Welcome to the Somerset Group of the Hardy Plant Society

The UK Hardy Plant Society (HPS) was formed in 1957 to foster interest in hardy herbaceous plants on the widest possible scale. The aims of the society are to give its members information about the wealth of both well and little known plants, and to ensure that all worthy plants remain in cultivation and have the widest possible distribution.  In the Somerset Local Group, we provide information and activities at a local level for Hardy Plant Society members to promote the aims of the society.
This is accomplished by organising a programme of meetings, visits and publishing a local newsletter.  (Please see the Programme of Events page for full details of forthcoming events.)
Membership of the local group is open to anyone who is member of the Hardy Plant Society nationally. You can find details of how to join on the Membership page.
This website is maintained by Somerset HPS Group.

Our next event: 
Saturday 26 April 2014, 10.00am to 12.30pm

Group Plant Sale

Admission £1

At West Monkton Village Hall

Plant of the Month
Drimys lanceolata

Photos: Helen Senior, 2 April 2014
I had seen Drimys lanceolata in a number of gardens before I acquired one, and had always been struck by its air of distinction.  It is a handsome shrub, even when not in flower. It is evergreen, with red stems and elliptic, pointed leaves.  It makes a neat, small bush (although reported to grow up to 15ft in the wild). It appears to be quite hardy, although it is advisable to plant it where it will be sheltered from cold drying winds. Otherwise it is trouble-free and always looks good. The mass of pale yellow flowers produced in April and May are an added bonus; they will be followed by black fruit.  A wholly admirable plant - one of my must-haves.

The name Drimys is Greek for acrid or pungent, referring to the taste of the bark of this genus; lanceolata obviously refers to the lance-like shape of the leaves.  It is a native of Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales, and was introduced here in 1843.

PS  And talking of Drimys, those of us who made the trip to Cornwall earlier this month were hugely impressed by the giant, tree-like Drimys winteri (from South America) at Trebah Garden, covered from top to bottom with ivory-white flowers (pictured below).

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