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About the Group

The group meets at St Paul's Church  in Boundary Road, West Bridgford, NG2 7DB. (map)
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For full details visit the Nottingham Group Website

Carol Jones
01159 142474

2019 Programme

All meetings commence at 7-30 pm unless otherwise stated

11th January, 2019
'Scented plants and The Scented Garden' 
Geoff Hodge
Geoff is an experienced garden author, writer, radio and television presenter and web and magazine editor who lives in Peterborough. 
He claims that his aim is to help gardeners get the best out of their plants and judging by the favourable comments on his web page does so with humour and wit. He is a regular on garden question time panels at flower shows and is the garden correspondent for BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. 
As his last visit to us was ten years ago it is about time we welcomed him back
8th February, 2019
'Wollerton Old Hall Garden' 
Phil Smith

Phil, an enthusiastic horticulturalist, is head gardener at what Chris Beardshaw has described as a “world-class example of an English Garden”, Wollerton Old Hall.
He has previously worked at Winterbourne House and Garden as well as Ragley Hall. Because most people visit Wollerton during the summer months, when the controlled exuberance of hardy perennials are at their peak, Phil is keen to talk about the garden in the other seasons as well.
8th March, 2019
AGM will be starting at 7.15pm
'The Wonderful World of Salvias' 
Janet Buist
Before she retired, Janet was the owner of Pennycross Nursery which specialised in salvias.
There are more than 1000 forms of salvia and Janet will introduce us to some of the choicest ones and probably to some recent cultivars of these long-flowering plants.  We will learn something of their history as well as how to care for and propagate them.
12th April, 2019
'The Historic Gardener - Death in the Garden' 
Michael Brown
Michael has been interested in history and gardening for as long as he can remember, especially fascinated by the strange names and folk tales around common plants.
He has an MA in Garden History and was the creator of the Medieval Gardens at Prebendal Manor at Nassington in Northamptonshire. 
He says of his talk about poisonous plants, myths, magic, passion and murder; ‘Be warned, many of these plants may well be growing in your garden’.
13th September, 2019
‘Agapanthus, Tulbaghia, Nerines and Amerines'
Colin Hickman 

Steve and Colin Hickman run the Hoyland Plant Centre near Barnsley in West Yorkshire - at the foot of the Pennines. This isn’t somewhere that comes to mind when thinking of agapanthus but when Steve (father Hickman) was given a giant blue and a giant white, in full flower, it was obviously love at first sight. He was hooked on collecting, cultivating and propagating not only Agapanthus but all in the Amarylidaceae family. One, or both, will doubtless infect us all with their enthusiasm and passion.
11th October, 2019
Andrew Gaunt

Andrew is another horticulturalist with a passion for one particular plant species having been given one plant which led to a collection of ornamental gingers. Ornamental butterfly gingers are correctly named Hedychium which should be pronounced ‘hey-DIK-ee-um. We’d better practise it beforehand. Andrew holds the national collection of ornamental gingers and would love to share his knowledge.
8th November, 2019
‘Bryan Dodsworth - 40 years in search of perfection in form and colour’ 
Simon Dodsworth

The Dodsworth irises were hybridised by Bryan Dodsworth over 40 years in his Nottinghamshire garden in East Bridgford. He raised plants of exceptional quality developed through rigorous selection. Simon Dodsworth will talk about his father’s life work and the basics of growing and caring for irises. He will bring some plants for sale on the evening. We have recently purchased a few of these irises for the bed at the Botanic garden. 
13th December, 2019
Christmas Party  
'Stonebridge City Farm'
Heather Slater

Before our meeting descends into the traditional festive revelry we welcome Heather Slater from Stonebridge City Farm to tell us, in person, all about this special charity and what our gift to them in 2019 has meant. 

2020 Programme

10th January, 2020
‘Achillea, Great for gardeners and pollinators’
John Cullen

All you need to know about growing Achilleas, their history and the benefits to pollinators.
Seeds will also be available for sale and John will also have Botanical Candles and diffusers that they make. (essential oil is gathered from their herbs and the candles are made from soya wax)
14th February, 2020
Samantha Hopes

The genus Hepatica is very close to Samantha's heart. This talk explores the beautiful range of plants available that Samantha came across while working with John Massey on his collection at Ashwood Nurseries. 
There will be a focus on cultivation, including a re-potting demo.
13th March, 2020  7-15 pm
'Tynings Climbers'
Jane Lindsay and Toni O’Connor

Jane and Toni hold collections of Passiflora and Jasminium and after more than 25 years of working with climbers their ambition is to hold the largest collection of climbing plants in the world. 
They exhibit at all the major shows, including our local Chatsworth Show. They promise to share their knowledge of what to select, how to prune and, what’s more, they promise to bring plants for sale.
17th April, 2020
‘York Gate Garden through the Head Gardener's Eyes’
Ben Preston

A brief history of the Garden. The design, layout and the innovative successional planting through the 14 garden rooms. The new developments and extension of York Gate to protect its future.
Ben will also bring the Heritage of York Gate Book, postcards and Perennial greetings cards.

