HPS Kent Top 30 Plants

HPS Kent Top 30 Plants

As 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. (more…)

Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival 2017

Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival 2017

A trio of us from Kent decided to attend the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival this year. The Festival lasts a week and first started in 2012 when ‘Shaftesbury Snowdrops’ decided to make it Britain’s first Snowdrop Town. (more…)
Chelsea 2015: Friday at the show

Chelsea 2015: Friday at the show

Just a short blog today. I will do a blog of reflections on Chelsea after we have broken down tomorrow. Breaking down? the stand and / or us!

Manning the stand is a full on job and several of us are finding that we get rather hoarse and dry throated, partly also due to the pollen from all the plants and the London plane trees around the grounds. This is the ‘Chelsea Cough’ apparently. The stand is generating lots of interest and lovely comments from the public. Hopefully we will have attracted some new members for the HPS.

2015-05-20@17-06-53 8765-320-45The top asked-about plants have changed over the week with Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ with its phenomenally beautiful scent and racemes of whites flowers, geums in general, sarracenias, Tanacetum cocineum and Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’ making it into the top five plants of the day.

We have had to put a sign on the stand saying ‘These plants are not for sale’. Apparently, on Thursday, one enthusiastic lady loaded up her trolley with our ‘For Sale’ plants and asked who she could pay. Shows you how real we had made the story of the stand!


2015-05-20@11-56-33 8406-400-45




Stephen Lacey of the Daily Telegraph has mentioned us in an article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/chelseaflowershow/11618367/Chelsea-Flower-Show-highlights-from-the-gardens.html
(You need to scroll down nearly to the end of the article to find the paragraph about the HPS)

I have had the chance to look around some of the Show recently. I have explored some of the Great Pavilion, the Artisans Gardens, the Show Gardens and the sundries. Plenty of nice or interesting things in all areas and some amusing sights! (blog will follow).

In the meantime, one more day followed by the Break Down and the end of Chelsea 2015 at the showground.

Chelsea 2015 – The Award

Chelsea 2015 – The Award

Well, if you have got to the blog, you probably know we were awarded a Silver-Gilt, which is super. It is a credit to all the hard work which the Chelsea team and HPS Kent members have put in. Lots of people growing plants and helping.

We have had many lovely comments from the public. A couple there today enjoyed the stand very much indeed and whilst the lady was noting down the names of plants he was just intently looking and then said to Karin that it was ‘a little piece of heaven.’

Two Frenchmen, who visited yesterday, said to Cathy Rollinson that ‘it looked as though it had been created with love and it glowed!’

All these lovely comments make us glow as well!DSC00092-320-45 Colin had set high hopes on a Gold and when we got feedback from Neil Lucas, the Chair of our Judging Panel, it mainly came down to size of plants. This is always going to be an issue for us because we grow them ‘hard’ and not in a commercial environment. The only way round this would to be to buy plants in and use fewer varieties. We feel this would not meet our HPS brief, which is to promote hardy perennials and display a wide variety of plants. Since we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves growing and displaying our plants and we have over three hundred different plants in the display, we feel happy! Not all plants are on the plant list of 299 but most are!

On a more positive note we were told that we were almost a Gold and that it was a majority vote for Silver Gilt. A bit of cold comfort but when you think about it, very satisfying that we achieved a solid Silver Gilt especially when we are keen enthusiasts rather than big commercial growers.

As for me, today was my first day not at Chelsea for a week. I was walking the dog this morning, clutching my mobile in hand, awaiting that phone call from Colin! Eventually I texted him at 8.00am to find out that he only had a ticket and not a pass for today so could not enter the Showground until 8.00am. Ali and Barbara had found out before him! Colin was interviewed on Radio Kent again today by Julia George.

Ginny has revamped our web site Chelsea page today. There are links on it to our leaflet, the blog, pictures and the plant list, which both Ginny and I had almost forgotten!

Back up to Chelsea tomorrow on the stand for the early shift, dragging a couple of my boys and a willing friend with me. Should be fun! I will have a chance to see more of the showground and later this week I intend to blog some photos of things, which I have seen and have amused or fascinated me!