Paul Cumbleton – ‘A Growing Addiction: Bulbs from the Winter Rainfall Area of South Africa’

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Location: Paul Cumbleton was head of the Alpine Department at RHS Wisley Garden for 11 years. He has grown alpines for over 30 years and also has a particular interest in Pleione and the winter-growing South African bulbs. The winter rainfall area of South Africa has some outstanding, wonderful, and sometimes weird but beautiful plants. In this talk Paul will …

AGM followed by Stella Exley – ‘Camassia, Chris, Chelsea & Chaos’

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Location: AGM starts at 10.30am. Lecture starts at 11.15am Stella Exley runs Hare Spring Cottage Plants in Kingsbridge, Devon, which holds National Collections of Camassia, Sidalcea and Uvularia. She has a natural flair for sharing her expert knowledge in a fun and engaging way, and is hugely enthusiastic about plants. Having exhibited in Floral Marquees at all the major shows, …

Self drive Visit to Caisson House, nr. Combe Hay, and Rose Cottage, East Harptree

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Location: £30 per person Caisson House is so named due to its proximity to the site of the 1790s caisson lock on the Somerset Coal Canal. The canal is now disused but it still runs through the property. The garden wonderfully eclectic and romantic, set in beautiful North Somerset countryside around a Georgian house, dating from 1815. Recent extensive bulb …

HPS Somerset Group Plant Sale

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Location: Admission £1 Somerset HPS members and professional nursery sellers are welcome to sell at our popular plant sale. The hall will be filled with tables decked with tempting plants, so come along and enjoy a morning of selling, or buying, amid like-minded gardeners. Sale tables may be booked with Jane Hunt at £5 for one or two tables (members …

Coach trip to Lower Bowden Manor and Edulis Nursery, Pangbourne, Berks

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Location: £40 per person Lower Bowden Manor is a 3-acre garden with a strong structure and an excellent collection of mature trees, which offset the plantings of a knowledgeable and skilful plantswoman. Early summer remains one of the owners’ favourite seasons, after the more colourful spring bulb displays, so we can expect more subtle colours in early June. In the …

The HPS Somerset Group Summer Plant Fair

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Location: 12 midday – 5.00pm Entry £7.50 (includes entry to the garden) We have a change of venue for this year’s Summer Plant Fair, taking us to Batcombe House near Shepton Mallet. The summer fair is a vividly colourful event, with summer-flowering perennials in full bloom on every stall, making it easy to imagine how they might look in your …

Coach trip to High Glanau Manor and Wyndcliffe Court, South Wales

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Location: £45 per person High Glanau Manor is an important Arts and Crafts house set in 12 acres of garden designed by H Avray Tipping. Tipping worked alongside Gertrude Jekyll, by whom he was much influenced in his own gardens. The house and gardens have been expertly restored by the current owners over the last 20 years and we will …

Self drive visit to Gasper Cottage, Forest Lodge, and the Blooming Wild Nursery nr. Wincanton

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Location: £22 per person We have a different format for the day for our autumn self-drive visits. We start at The Blooming Wild nursery, just south of Wincanton. This has been under new management since 2022 and is now owned by Steven and Lindsay Lister, who are enthusiastic about wild plants and naturalistic planting. They have a originally supplied wildflowers …

50/50 Plant Sale followed by Sally Morgan – ‘Controlling Pests and Diseases in the Organic Garden’

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Location: 50/50 Plant Sale starts at 10.00am. Lecture at 11.00am Sally is an experienced no-dig, organic gardener and plant lover whose most recent project has been the restoration of a walled garden on her farm in Somerset. She is Editor of Organic Farming Magazine, published by the Soil Association, and has a wealth of knowledge about dealing with pests and …

Micky Little – ‘Snowdrops: The Fair Maids of February’

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Location: Monkton Elm Village Hall Mickey Little trained at Cannington, was a nurseryman at Kelways and Head Gardener at Castle Drogo, Hestercombe and Achamore before joining Avon Bulbs as a propagator. His knowledge of snowdrops is extensive and he has been involved in propagating new cultivars of Galanthus over the years. For those of us who are hooked on these …

Saul Walker – ‘Exotic plants: Bringing the Jungle to your Garden’

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Location: Monkton Elm Village Hall Saul has an extraordinary number of strings to his bow, including membership of the RHS Tender Plant Committee, being a Trustee of The Hardy Plant Society, and his job as Head Gardener at Stonelands House in Devon. He is an expert on exotic and tender plants, and has enormous enthusiasm for the subject. In this …

Coach trip to Ashwood Nurseries, Kingswinford

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Location: We start the season with a visit to the West Midlands, and an exciting opportunity to spend an enjoyable and informative day at Ashwood Nurseries for a combined garden and hellebore tour. Ashwood is John Massey’s nursery, famous for its hellebores, cyclamen, hepaticas and other alpine plants. It is truly a treasure trove of winter delights. This is the …

