Next meeting at Memorial Hall – Saturday 2 April 2pm

From Special Plants Nursery

Derry Watkins

Pushing the Boundaries  – Borderline Hardy Plants you can’t live without 

Popular nurserywoman Derry Watkins will be bringing lots of plants and seeds with her when she comes to Wheathampstead on 2 April to give us another highly entertaining illustrated talk.

The presentation will be followed by tea/coffee and biscuits, and as usual we would like as many member contributions to the HHPS plant table as you can manage.

Because the long-anticipated renovations have begun we will have to use the entrance door, accessible via a ramp, at the back of the kitchen. All other entrances are closed, as is the corridor behind the main hall. We will welcome you in the Hewitt room (where we usually sit down for tea). Please come early for the meeting, and be prepared to park somewhere other than the hall car park if you can, as we would like to reserve spaces here for our less mobile members. David tells me that there may be space in surrounding streets, or better still use the free public car park in East Lane – see map. Walking directions from the car park: Continue along East Lane keeping right uphill, pass through the road barrier and walk up Brocket View.

All being well, the renovations will be finished by October, so it’s your last chance to see the familiar old place! We look forward to seeing you.

Next meeting at Memorial Hall – Saturday 5 March 2pm

Head Gardener at Ashwood Nurseries

Nigel Hopes

Hellebores, Hepaticas, Primulas in Spring

At our meeting on Saturday, experienced horticulturalist Nigel Hopes will be bringing the freshness of spring to Wheathampstead as he talks us through the favourite blooms of February and March. Although Nigel cannot now bring plants for sale, we hope that Annie will bring some from Daisy Roots.

The presentation will be followed by tea/coffee and biscuits, and as usual we would like as many member contributions to to the HHPS plant table as you can manage!

We ask that attendees be prepared to wear face masks except when seated or taking refreshments. Here’s a link to the map and directions for new members –

The talk will also be available via Zoom – the link will be sent to members separately in time for the meeting.

Coach Trip – Wednesday 29 June

Beth Chatto’s Plants and Gardens

& The Place for Plants

Members £35 – Non-members £37

We plan to arrive at the Chatto Gardens in time for coffee. Enjoy a morning at the spectacular gardens, including Beth Chatto’s renowned dry garden. There is a lot to see and the planting is superb. Lots of ideas to be gained so don’t forget a notebook or camera! Chatto’s have a good plant nursery on site. Visit the café or take a picnic lunch. There is picnic seating opposite the garden entrance.

We will board our coach for the short drive to ‘The Place for Plants’ at East Bergholt for the rest of the afternoon. The owner will meet us for a brief introduction to the history of their delightful 20-acre garden and then we are free to explore. Browse the specialist plant nursery in the walled garden for treasures to take home. Coffee/teas and home-made cakes are available in the Tea Room.

Barnett’s are providing our coach as usual, with on board ‘facilities’. Pick up is from either St Albans at 8.30 am or Wheathampstead at 9.00 am and we should return about 5.40/6.00 pm

Please complete the booking form and return by email to Payment by bank transfer would be helpful, or see Julie at the meeting with your booking form and cheque/cash. Please book by 1st June. Don’t delay, as places are limited to 48 for this visit!

Open the booking form in a new tab here:

Illustrated version of the coach trip itinerary also available

Next meeting at Memorial Hall – Saturday 5 February 2pm

Garden consultant, designer and nurseryman

Steve Edney

RHS Trials

We will be happy to welcome you back to Memorial Hall, Wheathampstead on Saturday when Steve Edney will give us the lowdown on all things RHS as he talks about their trials, the plants that make it to AGM award-standard, and maybe those that don’t?

We ask that attendees wear face masks except when seated or taking refreshments. Here’s a link to the current COVID rules, and map and directions for new members –

The talk will also be available via Zoom – the link will be sent to members separately in time for the meeting.

Invitation from Scottish and Northern Borders Group

Hot on the heels of the Monmouthshire Group’s email, Stacey has now received the following email about their forthcoming talk by Adam Pasco, but you have to be very quick to meet the payment deadline!! – It’s tomorrow, Thursday 20 January.

Zoom Talk with Adam Pasco – Tuesday 25th January 2022, 7pm for 7.30pm start

Adam Pasco, who entertained us last year with his well received Zoom talk, “Create a garden for all seasons”, will be returning with another talk, this time entitled “Grow the best glorious plants”.

