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.

April 17th Zoom Talk: Salvias

Saturday 17th April – 11.00am 

“Salvias” by Vicki Weston of Westons Salvias, Ceredigion in West Wales.

Seven years ago, Vicki moved to Ceredigion in West Wales, along with her beloved collection of 6,000 plants. Her interest in salvias has snowballed and she now has about 75 species and cultivars, which she sells by mail order from her website.

Some of the cultivars she recommends, such as the deep purple ‘Amistad’, are new to cultivation but already well known. ‘Someone found ‘Amistad’ at a plant fair in Argentina and it’s now one of the most widely seen salvias in the world,’ she says. ‘Hot Lips’ is also popular, with small, aromatic leaves and delicate, bi-coloured crimson-and-white blooms from June until the first frosts.

The tender species flower the latest and some can even be in bloom at Christmas if grown in pots. Vicki recommends varieties such as S. fulgens, the Mexican scarlet sage or the striking rust-red S. confertiflora for Christmas colour. S. involucrata ‘Mulberry Jam’, with its showy deep pink flowers (or indeed any of the New World salvias), can also be container-grown to maximise autumn flowering time.


Group members will receive the zoom link a few days prior to the talk. Guests can book to attend using the following instructions:

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 ZOOM04 e.g. HODG ZOOM04

Step 2: Complete the form below to notify us of your booking, so we can send you the link.

Zoom Link for Saturday March 20th

Hello all,

The zoom link for this Saturday’s talk by Dr John Grimshaw have been sent out to all members and paying guests.  If you haven’t received an email please check your spam or junk folder first and then reply to this email or make contact via the website.

See you online on Saturday at 11am, Bill (Zoom Captain).

Reminder: Saturday 20th, John Grimshaw Zoom Talk

Our next group meeting is coming up this Saturday 20th. If you wish to attend as a guest please follow the instructions here:  https://somersethps.com/2021/03/05/dr-john-grimshaw-paying-rent-plants-that-earn-their-keep/ 

Members will receive the Zoom link later in the week.

Calling Mrs P S Bosson!

If this is you, or you know Mrs P, please follow the link above to send us your booking details. We’ve had money from Mrs P but no email address – without which we can’t send the zoom link.

April 17th Programme Change

In a change to the advertised programme, our speaker for April 17th will be Vicki Weston of Big Sky Plants, talking to us about Salvias. The talk by Sue Applegate with wine tasting didn’t seem practical via Zoom and will be rescheduled for 2022.

Saturday 17th April – 11.00am

“Salvias” by Vicki Weston of Westons Salvias, Ceredigion in West Wales.

Seven years ago, Vicki moved to Ceredigion in West Wales, along with her beloved collection of 6,000 plants. Her interest in salvias has snowballed and she now has about 75 species and cultivars, which she sells by mail order from her website.

Some of the cultivars she recommends, such as the deep purple ‘Amistad’, are new to cultivation but already well known. ‘Someone found ‘Amistad’ at a plant fair in Argentina and it’s now one of the most widely seen salvias in the world,’ she says. ‘Hot Lips’ is also popular, with small, aromatic leaves and delicate, bi-coloured crimson-and-white blooms from June until the first frosts.

The tender species flower the latest and some can even be in bloom at Christmas if grown in pots. Vicki recommends varieties such as S. fulgens, the Mexican scarlet sage or the striking rust-red S. confertiflora for Christmas colour. S. involucrata ‘Mulberry Jam’, with its showy deep pink flowers (or indeed any of the New World salvias), can also be container-grown to maximise autumn flowering time.

Dr John Grimshaw – ‘Paying Rent: Plants that Earn Their Keep’ 

Coming up: Saturday 20th March – 11.00am

Dr John Grimshaw – ‘Paying Rent: Plants that Earn Their Keep’ 

Note: With the restrictions still in place this talk will be via Zoom

John Grimshaw has enjoyed a varied and interesting career, including nine years restoring the Gardens at Colesbourne Park (famous for its snowdrops) before he became the Director of the Yorkshire Arboretum in 2012.  He is a respected gardener, author and botanist, and is Vice-Chair of the RHS Woody Plant Committee.  Fascinated by all plants, he has grown a huge diversity of them over the years. 

In this talk, John will introduce a range of plants of all kinds, chosen for their long or multiple seasons of interest in the garden.  Just the thing for those of us who want colour all year round in our borders.

SHPS members will be sent the joining link near to the day of 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 ZOOM03 e.g. HODG ZOOM03

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.

Noel Kingsbury ‘New ways with perennials’

HPS Monmouthshire Group: Noel Kingsbury ‘New ways with perennials’ – Zoom talk, Sat 13th March 2.30pm

Our next Zoom talk will be on Saturday 13th March at 2.30pm when Noel Kingsbury, the internationally well-known writer, lecturer, researcher, gardener and horticultural consultant, will join us from his new home in Portugal to show us some ‘New ways with Perennials‘. We hope you can join us for what should be an enjoyable and informative afternoon.

A little background: Best-known for his promotion of what is broadly called an ecological or naturalistic approach to planting design, Noel has written some 25 books on various aspects of plants and gardens over the years, four of them in collaboration with Dutch designer and plantsman Piet Oudolf. He has also written for Gardens Illustrated, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Garden, and many other publications. Noel will take a look at a variety of contemporary approaches to using perennials: naturalistic, modernist, the Piet Oudolf look, etc. Increasingly popular in recent years but constantly evolving, these varied approaches use a wide range of plants, all selected for the ecology of a specific site and, with an eye to maintenance, the extent to which they can look after themselves.

As usual, Hardy Plant Society members and non-members are all welcome but places are limited. The cost will be £5 per person for national HPS members (of any Local Group or none) and £7 per person for non-members. If you’d like to book your place/s, please reply asap to monmouthshirehps@gmail.com (if you are a member, include your group name and membership number where known). Please feel free to forward this invite to your family, friends or your other societies/groups if you think it could be of interest.