Welcome to the website of the Hardy Plant Society, Middlesex Group, one of the local groups of the national Hardy Plant Society. We are a friendly group - both of experienced gardeners and enthusiastic newcomers - but we all share an interest in hardy, herbaceous, perennials and enjoy discovering more about how to grow and display these beautiful and varied plants in our gardens.
We meet regularly, usually on the first Monday on every month at Field End Junior School, Field End Road, Eastcote. We have a varied Programme of Speakers, as well as plants for sale at our meetings. We also visit gardens, shows and other places of horticultural interest and we organise three Public Plant Sales each year. You can find out more on the Trips and Plant Sales page.
New members are always assured of a warm welcome, so why not come along and join us?
We are social! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram
Thank you so much to Paul Harrison for stepping in at short notice to replace our June speaker who was unfortunately taken ill at the last minute. Paul shared with us his list of '50 Herbaceous Perennials Every Garden Must Have' and gave us lots of ideas for our own gardens.
We were particularly grateful to Paul for making the journey from Essex given that he'd been heavily involved in organising the Open Garden Scheme in his local village the previous weekend.
We were delighted he was able to bring plants for sale with proceeds of over £600 from the weekend and the sales at our meeting going to the Farleigh Hospice in Essex.
Tickets are now on sale for Passionate About Plants 2020 which will take place on Saturday 4th April at Brunel University, Uxbridge. We have an exciting line up of TV celebrity speakers and specialist nurseries. Purchase tickets and find out more here.
We have no meetings in July and August. Our next meeting is on Monday 2nd September: Acers and Improving Soil Condition - George Lockwood.
Here is the HPSMG Constitution which was approved at the Annual General Meeting held on 4th March 2019.
Prada Rustica -‘love stone, create stone’
I started hand-crafting ‘stone-effect’ planters as a relaxing, therapeutic venture for myself and a fundraising initiative for my then school-aged daughter to fund a charitable challenge to build school out-buildings in Africa. Unexpectedly, the planters proved so popular, planted-up with my own planting combinations, I had to continue to make them; thus my small business, ‘PradaRustica’, was born. I now sell from home or at local markets and fairs.
For me the planters reflect the rugged Lakeland stone walls and traditional stone troughs of my native Cumbria as well as the iconic Italian tufa stone buildings of ancient Rome and the elegant tufa stone features which still adorn the classical gardens of Italy, the country where my husband’s grandfather originated. These influences have inspired my love of stone and my love to ‘create stone’, needless to say on a much smaller scale! Indeed, you may already know about the similar materials I use to create a form of ‘hyper-tufa’, probably made most famous by Geoff Hamilton for his viewers to ‘have a go’ at creating their own Alpine troughs.
I create my planters to attain a traditional, natural stone-effect, at a fraction of the cost of real stone, which I then plant-up with my own planting combinations. These include my own favourite Alpines and hardy plants, which I admire for defying the harshest of times, together with the fleeting beauty of seasonal plants which simply live for the moment.
My small business venture therefore started as a short-term fundraising and therapeutic adventure, but has turned into the long-term small business of ‘PradaRustica’ which continues to give therapeutic value and charitable donations. Each unique planter has been designed and individually hand-crafted by me to resemble natural stone, creating a blend of elegant form and traditional rustic country-style. Having already been ‘cured’ for 28 days the planters are created to weather outdoors over time or to provide a naturalistic indoor planter. The porous material provides excellent aeration and drainage for plants to thrive in a naturalistic environment.
Brenda Prada - HPSMG Group Secretary
We are pleased to announce that Passionate About Plants 2020 will take place on Saturday 4th April at Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge UB8 3PH
Passionate About Plants is HPS Middlesex's biannual flagship event where we offer an exciting day of celebrity gardening speakers and unusual plants for sale from specialist nurseries. For 2020, we have moved the event to a new venue at Brunel University which will give us more space and enable us to provide a better experience.
We have four TV Gardening Celebrity Speakers - Nick Bailey, Katie Rushworth, Toby Buckland and Andy McIndoe - read more about them below. We will also have plants for sale from several specialist nurseries, including Daisy Roots, Moore and Moore, Pineview Plants, Edulis, Home Farm Plants, The Plant Specialist and our very own HPS Middlesex.
The day starts from 8.15am through to 4.45pm and you are asked to take your seats by 9.15am for the start of the celebrity talks.
The venue is fully accessible. There are over 1,000 free parking spaces and it is also easily reachable by public transport by a short bus ride (U2, U3 and U7) from Uxbridge tube station (Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines). More information on getting to Brunel University is available here.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and are now available to buy for the event at £29.50 through the secure ticketing site, Ticketsource, using the link below or through the dedicated booking line on 0333 666 3366
Members are also able to take advantage of an Early Bird discount price of £27.50 at our September meeting.
Nick is best known as a presenter on BBC's Gardeners' World but he is also a freelance horticulturalist, best-selling author, award-winning TV presenter, garden designer and speaker and was a former Head Gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden. His second book ‘365 Days of Colour in your Garden’ was published in 2015 and has been an Amazon best seller ever since. He has designed and managed gardens in the UK, Spain, South Africa and Australia and created his first Main Avenue Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower show in 2016 for which he received a Silver Gilt Medal.
Katie is part of the successful presenting/gardening team from ITV’s Love Your Garden. Now in its ninth series the show is proving very popular with the primetime audience. Katie is a fun northern girl from Yorkshire and has been self employed as a gardener and garden designer for over 6 years - running her own business The Queen of Spades. Her enthusiasm for gardening comes across clearly for all to see on the ITV show. She has excellent plant knowledge and a great eye for design, function and beauty.
Best known for presenting BBC Gardeners’ World and coverage of RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Toby also writes regularly for Amateur Gardening magazine and has penned five gardening books, including Flowers: Planning & Planting for Year-Round Colour. He is known for his horticultural insight, irreverence and passion for plants - the love of which he shares at his annual Garden Festival at Powderham Castle and every Sunday on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio Devon.
With over 40 years' experience Andy McIndoe is a regular contributor to a number of magazines, blogs and BBC Radio. He lectures to gardening groups and societies at home and abroad and leads gardening tours. During his long career with Hillier Nurseries he was responsible for the development of the Company’s chain of garden centres and for 25 consecutive Gold Medal winning exhibits at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He was awarded the prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal by the RHS in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the science and practice of horticulture.