Kerria Blight

From Dr Helen Clark, who is having to remove a 50 year old hedge due to this infection:

Thank you for your enquiry to RHS Gardening Advice.The spotting on the leaves of your Kerria, is caused by a disease known as Kerria blight. This also causes lesions on stems and, as you have described, will quickly infect any new healthy stems that grow from the ground.

Kerria blight was first found in the UK in 2014. It is caused by the fungus Blumeriella kerriae. The disease causes severe defoliation and purple spots or lesions on the leaves and stems – girdling stem lesions can lead to complete dieback of the affected stem. This pathogen has been recorded on Kerria japonica previously in America and is now spreading through the UK. I found the spores for this fungus on your kerria leaves and stems. The leaf and stem lesions and defoliation you can see are typical.

We have a web profile on the RHS website: . We have also published a short research note if you would like to read some more details on the fungus: 

The disease is best managed by removing all infected plant material and either burning it or disposing of it at your local council composting facility. Home compost heaps rarely reach the high temperatures which are required to kill fungal spores. 

There are no fungicides available to home gardeners with specific recommendations for use against this pathogen. However, there are fungicides labelled for the control of some other diseases on ornamental plants and could therefore be used legally on Kerria (at the owner’s risk) to try and control this disease. Details of suitable fungicides are given in the web profile mentioned above. It would be prudent to apply a small amount of the chosen fungicide first, at a solution suggested on the packet for other problems, to ensure that the product will not cause damage to the plant. 

Unfortunately this problem does appear to be very difficult to control and a number of my colleagues have chosen to remove their Kerria plants. The good news is that this fungus is specific to Kerria, so other plants in your garden should not be at risk, and you can replant with any other shrub.

Members AGM & Talk by Bob Brown

Hello Friends,

HPS Somerset AGM on 21st November 2020 at 10:30am

With the new lock down we need to hold the AGM as an online event whilst meeting in person is no longer possible. We will be running the AGM via Zoom starting at 10:30am on Saturday 21st of November.

  • You do not need to open a zoom account to attend, but you will need the Zoom software on your device.
  • If you need to practise with Zoom beforehand you can join a test meeting using this link: which will establish whether your device has Zoom installed. Zoom is available for desktops, laptops, phones and tablets

Voting will be by a show of hands, which assumes you have your video camera switched on so we can see you. If you wish to ask questions or make nominations you will need to connect to audio so we can hear you.

We also assume you have a copy of the AGM document sent by post which includes the minutes from last year and the agenda for this year.

Members have been sent the zoom link for the event privately – if you need the details again, please make contact.

At 11:15am will be a talk by Bob Brown on ‘My 30 Best Plants’ (also on Zoom).

Some of you may have visited Bob Brown’s nursery, Cotswold Garden Flowers, near Evesham. His mail order catalogue is a delight, with pithy comments and marks out of 10 for plants: scores that he changes if a plant fails to live up to its initial grading. Known for his forthright views and occasionally controversial opinions, in this talk Bob will be taking us through his best ‘doers’. It promises to be an entertaining hour in the company of a true plantsman.

Chair and Membership Secretary
HPS Somerset Group

Hampshire Plant Heritage Group invite you to a Zoom Talk by Jimi Blake

You are invited to a zoom talk by renowned Irish Plantsman Jimi Blake, owner of the inspirational Hunting Brook Gardens in Ireland. Tickets are free for Plant Heritage members and are £5 for others who would like to attend.

Hampshire Plant Heritage Events Secretary.

Plants for the Connoisseur – Simon Gulliver

The Cambs & Beds Group is organising a Zoom lecture on 7 November at 2.00pm (joining from 1.30pm) called “Plants for the Connoisseur” to be given by Simon Gulliver, Gardens Advisor for the National Trust. Members of other HPS groups are invited to join them. A contribution of £3 is requested.

Contact Chris Strachan on to get the ID and password and bank details for payment by bank transfer. 

Newsletter Editor Required

Due to a change in circumstances which means I now have increased family commitments, I’m sorry to say that I find myself obliged to resign from my position as Somerset HPS Newsletter Editor.

The next newsletter is due to go out in January, so this is a plea to anyone who might be willing to step into the role as soon as possible. A basic understanding of Microsoft Word or Mac Pages is really all that’s required; the newsletter is created as a sequence of A5 pages, which the printer then rejigs into booklet form. There are three articles already pre-written for the January newsletter, which provides a good basic framework.

I don’t need to point out that without a Newsletter Editor, there is no newsletter. For the benefit of the Somerset Group and its future, I hope you can help.

Marion Jay

Garden Visit Report

Anne Kaile and I very much enjoyed our visit to Roy and Helen Stickland’s garden.  After a warm welcome, we were given a guided tour of the gardens.  The interesting design and inspired planting, wih many rare and unusual species, gave us much to appreciate and think about.  The vegetable garden and nursery area completed our visit, with some unusual plants to take home.  Light rain did not deter from our visit and we would highly recommend this garden to Somerset HPS members.

Jenny Hawksley

Note: This garden visit was between Somerset HPS members – if you want to take part please join the Somerset HPS and become a member.

Babbs Farm – 2 September 2020

In order to allow for social distancing during our visit to Babbs Farm we have now ceased to accept further bookings. If you haven’t booked and would like to be added to the waiting list please would you let Penny Berry know. Also, if you have already booked and find that you are no longer able to go, please let Penny know as soon as possible so that your place might be offered to anyone on the waiting list. Full instructions about the visit will be issued shortly.

Kind Regards

Jane Hunt


Notices from National HPS

  1. Please would anyone sending in donations of seeds for the HPS Seed Distribution please ensure that the envelope is weighed at the Post Office and the correct postage paid. Any envelopes without the correct postage will not be collected by the seed distribution organisers and the seed will be wasted.
  2. A reminder to
    1. Cast your votes for the national AGM by 31 August;
    2. Request and submit the National Survey (deadline now 1 September).

Both of these items were covered in the last national newsletter and copies of the forms may be downloaded from the (national) HPS website.

  1. There have been occurrences of a scam at various nurseries and garden centres, in the north of England and the Midlands, where a man has demanded financial compensation because his wife has supposedly cut her hand, requiring stitches, on a piece of glass found inside a plant pot. He also states that there was so much blood that he had to get the car valeted so wanted compensation to cover the cost of that too. Please would you warn any nurserymen you come in contact with as he might just come down this way on holiday and try his scam here!

East Lambrook Manor Gardens – Saturday 11th July

While East Lambrook Manor Gardens has not reopened to the public yet on regular basis it will be opening for the NGS this coming Saturday 11th July from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Adults £6.00, children under 16 free. Tickets must be booked and paid for online via the NGS website and the link for the booking page is
The nursery, which is now open Tues to Sat 10.00am – 4.00pm will stay open untill 5.00pm on 11th July. The cafe is closed but visitors can picnic in the Orchard or Car Park if they wish.