2018 Programme

12th January, 2018    
'Plants with a Purpose: Tudor Gardening at Cressing Temple'
Rebecca Ashbey

Cressing Temple, owned now by Essex County Council, was given to the knights Templar in 1137 and its 13th century Barley and Wheat Barns are among the oldest timber barns and few surviving Templar buildings in England. The walled garden is faithfully reconstructed as a Tudor pleasure garden. Rebecca is the horticulturalist there and her talk will be a mixture of Tudor gardening, plants and folklore and the way it is represented at Cressing, the walled garden and the plants she grows.
9th February, 2018
‘The Land of Condors and Monkey Puzzles- an Adventure in the High Steppe of Argentinian Patagonia’
Helen Picton and Ross Barbour

Helen has previously visited us to talk about the splendid Aster collection which she now co curates with her husband Ross at The Picton Gardens and Old Court Nurseries in Worcestershire. 
Her visit to us was so appreciated that we have requested an encore and she will be accompanied, this time, by Ross Barbour, himself a distinguished horticulturalist.
9th March, 2018
AGM (Note 7.15pm start)
'Gardening with Trees in the 21st Century’
Tony Russell

Tony is a BBC garden writer and broadcaster, former Head Forester of Westonbirt Arboretum and editor of the annual publication 'Gardens to visit'. He is also a very well known lecturer and author and has consulted on projects for the National Trust, for the Berkeley family, owners of Spetchley Park and for Tom Hart-Dyke at Lullingstone Castle's World Garden. 
We are delighted that he has agreed to visit us in Nottingham.
13th April, 2018    
'Plants for the Connoisseur'
Simon Gulliver

In 1995 Simon left his job in IT to study horticulture at Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. For one year he worked as a horticulturalist for Plant Heritage then moved to Birmingham Botanic Gardens as Area Supervisor. He was promoted to Plant Records Officer in 2005 then Plant Collections manager. While there, he built up a reputation as a lecturer in diverse topics as horticulture, plant identification, botany and taxonomy and biodiversity. 
Since 2014 he has been a Garden and Parks Consultant for the National Trust, working with over 30 National Trust gardens in the Midlands, Lancashire and Cheshire.
14th September, 2018 
Colin Ward
Making a welcome return to open the 2018-2019 talk season is Colin Ward of Swines Meadow Nursery, Market Deeping near Peterborough. Colin has delighted us before by the quality of both his lectures and of the plants he brings to sell. His nursery is rapidly becoming the go-to place for exciting new plant introductions as well as tried and tested favourites. He and his staff hosted a Nottingham HPS outing last year and gained many new friends with both the calibre of his stock and of his hospitality.
12th October, 2018  
‘Pin me to the wall - and do what you want with me’ (How to choose and manage climbers and wall shrubs)
Andrew Mikolajski
Andrew is a horticultural consultant, writer and speaker who lives in Long Buckby, Northamptonshire and has been recommended to us by the Newtown Linford Gardening Club, Leicestershire. He has had a long career as a garden author, notably in the new edition of the RHS A-Z Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants. He gives talks at RHS shows, the Cottage Garden Society and many gardening groups and has taught garden design, RHS certificate courses and garden history at the English Gardening School.
9th November, 2018 
‘The Therapeutic Effects of Gardening’
Cleve West 

We are delighted to host Cleve, who will speak on ‘The Therapeutic Effects of Gardening’ He is a leading Landscape Designer, Best in Show winner at Chelsea and generally sound man. His talk arises from his own personal beliefs and passions around the activity and ethics of gardening. He limits his public speaking and T.V engagements to concentrate on his core task of making beautiful gardens and we are grateful that he has agreed to be included in our programme this year. Not to be missed!
14th December, 2018
‘The Conservation Scheme’
Jan Vaughan

A quick heads up about our Christmas party, which will be attended by Jan Vaughan, national HPS Conservation Scheme co-ordinator and nominee for National Chair. She will give a short presentation on ‘The Conservation Scheme’ and be available for Q and A’s.

2017 Programme

10th February, 2017
‘The Fossil Garden’
Robert Blackhall-Miles, Propagator, Crûg Farm Plants.

Robbie is a plantsman who blends this with a passion for conservation. He owns Fossil Plants, his backyard botanic garden, which houses a collection of early evolutionary plants. His specialism is propagation of rare and unusual plants and he works at the globally renowned Crûg Farm Plants in North Wales.
He is one of a new generation of innovative horticulturalists and is unsurprisingly a fellow of The Linnean Society of London and chairs the Australasian plant Society of the UK. He will talk on the work he has done to develop his Fossil Garden.

