Anemone ranunculoides pleniflora
Mick reported with regret that previous member Audrey Stephens had died recently, from a stroke. The funeral is at 2pm on Friday 15 December at St John's Church, Worcester.
A book of photographs and comment about our Chelsea stand has been done for John McGhee and Linda Marsh. There is also a gift for each of them.
The first of these, 'Successful Seed Sowing', will take place at Pershore College on Friday 16 February, from 2 till 4pm. It will be led by Duncan Coombs. It is free and those participating will have some sown seeds to take home and grow on. It is important to contact Lyn Maile if you would like to come.
BHGS will be the supplier this year. The compost on offer is Sylvagrow Multipurpose, 50litre bag, for £5. With added John Innes no. 3 the cost will be £6. We need 50 bags for our group order to be accepted. Mick will take orders at the January and February meetings.
These will be available at the January meeting.
This will be at Becky Dale's garden in Worcester on 4 July.
Member Hilda Watts had sent the Alcester rainfall figures: 30mm in October, the same as last year. September had been unusually wet, 67mm. July, August and September had been the wettest months of the year.
GQT came from the Lincolnshire HPS Group on the first weekend of the month. It mentioned its being the 60th anniversary of the HPS and our silver gilt award at Chelsea. One correction: the society has 7,000 members nationally, not 10,000 as the programme said.
This has gone up to 28 pages and been redesigned. The Committee hopes members like it and would like to know what they think. Mick thanked all the people who contacted him after the last meeting with content. We're still looking for a Newsletter Editor. Mick will be very happy to talk to anyone who is thinking of taking this on.
Claire Constantine has joined the Committee as the Members' Representative.
Richard would like to remind members about their annual subscription for 2018, due in January. Lyn has sent a reminder email. It makes life a lot easier for the Group if everyone pays by standing order.
A small group of members has taken on the task of organising our next gardening break, in summer 2019. They are Judith Doughty, Katherine Elrick-Smith, Lyn Maile, Linda Marsh, Ann Sheppard and Stella Sullivan.
We've decided to publish this in December or January.
We're investigating various new types of badge, based on lanyards and hope to have them for our January meeting.
The Committee has decided to use BHGS as the supplier this year. The compost on offer is Sylvagrow Multipurpose with John Innes (fractionally finer than the usual multipurpose) at £5.70 including VAT for a 50 litre bage. Normal multipurpose is on offer at £4.93 including VAT: peat-free and RHS-endorsed. We need a group order for 50 bags. The orders will be delivered in the new year, to Mick's garage on the edge of Worcester.
John and Jan have been organising this for us for the last few years, but have now stepped down. The plan is that Nicola Content who has been involved in this and in our Chelsea stand is going to design the stand. She will involve her young daughter, a landscape architect. We have national funding and the offer of help from Graham and Heather Farquhar, from the Lincolnshire Group who have helped us before and from other people from round the country. We'll need volunteers as usual on the stand.
We're planning to hold a few practical sessions next year, to help both our newer and long-standing members with skills such as semi-ripe and softwood cuttings and seed sowing and tips about what to do at that time of year. Duncan Coombs from the RHS courses at Pershore College will lead them. They'll be about two hours long, on a Friday afternoon with the first one probably in February, as a trial run. The maximum number will be about 15. They'll be free and you'll be taking home a pot of cuttings or sown containers for use in your own garden. The other sessions are planned for May and October.
The Committee is putting together a short questionnaire for the early part of 2018, to see how content members are and whether we need to change anything.
Our next meeting starts at 1pm with lunch. We ask everyone to bring a plate of food to share; the Committee provides drinks and tea and coffee will be available. The raffle is free. After lunch Bill Laws is coming to speak on 'Plants that Changed the Course of History'. Please do come along.
The response to the lecture has been very positive; the nurseries reported good sales and Roy Lancaster's book sold well. We have made approximately £150 profit. Mick thanked all the volunteers involved in the day.
There won't be a Celebrity Lecture as such next year, but Stephanie has booked one of the HPS' Ambassadors, Matthew Biggs, from 'Gardeners' Question Time', to speak at a meeting at Crowle, and Matthew Wilson, another HPS Ambassador, in 2019. Tim Walker will return in 2018 and there is a possibility of Chris Beardshaw speaking in 2020.
