Membership Fees Are Due

What a lovely sight this morning, waking to a covering of snow. So much brighter than the rainy days. You should have received your newsletter, membership form and booking form by now. If not please let me know. Please note that the cost of the first self-drive trip to Ashington and Pulham Rectory is £10 per person. 

Can I remind you that the membership fee is due on 1st January and as we will not meet in person in February I would be grateful if you would pay via online banking if at all possible. This will save you postage and save me queuing at my local post office which is now only open two mornings a week.  

Several members have asked if they need to complete the renewal form.  The renewal forms are useful to keep your details up to date but if you pay by standing order or bank transfer then an email to say that your details have not changed is acceptable. 

Caroline, Chairman and Membership Secretary 

HPS Galanthus Group : Anne Repnow

The HPS Galanthus Group invite you to join a zoom meeting Anne Repnow, Some Snowdrops on Feb 6th at 6pm. It is free for members of the Galanthus group, (you can join straight away if you wish by emailing, cost £5 for a single, £6 for a couple and I will then send you the zoom link.


For HPS members the charge is £4, please email me for the link to book your place, which I will be able to send you after Wed. 27th Jan.’21

About Anne Repnow

Anne C. Repnow lives and gardens near Heidelberg in Germany. She studied Zoology at Oxford before embarking on a career in scientific publishing which kept her from in-depth gardening for 30 years. However, she managed to squeeze in training courses in horticulture and garden design and experimented extensively in her gardens. So she had a solid basis of experience when eventually she left publishing to become a garden designer. Ten years into her new vocation and many happy customers later she has reduced her planning activities to have more time for her own garden, for photography, writing and watercolour painting.

It has always annoyed Anne that even her gardening friends regard her love of snowdrops as a quirky penchant for a boring white flower. And she feels that treating snowdrops simply as collectors’ items doesn’t do this genus justice either. So it is her mission to introduce garden-lovers to the beauty of snowdrops and to the satisfaction and joy they give in the most depressing months of the year.

Anne’s book which accompanies this talk can be bought here.

Alpine Garden Society Talks

Somerset Group : Lectures on zoom

Flowers of the Silk Road

Wednesday January 27th 19.30

Chris Gardener (speaking from Turkey)

Author of the book on the Silk Road and owner of viranatura tours. Discover the amazing alpine plants that flank the silk road – an ancient trade route that connected Rome with China. Breath-taking habitats and little-known alpines abound in this fascinating talk.

The Crowning Glory of the Bighorn Mountains

Wednesday February 24th 19.30

David Sellars (speaking from Canada)

Guest Attendees

The talks are currently open to all members of local Alpine Garden Society Groups in the South West. If anyone else would be interested in joining us for these talks and the rest of our programme online and at normal meetings when they start, please contact Sue or Richard Horswood at

The cost would be £6 which would give anyone who took it up a temporary membership of the Somerset Group of the AGS with access to all of our activities not just the zoom meetings. A full programme for the year can be found on our group website on the main AGS site. Thank you for your time

Richard Horswood (Programme secretary)

Jane Moore – ‘Painting With Plants’

Our next group meeting on Jan 16th : 11am

In a horticultural career spanning almost 30 years, Jane has been Head Gardener at The Bath Priory since 2003. She is also a guest presenter on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World.

In this talk, Jane will discuss how making clever use of colour can turn your garden into something really special. She has plenty of ideas on how to introduce colour using both flowering plants and foliage, from romantic, soft toning colours and subtle, fragrant plants, to the drama of a bold, vibrant colour scheme. Jane can recommend plants and combinations that will look great, whatever the size of your garden.

Jane Moore

Joining the talk for SHPS members: You will be sent a Zoom link a couple of days prior to the talk.

Joining for Guests only:
Step 1: Please send £4 by bank transfer to:

  • Sort code 60-03-27
  • Account no 46429956 (Nat West Bridgwater)
  • Name (for verification): HARDY PLANT SOCIETY (SOMERSET GROUP)
  • Reference: The first four characters of your surname following by ZOOM16 e.g. HODG ZOOM16

Step 2: Use the form below to notify us of your payment so we can then add your email onto the invitation list. You will then be sent the zoom link a couple of days prior to the meeting.

Early Spring Plant Fair 2021

The early spring plant fair is planned to be held at Milverton Recreation Ground Butts Way, Milverton, Taunton TA4 1JR (Map here) on Saturday 27th March between 10am and 3pm.

Download the poster here

Jane Hunt

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.