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:

To download a flyer click here.

To download a booking form click here.


The Somerset Group of the Hardy Plant Society is a member of the Somerset Federation of Gardening Clubs.

Plant of the Month

Erysimum mutabile

I don’t know an English name for this plant – ‘Changeable Wallflower’ would be roughly correct, but doesn’t have much of a ring to it!  It is however on my best-beloved list, in spite of being much less spectacular than most of the modern multi-coloured perennial wallflowers.  Compared to the ‘Cotswold’ selections for instance its flowers are rather small with muted colours, but it has the huge advantage of being relatively long-lived by wallflower standards (up to five years without fuss, sometimes more), flowering usually from March to June.  The flowers open primrose, turning reddish-purple as they age, and are held on slender but strong stems over slightly glaucous foliage which is effectively evergreen.

Its origins are more glamorous than its appearance perhaps suggests.  It’s a Cretan endemic, a ‘chasmophyte’ growing in the rock walls of the great gorges, and in the coastal exposure of my garden I’ve found it an ideal plant for raised beds or rockery, forming quite large clumps which lean decoratively over the edges.  It may have been used in the breeding of several of our modern ‘perennial’ favourites, and the wild habitat explains their inclination to lean sideways (even stalwart ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ sometimes does this).

It flies under the radar of the nursery trade, being far from new or flashy, but Triscombe usually has it.  It also grows really easily from cuttings – good-natured in this as well as in its weather tolerances – and I’m always happy to supply them. 

Ro FitzGerald

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