Mick repeated his email appeal for pieces, however short, for the autumn edition. Anything about gardens, gardening or plants that has appealed to you this year will be welcome.
David has stepped down as Newsletter Editor and also from organising the Garden Tours. He will, however, still lead on our Plant Sale. Mick thanked David for all he has done for the Group.
A small group of members will meet David later this month to discuss the organisation of the Tours and how we can continue with them.
John McGhee and Jan Vaughan will not be organising our stand at the Malvern Spring Show in future. Mick has gathered together a few core people who say they're prepared to take it on, but help will be needed nearer the time and at the show itself.
We now have a depleted Committee. Mick asked members, especially newer members, to consider joining the Committee as Newsletter Editor or one of the two Membership Representatives, who don't have a specific role. There are two editions of the newsletter each year, one in autumn and one in spring, so the job isn't onerous. The Committee meets four times a year before a regular Saturday meeting.
We need volunteers to help with the teas and baking for future meetings. Please contact Julia Dale if you can do this.
Hilda Watts, our Alcester-based resident meteorologist says many plants have liked this dry, dry summer. According to her rain gauge, to date this year we have had 249mm, which runs at 41mm per month. Compare this with the same period last year when we had a total of 415mm – or 69mm a month, so about half the amount.
We’ve a long piece in the next issue of ‘The Hardy Plant’ about our Chelsea experiences, with John and Linda reflecting on the last couple of years and others on their highlights.
Worcestershire County Council is likely to include us in a video or on its website. They have sent Mick a list of gardening questions which Lyn emailed to us all to have a look at. If you have some constructive advice, please contact him on email@example.com
Mick has been asked to talk to the Redditch Inner Wheel about Chelsea next March.
Chelsea left-overs were a real factor in our raising a record total of just over £1500, which is nearly double our previous best.
Another Pollitt masterpiece: 49 people, five days, 12 gardens and one very happy set of people. We have people writing a short piece each about the gardens we visited and there are photos on the website. Sadly the Pollitts have finally called time on organizing the tours with eight to their credit. This raises the question of how we continue the legacy David and Judy have left us. If you’d be interested in helping to organise another tour (it could be some aspect or aspects of one), please talk to Mick.
NGS opening Sunday 13, 2pm - 4.30pm at the home of John and Lesley Bryant. Admission £ 4.00 in support of the MS Society www.ngs.org.uk/?bf-garden=17183
Tuesday 22, 11am – 5pm at the home of Ann Sheppard and John Taylor. Admission £3.00; see the national website or tri-fold programme or the 60th Anniversary booklet for details.
We have now sold out of tickets at 150. Mick thanked those who’ve volunteered to help and will in touch in the next few weeks on what we’d like you to help with.
Katie Croft, the senior gardener at Hidcote, has been in touch. She’s looking for a volunteer to work one day a week for the next few years on the garden’s paper and digital records and helping with historical research. She’d like the volunteer to help with managing the database, surveying, identifying and cataloguing the plants, and doing some research. She realises that there aren’t many people who fit the bill and thinks an HPS member would be ideal!
Lyn sent us an email about this on 12 July and if anyone is interested in applying, the online application form is here: https://myvolunteering.nationaltrust.org.uk/opportunity-view?id=29ebf686-24d0-428c-b1a9-72095a470fcc&distance=0.1
Members could collect their tri-fold programme listing our many activities over the coming 12 months. We hope to produce the next tri-fold programme in December this year, to cover from January 2018 – December 2018.
Our group newsletter was also available.
The latest edition of the national journal “The Hardy Plant” includes a report on our efforts for Chelsea and Mick’s interview with the HPS president, Roy Lancaster, looking ahead to what he thinks lies in store for the society in the next 60 years.
Our plant sale is on 10 June in Peopleton. David Pollitt will let us us know what help he needs, but in the next few months could you please, please save any plastic bags you have and bring or send them on the sale day to help buyers carry away their purchases.
