Seedling Swap & Rare Plant Exchange

Diana Garner will host the Herts Group Annual Seedling Swap on 16th April, from 10.30am – 12.30pm

Bring along any spare seedlings you have, in trays or pots, and swap them for something different! It doesn’t matter if you come empty-handed – there are always too many plants to go round and you’re bound to leave with a few new treasures. This year, we’d like anyone who has been nurturing young HPS Conservation Scheme plants to bring them along too, and pass them on to other members. The Seedling Swap is a great opportunity to get together with other gardeners and have a chat over tea and cake.

Address: ‘Montana’, Shire Lane, Cholesbury, Herts, HP23 6NA

Diana’s garden is an acre or so in size, and should have plenty of spring colour in April. Highlights include camellias, magnolias, rhodos, erythroniums, scillas, Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’, various pulmonarias (including rosy P. ‘Rachel Vernie’), and the unfurling croziers of fresh green fern fronds. Along with the usual herbaceous borders, shrubberies and vegetable patch there is an apiary, chickens and two greenhouses. A small gate leads to three acres of mixed woodland, planted with thousands of daffodils. Refreshments will be served in one of the small barns if the weather is inclement, but let’s keep our fingers crossed for sunshine!

Although Cholesbury is some way to go for the Seedling Swap, the garden makes the trip more than worthwhile – just take a look at the photos on our website. Diana tells me that it is beautiful walking country in the Chiltern Hills and several footpaths pass the house, so visitors are welcome to bring their well-behaved dogs and walk from the house any time during the day. The Full Moon public house on Cholesbury Common (about 1 mile away) does excellent food, so why not make a day of it and explore some new territory?

Directions: From St Albans, take Westbound M25 from London Colney (J. 22) or Bricket Wood (J. 21a). Exit M25 at J. 20 onto the A41, signed Hemel Hempstead*. After 11.5 miles, take the A4251 turning (signed Northchurch) which leads immediately to the Wigginton roundabout. Take 1st left towards Wigginton, then immediate left up the steep hill, straight on at crossroads and through Wigginton, past Champney’s Health Farm on left, then take next right: Cholesbury Road. Shire Lane is the 2nd turning on the right, and Montana is half a mile down on the left hand side. Plenty of parking in the drive or on the front verge.

Alternatively, drive to Hemel on the A4147, follow signs to the A41 and once you’ve joined it, follow directions from *.

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