Adam has been a leading garden journalist for many years and his new talk introduces us to a wide range of glorious plants that are guaranteed to succeed in borders, shady corners or containers.

Full of inspiring ideas and illustrated with photos and videos of creative planting ideas to provide a succession of colour throughout the season, Adam’s talk is sure to fire the imagination and introduce new plants that you may not have considered growing before.

The cost of the lecture is £5. Payment should be made by Bank Transfer if possible

 Bank details are Bank of Scotland HPS Scottish and Northern Borders Group. Sort Code 80-22-60 Account Number 17144166. When making the bank transfer indicate the reference/reason  as  Zoom Jan 22

Email Colin Cutler with your email,telephone number, and  name when you have made the payment. You will receive an email from him with login details a few days before the lecture

If you pay by cheque send this with your name, email, telephone number and name to Colin Cutler, 3 Yew  Gardens, Luncarty, Perth PH1 3UD. You will be contacted by telephone or email with login in details a few days before the lecture

The deadline for payment is Thursday 20th January

Members’ Gardens open for NGS

Following a terrific Zoom lecture by Anne Repnow on Saturday, we are pleased to bring you details of Snowdrop openings by our own members:

On Wednesday 2, Friday 4 and Wednesday 9 February Annie Godfrey will be opening her garden from 1.00pm to 3.30pm at 8 Gosselin Road, Bengeo, Hertford SG14 3LG. See for more details and to pre-book.

Barbara Stalbow’s garden at Hornbeams, Priory Drive, Stanmore HA7 3HN will be open on Sunday 20 February from 2pm to 5pm. As before, for more details and to prebook see

Please let us know if you will be opening your garden either soon, or later in the year, as we will compile a programme and send email reminders to our members.

Invitation from Monmouthshire Group

Stacey has received the following email from Jacqui, Secretary of the Monmouthshire group. The speaker is a very senior authority on Plant Health, a subject which moves ever forward in our collective consciousness!

Zoom talk: Nicola Spence, the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer, on ‘Helping to protect the UK from plant pests and diseases’ – Sat 15th Jan 2.30pm 
Nicola Spence, the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer at Defra, is an expert in plant health and is also the Head of the National Plant Protection Organisation for the UK. Nicola will explain how we can all help to protect the UK from plant pests and diseases. You’ll have already heard and read a lot about some of these threats but others are on the way. In the UK, we have improved standards of biosecurity and protection and can enhance our plants and trees’ ability to resist. All of us who love plants, trees and gardening can also help though by taking simple actions when travelling, buying plants or visiting our woodlands and parks. At the end of her talk, Nicola will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
The cost will be £3 per person for HPS members and £5 per person for non-members. All the funds raised this time, after Zoom licence and raffle costs, will be donated to Stump Up for Trees, a local community-based charity which aims to plant a million trees in the Brecon Beacons area. The charity uses donations such as this to contribute to woodland creation, biodiversity and well-being.
To book and/or to be added to our monthly distribution list for updates on our programme, please send an email asap to

Whilst writing, it’s worth mentioning that we would like to hear from you, our members, if you find similar offerings of interest to the rest of us!

Meeting update – change of speaker and format

Saturday 8 January 2pm

ZOOM-only talk

Snowdrops – Old & New Favourites

Anne C Repnow

Unfortunately, we have had to change our talk for January and it will be now be a Zoom only talk presented by Anne Repnow entitled “Snowdrops – Old and New Favourites”, so galanthophiles will be equally well served! Visit her website to find out more about her and her very knowledgeable book about the subject of our talk.

Please don’t turn up at Wheathampstead on the 8th January. Zoom details will be issued to members shortly before the talk.

This posting has been updated

Next meeting ZOOM ONLY – Saturday 8 January 2022 at 2pm

Our speaker will be Anne Repnow, her subject Snowdrops – Old & New Favourites

Still not the first Saturday in the month, but on the 8th January 2022. We look forward to a topical talk by a favourite snowdrop authority. This is a Zoom talk only. Joining details will be sent to members a few days before the event.

Thank you to all members who have already renewed. This posting acts a gentle reminder for those who haven’t. The renewal form can be found here. Please remember to renew your national HPS membership as well.