One of our senior members, Hilda Watts, has been keeping her usual meticulous eye on the daily rainfall in Alcester and reports that in January there was a total rainfall of 55mm. That fell to 23mm in February and went up to 42 mm in March. That makes a total rainfall for the first three months of the year of just 120mm. That compares with a total of 207mm for the fist three months of 2016 – and shows we’ve had a dry start to the year. Everyone seems to think plants are two or three weeks ahead of time of year with a magnificant display of blossom on many of our trees.
It’s that time of year again when we invite all keen propagators to request Conservation Plants for delivery in the autumn. All of you are welcome as growers. By growing a Conservation Plant, all you are doing is making a simple commitment to propagate the plant for return to the scheme. The deal is that you get a free plant and give a plant back when you’ve propagated it.
A list of Conservation Plants, with photos, is available on the HPS website; plus lots of information on the scheme itself: http://www.hardy-plant.org.uk/about-plants/conservation.
Please contact Jenny Constant with your requests as soon as possible, and by 22 April at the latest. She also has some conservation plants available now, on a first come first served basis – they are Iris ‘Peter Hewitt’, Zantedeschia ‘Glencoe’, Hemerocallis ‘Cherry Ripe’ and Geranium ‘Pink Delight’. We are planning to use the iris and zantedeschia on our Chelsea stand, subject to flowering.
Volunteers are still needed to help at our Celebrity Lecture on September 9 at Pershore College. Please contact Mick if you can help.
The 60th anniversary AGM near Norwich at the end of March attracted five Worcester group members. The two wonderful speakers were Matthew Biggs, from Gardeners’ Question Time, and Alan Gray from East Ruston Old Vicarage. Matt talked about what we have to learn from the great gardeners and Alan on taking risks with plant hardiness and not getting too paranoid about taking some risks with more tender plants. Take more chances was the theme that developed during the day.
The Specialist Plant Fair at Spetchley Park is on April 23 from 11am to 5pm. Around 40 nurseries will be there. It’s £5 to enter, which covers entrance to the park and a guided tour. Our speaker next month, Jack Wilgoss, from Wildegoose Nursery perennial violas, Julie Ritchie from Hoo House Nursery near Tewkesbury, our speaker in October, and Cotswold Garden Flowers will all be there, and Great Dixter Garden will also have a stall. Our guest speaker in April, Kim Hurst, will also be selling her organic plants, grown in peat-free Fertile Fibre compost.
A new committee was elected at the AGM in March. Our new chairman is Mick Dunstan, voted in when Jan Vaughan stood down after three years in the role. Lyn Maile stays on as secretary and Richard King takes on the combined role of treasurer and membership secretary after Roger Smith stepped down.
Jayne Savage is publicity secretary, Stephanie Reader is our new speaker secretary, David Pollitt remains as newsletter editor and Tricia King is taking over the reins as programme secretary.
To make our committee up to the normal eight-strong level, the committee is asking for volunteers for a committee member post without specific responsibilities at this stage. If you’re interested in joining us for our four committee meetings a year, please speak to Mick, Lyn or any other committee member.
Flyers for the June plant sale are available. Please put them up in any suitable place.
In the next National newsletter you should have a questionnaire about the kinds of things you want the National society to do. The new Chairman is anxious to have as many members reply as possible, so please fill it in – it can be done online as well as on paper.
The next Spetchley Specialist Plant Fair is on Sunday 27 April 2014, 11.00am - 5.00pm. They are expecting over 30 nurseries, and the £5 entry charge includes admission to the gardens.
The first coffee morning this year, hosted by Wendy Richards, is on Thursday 1 May, before the next meeting.
Mick Dunstan is preparing a number of profiles of members' gardens, including photos and an interview. We hope to be able to show these at a Christmas meeting. If you would like your garden to be included, please contact Mick.
There has been a problem with the nursery discount scheme. Don't assume that the discount is still available. Please check first before selecting your plants.
We will have a stand again this year at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 8-11 May.
Congratulations to Jan Vaughan whose article about pruning winter-flowering shrubs is in the spring 2014 'Cornucopia'.
Sue Chitty has organised an evening at Bretforton Manor on Thursday 15 May. This is by car. There will be a tour of the garden, starting at 6.30. Cost £6 + £2 refreshments. More details and a sign-up sheet at the April meeting. [10 April update - cost now £5 + £2 refreshments]
Sue has also organised a day trip on Friday 19 September to John Massey's nursery at Kingswinford, with a tour of John's garden, and then going on to Preen Manor in Shropshire. Cost £21. More details and a sign-up sheet at the next meeting. [10 April update - cost now £22]
David Pollitt is organising another of his garden tours, for June 2015, to North Yorkshire. More details in the autumn newsletter.
