Summer Social at Fullers Mill, West Stow, Suffolk

Written by Irene Tibbenham. Posted in News

Summer Social at Fullers Mill, West Stow, Suffolk, Thursday 6th August

After a truly sizzling day of high temperatures, twenty-nine of us spent a chilled evening armed with a picnic and prosecco at the secluded plantsman’s garden of  Bernard Tickner, nestled in the wooded area around the River Lark.  In characteristic fashion, the sales table, full of unusual and rare ‘gems’ propagated on-site, was surrounded by people passionate about plants and eager to support Perennial, a charity supporting people in horticulture; alongside visitors who’d sacrificed watching the 2nd Day of the Test match between England and Pakistan on TV, for this excellent cause.

Staff and volunteers from Fullers Mill provided sanitised, socially-distanced tables under the welcome shade of trees, seemingly pruned for this very task.  A trustee from Perennial delivered a talk describing the history and aims of the charity, sandwiched between visitors’ multiple excursions made to various parts of this tranquil water garden, which clearly was not suffering water stress - thanks to the high water table - which many of our gardens were currently enduring at this time.

Conversations around Covid-19’s impact dominated much of the discussions, with many of us grateful to be amongst familiar friends, and thankful to be living here.

Irene Tibbenham



Garden Visit: Tyger Barn, Toft Monks, 11th July

Written by Jan Oakley. Posted in News

Twenty-Five members and guests were warmly welcomed by Julianne Fernadez to her lovely garden on a bright and breezy July afternoon. This was a much belated first garden visit of the season and all the more welcome because of the late start.

Tyger Barn is close to Beccles, situated in an elevated position which leaves the garden somewhat exposed to easterly gales as Julianne explained. The garden was created by Julianne to blend into the surrounding meadow and ancient woodland, using the Japanese concept of shakkei or borrowed landscape. There are a number of distinct areas in the garden with a mixture of herbaceous borders, sheltered courtyards and a wild flower meadow which a plethora of butterflies and bees were enjoying.

The herbaceous borders meander around the garden in a relaxed and informal river of colour and texture with the wild flower meadow in the centre. It was lovely to wander around the garden, albeit at a social distance, with our fellow members catching up on all their news.

Jan Oakley

The Purple Border

The Secret Garden

The Courtyard

Wild Flower Meadow

Herbaceous Border


Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

Collections of colchicum, narcissus, crocus, erythronium, sternbergias and many other bulbs and plants. 
We cannot offer any refreshments but please bring food with you if you wish, and sit in the garden.
John and Brenda Foster, Gable House, Redisham, Beccles NR34 8NE
01502 575298

HPS Facebook Page - The Gardening Bubble

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

To all Hardy Plant Community Group members - an important message from the Admin.

We started this Group ( at the beginning of lockdown with the aim of providing a friendly, supportive, online community where everyone - not just Hardy Plant Society members - could share their love of their gardens and plants. It has proved to be very successful – more than we dared hope - we now have over 800 members and have enjoyed lots of lovely posts and photos from you over the last few months.

As lockdown is easing, we now feel that it is the right time to extend the scope of the Group to cover all aspects of gardening and plants, including their impact on wildlife, the environment, and our health and wellbeing, and the challenges of climate change and increasing biodiversity. We also want the Group to reflect the many different ways people live and garden today, whether they have a large or small garden, a courtyard or allotment or just a couple of pots on a balcony.

We know too that there are a lot of different gardening groups, organisations and events out there and we’d like to develop the Group as a space where everyone can share what is happening in their local area and more widely – a one stop shop for all things garden.

We do hope that hardy planters will continue to use their expertise to support the wider gardening community and that we will be able to reach new people, some of whom may only have come to gardening through lockdown.

And last but not least, we’ll be renaming the Group and our Instagram page to reflect the future direction - ‘The Gardening Bubble’.

Thank you for all your support so far,

Diane and Lorraine

Indoor Meeting: Talk by Annie Godfrey "Some Like it Hot"

Written by Susan Hall. Posted in News

Saturday, 8th  February 2020


Annie Godfrey's nursery, 'Daisy Roots', in Hertford specialises in hardy perennials and grasses. She has won Gold Medals at both Chelsea and Hampton Court for her drought tolerant displays.

Annie explained the varied methods by which plants adapt to survive in drought conditions. Pictures of two well known dry gardens, at Beth Chatto's and Hyde Hall showed plants such as Lavender and Santolina growing in low humps which protects from wind and with small leaves to reduce transpiration.

