Hardy Plant Society (Middlesex Group)

Newsletter HPS - May 2021


A very cold, dry April and now a very wet May have set us all extra challenges with our plant propagations and in our gardens, but as gardeners we are always forever optimistic of better weather and better blooms ahead. The good news is that we have another Zoom Talk arranged which you can join from the comfort of your own homes whatever the weather throws at us in June. The details are:

Darren Lerigo at Modern Mint – Zoom Talk
Tuesday, 8 June from 7.00 pm
‘A Very British Garden’
Ideas for plants that suit a British garden

Darren has extensive experience, giving over 50 talks per year, as well as speaking at Blenheim Palace and The National Flower Show, running topiary workshops, leading garden tours and for EBKA giving the Ted Hooper Memorial Lecture.

Zoom Link for 8th June Talk for HPSMG Members will be sent by email.


We still have places available for the two HPSMG trips. Those of you who have already emailed us should have received an acknowledgement email registering your interest and will have a place. We are currently working to set up an on-line PayPal payment mechanism for trips and will let members know when it is up and running for payments. Meantime, if anyone else would still like to put their name down please email us your interest and the following information by 11 June to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Let us know:
• Which trip, and for how many people, you would like to book
• For Wisley: Do you want a place on the community bus?
• For Wisley: Are you an RHS member? If you let us know, this will reduce your booking fee as there is FREE entry to Wisley for RHS members.

Church Gardens, Harefield: Wednesday 14 July 2021 at 10.30 am. Entrance £10, includes cake and refreshments. Members will need to use their own cars or public transport for this trip. By CAR: follow the postcode UB9 6DU to Church Hill and enter down through the height restriction barrier into St Mary’s Church car park or outside the church. By BUS: No 331 and U9 buses to Church Hill Stop, then a 2 minute walk. We can all meet at the entrance in good time for a 10.30 am start. https://www.churchgardens.co.uk/copy-of-visit-us

RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show: Wednesday, 8 September 2021. Group visit for up to a maximum of 15 people traveling on a community bus @ £10 per head; or you may prefer to drive yourself and we can all meet there GU23 6QB. In addition, entry is £12.20 per person for non-RHS members but RHS members receive FREE entry and can take a plus one in free. Therefore, if you are an RHS member please let us know for booking purposes. https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley/RHS-Garden-Wisley-Flower-Show

A reminder that we are aiming to start meetings again in September 2021
with the following Speaker Programme.

HPSMG Group Speaker Programme for 2021 (COVID Restrictions Allowing)

    SEPTEMBER 6th:  Dr Brenda Harold: ‘How Plants Control Animals’  
  OCTOBER 4th: David Hurrion: ‘Pruning’ or ‘The World of Plants in Our Back Gardens’ or ‘Designing to Conceal Unwanted Views and Buildings’ (email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your preferred topic choice). David Hurrion 
  NOVEMBER 1st: Bob Brown: ‘Plants Grow in Dirt’  Bob Brown
  DECEMBER 6th: Val Bourne: ‘Roses and Peonies’: A Marriage Made in Heaven – The December Group meeting will include a Christmas social of mulled wine and mince pies (subject to COVID restrictions at the time).  Val Bourne w300

Notes from Adam Pasco Talk: If anyone would like a copy of Brenda’s typed-up notes from the Adam Pasco talk earlier this year, please let us know and we will forward them to you. Some of the plants have been looked up on the RHS website and have added information. They are, however, informal notes so there will be some omissions but if you would like a copy of the notes please email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Brian’s Plant Stall: We have all missed Brian’s plant stall which will be at Pinner Village Show 2021 in Pinner Memorial Park on Saturday 11 September 2021 from 11.30 am to 5.00 pm (subject to government COVID restrictions at the time). https://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/page.php?PgID=836413&ClubID=827

Conservation Scheme Plant: Brenda Armstrong-Prada’s Conservation Scheme Plant May 2021 – Arabis alpina subsp. Caucasica ‘Arctic Joy’ (v)

Arabis alpina This Arabis was apparently introduced in 2010 for its unusual variegated form of a popular plant. It is a compact clump-forming evergreen perennial. Height 30cm x 40 cm. White, cruciform flowers borne in clusters from April to May. Evergreen lanceolate, grey-green leaves with cream edge. Prefers neutral to alkaline, free draining soil in full sun or part-shade and is suitable for border edge, rock garden or trough. I planted the Arabis at the edge of my border which is in full sun. However, I have heavy clay soil and although I add grit it seems only to be surviving and not really thriving. It has though grown and spread about twice its original size and flowers each spring. I don’t want to disturb it too much so I am going to leave the plant where it is and take semi-ripe cuttings to try to grow on in one of my pots with free-draining soil where it might hopefully be happier and thrive enough to one day share with friends. Please let us have any up-dates and/or photographs by email of your Conservation Scheme plants for future HPSMG Newsletters.

That’s all from us at HPSMG for the time being. Meanwhile, we hope to see as many members as possible on our next members’ Zoom Talk with Darren Lerigo on Tuesday, 8 June from 7.00 pm.

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Website: www.hpsmiddlesex.org.uk 
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.