Plant Fair Information

To help anyone understand how the Plant Fair works, here are some additional notes:

  • In accordance with our normal practice, HPS members who volunteer to help at the Fair – either on the Group’s stall or on the gate – will not need to pay the entrance fee or book a ticket or parking of any sort. They will be sent a “Volunteers Pass” by me (Jane Hunt) which will allow them to park and time to look round in addition to their time on the stall or gate. 
  • Anyone who is not a volunteer must obtain a ticket via the booking site (the link to the booking site is on the Group’s website also).
  • RHS members must also obtain a ticket via the booking site accessible from our website, although this is free.
  • The Group does not make any money from the sale of entrance tickets – this all goes to the host garden as it does with all of our other Fairs. We only keep the fees paid by the nurseries for a stall. The RHS doesn’t make any money from this event either.
  • Parking is limited at the venue so all car drivers (RHS and others) must also book a parking permit via the booking site. We hope that people will choose to car share if possible. Parking permits are also free.
  • Tickets are available by hourly arrival slot, starting at 10.00am. This is intended to spread the arrival of customers and avoid an issue with parking. We expect the 10.00am slot to sell out quite quickly. Customers may arrive at any time within their chosen hour and stay as long as they wish. They do not have to leave the site at a particular time, although it would help the parking situation if they don’t stay too long!. 
  • The booking site will open on 1 February at 10.00am. The link to the booking site which appeared on my original note will be added beneath the flyer on the Home page of the Group’s website for convenience nearer the time. (It already has been added)

Jane Hunt

Zoom talk: Grow the best glorious plants

Invitation from the Scottish & Northern Borders Group:

Zoom Talk with Adam Pasco – Tuesday 25th January 2022, 7pm for 7.30pm start

Adam Pasco, who entertained us last year with his well received Zoom talk, “Create a garden for all seasons”, will be returning with another talk, this time entitled “Grow the best glorious plants”.

Creating a garden with colour and interest right through the year starts with choosing the best plants. In this beautifully illustrated talk Adam Pasco introduces a wide range of glorious plants that are guaranteed to succeed, whether growing them in flower borders, shady corners, or patio pots and baskets.

Adam shares a wealth of practical tips and ideas for choosing and growing plants that really perform, plus ideas on successful colour continuity and planting combinations. From climbers and clematis to shrubs, bedding, roses, hardy perennials, trees, fruits, veg and salad crops, he’ll introduce you to his favourite plants for sites in both sun and shade that provide a succession of colour right through the seasons.

Full of inspiring planting ideas, and illustrated with pictures and videos of plants at their best photographed in Adam’s own garden, ‘Grow The Best Glorious Plants’ is sure to fire the imagination with a wealth of wonderful suggestions, and introduce new plants you may not have considered growing before

From Adam’s website

Adam has been a leading garden journalist for many years and his new talk introduces us to a wide range of glorious plants that are guaranteed to succeed in borders, shady corners or containers.

Full of inspiring ideas and illustrated with photos and videos of creative planting ideas to provide a succession of colour throughout the season, Adam’s talk is sure to fire the imagination and introduce new plants that you may not have considered growing before.

Attendance to the talk costs £5, and the deadline for payment is Thursday 20th January. Bank transfer is the preferred method of payment.

Bank Transfer method

Bank: Bank of Scotland

Account Name: HPS Scottish and Northern Borders Group

Sort Code: 80-22-60

Account Number: 17144166

Reference: Zoom Jan 22

Email Colin Cutler with your email, telephone number, and name when you have made the payment. You will receive an email from him with login details a few days before the lecture

Cheque method

If you pay by cheque send this with your name, email, telephone number and name to:

Colin Cutler, 3 Yew Gardens, Luncarty, Perth PH1 3UD.

You will be contacted by telephone or email with login in details a few days before the lecture

Plant Fair Volunteers and Tickets

We would welcome volunteers to help at the Plant Fair at Yeo Valley Organic Garden, Blagdon, BS40 7SQ on the 26th of March 2022. We need members to oversee the Group’s plant and publicity stall and also to man the gate to the fair to check pre purchased tickets in two hour shifts. Volunteers would have free entry to the fair and garden and do not need to book tickets. Please contact Jane Hunt if you can help.

We would also be pleased to receive donations of labelled plants to sell on the Group’s plant stall at the Fair. Please either bring them to February’s Group meeting or to the Fair on the day.

If you wish to go to the Fair but are unable to volunteer to help, tickets may be booked via the link on the Group’s website from 1 February or via Please select the hour from which you wish to arrive at the Fair and remember to book a parking permit for that hour too.

Reminder for Saturday 15th

The Somerset Group lecture this coming Saturday 15th of January will be given by Sue Applegate on the subject of “English Wines & Vineyards”. In this talk, Sue will talk about the development and progress of English wine-making, the techniques involved, and its increasing popularity and will tell us something about her own vineyard in the Polden Hills, Stocklands Vineyard. The lecture will start at 11.00am and we suggest that you arrive at the hall after 10.30am.

We would remind you that everyone attending the lecture must wear a mask at all times, except when seated for the lecture. The windows and some doors will be open to allow air circulation in accordance with scientific guidance so it is suggested that you dress warmly. Please use hand sanitiser on entering the hall and at regular intervals. There will be no book or plant stall this month to provide more spacing for chairs, but there will be tea and coffee available.

On behalf of the Committee

Monmouthshire Zoom Talk

The Monmouthshire Group have invited us to join them for their Zoom talk. The details are as follows:

Zoom talk: Nicola Spence, the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer, on ‘Helping to protect the UK from plant pests and diseases’ – Sat 15th Jan 2.30pm

Nicola Spence, the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer at Defra, is an expert in plant health and is also the Head of the National Plant Protection Organisation for the UK. Nicola will explain how we can all help to protect the UK from plant pests and diseases. You’ll have already heard and read a lot about some of these threats but others are on the way. In the UK, we have improved standards of biosecurity and protection and can enhance our plants and trees’ ability to resist.