A covering of white hairs reflect the sun's rays A good example of this is Salvia argentea with leaves smothered in cuddly fur. A waxy bloom reduces water loss and succulents store water to use in case of drought. Some Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary, fennel and sage have oils in their leaves which burn fast and enables them to regenerate following a fire. Root systems are another drought buster so bulbs are generally dormant during the hottest weather and deep rooted plants such as Verbascums can access water from low down.

We were treated to lovely pictures of plantings in Annie's own garden and in those of her clients. Each picture included a useful list of the featured plants and Annie gave details of planting and care.

It is hard to imagine that we will need drought tolerant plants after the excessively wet winter we have endured but this is what climate change threatens and Annie's talk enthused us all with the wonderful variety of suitable plants.


Indoor Meeting: Talk by Andrew Ward "Plants that Excite"

Written by Linda Hall. Posted in News

Saturday, 14th March 2020

Dr Andrew Ward, Norwell Nurseries & Gardens ( spoke to our group on “Plants that Excite!” although he said the title should probably be “Plants that Excite Me!”  The talk was educational and entertaining coupled with wonderful anecdotes and touching reminiscences.  Andrew had helpfully handed out a list of plants he would be talking about, most of which are available through his nursery, so note-taking was a pleasure – the full list is below but here are some notes of just a few:-

Corydalis elata – coral stems with lime green foliage.  It has a scent – like a freshly creosoted fence!

Codonopsis clematidea – A real beauty, take a look inside the flowers, like a kaleidoscope.

Meconopsis punicea – 4” red petals like crinkled silk.  Six weeks of exquisiteness.

Ribes speciosum – arching canes of red flowers which came through the winter of 2010.  No scent.  Come September/October it loses its foliage but by November it is completely re-clothed.

Lobelia ‘Red Compliment’ - silvery hairy stems deter moluscs.  Red flowered plants tend to be pollinated by birds.

Geum ‘Rubin’ - flowers double/triple those of ‘Mrs Bradshaw’.

Potentilla ‘William Rollinson’ - flamboyant, not often seen.

Hemorocallis ‘Frans Hals’ - suffered no-ill effects from standing in water during recent winter flooding.

Geranium aristatum – been 20 years in the same position in his garden.  A bit flouncy, swept back petals. Regency colours. Andrew thinks it should be of the aristocracy.

Geranium renardii – textured, beautiful leaf.  Front of sunny border.  Parent of G. ‘Phillippe Vapelle’.

Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’ - result of 10 year breeding programme by Rev. Oliver Folkard and named after his wife.  Grow in through Artemisia ‘Powys Castle’.

Corydalis ‘George Baker’ - great planted with Lysimachia ‘Fire Cracker’

Narcissus bulbocodium ‘Golden Bells’ - don’t bother with straight bulbocodium, go for named varieties.

Andrew concluded his talk by saying we ought to appreciate the stalwarts of our gardens.  It is wonderful to go into the garden every day and notice new start, new hope and excitement.


He circulated a hand-out of plants he would be talking about, most of which are sold by his nursery:-

Delphinium Bell. “Volkerfrieden”

Salvia “Caradonna”

Veronica “Kapitan”

Corydalis flexuosa

Corydalis elata

Phlox “Chattahoochee”

Codonopsis clematidea

Meconopsis “Lingholm”

Meconopsis punicea

Embothiium cocc. “Norquinco”

Ribes speciosum

Loblia “Red Compliment”

Lobelia tupa

Achillea “Red Velvet”

Geum “Rubin”

Potentilla “Etna”

Potentilla thurberi “Monarchs Velvet”

Potentilla tonguei

Potentilla “William Rollinson”

Crocosmia “Lucifer”

Crocosmia “Jackanapes”

Iris sibirica “Blauweismotte”

Iris “Frans Hals”

Hemereocallis “Frans Hals”

Hemerocallis “Corky”

Hemerocallis “Catherine Woodberry”

Hemerocallis “Mauna Loa”

Hemerocallis “Night Beacon”

Geranium phaeum “Langhorns Blue”

Geranium phaeum album

Geranium phaeum “Rose Madder”

Geranium phaeum “Samobor”

Geranium aristatum

Geranium “Mrs Kendall Clarke”

Geranium pratense “Roseum”

Geranium renardii

Geranium “Phillippe Vapelle”

Geranium “Anne Folkard”

Geranium lambertii

Leucanthemum “Phyllis Smith”

Agapanthus “Margery Fish”

Dactylorhiza fuchsii

Dactylorhiza foliosa

Hedychium gardnerianum

Corydalis “George Baker”

Primula sibthorpii

Narcissus “Golden Bells”

Leucojum “Gravetye Giant”

Lathyrus vernus “Alboroseus”

Erythronium “White Beauty”

Erythronium revolutum

Erythronium “Pagoda”

Muscari paradoxum

Adenophora tashiroi