Crossword Deadline Approaching

Just a quick reminder that the deadline for Herts HPS crossword submissions is December 1st, so get your entries in now for a chance to win a £10 garden centre voucher (see p.6 of the Autumn Newsletter).

(You can download a copy of the newsletter in PDF by clicking here)

Next Member Meeting & AGM on Saturday November 7th

The Herts HPS Annual General Meeting will be held this Saturday, 7th November, at 2pm, to be followed by our own member’s talk;  Judy Barker will be telling us all about ‘Hardy Border Chrysanthemums’. Judy is a member of the Trials Committee at Wisley.  She has three allotments, which together hold a Plant Heritage National Collection of Korean, Rubellum and hardy spray chrysanthemums.  After a short talk explaining why these plants are hardy when other chrysanthemums aren’t, and giving tips on cultivation, Judy will take questions from the floor.

Don’t forget to bring your copy of the Autumn Newsletter, which contains details of the AGM agenda.

So far, we have only received two entries for the Crossword Competition in the Autumn Newsletter.  If you’re a keen cruciverbalist, don’t hesitate to send in your entry – there’s a whole ten pounds at stake here!

HHPS Deputy Web Person Opportunity

At the moment all the knowledge about our website, email address, Twitter and Facebook accounts resides with only myself. If someone were interested to learn how all this fits together, and in particular how to add articles to our website, this is your chance.

The main skill is the same as Word processing – writing news items, adding photos, using formatting, and adding web links. WordPress is the software behind our website, it’s user friendly and easy to use.

A volunteer would have a full introduction from myself – and perhaps take on some simple article postings.  By having a Deputy we share the technical knowledge and also account logins and passwords, just in case I were not to be around (whether by accident or otherwise).

There isn’t a vast amount of items to be added to the site – mainly the garden reminders during the first part of the year, after that the occasional meeting reminder.

If you are interested, use the form below to let me know – despite what it seems this isn’t a technical challenge, just learning the WordPress blogging system.

I look forward to hearing from you, Bill

Water & Biscuits | Vacancy for Refreshments Coordinator

Until the AGM in November, Linda Williams will have ably organised the refreshments at our Saturday meetings and we are all grateful to her for all her hard work and dedication. In December we have our annual Christmas party to which members bring a feast, but from January we will be short of someone to organise our hot drinks and cake for each meeting.

The main tasks for the Refreshments Coordinator include:

  • Setting up the hot drinks for each meeting
  • Ensuring supplies of tea, coffee, sugar and milk are maintained
  • Displaying the cakes – these are provided by member volunteers
  • Coordinating other helpers for each meeting, who volunteer via clipboards
  • Providing refreshments at the annual plant sale in early summer
  • Being invited to committee meetings to participate in general (enjoyable) discussions about running the group.

The job could be shared or rotated amongst two or more people, who would have the support of cake makers and volunteers for each meeting.

If you would like to know more (without any commitment this stage) we have a more detailed job description which is available; use the form below to get in touch, or use the usual committee details.

As one of our previous Chairmen made clear when faced with this dilemma, without this role being filled the best that can be provided is cold water and biscuits. The committee will provide support as needed and hope someone would enjoy being involved alongside us.

Final Member Garden Opening – Sunday 18th October

For a final time this year, one of our members will be opening their garden. Adrian and Clare de Baat will open their garden this Sunday 18th October from 1:30 to 4:30pm.

A town garden of around a third of an acre with naturalistic planting inspired by the Dutch garden designer, Piet Oudolf. The garden has perennial borders packed with herbaceous plants and grasses. The contemporary planting gives way to the exotic, including a succulent bed and under mature trees, a lush jungle garden with bamboos, bananas, palms and tree ferns.

More information at Adrian’s NGS Page & Gardeners World Appearance & Adrian’s own garden website.


Book Sales Come to an End


At the most recent Herts HPS committee meeting we discussed the income from book sales versus the effort involved in managing the stock of books (sometimes substantial and heavy). The committee decided to bring book sales to an end, our thanks go to anyone who has contributed books in the past. As from now, please don’t bring any more books to member meetings.

Beryl Davis passed on her thanks for the many pots she received at the October meeting, she now has plenty.

Best wishes, The Committee

Spare Pots Appeal

Beryl Davis our Plant Stall Coordinator has asked if members can bring along spare pots to the meeting on Saturday, ideally square ones and 3″ and 4″ size. 

“I think that’s 1/2 lt and 1 lt pots. I have been dividing and potting up at the weekend but if pots are any bigger the compost gets expensive!”

Best wishes, Beryl

The New Season Starts on Saturday October 3rd

I hope you had a good summer and that, despite the poor weather in August, your gardens are thriving. The new season of group meetings starts on Saturday 3rd of October with Neil Lucas: “Go Large: Gardening the American Way.”

With fabulous natural landscapes for their inspiration, often on a massive scale, American gardeners have created a mix of gardens that rival those of any other gardening nation. Having travelled across the USA, Neil takes a look at some of the wonderful landscapes and gardens he encountered along the way.

Neil Lucas is the owner of Knoll Gardens & Nursery, specialising in ornamental grasses, and is holder of ten consecutive Chelsea Gold Medals. He is also an RHS Council Member and Senior Judge. 

The full Group Meeting Programme is now updated on the website here, along with a handy one-page PDF downloadable list of all the meetings.

Member Open Gardens

Only a few openings left this year, two coming up soon:

  • Heather Osborne on Sunday 6th September
  • Julie Wise on Sunday 13th September

Heather Osborne

Our HHPS Group Secretary Heather Osborne is the next member to open a garden, on Sunday 6th September 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.

Julie Wise

Julie Wise will be opening her garden on Sunday September 13th from 2 – 5:30pm.

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.

More information at Julie’s NGS Page

Reveley Lodge

Hello Members,

Long-standing Herts HPS members Madeleine and John McCormack are trustees of Reveley Lodge in Bushey Heath.  The HHPS has historical connections with Reveley; the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National HPS was celebrated by the Herts Group there, and the current Head Gardener, Nick Boyes, was a founder member of the HHPS in 1989.

The trustees of Reveley Lodge have been exploring ways to put Reveley on a more stable financial footing: one option is to sell a piece of land opposite the Lodge (the paddock).  The proceeds of this sale would finance the renovation of the house which is falling into serious disrepair.  The roof leaks in a number of places and the heating system is antiquated.  The money would also enable much needed improvement to both house and garden for use by the community, particularly the disabled.

Discussion of the sale of the paddock has been going on for a few years now, and has sparked local opposition from Bushey Heath Resident’s Association.

Madeleine is an ex-trustee of the HPS and former national Vice Chair, and over the years has been Secretary, Vice Chair and Chair to the Herts Group.  John has helped run the national photography competitions and website.  In recognition of the contribution of Madeleine and John to the HHPS, the Committee have decided to alert members to their cause, and to provide access to their petition. Two further links also lead to information about the background to the history and function of Reveley Lodge, and the reasons behind the proposal to sell the land, and the counter-argument of local residents who wish to keep the site as open space.

If you need more information direct from Madeleine or John you can email them personally using the form below, or use the links to find out more about this issue.

Further reading and action:

  1. Letter and Petition Form:
  2. Reveley Lodge background to the sale of the paddock:
  3. Bushey Heath Residents Association background to the sale:
  4. Hertsmere Response Form Page:–Building-Control/Planning-Policy/Local-Plan/Site-Allocations-And-Development-Management-PoliciesDPD.aspx
  5. Hertsmere Response Form Direct Link:–Building-Control/Planning-Policy/Local-Plan/SADM-Response-form.doc


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