Reminder: Spring Plant Fair – July 4th

The SHPS Summer Plant fair will be taking place at Lower Severalls on July 4th 2021. 14 of the southwests top nurseries will be attending including:

  • Blooming Hill Plants
  • CB Plants
  • Desert to Jungle
  • Elworthy Cottage Plants
  • Gardener’s Blacksmith
  • Gardener’s Delight
  • In Clover
  • MAJ Allison Plants
  • Mill Cottage Plants
  • Mrs Mitchell’s Kitchen and Garden
  • Phoenix Perennial Plants
  • Picket Lane Nursery
  • Millwood Plants
  • Shady Plants
  • Somerset Wildlife Trust
  • Wild Thyme

Attendance is via pre-booked tickets available via this link. Would members consider putting up the flyer below to promote the event?hps_plant_fair_july_2021_v0-3Download

Many thanks, Jane.

Tuesday 6th July – Visits to gardens in West Somerset

Following our successful visits to South Somerset (Ashington and Pulham) and then to East Somerset (Batcombe and Westbrook), we shall be visiting two gardens on 6th July that are (almost) in the West of the County; both of them are actually just over the border in Devon but are very close to Junction 27 of the M5. 

In the morning (11.00am) we shall go to the rarely-open Holcombe Court in Holcombe Rogus.  Some of you will remember a visit quite a few years ago, not long after the present owner had taken over the property, when we admired the restored walled garden and parkland.  This visit will give us the opportunity to re-visit the garden and see it in its semi-maturity.  There are interesting features both old and new in the stunning setting with a backdrop of what has been called “The Finest Tudor house in Devon”.  

In the afternoon we move on to Silver Street Farm near Culmstock (2.00pm).  Developed over the last 9 years it is a plantsmans garden, but definitely a family garden with the kitchen garden and play areas concealed by a long hedge with a deep a well-planted herbaceous border facing the house. It is alive with scent, colour and dynamic planting with an eclectic collection of plants and shrubs The whole sits comfortably in its environment.  

Please note that depending on the numbers we may have to stagger arrival times to meet Covid requirements.   
The cost of the visit to the 2 gardens is £11.00.  

To book please click on the link to the booking sheet https://somersethps.com/2021/06/02/visit-booking-sheet/ 

Two articles which may be of interest for further reading:

HPS Self-drive visits 10th June

There are still some places available on the visits next Thursday 10th June to Batcombe House near Bruton and Westbrook House near Glastonbury. Further information is given below but if you would like to join please contact Penny Berry p.berry487@btinternet.com or phone: 01278 662720. The cost for both visits (and including tea and cake at Westbrook) is £18.50.

Batcombe House
Libby Russell has created a superb garden in the nineteen years she has been at Batcombe House. Sitting snugly in its valley setting, it is a garden of two halves: one undeniably romantic, with frothing borders of roses, nepeta and herbaceous geraniums punctuated by conical yews; the other rather more contemporary, with lawns punctuated by hummocks of box rising in an amphitheatre of curves, fringed with planting in cool greens and whites. Featured in Gardens Illustrated in 2020.

Westbrook House
Garden designer Keith Anderson and painter David Mendel began laying out the garden at Westbrook House in 2004. Set within four acres, the garden has three distinct formal areas around the house. Clipped box and yew offset lively borders of herbaceous perennials and cottage-style plantings. Beyond are mown paths leading through a meadow, peppered with species and wild roses. Finally, there are two orchards where the fruit trees are interplanted with shrub roses and philadelphus.

For any further information about the visits (but not to book) please contact Kate Harris nunnington@aol.com or 01984 624 615

The return of St Margaret’s Hospice Care’s Glorious Somerset Gardens!

I am delighted to announce the return of St Margaret’s Hospice Care’s Glorious Somerset Gardens, which will see more than a dozen stunning gardens opening to visitors across the summer. The campaign kicks off with gardens opening from Monday 17th May and runs until the end of July 2021. Our green-fingered supporters have taken lockdown in their stride and have spent months getting their gardens ready and Covid secure for the summer.

Here at St. Margaret’s Hospice we know how important our gardens are to the health and wellbeing of our patients and their families, providing places of relaxation as well as reflection. For years, our loyal gardeners have been opening their gardens to raise funds for us and this year is no different. Our supporters have also stood by us in the face of Covid-19 so this year we wanted to give something back by offering more than a dozen amazing gardens for the community to visit, including walled gardens, steep woodlands, and many stunning gardens with beautiful views. There is something to interest everyone and every donation made will help us continue to provide compassionate care to patients and their families, when it matters most.

I am hoping you will be able to kindly help us by promoting the campaign to your members, or even popping along to visit the gardens we have on offer. I have attached a poster for reference. Full details of locations, opening dates and admission prices can be found in the Glorious Somerset Gardens 2021 brochure, available from St. Margaret’s Hospice shops, selected local garden centres or via the hospice’s website: https://www.st-margarets-hospice.org.uk/glorious-gardens.

