Monthly Meetings and Events 2020

New! On-line lecture programme via Zoom.
These talks are free and exclusive to Worcestershire Hardy Plant Society members.
If you would like to join our group and participate please email our Secretary Jon Segar at

From October all lectures will be via Zoom until we can resume our regular meetings, hopefully in April 2021. When we can meet face to face, most talks will be held at St Peter’s Church, Worcester, WR5 3TZ, on the second Saturday of the month at 2pm, but please see below for exceptions. At St Peter’s, entrance is free to Group members and we welcome visitors there but ask them to pay £3. We will invite regular visitors to join the Group.

Refunds – As a general rule for outside trips no refunds will be given later than two weeks before the event. Individual organisers of outings may differ from this policy and it is important to check the information given at the time of booking.


Jan 11 Talk: Flummoxed by Ferns Ross Barbour
Ross is a horticulturalist. He began working on large estates. He has a wide wealth of knowledge for creating and maintaining gardens of all shapes and sizes. He has in depth plant knowledge and works with nature in mind to create a natural balance.
Feb 8 Talk: Hellebores Samantha Hopes
Samantha’s talk on hellebores will shed light on the current range currently being bred at Ashwood nurseries, the top breeders in the country, with hints and tips on cultivation.
Samantha became a student at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and Pershore College and then moved to RHS Garden Wisley, specialising in Rock and Alpine plants.
She has also worked for short stints at Kew and Great Dixter. She then went to work alongside John Massey, looking after his Hepatica collection at Ashwood Nurseries.
Samantha and her husband are now creating and building their own garden, propagating and growing a range of unusual plants at home.
Sunday Feb 9 11am - 4pm, Charity Open Garden Snowdrop day at Brockamin, Old Hills, Callow End, Worcestershire WR2 4TQ
Thursday Feb 13 Coach trip to Colesbourne Park to see the snowdrop collection
Mar 14 AGM at 1.30pm followed by..
Talk: Preparing for Spring and Early Summer in the Garden
Tamsin Westhorpe
AGM at 1.30pm followed by…
Tamsin will talk about the work she does at Stockton Bury but will relate this to things we can do to improve our own gardens.
Tamsin is an experienced horticultural journalist, gardener, RHS Chelsea Flower Show judge and lecturer. A super speaker who we have asked to come and talk to us again!
Apr 11 Cancelled Talk: Shady Characters Dr. Andrew Ward
Andrew started his nursery and garden 23 years ago in a frost pocket with heavy clay. He is an accomplished speaker and has given HPS National lectures on several occasions.
His talk will focus on plants for woodlands and shady areas.
May 16 Cancelled A visit to Rob and Diane Cole's Garden, Meadow Farm outside Feckenham. This will be either in the morning (10.30 -12.30pm) or afternoon (2.30 - 4.30pm) due to the small numbers that can be accommodated at one time. A talk by Rob about his garden, then a tour of garden. Tickets £2 to iclude tea, coffee and cake.
Friday June 5 Postponed until Thursday 10th September 6pm -8pm: 25th Anniversary Party at the Cartsheds, Spetchley Park
June 13 Cancelled 2 until 4pm: Grand Plant Sale, Peopleton Village Hall
June 17 to June 22 Postponed until 2021 Six-day Silver Anniversary Garden Tour of Dublin and County Wicklow, Ireland
Wednesday July 8 Postponed until Wednesday 14th July 2021 Coach trip to Wollerton Old Hall and Hodnet Hall in Shropshire
July 11 Cancelled Social from 12.30pm, bring a plate of food to share and a plant to swap.
Plant sale table as usual.
Followed at 2pm by talk: The Making of the Dower House Garden
Dr. Katherine Swift
The Dower House Garden at Morville Hall (NT) was designed by Dr. Katherine Swift. Katherine is a garden historian and writer who has lived at the Dower House since 1988. The garden has been featured in many newspapers and magazines. She has been writing a monthly gardening column about events in her garden for English Country Garden magazine since November 2017 and won a Garden Media Guild’s top award, Garden Columnist of the year.
Friday July 24 Postponed until next summer 4-6 pm, Afternoon Tea at the garden of Lesley and John Bryant, Stoulton, WR7 4RE
Thursday Sep 3 Postponed until Thursday 18 November 2021 Talk: Painting a Picture with Plants
Afternoon event, timings and venue details to be confirmed.
Chris Beardshaw
Chris will give an illustrated talk which will look at creating floral rewards with less effort. Inspired by traditional English borders but with the aim of reducing the inputs and looking for new style. It uses examples from Chris’ own schemes such as Ness Botanics.
Thursday September 10 6pm -8pm: 25th Anniversary Party at Spetchley Park
Sep 12 Cancelled Members’ Question Time … Bob Brown
Members are invited to bring plants for Bob to answer questions about and also have questions to ask Bob on any aspect of gardening and plants.
Oct 10 Cancelled Talk: Choice Plants for Late Seasonal Interest Paul Green
Paul Green owns Green Leaves Nursery, based at Newent in Gloucestershire, a specialist plant nursery which supplies a wide selection of choice rare and unusual plants.
His talk will be practical and hands on using real plants! So linking in with the month of his talk.
Thursday Oct 22 NEW Zoom Talk at 7pm: Gardens are Good for You Alison Marsden
Alison Marsden
Founder of Gardening by Design, Alison has been providing gardening advice across the South East of England, and online for over 10 years. Alison combines horticultural science with practical experience to explain the Why as well as the How of gardening. Alison specialises in Gardening for Wellbeing running social and therapeutic horticulture sessions for groups including residents in care homes, hospice day therapy and Dementia Cafés. She provides consultancy and training for organisations wishing to create their own therapeutic gardening programmes.

