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About the Group

The group meets at St. Peter's Church Hall, Church Road, Earley, Reading RG6 1EY (map).

Christine Jarvis
01235 851896

For full details visit the Berkshire Group Website

2019 Programme

Doors open at 7.15 p.m. and meetings start at 7.45 p.m. except where otherwise stated.

Tuesday 8th January, 2019 
‘Restoration of a Gertrude Jekyll Garden’
Rosamund Wallinger

Rosamund has been the owner of an Arts and Crafts house, in Upton Grey, Hampshire since 1984.  The garden was originally designed by Gertrude Jekyll and Rosamund has spent 35 years restoring it to its original design.  Her garden is now one of the greatest showcases of a Gertrude Jekyll garden.  She will be explaining and showing photos of the restoration process.
Tuesday 12th February, 2019
'Why Special Plants Need Specialist Nurseries'
Chris Ireland-Jones
Chris is owner of Avon Bulbs a small reputable family owned company, in South Petherton Somerset, that offers a good range of the more spectacular but garden worthy flower bulbs in the biggest sizes available. Winners of 29 Chelsea Gold Medals. Specialise in named snowdrops.
(Will be bringing bulbs for sale)
Tuesday 12th March, 2019
'Growing and Showing Sweet Peas'
Jim McDonald
Jim has been growing, showing and winning cups and medals for his exhibition worthy 
sweet peas for many years.
 (Bringing sweet pea seeds for sale)
Tuesday 9th April, 2019
'From Cinderella to Princess'
Laura De Beden                                                                                      
Born in Rome, Laura was a plant lover from birth.  She studied Landscape Architecture at University of Central England and subsequently became a landscape architect and a garden designer running her own business.  She is a writer on ‘Garden Issues’ and an official lecturer for NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies) and will be giving a presentation of a makeover of three gardens, involving the use of space, plants and plant association.
Saturday 18th May, 2019 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Plant Sale
St. Peter’s Church Hall, Church Road, Earley, Reading. RG6 1EY
Open to the general public. Small admission fee. 
Tuesday 11th June, 2019
‘Hillier Gardens (History, plant collection and conservation)’
Barry Clark

Barry is a Botanist and Plant Records Officer at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey.  
These 180 acre gardens (formerly arboretum) currently hold one of the world’s most important plant collections. Every year hundreds of plants from around the world are added to enhance the varied gardens and landscapes. 
• Holds a magnificent collection of over 42,000 plants from temperate regions 
• 14 National Plant Collections and over 400 champion trees 
 (Bringing plants for sale) ??
Tuesday 10th September, 2019
'Pushing the Boundaries - Borderline Hardy and Tender Plants  You Can't Live Without
Derry Watkins  
Derry is owner of Special Plants Nursery, 7 miles north of Bath, which she started thirty years ago.  In 1993 she won a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to spend 3 months in S Africa looking for new plants to introduce to horticulture.  In 1995 Derry and her husband bought a derelict barn to convert into a house and have converted the fields into a garden and nursery. She teaches at The English Gardening School and is author of The Complete Greenhouse Book and Sunspaces.
(Bringing plants for sale)
Tuesday 8th October, 2019
'All Aspects of Hedychium Species'
Andrew Gaunt 

Andrew started collecting ornamental Hedychiums (gingers) in the late nineties and it is now the owner of one of the most comprehensive collections of Hedychium in the country, housed in a massive greenhouse in Chichester.  Andrew appeared on BBC Gardeners World in September 2018.
(Bringing plants for sale)
Tuesday 12th November, 2019
'Ornamental Grasses for the Garden'
Carolyn Foster
Berkshire HPS member, garden and plant enthusiast with over 30 years experience in general gardening, pruning, and designing garden and planting schemes. Former tutor for 
WEA for 15 years.  Currently enjoys speaking to garden groups and leading gardens visits. 

2018 Programme

Tuesday 9th January, 2018
'Plants for Awkward Corners'
Julie Ritchie
Julie is co-owner of Hoo House Nursery, Tewkesbury that has been offering perennials and alpines for over 30 years.
They grow and propagate as many of their own plants as possible and for the last 16 years have been using exclusively peat-free compost.

Tuesday13th February, 2018
'NW Burma - in the Footsteps of Frank Kingdom Ward'
Paul Barney
Paul is the founder of Edulis Nursery near Pangbourne.  Paul returned to Berkshire to set up his landscape design practice and to develop a new nursery specialising in edible plants. He also grows many rare plants for shady conditions.

Tuesday13th March, 2018
 AGM   followed by  
'Down to Earth'
Lois Philipps 
Learn to look after and love your soil – from testing to feeding.
Tuesday10th April, 2018
'Bulbs in the Wild'
John Page

