Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’


The HPS Monmouthshire Group is for people who love hardy herbaceous perennials, shrubs and trees and enjoy sharing their enthusiasm with other likeminded gardeners in the County and beyond.

We are part of a network of 45 local groups throughout the UK which is registered with the National Hardy Plants Society. Our Group is also an Affiliated Society of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).


The President of the HPS is Roy Lancaster and our Ambassadors are Matthew Biggs, Val Bourne, Carol Klein, and Matthew Wilson.

Programme of Events 2021 – 2022

For more details go to Programme page

Breaking News

A series of excellent on-line garden lectures will be presented by the NGS over the next 3 months. Each costs £10 and will last 60-90 mins

Great Dixter: biodiversity in abundance – Tuesday 9th November 7.00pm Fergus Garrett

In at the deep end: a Chelsea garden like no other – The Yeo Valley Garden – Tuesday 23rd November 7.00pm Sarah Mead and Tom Massey

The Sheffield School approach to sustainable planting – Tuesday 7th December 7.00pm Nigel Dunnett and James Hitchmough

More details here https://ngs.org.uk/product-category/online-events/online-talks/


Hello everyone
Our talk in the hall by Rob Evans on ‘The World of Bulbs’, went well and thank you to all of those who were able to join us. We now move on to opening bookings for our second event this month, a Zoom-only talk on Wednesday 27th October at 7.30pm. We are delighted to welcome Troy Scott Smith, the very accomplished head gardener, garden writer and speaker with ‘A tale of three gardens’. As usual, HPS members and non-members are all welcome for what should be an enjoyable and informative session. We really appreciate your support and hope you can join us. Please feel free to forward this invite to your family, friends or your other societies/groups too if you think it could be of interest.  
Troy has recently returned to Sissinghurst Castle in Kent as Head Gardener and has previously worked as head gardener at the privately owned Iford Manor Gardens in Wiltshire and, for the National Trust, at Sissinghurst, Bodnant Garden near Conwy and The Courts Garden in Wiltshire. He has also worked at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney; designed the floral colour spectrum at the Royal Botanic Garden Kew; and became interested in photography and was the RHS professional photographer of the year. He continues to enjoy writing and talking about plants and gardens. However, for Troy it’s having a deep, basic and enduring connection with a garden that is most rewarding. There should be much of interest when he tells us about three wonderful gardens (Sissinghurst, Bodnant and The Courts) and discusses his experience of each and the gardening challenges ahead. There’ll also be time for your questions at the end of the talk, before the raffle is drawn.  
The cost will be £5 per person for national HPS members (of any Local Group or none) and £7 per person for non-members, plus (optional) £1 for each raffle ticket. The funds raised go towards the cost of our speakers and improving our future programme as well as towards our raffle prizes which are mostly garden vouchers, redeemable nationwide.

  • To book your place/s and/or to join our mailing list for monthly updates, please reply to this note asapincluding – if you are an HPS member and haven’t told us already – your group name and membership number where known.
  • Please do not pay until we have confirmed your reservation.  Places are sometimes limited, even on Zoom, so entrance to this online event and the associated raffle will be for those with confirmed and paid bookings only. 
  • We expect to have enough capacity but if oversubscribed, priority in booking will be given to HPS members as usual.
  • In the unlikely event that the talk is cancelled, all those who have paid will be notified by email and, as they prefer, either be refunded or have their payment carried forward to a future meeting.
  • Our talks are not recorded so will not be available if you are unable to attend. 

Meanwhile, Lincolnshire HPS group have asked me to let you know they have a Zoom talk coming up this Saturday, October 16th. ‘Living in a Botanical World. A Small Garden with Big Dreams’ is about Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG), a hidden gem in the heart of the city. Paul Gellatly, TBG’s Director of Horticulture will walk through his first year at the gardens and exciting plans for the future. For more information about this and the rest of their programme, see www.lincolnshirehps.co.uk/speaker-programme  Their booking details are at the bottom of that web page.
Wishing you all well and we hope to see a good number of you online to hear Troy’s ‘A tale of three gardens’ on 27th Oct.

Jacqui, Secretary – Monmouthshire Group, HPS

HPS Monmouthshire Group


Talks by experts from around the UK

Private garden visits

Plant Fairs with exhibits and sales by expert growers and nurseries from Wales, The Midlands and The West Country

Plant and seed exchanges and sales from other members

… and a forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, experience, tips, advice or just plain enthusiasm, all shared over a relaxing cup of tea, cakes and snacks

We meet at

Little Mill Village Hall,

Berthon Road, Pontypool


Ample Parking

Next Meeting
Wednesday, 27th October 2021 7.30pm Zoom

A Tale of 3 Gardens

Troy Scott Smith, Head Gardener Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Troy has recently returned Sissinghurst for a third time, . He is one of the country’s leading head gardeners, learning his craft over 35 years working in some of the best gardens in the UK. Coming from a family of committed naturalists, Troy’s approach is informed by his appreciation of the artistic merits of garden making and gardening with his love and fascination of nature. Head gardener since 1997, Troy has led the renaissance at both Bodnant and Sissinghurst and recently worked at Iford Manor.

His talk will cover his experiences as Head Gardener at Bodnant, The Courts Garden and, of course, Sissinghurst.

The cost will be £5 per person for national HPS members (of any Local Group or none) and £7 per person for non-members, plus (optional) £1 for each raffle ticket.