Thursday, 4 December 2008


Yum yum yum. It's been a bumper week for nice garden print arriving. 

First Hortus, the wickedest gardening magazine there is. Then Garden History, the journal of the Garden History Society, and today the Hardy Plant Society seed list. 

It's a very staying-in time of year, and it's rather staying-weather as well, so it's very nice to have something good to read. 

I always find myself almost unable to read it because the paper's so creamy, the spine is so pristine; but I really enjoyed David Wheeler's musings on crocosmias and day-lilies; and Hugh Johnson's account of judging Bulb of the Year made me smile because I was there, championing the Camassia. (I didn't win though.) I also loved the sweet piece about hybrid teas and their fans, because they remind me of my childhood. 

I am going to be rude, though, about the "Eros toi Sofia" article, telling the history of a great Ukrainian garden. The garden bit was great. But after twenty pages I was slightly bored of Felix and Sophie, and utterly horrified to read at the end:  "Parts Two, Three and Four will appear over the next three issues." YAWN! I am tempted to ask for a refund...

Garden History
It smells soooo good. 

Three really interesting things in here this quarter:

Johnny Phibbs on "the viewpoint" in eighteenth century gardens. Love him, love his viewpoints

Anne Helmreich on Edwardian gardens for health. She wrote a really intriguing book a few years ago about English national identity and gardens; this is all about fresh air and boisterous exercise to keep body and mind in good shape. Very interesting. 

Scott Zona on the horticultural history of the date palm. Brilliant. And dates are very christmassy. 

Lastly then: 

HPS Seed list
Okay, here's the thing. If you aren't a member, you need to be a member. Firstly, it has the best magazine ever. Really really good. Not like the slightly random mags you get from the Fuchsia Soc et al. 


Come on fill in your application form right now
Let me give you some highlights:
  • six different species of Angelica, including gigas, taiwaniana, and ursina. 
  • five weird and tempting sounding Bupleurums
  • twenty different Dieramas (don't bother: they will take forever, but that's not the point)
  • A gazillion hardy geraniums
is your mouth watering yet? 

Only disappointing thing? Nine euphorbias, a bit weak, I thought. Never forget the euphorbias, my friends. Maybe I will have to send some of my seed in, next year. 


VP said...

Dear Santa,

HPS membership's on my Christmas pressie list. Please do take note (and that also means you NAH!)

Love VP

PS The mince pies and sherry are in the kitchen.

Father Christmas said...

Dear Veg,

I will be happy to bring you HPS membership as a present. I'm sure you will be delighted when you find their seed list offers over 16 different species of Clematis for your garden!

Yo ho ho

FC xx

The Garden Monkey said...

Surely Christmas Day is going to be an anti-climax after getting that lot?

Unless that Belgian choclatier has suceeded in creating the lifesize praline Matthew Wilson you ordered.

emmat said...

still crossing my fingers

patientgardener said...

Hi - I was very excited to received my HPS seed list yesterday, I have only just joined, rushed in order that I could get the seed list - sad I know. I had all the books out last night while I poured over the list to make my first selection which I will then have to reduce down to 20. The CGS list should also arrive any day now as well - same sort of deal.

I was going to do a post on the HPS soon as I was very impressed with their magazine - I really enjoyed reading the most recent and found the articles alot more interesting than some in the glossy mags.

Off to find out about the other two you mentioned now

emmat said...

can't wait to read your blog on the HPS. Apparently the garden visits are really good too. What are you going to order from the seed list I wonder?

VP said...

You've changed your profile pic since this morning! Is this the new you post your no chocolate diet?