John McGhee is taking orders for plant supports for the April meeting. If you would like to order some, please complete this form and email it to him before the meeting.
The next two local Plant Heritage meetings at Pershore College, which start with a plant sale and coffee at 6:45, are "Plants of the Season" on 11 March and "Hellebores, Hepaticas and Trilliums" on 8 April.
Margaret Stone is opening her garden, Brockamin, on Friday 21 March, 2-6pm, and Sunday 23 March, 10-6pm. Details in February national newsletter.
Springridge Nurseries, Old Turnpike Road, Crowle, is offering a discount to members for a month. Another Crowle nursery, Hyde Cottage Palms & Exotics in Church Road, is closing and selling stock at reduced prices. We are assured that many of their plants are reasonably frost hardy.
The Seed Distribution has finished for 2014 with some seed remaining. Sue Pinsent (Seed Distribution Coordinator) would very much like to make this available as gifts to any charitable organisations who could benefit. If you have involvement with organisations who would like to make use of this seed, please contact Sue or Joy, the HPS Administrator.
December's Christmas meeting will be at Peopleton as usual, but NEXT YEAR OUR INDOOR MEETINGS WILL BE HELD IN CROWLE PARISH HALL, Church Road, WR7 4AZ.
As usual for our December meeting we will be starting at 1.00pm (an hour early) with a Bring and Share buffet. Please bring some food to share. Drinks, including wine, will be supplied. We will also be holding a free raffle.
We are still looking for someone to take on the role of chairman when Bev steps down in March. If anyone is willing to do this please complete a nomination form, or contact a member of the committee for more information.
Roger Smith is happy to stand for election as treasurer when John McGhee steps down in March, but as he will not be able to attend many Saturday meetings we will need someone else to look after the money at these meetings. Would anyone willing to do this this please let John know.
To save handling a lot of cheques at the start of the year, John would like members to pay the subscription by standing order. If you are willing to do this please complete the form included in the newsletter and return it to John McGhee.
Several local nurseries have agreed to give a discount to members on plants, though not on sundries such as compost. We will produce a discount card for members to use.
Please return any outstanding plant conservation forms to Jenny Constant by December.
Congratulations to Alan Hale whose newsletter article has been republished in Cornucopia.
To avoid handling so many cheques, we are asking members if they would pay by standing order in the future. A form will be included in the Autumn newsletter.
The Worcestershire Group was formed in October 1995. We are planning to celebrate the twentieth anniversary with an event held at Pershore College, possibly in September 2015. It will include a well known speaker and lunch, and will be free to Worcestershire Group members.
Next year our indoor meetings will be held in Crowle Village Hall, Church Road, WR7 4AZ where we held the Christmas meeting last year. The June plant sale will again be held at Peopleton as it was this year.
We need a new chairman to take over from Bev in March. The main functions are are what you see Bev doing at the meetings, reading out the notices, introducing the speaker, giving a vote of thanks at the end of the talk and asking the speaker to draw the raffle. The chairman also chairs about three committee meetings a year, usually held on the morning of a Saturday afternoon meeting. Next year they will be held in a room at Crowle Village Hall. Please let a committee member know if you are interested.
Kathryn would like feedback from this year's June Plant Sale, both things you thought went well and suggestions for improvements. She would also like contributions for the newsletter by 12 October.
Jackie Davis has now retired from the plant conservation role. Jenny Constant has taken over.
There is still a shortage of volunteers to help with the teas at meetings and to provide cakes. No one would need to do this very often if more people would contribute. If you don't feel able to make a cake you could always buy one! Please let Julia Dale know if you are willing to help.
Julia has agreement from three local garden centres to offer members a 10% discount on plants, but not on sundries auch as compost or tools. Details will be in the newsletter and on the web when we have agreed how the scheme will work.
Margaret Stone will be opening her garden at Brockamin, next Sunday, 22 September, in support of Plant Heritage. It includes a national collection of Aster novae-angliae.
