Category Archives: News 2014

2014 Christmas Party

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.

New Email Distribution Approach


David Singleton has passed responsibility for email communications to myself as of the AGM, and we all owe David thanks for his entertaining updates. Going forward the format of the emails has changed, and also the method of delivering them. The key points are:

  • Member emails are kept on a private distribution list using a service called Mailchimp – this is safe and secure
  • The emails will be automatically generated from the HHPS website and sent via Mailchimp, meaning all the communications will originate from the website, and allow flexibility to include images
  • When we publish new articles on the website of a general nature, these will also arrive in your Inbox via this new approach

Each email you receive has an unsubscribe link at the bottom, so you can opt-out of these communications.  If you unsubscribe from these new emails, you will therefore got no emails at all from the HHPS, so won’t be notified of upcoming meetings and events.

If you have any feedback on the emails your receive, the format or compatibility with your computers or tablets, reply to these emails, or to

Best wishes, Bill.

November Meeting: Madeleine McCormack – “Gone to Pot”

Annie Godfrey’s Garden Opens for the NGS

First Meeting of the Season | Helen Yemm

DSC_6826The first meeting of the new season got off to a flying start with a different style of event. Instead of a presentation, Helen took questions from the audience and entertained us with solutions to various infestations – everything from jackdaws to slugs – with a defiant condemnation of phormiums thrown in. The questions were many and varied, but Helen still found time to describe the inauguration of her ‘Thorny Problems’ column in the Telegraph, including some of the readers letters and her methods of coping with deadlines.

Next meeting is on November 1st and is our annual AGM followed by a Member talk:

Madeleine and John McCormack have a charming suburban garden in Bushey, full of unusual plants. Over the course of a year, Madeleine made a series of small posies for her kitchen table which John, a gifted photographer, captured from every angle. This talk describes and explains the choice of plants used in the posies, illustrated by John’s photographs.

Members Garden: Renata Hume

Herts HPS member Renata Hume kindly opened her garden to fellow members on September 7th.  The borders were still full of colour with many summer favourites still in bloom, and there was a bumper harvest of apples on display.  Renata’s garden is full of interest and unexpected surprises, and her canny design provides plenty of ideas for visitors to try out at home.  A good time was had by all.  Many thanks to Renata for giving us a privileged peek into her beautiful late summer garden.

We are always on the look-out for people willing to open their gardens for members – if you feel this might be for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Programme Page Updated | Talks Through 2015

DSC_6283The programme of talks into 2015 is now on the programme page and includes:

  • Dr Brenda Harold, a.k.a ‘The Botany Geek’
  • Bob Brown (Cotswold Garden Flowers)
  • Dr Julian Sutton (Desirable Plants)
  • Brian Ellis (Avondale Nursery)
  • Neil Lucas (Knoll Gardens)
  • Stefan White

Click on over to the Programme Page for more details.

Butterfly World | Volunteer Opportunity with Free Membership

DSC_1235Butterfly World (close to St Albans) are hoping to create a beautiful new British Butterfly Garden for Spring 2015 that will be the inspiration for thousands of visitors each year to create butterfly havens at home. This garden will show visitors how it is possible to create beautiful gardens that also attract British butterflies. The new design would include formal planting schemes, short and long informal landscaped area, a ‘moth mount’ and a caterpillar corner. Volunteers could be working with plants such as Field Scabious, Hemp Agrimony and Knapweed that specifically attract local species of butterfly as well as more traditional shrubs and flowers.

The organisers would love to talk to you about whether you might like to get involved in this project with us. Volunteers will be able to learn from our experts, make new friends and be part of the team behind a striking new garden that visitors and butterflies will enjoy for many years to come. Regular volunteers will also receive a free seasonal membership to Butterfly World.

Anyone interested in volunteering can download a volunteer form from our website and email it to Application forms can also be requested by calling 01727 869203 and posted back to us.

The application form is on this page and attached here.

Issue 52 | Autumn 2014 Newsletter

The autumn 2014 newsletter is now available to members via the Newsletter page, you’ll need the secret password, if you don’t have it use the contact page to ask for a reminder. The previous Spring issue is now publicly available.