Zoom Talk by Fergus Garrett

Zoom Lecture Saturday 15th May 2021 at 2pm – ‘Succession Planting’ by Fergus Garrett hosted by Norfolk & Suffolk Group

The cost will be £4 for HPS Norfolk & Suffolk Group members and £5 for non-members. Please feel free to let family, friends and fellow gardeners know.

Bookings are made via this website, the Norfolk and Suffolk group website is here www.hps-norfolkandsuffolk.org.uk, places will be limited to 100.

A message from your Chairwoman

It is time to start planning the June newsletter for Somerset Group. However we are still looking for a editor to bring this about. Are you that person?I edited the last issue following the layout as designed by Marion. It is quite straight forward once you have decided what to include and members have provided the promised articles and photos. There are certain items that need to be included but you are free to choose what to include as long as it is relevant to the group.  

In the meantime, whilst you are thinking of volunteering, why not write an article, not too short not too long and if appropriate illustrate with photos and send them to me (preferably by 22nd May) at carolineofcc@gmail.com or reply to this message. Look at past issues for inspiration and what about that topic that you are interested in but never seen it mentioned. I’d like to see a regular feature where members give us an insight into what they like growing and doing in their garden.  Why not have a go?

If Newsletter Editor does not appeal to you, please consider the following roles that are either vacant or soon will be:

  • Treasurer
  • Membership Secretary
  • Nursery List 
  • Plant Fair organiser

Jobs can always be shared as for example when Janet and Sandra organised the groups’ visits.

I am happy to discuss any of the above.

Caroline

Chairwoman, Membership Secretary

Newsletter Editor (Temporary)

Summer Plant Fair – July 4th

The SHPS Summer Plant fair will be taking place at Lower Severalls on July 4th 2021. 14 of the southwests top nurseries will be attending including:

  • Blooming Hill Plants
  • CB Plants
  • Desert to Jungle
  • Elworthy Cottage Plants
  • Gardener’s Blacksmith
  • Gardener’s Delight
  • In Clover
  • MAJ Allison Plants
  • Mill Cottage Plants
  • Mrs Mitchell’s Kitchen and Garden
  • Phoenix Perennial Plants
  • Picket Lane Nursery
  • Millwood Plants
  • Shady Plants
  • Somerset Wildlife Trust
  • Wild Thyme

Attendance is via pre-booked tickets available via this link. Would members consider putting up the flyer below to promote the event?

Also would members consider helping run the event? We need volunteers on the plant stall and for other aspects of running the event. Please contact Jane Hunt if so, all volunteers receive free entry to the event.

Many thanks, Jane.

Monmouthshire HPS Zoom talk: Nigel Hopes on ‘Ashwood Specialities’ on Saturday 8th May, 2.30pm

We hope you can join us for our next talk and what should be an enjoyable and informative afternoon.

After qualifying in horticulture and working at Birmingham Botanical Gardens for 10 years, in 2018 Nigel Hopes became Head Gardener for Chelsea Gold medallist John Massey VMH in his private garden, ‘John’s Garden’ at Ashwood Nurseries. This wonderful three acre site includes informal borders, island beds, woodland dells and a wildlife meadow set against the beautiful backdrop of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. It’s regarded as one of the finest private gardens in the UK, with magnificent collections of trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and conifers adding to the interest all year round, and an abundance of rare plants as well as familiar favourites. Nigel will show us many parts of the garden and then tell us more about some of the interesting plant groups there, such as hellebores, hepatica, lewisia and more.

Hardy Plant Society members and non-members are all welcome.The cost is £3 each for national HPS members and £5 for non-members. To book, please drop an email asap to monmouthshirehps@gmail.com as places may be limited.

Our local HPS Monmouthshire group hopes to restart our meetings in Little Mill (between Abergavenny, Usk and Pontypool) in September. We are just finalising our 2021/22 programme which, while focused on meetings, may include occasional Zoom talks too. For further info on our group and full programme, see https://hpsmonmouthshire.co.uk/

Epimediums and Friends – Sally Gregson

Our member Sally will be giving an online talk on Weds 21st April at 6pm.

We’re all familiar with those low ground-covering Epimediums, that usefully make a bid for world domination in dry shade. But of late plant-hunters have scoured the remotest parts of Sichuan and Yunnan in China and discovered dozens more species. They have brought them home to the UK and the US where specialist growers have been breeding new, big, beautiful forms for our shady gardens with rich soil. The acid-loving Japanese forms have also been undergoing a renaissance with breeders producing some with larger flowers in all tones of pink, white and purple.

Join us for a look at the traditional varieties and their planting companions, and meet some of the beautiful new species and hybrids that are currently in circulation in the US, Australia, and Europe.

Booking for the webinar can be found on this page https://www.gardenmasterclass.org/webinar please scroll down, the event is £24 per ticket.