Programme 2020/21

New Venue

Meetings from September 2020 will be held at a new venue a few miles from Usk

Little Mill Village Hall,

Berthon Road, Pontypool



All meetings will commence at 2.30pm, unless otherwise indicated.

12th September 14.30

This Year in the Garden at Spring Cottage

Val Bourne

Val is an award winning garden writer, lecturer and organic gardener and a committed plantaholic. She is an Ambassador for the Hardy Plant Society, so please make her very welcome.

Val gardens on the wind-swept Cotswolds at Spring Cottage – high above Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire. Her third of an acre garden is managed without using chemicals – something she has always believed in.

The high Cotswolds is not an easy place to garden, but there’s something to admire throughout the year. Follow a year in Val’s garden, which is an eco-friendly space packed with great plants.

10th October 14.30

The World of Bulbs

Rob Evans

Rob owns and runs Pheasant Acre Plants, an established family business operating from nursery premises near Bridgend in South Wales. He specialises in the supply of Gladioli corms, Dahlia tubers, plugs and plants and bulbs for all seasons and has received Gold Medal Awards for his produce at leading RHS and regional flower shows including the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He sells his produce at the shows and takes orders via the website for delivery direct to customers by mail.

14th November 14.30

Plants That Have Grabbed My Attention

Bob Brown

Bob hardly needs an introduction and we are delighted that he is making a welcome return. Cotswold Garden Flowers is a widely celebrated nursery, run by Bob together with Diana and son Ed, which offers a carefully curated and extensive range of herbaceous perennials and small shrubs, with many rarities and new introductions.   Bob is a widely reknowned plantsman having introduced and discovered many well known cultivars. He continues to extend his encyclopaedic knowledge and contribution toward the world of horticulture, including guest speaking at events and regularly writing for the Which? gardening magazine. Bob has been awarded many acclamations including the very prestigious Gold Veitch Memorial Medal for ‘Recognition of services given in the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture’. He is an engaging and challenging speaker and I guarantee, this will be fun.

Bob will be selling his plants at our Plant Fair in June

12th December 14.30

The Amazing Power of Bees

Bees for Development

Founded in 1993, Bees for Development will give us some fascinating background to the amazing life of bees so we can do more to encourage them into our gardens and perhaps even take up sustainable beekeeping. They will also tell us more their charity’s work around the world. They’re the first organisation to articulate the reasons why beekeeping is such a useful tool for alleviating poverty while helping to retain biodiversity.

Based in Monmouth in the UK, Bees for Development has now worked in more than fifty countries world-wide. In addition to their own projects, they undertake beekeeping project work on behalf of, and provide advice to, the World Bank, United Nations FAO and IFAD, EU, DFID, USAID and other international organisations.

Also in the UK, they have lobbied the local council to reduce verge and hedge cutting, with the enactment of Monmouthshire Pollinator Policy in 2014. They were instrumental in the establishment of the campaigning organisation, Bee Friendly Monmouthshire.

13th February 2021 14.30

Plants First!

Sarah Price

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Sarah to speak at Monmouthshire HPS.

Sarah has rapidly established herself as one of the most prominent and sought-after garden designers in Britain. Drawing on a prior training in fine art and a life-long love of wild and natural environments, her gardens have an immersive quality and are often described as ‘painterly’.

Her designs have collected numerous awards, most notably Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2018 for her M&G Investments Garden and in 2012 for The Telegraph Garden. Sarah is a contributing editor for Gardens Illustrated and also writes for House and Garden and The Telegraph. In 2016 Sarah was awarded Garden Columnist of year by the Garden Media Guild for her monthly series on landscape design.

Sarah and her family live in the house that belonged to her grandparents in Abergavenny.

13th March 14.30 Ticket Only

New Ways With Perennials

Noel Kingsbury

Noel is known internationally as a writer about plants, gardens and the environment. He is now doing an increasing amount of teaching and lecturing, and is also available as a garden/planting designer and horticultural consultant. Best-known for his promotion of what is broadly called an ecological or naturalistic approach to planting design, he has written some 25 books on various aspects of plants and gardens over the years, four of them in collaboration with Dutch designer and plantsman Piet Oudolf.  He has also written for Gardens Illustrated, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Garden, HortusThe New York Times and many other publications.

In recent years he has become increasingly involved in education. His first career in fact was in adult education, and he is passionately interested in improving the way we communicate knowledge and skills within the horticulture and landscape professions. 

There is lots to learn from his engaging blog

10th April 2021 14.30

No Dig

Cherry Taylor

Cherry is not just an enthusiast, evangelist even, but a highly successful practitioner and educator in the No Dig approach to horticulture. She is a strong advocate of the work of Charles Dowding and a passionate environmentalist.. She will explain, through first hand experience in building her beautiful garden and vegetable production at Old Llangattock Farm, the practices and benefits of this now widely accepted approach, something you can experience personally by buying some of her delicious products from Veg Out.

8th May 2021 14.30

American Plants in the Flower Garden

Graeme Moore

Graeme is a garden designer and historian. He trained in horticulture at Cannington College, Somerset and Writtle College, Essex, and studied art history and literature at the University of Essex. Following early experience in the gardens on Garinish Island, Co Cork, designed by Harold Peto, he developed an interest in houses and gardens of the 1890s and early 1900s. He lectures and writes about their designers and the people who employed them, and their conservation and management.

He became well known for his ‘Herbe Gardens’ made by sculpting grass into intricate often classical patterns by cutting it short through long. This can be seen in his work at The Old School Dunsyre which is where he started his interest in combining American native plants into Italianate garden design.

In recent years American garden design has been championed by the design practices like that of Oehme and van Sweden who popularised the New American Garden style which celebrates the splendour of the American meadow while promoting its inherent ecological, sustainable, aesthetic, and ornamental values. This design practice has recently opened its first garden in the UK at the American Museum at Claverton Manor outside Bath

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