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 the HPS Somerset Group.


Our next lecture will be on Saturday 16 January, 10:00am for 10:30am (please note early start), at West Monkton Village Hall.

Helen Mount's talk about the Hardy Plant Society Conservation Scheme will be followed by a talk by Stuart Senior entitled "The man who planted trees ... and what he's learned'

Plant of the Month

Buddleja auriculata

When I was first offered a cutting of Buddleja auriculata I was in two minds.  My new garden was, and is, large, but this buddleja is not reliably hardy. It needs the shelter of a south-facing wall.  And south-facing walls are in short supply at Henley Mill. I accepted with a slightly ironic smile, made the cutting, and waited. It took. They always do where there is some doubt.  So I planted it against the sunny back wall of the house … and waited.

All summer it grew.  The leaves were 'nice' but unspectacular. And then in late October the little buds started to open to cream, honey-scented flowers.  Again, nice and unspectacular.  Then one sunny morning I looked out of my window and every bee and butterfly from the furthest reaches of the garden (and you would be surprised how many there are in November) was voraciously feeding on the buddleja.  It was alive with fluttering wings and lazy buzzing. It had earned its place.  And for the next 15 years it held court every winter.  Now, alas, the buddleja has fallen victim to the dread disease 'painters', and is no more.  But the cats and I miss it.  Perhaps we should contact that friend again.

Sally Gregson

Sally's book, 'The Plant Lover's Guide to Epimediums', is out now (Timber Press).

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