Category Archives: Member Meeting

Next Meeting and AGM Saturday 5th November 2016 at 2pm

agmfollowed by Member’s Talk:

Margaret Easter – ‘Grasses for the Small Garden’

HHPS member Margaret holds a National Collection of Thymus in her Harpenden garden, which she opens for charity. She has worked on nomenclature and taxonomy and has published several books, including ‘The Thyme Handbook’. In this talk, she will be talking about another of her interests: ornamental grasses.

Julie Toll – ‘Garden Design’ – February 6th

Our next group meeting is coming up this Saturday 6th at 2pm, which will feature Julie Toll on Garden Design.

Since 1982, Julie has been running her own garden design practice. Her commissions have included private gardens, a garden for the blind, a playground for children with disabilities, and show house gardens. Julie has achieved seven Gold, one Silver-Gilt and two Silver Medals at Chelsea and, in 1993, the Fisher’s Sword of Excellence for the best garden at Chelsea. She has presented television programmes, published books, and is a Fellow and former Chairman of the Society of Garden Designers.

P.S. Julie Wise asked us to pass on the news that her planned garden opening at Rustling End Cottage on February 14th had to be cancelled due to a waterlogged parking area.


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

Exclusive Members Social Event: Garden Opening at The Abbots House, Abbots Langley

Coming up on Sunday 10th May is the first of two social events for HHPS Members. Sue and Peter Tomson will be opening their garden from 2 – 4pm. The Tomsons have been opening for the NGS for many years, and their garden is much admired.  Don’t miss this opportunity to get together with other members and spend an afternoon in beautiful surroundings. Our garden visits are one of the benefits of HHPS membership and we encourage everyone to come along.  Tea and biscuits provided.

tomsonThe 1¾-acre garden contains unusual trees, shrubs, mixed borders with interesting colour combinations, a scented garden, sunken garden, pond, Oast House and many Himalayan plants. Highlights in May include the unusual, ruby red-flowered climber, Schisandra rubriflora; the Calico Bush, Kalmia latifolia, and the Snowdrop Tree, Halesia carolina. More information at their NGS Page.

Their address is 10 High Street, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire, WD5 0AR, the map below indicates their location. I have found that both normal Google Maps and Streetmap get the location of the house wrong; the entrance is off the roundabout, not further down the road. Try the map below to see where the entrance is (the red pin) and the red line is the boundary of their garden (not a guided walk).

Map Link:

Map below:

Meeting Roundup | Brian Ellis from Avondale Nursery

2014 Seedling Swap

This year’s Seedling Swap took place in Adrian de Baat’s garden in Welwyn Garden City.  Adrian planted masses of tulips last year and swappers took the opportunity to wander around the colourful borders and chat about the emergent grasses and late-flowering perennials for which his garden is well-known.

There was a wide variety of little plants on offer, from David Singleton’s tiny pots of rooted fuchsia cuttings to Linda Williams’ tray-load of Gaura ‘The Bride’.  Members spent quite some time bent over the tables with tiny trowels and dibbers, collecting their ‘plants for free’ to take home.  Cups of tea from Adrian’s wife, Clare, were very welcome, as was the delicious cake on offer.

I offloaded a batch of Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ and Ammi visnaga, along with a few Scabious stellata ‘Sternkugel’ and Dahlia coccinea.  I came home with several Smyrnium perfoliatum, a crop of Dianthus ‘Sooty’ and a job lot of Linda’s Gaura to thread through my front garden planting.  Altogether a very happy morning spent with fellow enthusiasts, and new plants for the garden at no cost.

Many thanks to Adrian and Clare for being such genial hosts and providing refreshments.  I hope, if you didn’t attend the Seedling Swap this year, you might be inspired to come along in 2015.  It’s one of the big benefits of belonging to a local group, and yet the attendance numbers are always oddly low.  It’s basically just plants for free with a cup of tea, so put the date in your diary next year and join in.  Remember – no contribution is necessary, there are always more than enough seedlings to go round.

Marion Jay


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Members at the Swap


Adrian de Baat chats with Sarah Marsh

Adrian de Baat chats with Sarah Marsh

2013 Seeding Swap – April 20th

The seedling swap was successful yesterday, below you can see HHPS Swappers thronging in Irene’s garage, plus some bonus shots from the garden of our chairman too.

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