Meetings 2014-15

12 September - 'Modern Gardening Myths' - Dr Ken Thompson

Dr. Thompson has been a senior lecturer in Plant Ecology at Sheffield University for over 20 years where the science of gardening has become of great interest to him. He has written widely on the subject, acted as consultant to many horticultural bodies, including the RHS and is an admired speaker. We have persuaded him to give the lecture he gave as part of a series at RHS Wisley entitled "Some Modern Gardening Myths."

Whether you know a lot about gardening or are just starting on the road, this will be a fascinating talk.

Ken writes regularly for The Telegraph - read his latest piece here.

10 October - 'Adventures with Strange Perennials' - Julian Sutton

Julian is a plantsman specialising in herbaceous perennials who holds a large collection of rare and interesting specimens at his nursery “Desirable Plants” in Totnes, Devon. His list is wide and mouth-watering. He has a special interest in South African flora.

Anyone who has visited the Loughborough Alpine Garden Society shows will have been tempted by the glorious plants he displays for sale there. He is also a much sought-after speaker at HPS, Plant Heritage, AGS and other ‘planty’ groups.

14 November - 'Daisy Days' - Helen Picton

Helen is part of the third generation of the family-run business ‘The Picton Garden and Old Court Nurseries' set up in 1906 and specialising in breeding and growing Michaelmas Daisies (autumn flowering Asters). The nursery was established by Ernest Ballard and bought by Percy Picton when Ballard died in 1952. Paul, Percy’s son, joined him in the 1960's and, having gained a First in Botany at the University of Reading, Helen is now part of this distinguished enterprise.

We are very excited to be able to include her on our schedule of lectures.

12 December - “My Favourite Plant” - Maurice Flynn - and Christmas Party

As well as the usual food, drink and chat, some members of Nottingham HPS will be giving short talks or presentations on “My Favourite Plant”.

The event will be opened by Maurice Flynn, newsreader from the BBC’s East Midlands Today, gardener and plantsman.

9th January - ‘Winter into Spring’ - Julie Ritchie

Julie is half of the team who run Hoo House Nursery near Tewkesbury, one of the select group of good nurseries in Gloucestershire. Those who attended last year’s AGM at Pershore College will have been tempted by her plant stall, offering a wide range of perennials and alpines, grown in the open and conditioned for garden success. Julie raises plants too, usually bearing the name of Ritchie family members.

13 February AGM and 'A Garden for All Seasons' - Diane Clement

Diane is a superb gardener, growing cyclamen, galanthus, hepaticas and many other Hardy Plants in her garden in the West Midlands. She writes the ‘Midlands Gardener’s Diary’ for the Alpine Garden Society which is a wonderful record of the process of raising many different types of plants from seed. Diane is also Director of the Seed Exchange.

This talk concentrates on her own garden, brought to life by her excellent photography.

13 March 'Where the Wild Things Are' - Tom Mitchell

We are celebrating our Ruby Anniversary and will have a display of the early days of the Nottingham Group, how we began the Plant Directory (which became the Plant Finder) and also the story of our Botanic Garden.

Tom studied Biology at Cambridge to PhD level and dreamed of becoming a plant hunter. Instead he spent 14 miserable years as a City Banker before leaving to set up Evolution Plants in Bradford-on-Avon. His mission is to seek out and introduce to cultivation the widest possible range of temperate plant species, growing them from seed collected in the wild. His ambition is to inspire enthusiasm for better, more interesting and more exciting garden plants. You can read about his exploits and discoveries in his contributions to ‘The English Garden’ magazine.

His talk will be a personal selection of wild plants that are great for use in gardens.

10 April - 'Stories About Plants' - Dr Patrick Harding

Patrick, Naturalist and Author, enjoyed over 25 years as a university lecturer in Sheffield, but also worked more widely in adult and continuing education. He is now a freelance broadcaster and author, having written 8 books and appears on such programmes as ‘The Flying Gardener’ and ‘Richard and Judy’! As a botanist, he is interested in Britain’s wild flowers and native trees. He is especially concerned with the scientific basis behind the medicinal (and other) uses of plants, a topic covered in his book ‘Patrick’s Florilegium’ He will entertain us with the secret lives of plants in this delightful talk.

8th May - Botanic Garden open in the evening

To tempt you with a glimpse of next season's speakers, we are happy to confirm that Anne Wareham of Veddw House Garden in Monmouthshire, author of 'The Bad Tempered Gardener' and general iconoclast will join us in conversation about gardening, conservation, aesthetics and the creation of a startlingly lovely garden at Veddw in November 2015.

Dr. Graham Piearce, one of our own regular members, will talk in Jan 2016 on ‘The Rose Family of Trees’, those most suited to home gardens, moderately sized and multifunctional by way of flowers, fruit and year-round interest. He will also include local examples from our parks, recreation grounds and street trees around Nottingham. Not to be missed, whatever the weather!