Southern Counties Group

of the Hardy Plant Society

Southern Counties Group

of the Hardy Plant Society


Welcome to the website of the Hardy Plant Society, Southern Counties Group, one of the local groups of the national Hardy Plant Society.  We welcome new members of all ages and gardening experience, from beginners to experts: all you need is to love plants and gardens.  Our particular interest is hardy herbaceous perennials, though our talks cover many aspects of plants and gardens. 

The main feature of our meetings during the winter months is a talk by a well-known or local expert.  Come along as a visitor and you’ll be made very welcome: if you love plants as much as we do, we’re sure you’ll want to join the Group.

During the summer months our members enjoy a programme of garden visits.  Find out more on the About Us page.

Hardy Plant Society - Southern Counties Group Facebook page 

Old Barn Hall in Bookham where we meet

Old Barn Hall

What's New / Coming Up


Happy New Year!  We have updated the Members' programme and public programme with details of our programme from now till Spring 2022.  We restart our programme of talks on Saturday 15th January in the Old Barn Hall.  Please note: Cherrill Sands will speak in January on 'Arts and Craft Gardens' instead of the original speaker.

If you are interested in joining us, please contact our membership secretary on

We have a Gallery for a lovely selection of photos. We have our Gallery - September 2021 - and lots of photos from our members' 3 day coach visit to Shropshire at the beginning of July.  On returning from Shropshire a group of members visited Hambledon House in Hampshire and we have some lovely photos of that too.

Meetings with invited speakers and garden visits


During the winter months (October to April, with the exception of December) we meet and enjoy illustrated talks from local and national gardening speakers but for the time being they are being held on Zoom and may be mid-week.


The Old Barn Hall,
55 Church Road,
Great Bookham
KT23 3PQ

The meetings are on Saturdays, and directions to the venue can be found here.  The venue is accessible for those in wheelchairs and there is a loop system for the hard of hearing.

We usually* open the doors at 10.00am and free tea and coffee are served.  At 10.15am there is a plant sale where you can buy good-quality home-grown plants at very competitive prices.  In addition, there is a range of garden sundries, HPS booklets and second-hand gardening books to buy, and a raffle. 

At about 10.45am, the Chairman will officially start the meeting and a guest speaker will talk for about 1 hour followed by a questions-and-answer session.  The topic will relate to plants and gardens.

Outline programme for 2021 – further details will be added as they become available.  Items with darker green background are members-only.

Wednesday 20th January 7.30pm Zoom talk Patricia Fox, Managing Director, Aralia Gardens Limited will speak on Designing Contemporary Planting Schemes.    
Tuesday 16th February 7.30pm Zoom talk - Steve Edney and Louise Dowle will be talking about ' Our Jungly journey with Exotics' .  
Saturday 13th March
(10.30 am)
10.30 am AGM followed by talk at 11 am by Harvey Stephens on 'Plants Worthy of Garden Merit'.    
Saturday 17th April
(10.45 am) 
Zoom talk  -  'From Cinderella to Princess - three gardens makeover on spaces, plant combinations & surprises' - Laura de Beden.  
Thursday 20th May Visit to Sussex gardens members only
Saturday 22nd May Plant sale - in member's garden in Bookham - see poster on Home Page  
Monday 21st June Half day visit to Surrey garden members only
Sunday 27th June Bookham Open Gardens - click here for more details  
Saturday 3rd - Monday 5th July Three day coach trip Shropshire. Includes return coach travel, 2 nights half board in a hotel with visits to 8 gardens. members only
Thursday 15th July  Half day visit to Hampshire garden members only
Tuesday 3rd August Visit to Berkshire gardens members only
Wednesday 8th September Half day visit to Surrey garden members only
We hope very much to be back in the Old Barn Hall in October with the doors opening at 10.00am.  If that is not possible, the same talks will be given via Zoom.
Saturday 23rd October
(10.00 for 10.45 am)
Talk - “Beyond The Garden Gate: The National Garden Scheme Past & Present”.  Angela O'Connell is Assistant County Organiser NGS (Berkshire) and opens her garden, Oakleigh, under the NGS scheme.  
Plant and bulb sale
Saturday 27th November
(10.00 for 10.45 am)
Talk (followed by a members-only Christmas Party) - Timothy Walker will talk on “Plants, Borders And Gardens”.  "This is a very personal view of modern English gardening and gardens.  I start by looking at some plants from all over the world that deserve to be more widely grown in our gardens.  This is followed by a look at some ways of putting plants together to create borders and finishes with a consideration of what makes plants & borders into a garden.”  
Saturday 15th January
(10.00 for 10.45 am)
Talk - Graham Blunt will speak about “Hardy Exotics From Around The World”.  Graham is the owner of Plantbase Nursery in East Sussex which specialises in exotics.
Plant sale
Saturday 12th February
(10.00 for 10.45 am)
Talk - Annie Godfrey will speak on “A Year At Daisy Roots”.  Annie owns Daisy Roots Nursery in Hertford, Gold Medal winners at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2017 and 2018.
Plant sale
Saturday 12th March
(10.00 for 10.45 am)
AGM followed by Talk - Colin Moat will speak about “In Praise Of Higher Things” - about the wonders and benefits of taller plants in the border and how to use them.  Colin owns and runs Pineview Plants near Sevenoaks with his wife, Cindy.
Plant sale
Saturday 23rd April
(10.00 for 10.45 am)

TalkMatthew Childs will speak about “Gardens are for people and wildlife” - My developing approach to being more sustainable as a garden designer and gardener.
Plant sale


You may also download the SCG 2021 Public Programme using the button below 

The full 2021 programme of talks and garden visits is available in the ‘Members Only’ section of the website.