Message From ex-Chairman Roy

A big thank you for your generosity.

Following my last meeting as chairman on Saturday, it was only when I got home and pondered the proceedings that the full extent of your generosity struck me. Three lovely shrubs (Corylopsis sinensis, Neillia thibeticus and Ozothamnus ledifolius, all with Stuart’s hand crafted everlasting labels) plus 3 CDs of wonderful music that doesn’t get heard enough and on top of that a very significant cheque and a huge card that so many of you signed.

Putting it all together I have been totally overwhelmed by the send off you have given me – generous and touching words of appreciation, beautiful plants that will always remind me of my friends in Somerset group, and music, that balm of the soul, for quieter moments and dark evenings. Mere words cannot fully convey the feelings I have deep inside me for this amazing expression of support. That will stay with me as a constant reminder of the great times we have enjoyed together.

Thank you all so much. I’ll still be around of course and to whoever may succeed me as chairman I hope you will be able to extend the same support and affection that you have shown towards me. Finally may I reiterate that running a Group like ours is a team effort and I shall always be grateful to the happy band of committee members (past as well as present) who have so ably worked to help deliver the good things we have enjoyed over the last 12 years.


Meeting Reminder – AGM This Saturday 17th

Saturday 17th November –  10am for 10.30 AGM.                          

Lecture starts 11.15am

AGM, followed by

Keith Wiley – ‘Erythroniums and Other Woodlanders’

Anyone who has heard Keith speak or visited his garden, Wildside, will know what a treat this lecture will be.  An erythronium fanatic, he has raised and named several hybrids of his own.  As well as erythroniums he will be discussing the many other woodland plants that he adds to the mix, and showing how observations gathered from seeing plants in the wild helps him to provide the conditions they need.  Even if you don’t have an acre of woodland, most of us have an area under trees in our gardens where these plants can grow.

Plants for sale

Meeting Reminder: This Saturday 20th: Dr Laura de Beden – ‘Create a Garden as a Work of Art’

Saturday 20th October – 11.00am 

Dr Laura de Beden – ‘Create a Garden as a Work of Art’

Laura is a landscape architect and garden designer whose talks are always well received and interesting.  In this design masterclass, she will be discussing spatial composition, ideas and materials, demonstrated by simple yet effective practical examples.  Discover how the rich language of art applies to garden-making and how to relate this to your own plot.  This talk could change how you view your garden!

National Orchid Show

November 3rd-4th 2018, Writhlington School, Radstock,Bath BA3 3NQ

Britain’s biggest orchid event brings together plants, people, science and conservation.

Public Show days 3rd and 4th Nov 10am-4pm

Fabulous orchid displays from across the UK, Scientific lecture programme, Tours of the famous Writhlington glasshouses, Propagation laboratory workshops, Orchid growing lectures and advice, hardy orchid day, children activities and much more.

‘A must for all plant enthusiasts’

Day tickets £5

Visit for more information


Click the image below to download the poster

A4 National Orchid Show copy

Meeting Reminder – 15th September

50/50 Plant Sale: 10.00 – 11.00am (Hall opens at 9.30am)

11.00am: Julian Sutton – ‘How the Flowers Became’

Many of you will be familiar with Julian Sutton who, with his wife Sarah, runs Desirable Plants, a mail-order nursery based in Totnes. In this lecture, Julian will be looking at the nature of flowers, their form, colour and even their biological behaviour.  The lecture includes a series of fascinating stories surrounding the evolution of floral diversity, including the origin of flowers themselves, all illustrated by garden-worthy plants.

Plants for sale

Other Notes for Saturday

  • Caroline and Hester are looking forward to receiving your donations of gardening books for the book table. All proceeds go towards Somerset HPS
  • Showa gloves and marker pens will also be on sale on Saturday.

Midney Self Drive Reminder

Wednesday 19th September

Self-drive Visit to Midney Gardens, Mill Lane, Midney, Somerton, Somerset, TA11 7HR

The garden at Midney was started in 2009, with the aim of creating a place which people would want to visit and enjoy.  Eight years on, the garden offers visitors a chance to experience a plantsman’s garden of exceptional quality.  Subtle themes and a natural planting style draw the visitor from one garden area to the next and each area has its own character.  The onsite nursery specialises in herbaceous plants, alpines, grasses and herbs – all organically grown.

Refreshments available in the tearoom.

Lecture by Tony Kirkham “Following in the Footsteps of Wilson in China”

Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will be giving a lecture to the Somerset Gardens Trust and we would very much like to invite members of the Hardy Plant Society to come to this event.

Tony Kirkham went to China with Mark Flanagan to follow in the footsteps of E H Wilson. Sadly Mark, who was the Assistant Ranger at Saville Gardens, died suddenly and tragically at a young age. Working at Kew is the top job in arboriculture. Tony and his team manage some 14,000 trees and share their passion for trees with the visitors to Kew. He has been on several plant collecting expeditions in East Asia, including South Korea, the Russian Far East, China and Japan to add to Kew’s collection and replace trees lost in the Great Storm of 1987. You may have seen him on television talking trees with Dame Judy Dench.

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be served after the lecture. We look forward to seeing you at this event.

Please use this PDF to apply for tickets or email Sue Hatherell as instructed within the PDF.

Dahlia Day at Gants Mill & Garden Bruton

From Elaine Beedle:

I wonder if your members would be interested to know of our upcoming Dahlia Day at Gants Mill & Garden, Bruton, on Sunday 9 September from 2pm – 5pm? We will have over 100 varieties of dahlia in flower as well as many other autumn flowering perennials. We will be doing tours of the working watermill and there will also be delicious tea and cake. Entrance will be £6, accompanied children free. Elaine and Greg Beedle, Gants Mill, Bruton, BA10 0DB 07969 955442.

Alternatively if you would like to consider coming to us for a group visit in 2019, I would be delighted to offer two representatives of the Society a two-for-one admission price on that day to see whether it would be suitable for you – just identify yourselves upon arrival.