Caradoc Doy ‘Plant Hunters and Pioneers’

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Location: Experienced speaker Caradoc Doy is an authority on the history of the Veitch Nurseries, which were the first commercial nurseries in Britain to sponsor their own plant collectors. Their plant hunters introduced 232 orchids, nearly 500 greenhouse plants, 118 exotic ferns, about 50 conifers, 153 deciduous trees, 72 evergreen and climbing shrubs, and 122 herbaceous and 37 bulbous plants …

HPS Somerset Group Early Spring Plant Fair

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Location: 10.00am – 3.00pm Entry: £5 HPS or RHS members: £4 PRE-BOOKING OF TICKETS ESSENTIAL. Please visit https://somersethps.com/ for details, from early February. The Early Spring Plant Fair is a prime opportunity to snaffle some fabulous plants just ahead of the season to come. Jewel-like flowers adorn every stall, and there will be hot drinks and snacks available at the cafe. …

Chris Trimmer – ‘The Work of the National Trust Plant Conservation Centre’

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Location: Chris Trimmer works in conservation propagating, grafting, nursery design and management at the NT Plant Conservation Centre in Devon. His job includes saving plants which are endangered in a particular area (often because of disease), propagating clean stock and replanting the progeny to form a healthy colony. Sometimes these plants can be the only food-source for rare insects, so …

AGM followed by Timothy Walker – ‘Bordering on Insanity’

In by Bill Hodgson

Saturday 18th November AGM starts at 10.30am. Lecture starts at 11.15am Timothy Walker’s talks are always entertaining, combining deep horticultural knowledge with a droll style of delivery.  He was the Horti Praefectus (Director) of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum, and has won four gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show. This lecture focuses on all-year-round interest …

Razvan Chisu, The Transylvanian Gardener – ‘Confessions of a Plantaholic’

In by Bill Hodgson

Saturday 14th October Razvan’s addiction to plants began as a child in his native Transylvania, where he was inspired by fields covered in wildflowers. His passion remains plant-hunting, particularly in Greece and Spain. His wonderful photographs of these trips show vast areas of wildflowers – swathes of silene, crocus, species tulips, etc. – growing naturally and undisturbed. As well as …

50/50 Plant Sale followed by Katherine Crouch, Garden Designer – ‘New Tricks for Old Gardeners’

In by Bill Hodgson

Saturday 16th September  50/50 Plant Sale starts at 10.00am. Lecture at 11.00am Katherine Crouch is a garden designer and former BBC Gardener of the Year. She says that after 40 years of gardening, she is now becoming arthritic and lazy (ring any bells?).  In this talk she will introduce shortcuts which ensure gardeners don’t have to stop gardening just because …

Self-drive trip to Honeyhurst Farm, Rodney Stoke, BS27 3UJ and The Bishop’s Palace Garden, Wells, BA5 2PB

In by Bill Hodgson

Thursday 14th September £21 per person Honeyhurst Farm is a part-walled, rural garden with a babbling brook and 4-acre traditional cider orchard, with views over the Mendip Hills.  Trees include specimen hollies, copper beech, paulownia, yew and poplar.  There are plenty of places to sit to admire the mixed informal shrub and perennial beds, which contain many unusual plants.  Containers …

Plant Swap and Bring and Share Lunch

In by Bill Hodgson

Sunday 13th August Hosted by Helen and Stuart Senior, Creech St Michael, near Taunton.  No charge but booking is essential.

Hemerocallis need a good home

In by Bill Hodgson

Now that I’m back at Beggars Roost and the builders are sort-of finished I’m obsessively battling the drought trying to make a new garden. To make it more manageable it’s going to be essential to find homes for my ex-nursery stock, and there are far too many daylilies! As you know Hemerocallis never die so even after the long neglect …

Somerset Plant Fair Coming Up

In by Bill Hodgson

Only a few days to go now until the Group’s Summer Plant Fair at Lower Severalls on Sunday 11th of June from 10am to 3pm. Admission is just £3.50 for HPS and RHS members (£4 everyone else) (cash only please) and includes entry to the garden. The Group will have a plant stall as usual and we would appreciate any plant donations …

Somerset News for August 3rd

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This is a somerset news story with various pictures. This illustrates the idea of a group publishing news within their own group page on the national site.

Somerset Group Spring Plant Fair

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Over 12 top South West nurseries attending. Cost £4 for HPS members, including entrance to gardens. Yeo Valley Gardens, Holt Farm, Blagdon, BS40 7SQ. (map) Book on website www.somersethps.com. Refreshments available