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 17 January 2015

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

Joseph Atkin (Head Gardener) - "Aberglasney"

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
Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’

Photo: Bob Brown

December can be a dull time in our gardens. We extol every variegated leaf that shines in the winter sun. We cherish every small, scented flower that blooms. And we stand back and admire the garden’s structure laid bare and leafless by the autumn gales. So how surprising it is to be introduced to a plant with strongly marked and coloured leaves, followed by big, red winter flowers that look you in the eye. (And, I'll swear they wink!) Such a plant is Helleborus ‘Anna’s Red’. 

She was bred by Rodney Davey a few years ago from selections he'd been making for over a decade to achieve the first ever red-flowered hellebore with marbled leaves. He named it after plantswoman Anna Pavord.

I first met ‘Anna’s Red’ a few years ago on a nursery stand and managed to buy one before they all disappeared into everyone’s bag. Quite literally: the nurseryman had sold out within minutes. It is irresistible. The veined leaves with pink marbling are borne on tall red stems, with large flowers in that extraordinary shade that is neither wishy-washy nor guardsman’s tunic.

'Anna' would grow well and happily in a little bit more sun than is usual for hellebores in a good, rich soil that does not remain wet. Or try it in a large terracotta pot by the front door. It would, as they say, stop the traffic. Or alarm the postman.

Sally Gregson

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