Gardens Are Good For You
Alison will discuss how recent research shows the mental health benefits that gardening at home or with a community group can offer. This is not news to those of us who are long time gardeners but it is interesting to explore what it is about gardening that can be used to support wellbeing in different ways for different individuals. The second half of the talk will discuss how wellbeing in the garden extends beyond the media image of a space for contemplation and how our own gardens can be changed or evolved to increase the benefits - and reduce the frustrations ! - of gardening.
Alison will include Mindful Gardening and explore Nature analogies that help us with self care.
The talk will touch on well being by increasing success and reducing frustration and helping people to be more confident or adventurous in their gardening.
Nov 14 Cancelled Talk: The Relocation and Development of the new University of Bristol garden Nick Wray
Nick Wray is a professional horticulturalist and educator. He has worked at the Bristol University Botanical Garden for 30 years. He has studied plants in the wild in South Africa. He is a former member of the RHS Tender and Ornamental Group and Herb Advisory Group. Nick has judged at many shows including Chelsea.
Thursday Nov 19 NEW Zoom Talk at 7pm: Late Arrivals to the Party Jimi Blake
Jimi Blake
Jimi is a noted Irish horticulturist, teacher, international lecturer and plantsman who trained in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin as a horticulturist and was subsequently appointed Head Gardener at Airfield House in Dundrum, Dublin.
Jimi has spent the last twenty years creating Hunting Brook Gardens, one of Ireland's largest private collections of plants. A modern day plant hunter, Hunting Brook is bursting the fiercely colourful and theatrically beautiful, large-scale planting combinations for which Jimi has become so well known.

Late Arrivals To The Party
Jimi will share with you the plants he uses to extend the season from Summer into Autumn at Hunting Brook Gardens. He will take a detailed look at the use of late flowering perennials, annuals, dahlias, funky foliage and how the exotic style of planting that Hunting Brook is famous for can extend the season. Jimi will also share with you the various tricks he deploys including cutting back perennials which have finished flowering, dead heading and adding in plants to extend the season.
Thursday Dec 10 NEW 7pm Zoom Lecture: The Relocation and Development of the New University of Bristol Garden Nick Wray
Nick, curator of the Botanic Garden, will talk about the relocation of the University of Bristol Botanic Garden and the development and evolution of the gardens over the years.
In 2001 the ambitious decision was taken to relocate the Botanic Garden more centrally. Nick planned the move over an intensive four year period which culminated in a successful transplant of the gardens in 2005.
With a dedicated team Nick has designed and developed the garden and plant collections to create imaginative, multilayered educational displays which reflect current scientific understanding of plants. His work has earned national and international reputation for the garden.
Nick Wray is an RHS Master of Horticulture, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. He joined the University of Bristol Botanic Garden in 1984 and was made Curator in 2004. From 1998 to 2002 he served on the board of PlantNetwork and at the same time was South African plant consultant at the Eden Project.
He is a well-known horticultural presenter on local radio and TV including three years as co-presenter on BBC Gardeners’ World alongside Geoff Hamilton. Nick has also served as an RHS judge at RHS shows, was a member of the RHS Tender & Ornamental Plant Committee from 1998 to 2012 and is currently a Member of the RHS Herbal Advisory Group.
Dec 12 Cancelled Social from 12.30pm
Christmas lunch at 1pm. Please bring a plate of food to share.
Followed at 2pm by talk: The Story of Mistletoe
Jonathan Briggs
Jonathan owns a small consultancy called Mistletoe Matters. The website is one of several he manages. He is a real expert on the plant which will give our Christmas social a Christmassy feel, learning about this plant which is found in abundance in the South and West Midlands.