Would you please send any copy and photos for the next newsletter to Kathryn by 12 October (the date of the October meeting). As always, please send any photos suitable for the website to Colin.
Bev gave heartfelt thanks to all those who had provided help at the National AGM and Lecture Day on 23 March. Especially those who were working in the car park in the snow and ice from 8am. Cue a round of applause.
There is one seat left on the bus for the Cumbria trip, if anyone else would like to go.
Ann Sheppard will be opening her garden under the NGS on 4, 5 and 6 May and again on 15 and 16 June.
All seed from the HPS seed distribution has now been used and random sets are no longer available. The note about random sets in the current Newsletter is inaccurate as the supply has not lasted as long as expected. The seed supplied by Chris Chadwell also mentioned in the Newsletter remains available and members can request this from Joe Sime as detailed.
Would people willing to help with the plant sale on the day, 8 June, please contact Bev.
Lynda Niccolls has a supply of National HPS posters which also show basic details for our Worcestershire group. If you know of a suitable place to display one, please contact Lynda. Her contact details are inside the back ciover of the newsletter.
We have been offered the opportunity to have a stand at Spetchley Specialist Plant Fair again this year, but we would need volunteers in order to take this up including people to help put up and take down the display. The fair is on Sunday 21 April. Anyone willing, please contact Bev or Judith soon.
The Pulmonaria Specialist Group of the HPS is holding its 21st anniversary meeting at Broadheath Village Hall on 13 April. Local HPS group members are invited.
There is a Plant Heritage meeting on Tuesday 12 February with a talk by Simon Gulliver of Birmingham Botanic Garden on Ernest Wilson at Pershore College in Room 14 at 7:15pm.
Olive Mason's garden, Dial Park, is open on Wednesday 20 February, 11am till 4pm.
Please make sure that you have filled in a form for any Conservation Scheme plant that you have and return it to Jackie. If you have had one of these plants for more than four years, it is now yours. However if you continue to propagate and bring plants to our sales, there are some special labels.
Four committee members wish to stand down by March 2014. Please consider seriously taking up a committee role. There will be an article in the next newsletter describing the jobs that will become vacant.
Members are reminded that National subscriptions are due by the end of March and that group membership is open only to those who are national members.
John thanked those who have volunteered to help with the National AGM and Lecture Day. He will be contacting you with further details soon.
The copy date for the Spring Newsletter is 9 March.
As we expect this year's Group Plant Sale to be as successful as last year's, we have decided to make it the sole event on 8 June. There will be lots of plants and refreshments as usual so that we can make this into a social occasion as well as a plantfest. So even if you are not able to bring plants for sale, please come along. Michael Leech's talk has been moved to fill the October slot, vacated by Jeff Bates due to his duties as Vice-Chairman of Britain in Bloom. We hope Jeff will speak early next year.
This will be held at Crowle Parish Hall, Church Road, WR7 4AZ, which is just south of the village towards Broughton Hackett. As usual for our December meeting we will be starting at 1.00pm (an hour early) with a Bring and Share buffet. Please bring some food to share. Drinks, including wine, will be supplied.
We are hoping to hold a plant sale in June at Peopleton as we did last year. If every member could donate half a dozen plants this would give us a good number to sell so please bear this in mind as you sow, split or discard plants in the spring.
There is currently an opportunity for three more people to become Trustees of the national HPS. If anyone is interested, please talk to Vivienne McGhee. [Feb 13: These vacancies have now been filled.]
If anyone has suggestions or ideas for improving our group web site, either the style or the content, please contact Colin Doughty.
Next year’s garden tour will be to Cumbria, departing Sunday 16th June and returning Thursday 20th June. More details and a booking form can be found in the newsletter.
We currently do not have any day trips planned for next year. If anyone would like to organise one, please contact a member of the committee.
The group has been offered a promotion table at this show for no charge, but to be effective it would need to be manned. Would anyone willing to help with this please let Bev know.
We have had requests from other, smaller, local garden groups to provide someone to give a talk about hardy plants. This could provide good publicity for our group. If anyone is interested in doing this, would they please contact Marilyn.
The sale on 9 June went very well. There were minor difficulties but the committee felt it worth holding another next year. The proposal is to start the sale later in the day to give more time in the morning for setting it up, and keep it running while the talk is held in the other room in the hall.
