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:

Saturday 11 April 2015

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

Sally Gregson (Mill Cottage Plants) - "Epimediums"

But our next event is:

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
Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin'

It's so easy to be put off a plant, however beautiful. That a bulb splits up and fails to flower in subsequent years completely discouraged me from growing the exquisite dwarf irises that can light up the dark days of late winter. True, the flowers are also very fleeting, especially in cold and rain, but that could be ameliorated by an ability to come back bigger and better the following spring. So I ignored them for years.  However, a few quiet words with an expert at a plant sale and I am much the wiser. I now plant the bulbs of these charming little gems 10cm (4ins) deep, in a well-drained soil where they get the winter sun but are shaded during the summer. They hate wet feet while they are dormant.
And the result is sensational! Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin' is a favourite with its water-colour, buff and aquamarine petals overlaid with deeper blue veins and spots, and a primrose throat. It was bred by the late plantsman, E B Anderson, who crossed I. winogradowii and I. histrioides and selected just one which he named for the wife of his close friend, Eliot Hodgkin. Katharine must have been very beautiful.

Sally Gregson

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