10th March,2017 
NOTE - this meeting starts at 7:15pm to allow time for the AGM
 ‘Perennial Pleasures’ 
Andrew Ward. Norwell Nursery near Newark and AGM

Andrew is a much admired gardener and nurseryman and a great friend to many Nottinghamshire gardeners. His own garden is now in the Good Gardens Guide and his work is frequently written up in the gardening press. He has delighted us with his entertaining talks before and when we heard he was developing a new topic, we had to ask him to share it with us.
He will bring some of his early plant beauties to the lecture for sale.
7th April, 2017
‘Mountain Flowers of The Dolomites and How to Grow Them.’ David Charlton
David is another prestigious local horticulturalist and a trustee of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. A career as a lawyer somehow led him to a passion for plants and he is now a keen grower and exhibitor of Alpines. His love of mountain species led him to co-authorship of "Mountain Flowers - the Dolomites" published in 2012 and to leading spring and summer wildflower walks in the region. He will also concentrate in his talk on how to grow these delightful plants.

12th May, 2017
‘Revitalising Vita’
An extraordinary additional meeting to host 
Troy Scott-Smith 
Troy is the first male head gardener at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West's much lauded creation, famous for its succession of outstanding women curators. His previous job was as head gardener at Bodnant in Conwy, a jewel in the National Trust's crown, where he worked for 7 years.

A professional horticulturalist all his working life, he was born in Yorkshire and trained at Askham Bryan College there. He is now a member of the RHS Floral Committee and is considered to be one of the country's most talented senior gardeners, in charge of what is probably one of the best and most famous gardens in the world.

2016 Programme

8th January, 2016 
'The Rose Family of Trees'
Dr. Graham Piearce
The new year begins with a talk from Nottingham's own Dr. Graham Piearce, an HPS member. His talk will cover those trees of the rose family most suited to home gardens, moderate in size and multi-functional by way of flowers, fruit and year-round interest. He will also include local examples from our parks, recreation grounds and street trees around the city.

12th February, 2016 
'Sledmere Gardens through the Year'
Andrew Karavics
We are excited to be hosting Andrew Karavics, the Head Gardener at Sledmere House in East Yorkshire. This garden is gaining increasing prominence for its dynamic development programme and its breathtaking beauty and plantsmanship. Andrew is a passionate and innovative practitioner and this promises to be an exceptional evening.

11th March, 2016 
'Things that turn me on - Confessions of a Plant Freak (My kind of plants, rare, special, neglected, beautiful, in the wild and in cultivation.)'
Nick Macer
A visit from the renowned plantsman, plant hunter and owner of Pan Global nursery in Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, Nick Macer. Nick trained at both The Hillier Gardens in Hampshire and Westonbirt Arboretum before starting his own nursery. He sells all manner of botanical desirables and will bring pre-ordered plants to Nottingham for this evening. A rare opportunity to acquire something very special for your garden.

8th April, 2016 
'Pictures from a Library Garden'
Brian Ellis
The season ends in April with a talk from Brian Ellis of Avondale Bulbs. Brian is a well-known nurseryman and plant enthusiast and will focus on plants he grows at home in Coventry.

9th September 2016, 2016   
 We are delighted to begin the 2016-2017 season of lectures with a talk by Colin Ward of Swines Meadow Farm Nursery, an independent nursery on the edge of the windswept fens near Market Deeping.  Here Colin has created a microclimate in order to grow a vast range of rare and exotic plants to tempt even the most discerning of gardeners. He is a real plantsman with deep botanical knowledge and vast practical experience. His contribution will be a stimulating start to our year.     

14th October, 2016   
This month we will be visited by John Foley and his partner Kate Lawson, owners of the renowned Holden Clough Nursery in the Ribble Valley at Bolton-by-Bowland.  The nursery was started in 1927, specialising in Alpines but over the years has diversified and extended its range until today where a wide range of species, grown to the highest standards, are available. John and Kate can be seen at many of the annual RHS shows where they have repeatedly won Gold Medals. These are not the only awards John holds as he was voted Young Gardener of the Year on a BBC poll, after a series of televised garden challenges. His topic will be 'Plants for Autumn Colour'.    
11th November, 2016     
We will be hosting Michael Perry this month. Michael is a modern day plant hunter, working for the past 17 years for Thompson and Morgan, the UK's largest mail order plant company. He was recently named as one of the top 20 most influential horticulturalists in the country by the Sunday Times and has appeared on TV and in Social Media, talking about his searches, worldwide, for new plants to make available for gardeners in the UK. He will simply be presenting us with '50 Fab Plants'. Make room for some, if not all, of them!    

9th December, 2016 
The December social event.


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