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. 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! The other taxing problem was to think about plants from other seasons of the year and not to focus on the current season when deciding the Top 5.

Once the votes were in a list of the final Top 30 was compiled and we then published the list one at a time on the website with a short description and information. Number 1 was unveiled at our April meeting.

Below you can find a link to the post for each of the Top 30.

A tiny treasure

.And so we come to Number 1. The plant that has been chosen by more members than any other to be in their Top 5 ‘Couldn’t-Do-Without Plants’ is . . .

Sweet daphne

As I walk towards the Winter Garden I detect a slight scent on the air, which makes me catch my breath.

a giant of a grass

After flowering the panicles fade slightly in colour but remain looking great right into the winter when the stems can be cut down.

What about a Rozanne river?

The bowl-shaped flowers are blue to violet-blue, depending on age and exposure to sunlight, with a white centre.

Growing together

It is for these coloured flowers that we grow the plant so might this give us a reason to like the new name?

A fair maid of february

One of the best; a classic all-rounder; the finest snowdrop; unquestionable constitution; admired by everyone, are some of the qualities of this snowdrop.

Beautiful Betula

I imagine they have the same effect in the garden, catching the winter sunshine

Fair winds from Argentina

The feature which is often mentioned is its airy habit, which makes it a beautiful plant in its own right or a see-through screen.


Suddenly, in the last hot, dusty, worn-out days of summer, the fresh flowers spring from the ground and we know that damper, cooler days are on the way.

The peak of perfection

Individual flower heads are a lovely bright lavender-blue with yellow centres and cover the plant for months from July to October.

‘Some call them also Snowdrops’

Stories, legends and superstitions abound and snowdrops seem to be woven into our culture so it is not surprising that this tiny white flower, which blooms in winter, has made its way into our Top 30.

You need hands!

Carl Thunberg, who travelled in Japan in the late 18th century, gave it the species name palmatum, describing the hand-shaped leaves.