Meetings 2016-17

SEP 9th - ‘Plantsman's Choice’ Colin Ward of Swines Meadow Farm Nursery

Originally an arable and stock farmer, BSE and resulting difficulties made Colin look at his hobby of gardening in a different way. Now, over a decade later, Swines Meadow farm Nursery has grown into one of the UK's most specialised growers of exotic and rare plants. Located on the edge of Market Deeping near Peterborough, the nursery is a haven of plant goodies from around the world each in its own microclimate. Colin, a very knowledgeable plantsman, propagates much of the stock himself and will share his insights and expertise with us in our September meeting.

Dietes grandiflora

OCT 14th - 'Plants for Autumn Colour' John Foley and Kate Lawson of Holden Clough Nursery, Lancashire

Established in 1927, Holden Clough in the Ribble Valley quickly became one of the country's leading Alpine nurseries. Now, nearly 90 years later it continues to prosper and develop. John and Kate have taken over the site from John's father, the well known plantsman, Peter Foley.

Selling not only alpines but new and unusual perennials, shrubs, climbers and much more, the pair are cultivating a reputation for excellence of their own.

John may also be familiar to you from his appearance on BBC's Young Gardener of the Year, which he won in 2012.

The couple and their excellent plants can be regularly seen at the RHS shows where they have won medals, including Gold.

NOV 11th - '50 Fab Plants' Michael Perry, Thompson and Morgan, QVC gardening presenter

Until October, Michael was Thompson and Morgan's New Product Development Manager, scouring the globe for new and innovative products . This ,however, has proved so exciting that Michael has left the company to pursue his travels more extensively.

Dabbling with plants from a very young age, he gradually took over his parents' (and grandparents'!) gardens, enjoying everything from herbs to Hibiscus and raspberries to Rudbeckias.

If you want a fresh view of what plants are available, look no further!

DEC 9th - Christmas Supper with a short talk from Anna Joyce of the Flower Pod project Southwell

Join us for festive food and fun with friends! Anna, who works for Flower Pod, a social enterprise growing and selling cut flowers as part of horticultural training for people with learning disabilities, will describe the project in Southwell which we in HPS Nottingham Group are looking to support.

JAN 13th - ‘Winter Colour in the Garden’ - Michael Myers

Michael is a lecturer at Craven College, Harrogate and talks extensively to groups on a wide range of horticultural topics. He is also the owner of a half acre garden which includes bog plants, shade lovers, a formal rose garden, raised beds, an Alpine house, frames and a small fernery. Oh yes, then there are 150 named snowdrops and 3 National Collections. A man who practices what he preaches! He will speak with real authority on winter colour in the garden.

FEB 10th - ‘The Fossil Garden’ - Robbie Blackhall-Miles

Robbie Blackhall-Miles works with the Natural History Museum and with the Proteaceae of South Africa, also as a propagator for 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.

MAR 10th - ‘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.

APR 7th - ‘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.

MAY 12th - ‘Revitalising Vita’ - 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.