by high winds, inundated with rain and constantly damp! I think the only way March goes out 'like a lamb' is with reference to all the lovely lambs gambolling around the neighbouring fields. Other notable folklore for March include:

As it rains in March, so it rains in June.

March winds and April showers, Bring forth May flowers.

We can but hope for an improvement in weather!

Having said that, my morning dog walks are a complete joy these days as I watch the near daily arrival of new shoots and blossom. The crocus have been stunning this year and with any luck the daffodils, tulips and magnolias will not disappoint. Early April is a great time to trek to RHS Wisley and Kew Gardens to see their stunning collection of magnolias, cherry trees, and camellias. Timing is everything for these lovely plants as a hard frost can mean these gorgeous blooms can be very short-lived.

On our doorstep we also are lucky enough to have Winkworth Arboretum and Ramster. Both gardens have stunning collections of spring flowering trees and bulbs, and April/May is a fantastic time to visit. On 19 April, the Society will be visiting Winkworth Arboretum with the extremely knowledge and passionate tree ‘nerd’, Dr Peter Herring, who will be taking us on a guided tour. You can find more details of the planned visit on our website. There are still spaces available.

Last month we had our final online lecture of the season featuring dahlia and sweet plant specialist, Darren Everest. Darren gave sage advice on how to grow and propagate dahlias, making the growing of more than 300+ varieties of dahlias each year seem positively easy! Dahlias come in so many shapes, sizes and colours and most importantly, extend the flowering season of a garden well into the Autumn until the first frost. Since his talk I have been laboriously digging up my tubers and dividing them in the hope of giving them a new lease of life. While I don’t grow them for shows (other than the DHHS Main Show) they provide endless blooms for cut flower arrangements for months on end.

Our next lecture will be held on Thursday 8 June at The Winn Hall in Dunsfold. We will be welcoming renown plantswoman and nursery owner, Marina Christopher, for her talk on 'Growing Salvias'. She will also be bringing plants, sundries and copies of her books for sale that evening. Salvias are an incredibly versatile and diverse range of herbaceous plants providing months of endless colour during the year. It will be nice to be meeting in person once again.

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