Category Archives: Event

Next HHPS Meeting | Talk on Alpines | Christmas Party | December 6th

Hello Everyone,

Coming up this weekend is our final meeting of 2014, which features a talk by alpine plant expert, Jim Almond: “Something for Everyone”

Jim is a keen grower/exhibitor of alpine plants, a hobby which has given him much pleasure for the past 20 years. Specialising in Primulaceae, he has a large rare bulb collection, and is also a member of the Alpine Garden Society judging panel. This talk should appeal to any audience of discriminating ‘plants-people’.irnar

Autumn bulbs, berries and colour; summer herbaceous plants; the odd tree; fabulous foliage and the occasional shrub. Specific genera include Cyclamen, Anemonella, Hepatica, Rhododendron and Daphne – yes, something for everyone. He comes very highly recommended by other HPS groups.

Jim’s website can be found here:

Jim’s talk will be followed by our Christmas Party!

DSC_3513Our usual yuletide celebration, with festive cheer provided by the Committee’s bucks fizz!! Please bring a plate of nibbles to share, savoury or sweet, on a paper plate to avoid washing-up. Gluten-free contributions particularly welcome.

NB: No cutlery is available so finger-food which does not require heating, please. Please bring in on disposable plates. If you need to bring your food in a tin/plastic container, please unpack the food on arrival and return the container to your car. Table decorations will be very welcome.

2013 Christmas Party with Fergus Garrett

Hampton Court Flower Show | 2013

Marvel at the exotic and the microscopic at the Natural History Museum at Tring

Fragaria sp., strawberry

A Strawberry

Marvel at the exotic and the microscopic at Blooming Marvellous – 24 May to 18 August 2013, at the Natural History Museum at Tring

From ferns to mosses, pollen to seeds, the Natural History Museum looks after six million plant specimens from all around the world. But the collections don’t stop there, they also include an extensive holding of botanical art. Some of these watercolours, pen sketches and drawings date back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when they were created for scientific study rather than for decoration.

Botanical artists were often recruited to accompany early scientific expeditions, recording species never before seen in Europe. Some worked as merchants, teachers or doctors throughout the British Empire, recording, drawing and painting specimens in their spare time. Still others worked closer to home recording the botanical riches of Britain.

Find out about some of the most eminent and prolific botanical illustrators and see their stunning works of art up close.

  • Sydney Parkinson – accompanied Captain Cook to the South Pacific and produced 1,000 drawings of plants on the voyage. He didn’t survive the journey but his work was so important that Sir Joseph Banks gave orders for the illustrations to be copied and engraved after the ship’s return.
  • Georg Dionysius Ehret – inspired by Linnaeus’s new system of classification, he developed a style of illustration that showed the parts of the flower separately and in greater detail. This made it easier for scientists to study plants and his style has been copied by illustrators ever since.
  • Franz Bauer – the first paid botanical artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, he is still regarded as one of the most technically sophisticated botanical artists of all time.
  • Arthur Harry Church – developed a new style of illustration, influenced by the decorative Art Nouveau movement, to reveal the intricate internal structures of flowers.
Illustration by Arthur Church

Watercolour by Arthur Harry Church

Anna Griffiths, Interpretation Developer at the Natural History Museum at Tring says, ‘From the earliest drawings of specimens from the voyages of discovery to the latest microscope scans, visual records are an important element of scientific study. Blooming Marvellous reveals how scientists have interpreted, understood and explained the natural world through art and images across nearly 400 years.’

Botanical illustration was an important tool for studying plants right up until the twenty-first century. Today, many scientists rely on new types of technology, such as scanning electron microscopes that can magnify specimens up to 250,000 times. These technological developments allow scientists to explore far beyond the reaches of the human eye, helping us to appreciate the scientific value and beauty of plants in an entirely new way.

  • Address: The Natural History Museum at Tring, The Walter Rothschild Building, Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire HP23 6AP
  • Admission: Free
  • Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00–17.00, Sunday 14.00–17.00
  • Access: There is lift access throughout the public areas of the Museum.
  • Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 6171
  • Website: 


  • The Natural History Museum at Tring in Hertfordshire opened in the late 1800s to house the collections of Lionel Walter, second Baron Rothschild, and offers some outstanding examples of nineteenth-century taxidermy. The Museum was bequeathed to the nation and became part of the Natural History Museum in 1938. The public galleries were modernised but the fascinating character of the Museum has been retained.
  • More than 150,000 visitors a year enjoy a glimpse into the fascinating world of a Victorian collector, where they can see a huge variety of wild, weird and wonderful specimens from across the animal kingdom – from armadillos to zebras.
  • The site at Tring also houses the stunning Rothschild Library and the Natural History Museum’s ornithological collection, which has been based there since the early 1970s. Access to the Rothschild Library and ornithological collection is limited and by appointment only.
Sydney Parkinson (1745-1771)

Sydney Parkinson (1745-1771)

North Bucks Orchid Society Show

Dear Secretary,

I will be attending the North Bucks Orchid Society Show in the Village Hall, Flitwick on Sat 16th February selling a wide range of orchids for the garden, meadow and alpine house. This will include over 60 different slipper orchids. Perhaps you could pass this information to any of your members who might be interested. There will also be a number of nurseries selling indoor orchids and accessories.

The show is open form 11am to 4pm and admission is £2.

Kind Regards,
Jeff Hutchings
Laneside Hardy Orchid Nursery:

Bletilla Striata

Bletilla Striata

Xmas Party 2012

Today the group enjoyed a talk from Rob Potterton, along with a Christmas feast. Rob took us through his plant hunting expedition to China, and onwards through the process of propagation and sale. Rob experienced altitude sickness at 16,000 feet in the mountains near-ish the border with Tibet, to collect new species of alpine plants, now on sale at his nursery The lovely table decorations were made by the members (if I missed any, sorry), and also the bountiful fancy cakes. Next meeting on the 5th of January with James Alexander-Sinclair. Have a good Christmas everyone.


Great Start to the New Season

The first meeting of the Autumn kicked off with a fascinating talk by Troy Scott-Smith from Bodnant Garden in Wales. He took us through the various restoration projects at Bodnant, which have cost millions to carry out, including moving 3,000 tonnes of silt from one of the lakes. The works will ensure the future of the gardens for the next hundred years or so. He also brought some plants to sell which proved popular. Photos of the meeting are shown below.

The next members meeting is on 3rd Nov and is the AGM and Members Afternoon. Guests are always welcome on the door. The AGM includes:

  • A quiz organised by Anne Godfrey
  • A short presentation on this new website by Bill Hodgson

Jekka McVicar visit to Cuffley Horticultural Society

We were contacted via our website by Carol Wilcox from Cuffley HS to let us know that Jekka will be speaking at their group on the 22nd of November. Details of the event are on their website here. The Cuffley HS website home page is here:, Carol apologises in advance for their slight breakage on the home page.