about usWe love plants! We like looking at them, growing them and talking about them.
find out what we do - then come and join us
The Hardy Plant Society is a national organization, which exists to stimulate interest in growing hardy herbaceous plants.
It has local groups throughout the country of which Kent Group is one.
To find out more visit the website www.hardy-plant.org.uk. Once you are a member of the Hardy Plant Society you are eligible to join any of the local or special interest groups.
We have meetings at venues across Kent, where the main feature is a lecture by a well-known or local expert.
Visits to members’ gardens, private gardens and specialist nurseries feature regularly in the Kent Group programme.
As well as plant sales at meetings we have a bigger plant fair as part of our Special Spring Meeting in March.
These provide opportunities to learn about the many different aspects of gardening with perennials.
All members receive the quarterly Newsletter to keep them informed of Group activities.
Five Area Groups covering various regions within Kent give us a chance to meet members who live close by.
want to know more?
The umbrella organization, under which all the groups work.
Kent Group details
Get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes us tick!
What will it cost?
See what great value for money membership will be.
How do I join?
The all-important form that needs to be filled in.
THE HARDY PLANT SOCIETY AT NATIONAL LEVEL
Membership of The Hardy Plant Society gives members the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities There are Local Groups throughout the country and Specialist Groups cover specific interests such as snowdrops, shade and woodland plants, geraniums and many more. Twice a year, all members receive the journal, The Hardy Plant, which is full of interesting and informative articles. Other publications include a newsletter to keep members informed of the societies activities, and booklets on many plant families. Throughout the year local groups host a range of events for all members and exhibit at many major shows to stimulate interest in hardy plants. Members can take part in the Seed Distribution Scheme, borrow images from the Image Library and help to conserve good garden plants in danger of disappearing from cultivation. All these activities give members an opportunity to meet with other like-minded people and to further their knowledge and enjoyment of hardy plants. Go to the HPS website for full details.
KENT GROUP ACTIVITIES IN A LITTLE MORE DETAIL
Meetings are held at various venues across Kent from September to April, usually in the afternoon on the last Sunday of each month, for members and their guests.
- Venues We have our meetings at different locations across the county, in modern village halls with excellent facilities and car parking.
- Lecture The main feature of each meeting is an illustrated lecture by a well-known or local expert. These cover a wide range of subjects related to plants and gardens. Speakers in the past have included, Roy Lancaster, Bob Brown, Timothy Walker, Tom Mitchell, Bleddyn Wynne-Jones, Rosy Hardy, Derry Watkins and Fergus Garrett. Many of our members are also good speakers with a vast knowledge of the plants we like to grow.
- Plant Sales Members bring plants for sale, keeping 75% of the price with 25% going to Group funds. Members collect their money and any unsold plants at the end of the afternoon. Sometimes speakers also bring plants for sale.
- Sundries Gloves, labels, pens and plant shopping bags are some of the useful items on offer. Members can buy things that no hardy planter can afford to be without at much reduced prices.
- Book Sale This operates in a similar manner to the plant sales. A slip of paper with the name of the vendor and the price required is put into each book, 25% going to Group funds. Members collect their money and unsold books at the end of the afternoon.
- Plant Display A non-competitive display to which members bring plants, cut from their gardens or in pots, relevant to the season or the subject of the lecture or of general interest, for the enjoyment of other members.
- Seed Exchange Members bring any spare seed collected from their gardens to share with fellow members. It should be put in small envelopes, labelled and put in the tin provided.
- Raffle There is usually a raffle, which is drawn after the lecture, with a selection of plants for prizes.
- Teas The ever-popular refreshments, offering tea or coffee and a selection of home-made cakes, follow the lecture while members mingle and make their purchases from the sales tables.
There is an entrance charge for members of £3 per person.
Guests are invited to attend up to two meetings before becoming members. Just introduce yourself to the Membership Secretary at the door and you will be made welcome. The charge is £5 per person. If you would like more details please hit the contact button and talk to us.
Visits to members’ gardens, private gardens and specialist nurseries feature regularly in the Kent Group programme. Some are open visits when everyone can attend and others are restricted to just a small number so that members can talk about the plants in more detail. We somettimes organize a coach trip to gardens and nurseries further afield.
Study Days & Workshops
These provide opportunities to learn about the many different aspects of gardening with perennials. Propagation Days are held to give practical experience of the most suitable methods of propagating a wide variety of plants. Study Days may concentrate on a particular genus, type of plant or subject. Other topics have included plant identification, photography and botanical illustration.
As well as plant sales at meetings we have an Indoor Plant Fair in March as part of our Special Spring Meeting at Lenham Community Centre. It is attended by specialist nurseries, usually about six or seven, offering visitors the chance to buy unusual plants often difficult to get from other sources. Kent Group also has a stall where members can bring plants for sale keeping 75% of the price as at lecture meetings and, as they grow such a vast range of plants, there is always a great variety of plants from which to choose.It is open to the public and visitors can browse the nursery stalls in comfort.
We sometimes repeat this indoor event again in the autumn.
This very popular addition to the Kent Group programme is usually held a week or two before Christmas. The Christmas Meeting is for members only. The current format is morning coffee followed by an informal talk, lunch (provided by members on a bring and share basis) and a light-hearted quiz or, in recent years, the Kent Group version of ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’, finishing up with tea and mince pies. This is an informal, festive event which provides a good opportunity for members to get to know each other.
Smaller Area Groups have been formed within the Kent Group. At present there are five of these groups covering regions around Sevenoaks, Cranbrook, Canterbury, Faversham and Folkestone. The groups are organized by local volunteers and their range of activities varies, depending on the interests and involvement of local members.
Membership of the Kent Group at present stands at about 250.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
The subscription for the main society is £17 for single membership and £19 for joint. Together with Kent Group subscriptions of £7 or £10 that’s a total of just £24 a year for single or £29 for joint membership. If you consider all the activities that will be available to you and the publications you will receive it’s an absolute bargain. Subscriptions for both run from January to December.
HOW TO JOIN
It’s very easy to join us. You need to be a member of The Hardy Plant Society before you can join Kent Group. You can join and pay for the national society online. Unfortunately, Kent Group doesn’t have facilities to pay online so just fill in the form and send it with a cheque or, better still, come to one of our meetings or events where someone will be pleased to help you.
what our members say
If I were to choose one word to describe what I get from being a member of Kent Group it would be INSPIRATION.Ginny
I have learnt so much about plants and their uses, and made many good friends from being a member of the HPS Kent GroupColin
I like being a member of Kent Group because I have found out about so many new plants that I can grow in my garden.Anne
I’m interested in butterflies, birds and all sorts of wildlife but plants are my passion and that’s why I’m a member of HPS Kent Group.Jeremy