Covid 19 Update, November 2020
The Committee has decided to publish the Winter/Spring 2021 Programme on the website, but garden visits and meetings in the hall will be subject to government restrictions. Due to the limit on the number of people allowed in the hall under COVID-19 secure rules, the meetings are restricted to members only and you will need to book a seat prior to the meeting. Email Caroline on email@example.com to book.
Please note the following when attending a meeting:
- Observe social distancing
- You must wear a face covering in the hall (unless medically exempt)
- Use the sanitising gel provided on entering and exiting the building
- Only the disabled toilet is in use
- Refreshments will not be provided but you may bring your own
- Remember to take any rubbish home with you.
- No raffle
- No book stall
- No sales of sundries
- No plant of the month competition
Meetings and lectures are held at West Monkton Village Hall unless otherwise specified. All meetings at West Monkton Village Hall are free to members (except for the Group Plant Sale in April), and there is a modest charge of £2 for non-members (when space is available). In non-coronavirus times, the Group has a plant stall and a book stall at most of the lectures listed and holds a Flower & Pot Plant of the Month competition.
Visits & Trips
All coach trips and garden visits must be pre-booked with Penny Berry via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 01278 662720. Penny deals strictly with bookings only, so if you have any queries about a trip or event, please contact Jane Hunt at email@example.com or phone 01934 732441. Please refer to Newsletters for further details of trips.
The HPS booking form for this year’s trips and events is available to download and print off here: Somerset HPS Booking Form 2020
Location maps or directions will be supplied following booking a place on an event.
Somerset HPS Programme 2021
A handy one-page, printable version of the 2020 programme will be available very soon.
All other meeting details can be found on the meeting page.
Refreshments are served before the lectures.
Saturday 16th January – 11.00am
Jane Moore – ‘Painting With Plants’
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.
Saturday 20th February – 11.00am
Timothy Walker – ‘Euphorbias: Probably the Best Plants in the World’
Timothy Walker is a lively and entertaining speaker; very enjoyable to listen to, yet full of useful information at the same time. He is the former Director of Oxford Botanic Garden, which houses one of the National Collections of hardy euphorbias.
I’m sure no HPS member needs to be convinced of the value of spurges as garden plants for every situation. Timothy’s talk will explain some of the natural history of euphorbias and their botany, along with details of some of the most desirable species and cultivars, and suggest some planting combinations we can try in our own gardens.
Saturday 20th March – 11.00am
Dr John Grimshaw – ‘Paying Rent: Plants that Earn Their Keep’
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.
Saturday 27th March 10.00am – 3.00pm
HPS Somerset Group Spring Plant Fair
Milverton Recreation Ground, Butts Way, Milverton, Taunton TA4 1JR
The annual Spring Plant Fair is a popular event and always draws a crowd. Stalls from local nurseries will be offering an array of tempting plants, rich with the fresh foliage and jewel-like flowers of spring.
More details to follow.
Saturday 17th April – 11.00am
Sue Applegate – ‘English Wine and Vineyards’
Sue, of Hurstbrook Plants, has spoken to the Somerset group before, but she usually talks on the subjects of peonies and irises. However, she also runs a two acre vineyard, Stocklands Vineyard, producing award-winning white, rose and red wines grown and made in the Polden Hills, right here in Somerset!
In this talk, Sue will talk about the development and progress of English wine-making, the techniques involved and and its increasing popularity.
Thursday 27th May
Self-drive Visit to Pulham Rectory, Nr Sherborne and (same day) Ashington Manor, Mudford, Nr Yeovil
The garden at Pulham Rectory is a feast for the eyes: four acres of formal and informal gardens, incorporating yew pyramid allées and hedges, box parterres and beautifully planted herbaceous borders amid a backdrop of mature trees. A myriad of garden features include terraces, a fernery, a woodland walk and a ha-ha. The large, spectacular bog garden is awash with primulas and irises in May. Splendid views.
Ashington Manor is the nascent garden of Chelsea gold medal winners Julian and Isabel Bannerman. They have designed for such A-list gardens as Highgrove for the Prince of Wales, Arundel Castle in Sussex for the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and Wormsley Park in Buckinghamshire for John Paul Getty II. During the first lockdown, the Bannermans threw themselves into developing their own garden at Ashington Manor, which they bought in 2019. This promises to be an eye-opening visit, with lots of ideas to take home.
Thursday 10th June
Self-drive Visit to Westbrook House, Nr Glastonbury and (same day) Batcombe House, Nr Bruton
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.
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.
Saturday 4th July
HPS Somerset Group Summer Plant Fair at Lower Severalls
Summer plant fairs are the most colourful of the year, and have the advantage that you can really see what a plant will look like in the border when you buy it in full bloom. The fair at Lower Severalls has become increasingly popular, with nurseries from across the area bringing their best plants to sell. It will be a smorgasbord of colour, not to be missed.
Further details to follow.
Saturday 18th September
50/50 Plant Sale, followed by
Jimi Blake – ‘A Beautiful Obsession’
Hall opens 9.30am. Plant Sale 10.00am. Lecture 11.00am.
Jimi Blake probably doesn’t need any introduction to Somerset HPS members, as the group visited his garden on their visit to Ireland in 2019. He is simply one of the most inspirational gardeners of the moment, and speaks with an infectious enthusiasm and humour.
This talk is based on Jimi’s book, published in September 2019, and takes a breathtaking journey through the newest and most exciting plants in his collection in Hunting Brook, and from his travels to other gardens and nurseries. He will describe how he incorporates these choice plants into his planting schemes in his garden. Be prepared for your plant wish list to explode!
The 50/50 Plant Sale prior to the lecture at our September meeting each autumn is a popular event. The Group keeps half the money taken and returns the other half to the seller. The hall will be open from 9.30 – 10.00am to receive your plants to sell.
Please ensure that each plant has two identical labels, both of them bearing the name of the plant, your name and the price. One will be removed so that the amount you are owed can be totted up and given to you at the end of the meeting, when you can also reclaim any unsold plants and your labels (tip: write in pencil on the labels so that they may be reused).
Selling will take place between 10.00am and 11.00am, when the lecture begins. Offers of help with selling on the day would be most welcome.
Saturday 16th October – 11.00am
Mary Payne, MBE – ‘Autumn: So They Think It’s All Over!’
Mary is a Bristol-based garden designer and a consultant for ten gardens around the UK, including Compton Acres near Bournemouth, who admits there is ‘never a dull moment’ in her career. She has won 5 gold medals at Chelsea, and been awarded the MBE for her services to horticulture.
Autumn is a time of year when the garden takes on an evolving colour scheme, and the combination of late-flowering perennials and autumn tints can be simply stunning. Mary will be talking about extending the season well into autumn and towards Christmas, explaining how to keep your garden colourful and interesting for as long as possible.
Saturday 20th November – Doors open at 10.00am
AGM at 10.30am, followed at 11.15am by
Derry Watkins – ‘Pushing the Boundaries: Borderline Hardy Plants You Can’t Live Without’
Derry is the proprietor of Special Plants, near Bath, an enticing nursery full of covetable and unusual plants. As Derry has introduced many of them from her plant collecting trips to South Africa and elsewhere, a lot of them are borderline hardy (tender perennials). Before you say ‘that’s not for me’, bear in mind that the majority of these plants flower consistently all summer, more than earning their keep in the border, and many are easy to propagate from cuttings.
Derry is a lively and enthusiastic speaker, with a wealth of experience in cultivating tender perennials in the UK. In this talk, she will be demonstrating the value of these plants, explaining how to grow them successfully and inspiring us to give them a go ourselves.