All of us who love plants, trees and gardening can also help though by taking simple actions when travelling, buying plants or visiting our woodlands and parks. At the end of her talk, Nicola will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

The cost will be £3 per person for HPS members and £5 per person for non-members. All the funds raised this time, after Zoom licence and raffle costs, will be donated to Stump Up for Trees, a local community-based charity which aims to plant a million trees in the Brecon Beacons area. The charity uses donations such as this to contribute to woodland creation, biodiversity and well-being.
To book and/or to be added to our monthly distribution list for updates on our programme, please send an email asap to

Please note that the HPS website has a list of Zoom talks open to members of other Groups. Go to the “For Members” drop down and click on “Online Talks by HPS Groups” for details.”



Monmouthshire programme page:

National HPS Zoom talks:

2022 Somerset HPS Spring Plant Fair

The HPS Somerset Group Early Spring Plant Fair is being held at Yeo Valley Organic Garden, Holt Farm, Blagdon, BS40 7SQ on 26 March 2022 and will feature the following stallholders. Some are coming from as far away as Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Hampshire.

  • Avon Bulbs (Chris Ireland-Jones)
  • CB Plants (Catherine Bond)
  • Elworthy Cottage Plants (Mike and Jenny Spiller)
  • Gardeners’ Blacksmith (Jonne Ceserani)
  • Gardeners’ Delight (Nick Wade)
  • Hilltop Garden (Brian and Josse Emerson)
  • Long Acre Plants (Nigel Rowland)
  • Millwood Plants (Gary Buckingham)
  • Phoenix Perennial Plants (Marina Christopher)
  • Roseland House (Charlie and Liz Pridham)
  • Shady Plants (Tony and Sylvia Marden)
  • Triffids (Jackie Williams)

In addition the Group will have its own plant stall and the resident nursery and garden owners will also be selling plants. The café within the garden will be open for light refreshments.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Plant Fair, but please be aware that the Fair will be taking place within a 24/7 working production site with limited parking, so please note that:

  • Entrance tickets for timed arrival slots MUST be pre-purchased and will go on sale on 1st February. A link to the ticketing site will be added to this page in due course, and circulated via email.
  • Every driver MUST book a parking permit in order to park their car at the garden. Please ensure that your parking permit is printed out and displayed on arrival.
  • RHS members MUST book their tickets via the ticketing site, although there is no charge.
  • Anyone arriving at the Fair, without a personal entry and/or parking ticket, risks being turned away if the hourly slot for their arrival time is already fully booked.

Movember Appeal

During November I am raising funds via the Movember appeal, the idea being to grow facial hair for the month of November.

It’s been 9 years since I first Movember’d and this year I felt I’d support them again – especially for men’s mental health. I have direct experience of mental health challenges in people around me, and appreciate that sometimes we all need help.

I will be allowing my face to grow an unruly mess of whiskers which this time want to be like Lemmy from Motorhead. Last time I became a David Brent lookalike which was disturbing for all. This may not be the toughest challenge but the itching on my face is already a bother, and no less for my wife who has to avoid my hedgehog like face.

Money raised by Movember will support projects in the UK to provide education and support for mental health, and also towards research into prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide prevention – 75% of suicides are by men.

If you can support me the money I raise goes to fund to projects in the UK and around the world – find out more on the Movember website under About -> Impact.

If you feel able to support me in this fund raising event then you can do so via my Movember page here. I’ve raised £500 so far from friends and colleagues who have been generous in their support.

The goal

The Reality

AGM Reminder for Saturday

This coming Saturday 20th is the Somerset HPS AGM:

Doors open at 10.00am

AGM at 10.30am, followed at 11.15am by

Derry Watkins – ‘Pushing the Boundaries: Borderline Hardy Plants You Can’t Live Without’

Derry is the proprietor of Special Plants, near Bath, an enticing nursery full of covetable and unusual plants.  As Derry has introduced many of them from her plant collecting trips to South Africa and elsewhere, a lot of them are borderline hardy (tender perennials).  Before you say ‘that’s not for me’, bear in mind that the majority of these plants flower consistently all summer, more than earning their keep in the border, and many are easy to propagate from cuttings.   

Derry is a lively and enthusiastic speaker, with a wealth of experience in cultivating tender perennials in the UK.  In this talk, she will be demonstrating the value of these plants, explaining how to grow them successfully and inspiring us to give them a go ourselves.

Star Raffle Prize

An exciting raffle prize at this Saturday’s AGM, a signed copy of Jimi Blake’s book.


Membership Fees

Membership Fees for 2022 are due on the 1st January, and a big thank you to everyone who pays by Standing Order or Bank Transfer. If you do prefer to pay by cash or cheque, I will be at the AGM meeting and would be pleased to collect the payments then. Membership fees remain at £5 for single membership and £8 for joint, and it would be helpful if you could have cheques payable to Hardy Plant Society (Somerset Group) prepared in advance or the correct amount in cash. 

However you pay our group subscriptions, please remember to also renew your National HPS Membership as National HPS Membership is a pre-condition of HPS Somerset Group Membership.

Jenny Barr

Membership Secretary

HPS Somerset Group

Covid Precautions

In view of the increased number of Covid infections locally and likely high attendance, please could we remind everyone coming to Saturday’s meeting to please wear a mask (if able) when entering the hall and whilst standing or moving about in the hall. Masks may be removed, if you wish to, whilst seated.

Many thanks,