Last year we had a magnificent response to our request for seed donations. The 2012 seed list brought in many new types of seed, including plants that are often hard to find. Please continue to send in your donations, especially since there is concern that seed may be in short supply owing to the late season and poor weather conditions in parts of England. Members who have not previously offered seed could look to see what plants they would like to share and then follow the instructions below.
The Seed Distribution’s success depends on members both giving and taking seed.
Collect, name dry and clean your seed (in that order). Take care identifying and labelling seed. Store seed in a dry and cool environment, e.g. a plastic container at the bottom of the fridge.
Put your seed into labelled packets. If you do not have suitable packets available, packets can be obtained free of charge from Joe Sime (address below).
Write out an alphabetical list of seed you are sending, making sure that the name on the list is the same as the seed and that your name and address are on the list.
Please send seed (however small the amount) to S.J. Sime, Park Cottage, Penley, Wrexham, LL130LS to arrive by 31 October 2012. Seed that arrives after 31 October will not be wasted but will be included in Distributor’s Choice.
In fact Joe will accept seed at any time of year. A more detailed account of how to collect and clean seed is provided in the HPS July 2011 Newsletter and on the HPS Website. Sue Pinsent will be Seed Distribution Manager for the 2013 Seed Distribution but the rest of the team and the system will remain unchanged. We are looking forward to a successful run of the 2013 Seed Distribution with your seed donations.
I am emailing information about the opening of Ashridge House and the Grade II* gardens for guided tours during August and hope it may be of interest to members of the Hardy Plants Society. Whilst the house and gardens are open for tours during August, the gardens continue to be open at weekends for general visits until the end of September. You may already know that they are the finest surviving example of the work of Humphry Repton who set out his vision of 15 separate gardens as Pleasure Grounds to complement the newly built mansion in 1813.
The sparkling white thousand foot long Grade I mansion, with its splendid ornate interiors, houses paintings dating from the early 17th Century and includes the Christopher Tower Collection of oils on canvas, miniatures and watercolours, some by renowned painters such as Sir Joshua Reynolds. There are sculptures and modern paintings too and, in the restored 19th Century stables, there is a new exciting exhibition telling the story of Ashridge from its monastic beginnings in 1283 through the Dissolution, when it became a royal home to Henry VIII’s children, to a grand 18th and 19th Century aristocratic estate and finally on into the 21st Century as one of the world’s leading business schools. It is a wonderful pictorial journey including drawings and maps of the most recent exciting archaeological finds from Tudor times.
The gardens, as well as containing Humphry Repton’s Pleasure Grounds, include an arboretum, a moat, skating pond, an italianate garden and a 400 metre Wellngtonia avenue, lined on two inner sides with a 390 metre rhododendron walk, all dating from the mid to late 19th Century.
I know that many local societies and organisations do not normally meet in August but I hope you will be able to circulate the information by email and, if you would like to arrange a group visit to the gardens or the house beyond August, please get in touch wtih Mick Thompson, Gardens Manager on 01442 841042 or email email@example.com