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 event: 
Saturday 14 February 2015

Lecture at West Monkton Village Hall, 10:30am for 11:00am

Tom Mitchell
(Evolution Plants) - "Hellebores from the Picos to the Caucasus"

And here's a date for your 2015 diary:

The nurseries attending will be:
Avon Bulbs, Blooming Hill Plants, Desert to Jungle, Dorset Perennials, Elworthy Cottage Plants, Hill Top Nursery, Ian & Teresa Moss, In Clover, Long Acre Plants, Mill Cottage Plants, Millwood Plants, Moor Plants, Pennard Plants, Picket Lane Nursery, Roseland House Nursery, and Wild Thyme Plants.

Plant of the Month
Viburnum farreri ‘Candidissimum’

Twenty-five years ago when I started the formal garden immediately behind our house I visualised beds of blue, white, and yellow flowers, cool and fresh in such a hot place.  No pink.  And no strident colours.

I began with a few structural trees, roses and large shrubs  to create a backbone for the ephemera. I had always had an eye on one or two unusual shrubs in the nursery in Kent where I had been working as a Propagator. So I bought a lovely white Deutzia setchuenensis which flowers in mid-summer, and some of the 'old' roses with romantic names and scented white flowers.

But for the winter I was a bit stumped. In the centre I planted a conical Ilex aquifolium 'Silver King', and on each corner I placed a silver variegated box. So when I came to propagate Viburnum farreri 'Candidissimum' it seemed to be the answer.

I put it immediately outside the back door so that the heady scent of its chalk-white flowers would fill the kitchen and bedrooms above, and planted a blue Clematis 'Prince Charles' at its foot to clamber its way through. This has proved the perfect companion.

Now, in early spring I gently disentangle the old clematis stems from the viburnum and cut them down to about 30cm (12ins) from the ground. And in late spring I cut back the flowered viburnum branches. The two of them complement each other beautifully.

Sally Gregson

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