Member Open Gardens This Weekend

This weekend two of our members have open gardens:

  • Marion Jay on Friday 3rd July from 7 – 9pm (84 Valley Road WGC)
  • Mary Hines on Sunday 5th July from 2 – 5pm (Radlett Allotments)

Radlett Allotments

radlett84 well established allotments cultivated in a variety of styles in a peaceful environment. Wide selection of fruit, vegetable and flowers including exhibition standard sweet peas. Some plots divided into mini-allotments which will have been judged the day before. Many plot holders will be present. Fresh vegetables and plants for sale.

More information on their NGS Page

Marion Jay / 84 Valley Road

84 vrThis is the final year we’ll be opening our garden for the NGS. A dramatic garden rising steeply from the back of the house, using an ‘amphitheatre’ of stone wall terracing to accommodate the slope. Planting is largely in the modern perennial style, mixing drifts of drought-tolerant herbaceous plants with a variety of grasses. Three ponds and a naturalistic front garden.  Open for two consecutive Friday evenings, with wine and nibbles.  Lots of plants for sale, the majority of which have been propagated from the garden.

NGS Page & English Garden Magazine

A full list of member open gardens is here

Member Open Garden : Heather Osborne

Our HHPS Group Secretary Heather Osborne is the next member to open a garden, on Sunday 28th June from 2 – 6pm. More information can be seen on Heather’s NGS page here, and in the description below. This is a joint opening between number 20 and number 30 St Stephens Avenue; two gardens for the price of one.

21057 (01)Heather and Pete’s garden at number 20 has been developed to provide a range of different growing environments including cool shady borders, hot and dry beds, and lush pondside displays. Successional planting ensures waves of colour from April to October, with a glorious display of pastel tones in June.  Serpentine paths weave through the carefully maintained borders.  New areas are developed each year; recent additions include a bed of late season perennials and ornamental grasses.

Number 30 has a southwest facing gravelled front garden with a Mediterranean feel. Herbaceous plants, such as sea hollies and achilleas, thrive in the poor, dry soil. Clipped box, beech and hornbeam in the back garden provide a cool backdrop for the strong colours of the herbaceous planting. A gate beneath a beech arch frames the view to the park beyond. Plants for sale at June opening only.

Banbury Gem

irisMany of you have been looking after the Iris ‘Banbury Gem’ as part of the Herts HPS Conservation Scheme. If you look at the HPS website on the Conservation page you will see that it is featuring as Plant of the Month for June. It is a shame that we are not currently active in the conservation scheme as it is a great opportunity to grow beautiful and really rare plants in our gardens for absolutely no charge at all.

Is there no-one out there who is even slightly interested in taking over the co-ordination role for a year or so ? – it only involves one meeting a year and a small amount of admin that is all done on the computer. If you are tempted, give me a ring on 01494 758347 or email on

Look forward to hearing from you.

Diana Garner

Member Open Garden Reminder

31935 (07)This weekend Sue & Paul Wood are opening their garden in Old Knebworth. They have a 1/3 acre garden with views over the countryside. Early summer planting in the prairie style has been included to withstand windy conditions. A curved grass meadow under mature lime trees looks out on to arable farmland with distant views. A sheltered corner with exotic planting affords an enticing place to sit.

The garden is open on Friday 12th June from 6 – 9pm, and on Sunday 14th June from 2 – 5:30pm. More information is on their NGS page here.

Member Open Garden Reminder

This weekend on Sunday 7th June, long standing HHPS member Margaret Easter is opening her garden which contains a national collection of Thymus. The garden will be open from 2 to 5:30pm, entry is £2.50. You can read more about the garden at Margaret’s website here. The address for your satnav is 23 Wroxham Way, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 4PP.

A map showing the location of Margaret’s garden above, view on the website.

In other news, the garden of HHPS member Julie Wise at Rustling End Cottage is featured in the June edition of Gardens Illustrated. Julie’s garden is next open on August 1st, which we will remind you of nearer the time.

2015 Plant Sale Success

Dear Members,
We have had another successful Plant Sale. I would like very much to thank Beryl Davis for masterminding this years event. Thanks are also due to Heather Osborne, Mary Robey, David Singleton, Ed & Alison King and Linda Williams for their roles in getting the sale ready & set up.

Especial thanks go to the many members who brought plants & helped so generously with their time and expertise on the Friday & Saturday. It was great to see such a splendid display & to see so many customers enjoying finding treasures to take home. The hum of happy chatter made it a worthwhile & enjoyable event.

This years takings, before costs, were £1,507.50.

Thanks to you all,

Irene Cowan

A couple of photos from our Secretary, Heather:

Updated 2015 Open Garden Events

For convenience I’ve updated the summary chart of open gardens below, it’s PDF which you can open and print. If you’re reading this by email you may need to visit this article on the website here to access the PDF if clicking on it doesn’t work.

2015 Member Open Gardens v3

Cancellation of June 7th Members Garden Event

The open garden event at the Deacons’ House in Old Knebworth on Saturday 7th June has been cancelled. The request for members interested in visiting the garden to notify the Committee has elicited no response.

Don’t forget, today is our annual Grand Plant Sale at Homewood United Reform Church in St Albans at 10am.  Come along and grab yourself a bargain or two!

2015 Grand Plant Sale Reminder

The 2015 Grand Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, 30th May at the Homewood Road United Reformed Church Hall, St Albans, from 10am – 12 noon.

Pricing and sorting of plants will take place at the Homewood Road Church Hall on the evening before the sale, Friday 29th May, from 6 – 9pm. If you have plants you’d like to donate but cannot bring them on the Friday evening, we would be happy to receive them from 9am on the morning of the sale.

This sale is the primary source of the Herts HPS Group’s income, and it makes all the difference if we have a good display when we open the doors on the Saturday morning. Please ensure donated plants are clearly labelled, if possible with details such as size, flower colour and cultivation info as well as the plant name. Bear in mind that plants in flower always sell quickly, at higher prices, and bring the ‘wow’ factor to the sale.

Any members willing to help at the sale should contact Beryl Davis (details on the Committee page). All assistance is greatly appreciated.

If you are viewing this as an email, click here to see a map showing the URC Church Hall.

Member Open Gardens

This weekend there are three member open garden opportunities:

  • Saturday 23rd May, 4 – 8pm, Julie Wise (NGS)
  • Sunday 24th May, 1 – 5pm, Sue and Mike Kellard (Preston Open Gardens)
  • Sunday 24th May, 1 – 5pm, Hugh and Meta Reeves (Preston Open Gardens)

Julie Wise / Rustling End Cottage

julieMeander through the wild flower meadow to a cottage garden with contemporary planting. Behind lumpy hedges explore a simple box parterre, topiary, reflecting pool and abundant planting. Late flowering borders feature blue camassia in late spring. Naturalistic planting including the use of wild flowers with perennials and grasses. Our terrace hosts drought-tolerant planting. Hens in residence.

NGS Page

Preston Village Open Gardens

On Sunday 14 village gardens will open, including those of two HHPS members:

  • Kilnwood Cottage is the lovely, informal garden of Sue and Mike Kellard
  • Crunnells Green House is the large garden, including a kitchen garden, of Hugh and Meta Reeves

More information is available here


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