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The AGS Garden at Pershore

September 2, 2022

As a society dedicated to sharing enthusiasm and knowledge of alpine plants, it is natural that we should have our own garden for members and the public to enjoy

The AGS centre in Pershore has an impressive alpine garden on site. Visitors can see alpines and other hardy plants in a variety of settings (troughs, tufa, rock work, sand beds, a European meadow, ericaceous and woodland areas).

The garden is open all year round and entry is free to the public.

The AGS garden was created as an educational garden following the generous bequest of Stirt Piggin in 1997. Work on the garden began in May 1999 and planting completed by December 2000.

Since then the garden underwent several developments, the last completed in April 2022 with the addition of the central Mediterranean bed. The garden has a series of beds each growing specific alpine and sub-alpine plants.

Sections of the AGS Garden

1. The Beginner’s Bed showcases easy-to-grow alpines suitable for those who do not have much experience in growing mountain plants

2 & 3. The Trough Collection serves to display alpines and small shrubs ideal for growing in containers

4. The South African Bed will feature perennials and bulbs from SA. Many of these species are hardier in the UK than previously thought

5. The Alpine House contains plants which though frost hardy require protection from winter wet. Cushion plants festoon the tufa wall, while other species of choice alpines grow together with bulbs from different parts of the world

6. The Tufa Bed grows some species which are difficult either in the garden or in pots but thrive if grown in tufa, a type of rock which provides a perfectly drained environment while retaining enough moisture for plants

7. The Scree and calcareous woodland aims to grow many different alpines that would fail in standard alpine garden soils

8. The Mediterranean Bed has been planted in spring 2022 with climate change in mind. Plants here will survive with little or no irrigation at all

9. The Rock Garden shows a number of easy alpines which give colour over an extended period from February to August

10. The Woodland has plants which prefer acid conditions and flower in spring or autumn when there is less shade. Irrigation allows these plants to thrive under large trees

11. The Pond will be the next area to be redeveloped and replanted

12. The Crevice Garden was designed and build by renowned Czech gardener Zdenĕk Zvolánek, over a decade ago

Alpine House in AGS Garden at Pershore

Alpine House in AGS Garden at Pershore

The construction of the AGS alpine garden in Pershore was funded entirely by a generous legacy from Stirtevant Piggin, an alpine enthusiast from Nottingham

In 1997 Stirtevant ‘Stirt’ Piggin gifted more than £1 million from his estate to the AGS. Stirt asked that the funds be used to maintain an alpine rock garden at our Pershore headquarters.

Stirt was a builder from Nottingham. He spent many years building up a rock garden at his home. His quest for alpine plants led him to places such as the Middle East and Mediterranean to collect specimens for his garden. Stirt was a true alpine enthusiast with a particular interest in saxifrages. He also left his impressive saxifrage collection to the AGS. Most of these along with snowdrops and crocuses from his Nottingham garden were transferred to his legacy garden in Pershore.