s one way to mark the HPS Kent group’s 30th Anniversary in 2018 we asked our members to vote for their personal Top 5 plants. This was not restricted to herbaceous perennials but could encompass the whole range of plants from trees, shrubs, perennials to bulbs and corms. This proved to be a very interesting exercise and quite a challenge. After an initial flurry of Top 5 voting things went very quiet and so we chivied people up and extended the voting period by a month. The main remark from our members was how difficult it was to come up with a definitive Top 5 and that it was liable to change daily! I can well understand this. The other taxing problem was to think about plants from other seasons of the year and not to focus on the current season when you were deciding your Top 5. Personally I tried to vote for plants which either contributed to the garden for a long time or at different seasons throughout the year. Also special plants might be chosen because of a memory or because, for example, they were harbingers of spring.
Voting closed at the end of January and the Top 30 was compiled from the I97 different plants which had received votes.
Thank you to everyone who voted for their own Top 5. I think it is a true reflection on the members’ knowledge and passion for plants that we have such a wide variety of plants voted for. I hope I have done justice to the overall idea.
Rather than publish the whole list in one go we thought we’d have some fun. We’ll announce the first two, that’s numbers 30 and 29, at our Special Spring Meeting on 25th March and then on the website. Thereafter, there’ll be one a day on the website finishing with Number 1 at our meeting on 22nd April. This will coincide with publication of the whole list in the Spring Newsletter.