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 to James and Nicola Smallwood who amazed us with the fantastic varieties of auriculas available to grow at our May meeting. They were truly stunning and it was good to learn how to care for these 'meticulous auriculas' and to have the opportunity to buy them. You can catch up with James and Nicola at RHS Chatsworth at the W and S Lockyer Stand.
Our next meeting is on Monday 3rd June when we welcome Tom Cole to speak on 'Water in the Garden'. Everyone is welcome.
We have just announced the exciting line up of speakers for Passionate About Plants 2020 which will take place on Saturday 4th April at Brunel University. Read out about them here.
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 and you can read more about them below.
Tickets are now available to buy for the event at £29.50 through the secure ticketing site, Ticketsource, 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 June and September meetings.
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.
More information and details of how to buy tickets will be available soon, but, in the meantime, make sure you make a note of the day in your diary.