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

HPS Facebook Page

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

While we are not able to meet or visit other gardens the HPS has created a new companion page on Facebook, Hardy Plant Community, an informal place for sharing your photos, favourite plants, tips or gardening experiences.

You don't have to be an HPS member to join. Click here to visit the page.

Group Events

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, the committee wil make decisions on whether or not to cancel events on a month by month basis. Please check back regularly for the latest news on each event.

The garden visit to John and Brenda Foster's garden in Redisham on 11 April has been cancelled.


Special Lecture: Fergus Garrett, Great Dixter - Designing with Plants

Written by Peter Lyle. Posted in News


Please note that this event is taking place on Saturday 23rd May and not Saturday 18th April as printed in our programme of events

This is a ticketed event also open to the public – bookings in advance. 

Tickets are now available and can either be purchased online here for payments by debit or credit card or by contacting Linda Hall on 01379 641519 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to pay by cash or cheque.

Nurseries present on the day will be Panache Plants (, The Plantsman's Preference ( and Richard Mountstephen Sundries and Plants.


Cost is £3 and must be pre-ordered and paid for in advance

Heinz tomato soup and sandwich £3

Please choose 1 sandwich from following selection:

  1. Roast beef, rocket and horseradish – brown bread
  1. Spicy chicken and romaine lettuce – white bread
  1. Tuna and sweetcorn – brown bread
  1. Cheese and tomato – white bread
  1. Egg mayonnaise and cress – brown bread
  1. Egg mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce on seeded gluten free bread
  1. Roast chicken, tomato and lettuce on seeded gluten free bread