A former University Lecturer, John is a member of the RHS Bulb Committee and the editorial board of the RHS Daffodil, Snowdrop and Tulip Yearbook. He has travelled widely in mountain ranges from the Rockies to the Tien Shan and this talk draws on his many visits to photograph plants, study their habitats and see what lessons can be learned for their cultivation.
Saturday 26th May, 2018  1.30 pm – 3.30 pm
Plant Sale
St Peter’s Church Hall, Church Road, Earley, Reading. RG6 1EY.
Open to the general public. Small admission fee.
Tuesday12th June, 2018
'Primulas and auriculas'      
Alan Edmondson
Alan is a past president of the National Auricula and Primula Society, an award-winning conservationist and regular gardening expert on BBC Radio Solent. He founded Bowercot Garden Design in 1999 and is responsible for planting design and horticultural consultation.
Tuesday11th September, 2018 
'Roses of Mottisfont Abbey Gardens'
Thomas Stone
Thomas started his career at Mottisfont, learning his skills and training in the ‘old fashioned’ methods used by generations of previous gardeners. After working at the Sir Harold Hillier Arboretum, he became Head Gardener to a Private Estate in West Sussex, then Hampshire, creating gardens from wilderness, including vegetables, roses, shrubs, herbaceous and cut flowers.
Tuesday9th October, 2018
'The evolution of Flowers'
Nicholas Wray

Nick is currently responsible for developing and curating the University of Bristol Botanic Garden. He has travelled widely studying plants in the wild, in particular the flora of South Africa.
Tuesday13th November, 2018   
'Shady Characters'
Andrew Ward

Andrew is a nurseryman specialising in choice and unusual herbaceous perennials (Norwell Nurseries and Gardens). He has a 1 acre garden containing 2500 different, many unusual, plants.

2017 Programme

Doors open at 7.15 p.m. and meetings start at 7.45 p.m. except where otherwise stated.

10th January, 2017
'Ground Cover Planting'
Antony Powell 

Hillier nurseryman by training, has worked in nurseries and gardens in England and France and travelled to many other countries in his horticultural career. He now manages four gardens in North Hampshire/west Berkshire.
14th February, 2017
'It's Not Time for Bed Yet'
Helen Picton

trained as a botanist at Reading, works full time in the family business. Helen is the third generation to work with the Michaelmas Daisies at Old Court Nurseries, where the Plant Heritage Collection of Autumn Flowering Asters is held.
14th March, 2017
'Through the year with a Horticultural Photographer'
Michael Warren

photographer of plants and gardens for over 45years, illustrated many books for famous authors and plantspeople, Member of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
11th April, 2017
'Agapanthus - Cultivation and Propagation'
Steven Hickman
runs the Hoyland Plant Centre in South Yorkshire growing agapanthus and tulbaghias, having a National Collection of both. Multiple Chelsea gold medal winner.
20th May, 2017
Plant Fair
Details later
13th June, 2017
'A Seedy Business'
Diane Clement

Diane is a member of the Alpine Garden Society and several other Alpine, Rock Garden and specialist genus societies. She is currently the Director of the Seed Exchange for the AGS. she has a wide range of plant interests , specialising in hepatica, cyclamen and woodland plants.
12th September, 2017
'Seasonal herbacious Perennials'
Rosemary Hardy
Owner of renowned nursery, Hardy's Cottage Garden Plants. Most successful female exhibitor at Chelsea flower show for hardy plants.
14th October, 2017
Celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of the Hardy Plant Society
10-15 Timothy Walker : Bordering on Insanity
1.30    Julian Sutton : The Botanical Gardener
Door open at 9.30am, St Peter's Hall, Church Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 1EY

Plants and award winning preserves for sale, Refreshments and light lunch included, Open to the Public.
Price of ticket £13, available via the Secretary at
See Events page for further details

14th November, 2017
Carolyn Foster

Berkshire HPS member, garden and plant enthusiast with 30+ years experience ingeneral gardening, pruning and designing garden and planting schemes. Former tutor for WEA for 15 years. Currently enjoys speaking to garden groups and leading garden visits.

2016 Programme

12th January, 2016 
'Clematis Through the Seasons'
Everett Leeds
former council member International Clematis Society, Chair British Clematis Society. Co author ‘An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Clematis’ and ‘Timber Press Pocket Guide to Clematis’

9th February, 2016 
'Encouraging Wildlife in Your Garden'
Andrew Halstead
retired RHS Entomologist, 40 years experience of garden wildlife and identifying and dealing with garden pests.

8th March, 2016 
'Growing Plants in Shade'
Brian Davis

ex-nurseryman, garden school instructor, author of ‘Gardeners Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Trees and Shrubs’ and ‘Gardeners Essential Plant Guide’

12th April, 2016 
'New Varieties, The Future of Your Garden'
Graham Spencer

owner of Plants for Europe Ltd, an independent plant breeders agent, part of the family behind Croftway Nursery, specialist perennial growers.

21st May, 2016 1.30 - 4.00 pm
Plant Fair
St Peter’s Church Hall, Church Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 1EY
Open to members and the general public (small admission fee and free parking).
Hot and cold drinks and home made cakes are available.
All plants are grown by members.

14th June, 2016 
'Echinacea and Rudbekia'
Martin Young

plants man with over 40 years experience of growing plants to attract bees and butterflies. Active member of RHS and Plant Heritage. Professionally trained speaker.

13th September, 2016 
'Seasonal plants with Impact'
Martyn Cox

gardening columnist with Mail on Sunday and author of 10 books including award winning ‘RHS Wildlife Garden’. A contributor to TV and radio shows, A qualified horticulturist with 25 years experience.

11th October, 2016 
'Sweet Peas'
Graham Talbot

horticultural lecturer at Berkshire College of Agriculture

8th November, 2016
'Lovely Lilies'
John Baker

John has a small garden in Hampshire packed with 2000 plants (including 1500 different hostas!).
He is going to talk about growing and propagating Alstroemeria and daylilies.

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