A Belgian group planning to tour the Cotswolds next June had asked for suggestions. We wondered whether any of our members, especially ones living to the eastern side of the county, would like to host the group. Would anyone interested please contact Judith.
David Pollit will be standing down as group secretary at the AGM in March. Judith Doughty is willing to continue as newsletter editor, but has offered to take on the secretary post instead. If she is elected to that post we will need a new newsletter editor. So far there are no nominations, so would you please consider whether you would be willing to take on a committee post, especially either one of those two roles.
Worcestershire group will be putting on a display at the Malvern Spring Show as the HPS representatives. We are currently looking for people to help with design of the stand, build up of the stand prior to the opening of the show, volunteers for stand duty during the show and help with breaking down the stand on Sunday evening. Anyone who helps on the stand during the day will have free entry to the show. Contact John McGhee if you are interested.
We will stage a display on similar lines to that put on last year. John McGhee will take the lead, with Bev Drewitt, Celia Guest and David Pollitt as his main assistants on the day. They would welcome help from members in taking a turn manning the stand. It was a really good day last year and promises to be so again.
Jackie Davies thanked those who had returned conservation scheme plant forms, but there are still some outstanding. She would like them returned within the next month.
Would anyone willing to help with refreshments at a meeting, either providing a cake or helping with teas, please contact Julia Dale.
We are holding a plant sale in the morning of 9 June at Peopleton, as a fund raiser. Other groups have tried this with some success. If every member could donate half a dozen plants this would give us a good number to sell so please bear this in mind as you sow, split or discard plants in the spring.
The copy date for the next newsletter is 11 February, our next meeting, but please don't necessarily wait until then. Judith is eagerly awaiting all your contributions.
The new HPS Galanthus Group is holding its inaugural meeting on 19 February in Chaddesley Corbett. Jim Almond will talk about special snowdrops, followed by a visit to Olive Mason's garden, Dial Park, close by. HPS members not in the specialist group are welcome at a cost of £14.
Olive's garden is also open under the NGS on Wednesday 15 February.
The dates for this trip are 2 to 6 July. Anyone who is interested, please contact Becky Dale before the end of January.
Jackie Davies thanked those who had returned conservation scheme plant forms, and asked those who still had forms to bring them to the next meeting.
As usual for our December meeting we will be starting at 1.00pm (an hour early) with a Bring and Share buffet. Please bring some food to share. Drinks, including wine, will be supplied.
Christmas will come early for one lucky person as we will also be holding a free raffle for a gardening token.
There will be a second hand gardening bookstall so please bring along any donations for this, as well as any old gardening tools for our exhibition. The latter should be labelled with your name and explanation of the tool (if this is not obvious). Please give books and tools to David Pollitt.
We are hoping to hold a plant sale in May or June at Peopleton as a fund raiser. Other groups have tried this with some success. If every member could donate half a dozen plants this would give us a good number to sell so please bear this in mind as you sow, split or discard plants in the spring.
There is a form to nominate people to stand for committee in this autumn's newsletter. Please consider standing as new blood is needed as old members step down. Speak to Bev Drewitt or David Pollitt if you are interested and would like more details. There is usually a maximum of 3 committee meetings a year, held the morning of the main meeting, so it need not be too much of a chore.
The newsletter is only as interesting as it is because some members write articles for it. Why not join this select band and write about your garden, a favourite flower or a good garden to visit? All articles gladly received by Judith Doughty in any form viz handwritten, typed or emailed.
We are holding an exhibition of old gardening tools at the December meeting so if anybody has anything suitable, please bring them to the meeting together with a label with details of what it is, its use etc and the owner's name.
Also we are having a sale of gardening books so if anyone wants to donate any books they no longer want or need, please give them to David Pollitt. Any not sold will be given to a charity shop afterwards.
Our group's stand at the Malvern Autumn show was based on Pippa's arrangement of michaelmas daisies, heucheras and actaea borrowed from Paul Picton and Bob Brown. It also incorporated two of the new roll up banners belonging to the Society. The display attracted a lot of attention from many members of the public who might enjoy membership, so we plan to have another stand at next year's show.