Goldfish for Saturday

Whilst emptying a choked and nearly derelict pond I have discovered about 20 small goldfish, most of them are 2’’-3’’ and have yet to turn colour.  They are true survivors in need of a good home.  If any members are interested could they please email me at to let me know how many they would like and I will bring them in a plastic bag to the meeting on Saturday.  It will be a bit like winning a goldfish at a fairground!

Many thanks,

Roy Stickland

Photo by DEAR on Unsplash

Troy Scott Smith with ‘A tale of three gardens’ – Wed 27th Oct, 7.30pm

Advance booking invite: Zoom – Troy Scott Smith with ‘A tale of three gardens’ – Wed 27th Oct, 7.30pm, Monmouthshire Hardy Plant Society

Hello everyone

We are now opening bookings for our first Zoom talk of the season on Wednesday 27th October at 7.30pm. We are delighted to welcome Troy Scott Smith, the very accomplished head gardener, garden writer and speaker with ‘A tale of three gardens’. As usual, HPS members and non-members are all welcome for what should be an enjoyable and informative session. We really appreciate your support and hope you can join us. Please feel free to forward this invite to your family, friends or your other societies/groups too if you think it could be of interest.

Troy has recently returned to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent as Head Gardener and has previously worked as head gardener at the privately owned Iford Manor Gardens in Wiltshire and, for the National Trust, at Sissinghurst, Bodnant Garden near Conwy and The Courts Garden in Wiltshire. He has also worked at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney; designed the floral colour spectrum at the Royal Botanic Garden Kew; and became interested in photography and was the RHS professional photographer of the year. He continues to enjoy writing and talking about plants and gardens.

However, for Troy it’s having a deep, basic and enduring connection with a garden that is most rewarding. There should be much of interest when he tells us about three wonderful gardens (Sissinghurst, Bodnant and The Courts) and discusses his experience of each and the gardening challenges ahead. There’ll also be time for your questions at the end of the talk, before the raffle is drawn.

The cost will be £5 per person for national HPS members (of any Local Group or none) and £7 per person for non-members, plus (optional) £1 for each raffle ticket. The funds raised go towards the cost of our speakers and improving our future programme as well as towards our raffle prizes which are mostly garden vouchers, redeemable nationwide.

To book your place/s and/or to join our mailing list for monthly updates, please send an email to including – if you are an HPS member and haven’t told us already – your group name and membership number where known.
Please do not pay until we have confirmed your reservation. Places are sometimes limited, even on Zoom, so entrance to this online event and the associated raffle will be for those with confirmed and paid bookings only.

We expect to have enough capacity but if oversubscribed, priority in booking will be given to HPS members as usual. In the unlikely event that the talk is cancelled, all those who have paid will be notified by email and, as they prefer, either be refunded or have their payment carried forward to a future meeting.

Our talks are not recorded so will not be available if you are unable to attend. Wishing you all well and we hope to see a good number of you online to hear Troy’s ‘A tale of three gardens’ on 27th Oct.

Secretary – Monmouthshire Group, HPS

Road closure affecting September 18th

Please be aware the A38 Bridgwater road out of Taunton is closed at the Creech Castle traffic lights. Those of you who access the hall from Junnction 25 will not be able to use this route.

Alternatives are head towards Ilminster A358, take first left through Ruishton and Creech St Michael.

OR head towards the town centre follow the Minehead signs, over the flyover and head towards Bridgwater.

Also be aware that this road out of Taunton, the Priorswood Road does not now go straight through Monkton Heathfield. You now have to turn left signed West Monkton. Anyone travelling from Bridgwater, /Junction 24, / Glastonbury direction is unaffected. From Ilminster it’s best to turn off right for Creech St M.

Penny Berry



A walk and talk around the nursery and gardens at Lower Severalls


A look at plants and habitats that encourage and support pollinators led by Catherine Bond with homemade lunch provided by Lower Severalls Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast Booking contact Mary Pring 01460 73234 or email

Shade and Semi-Shade Plants Zoom

I have been asked to let you know about a Zoom lecture for South Pennine HPS Group on 1 September which other HPS members are welcome to attend. It’s on “Shade and Semi Shade Plants” and the speaker is Colin Ward of Swinesmeadow Farm Nursery near Peterborough. There’s no charge to join the lecture.

If you are interested, please contact Tricia Fraser on to book a place.

Jane Hunt

Somerset Wildlife Trust’s ‘Wildlife Gardens’

Somerset Wildlife Trust’s ‘Wildlife Gardens’ season is much curtailed this year because of corona virus but on the 8th August the garden at Elworthy Cottage, Elworthy will be open. 

This is a 1 acre wildlife friendly garden in a tranquil setting with island beds, unusual perennials and ornamental trees and shrubs. It has been planted to encourage bees and butterflies with lots of birdsong and wildflower and meadow areas that should be full of butterflies on a sunny day. Several different bumblebees have been spotted in the garden visiting the many nectar rich plants.

Slow worms are often seen sunbathing in sheltered spots and the occasional grass snake in one of the compost heaps . Hedgehogs regularly visit and last winter one collected a huge pile of leaves to hibernate under in a secluded corner. There is a decorative and productive vegetable garden and the plantsman’s nursery attached to the garden will be open at the same time which is stocked with lots of bee friendly plants

Somerset Wildlife Trust has been protecting vulnerable wildlife and preserving wild places in Somerset for over 50 years. The Trust’s ‘Wildlife Gardens’ programme is aimed at inspiring gardeners to use their own gardens to help wildlife on their own doorstep and raise funds for the work of the Trust.

Elworthy Cottage is on the B3188 half-way between Wiveliscombe and Watchet and is open from 11am to 4pm entrance £4, children free. There will not be any refreshments available but you are welcome to bring a picnic and there are plenty of seats around the garden.
Many Thanks

Mike Spiller
Elworthy Cottage
01984 656427

Daylilies for Sale

As some members know my Daylily (Hemerocallis) stock has survived and indeed increased since Beggars Roost Plants closed. This summer I am getting the names straight for plants in pots, rather than the huge planted clumps which members helped me dig up last year.

The list above gives plants correctly labelled to date, and more are still coming out. There are brief descriptions and I can send photos of anything which might be of interest. They are mostly in 2l pots though some are in bigger, and the figure in red shows how many are available to date.

Prices would be token at around £3.50 as I need to reduce stock! My cottage is being rebuilt and I’m without reliable phone use, so please uses this email address ( to get to me, but give your number so I can ring you back as soon as I have a chance.

Ro FitzGerald

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 

Two articles which may be of interest for further reading: