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Since October 1962
Monthly meetings consist of a lecture / presentation, refreshments, raffle, plant sale and display table. In March look out for our plant and photographic competitions and in April we hold our annual plant sale. Garden visits are arranged throughout the year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be hosting a series of Zoom lectures and our competitions and plant sale will be 'virtual' see below for details.
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  • Welcome

    Welcome to the Hampshire Alpine Garden Society Webpage.

    Our friendly, active group has been established since October 1962 and one or two original members still turn up occasionally!

    We currently have a membership of 80+ and they range from those new to alpine gardening to experts with a wealth of experience.

    We have an excellent programme of lectures on a wide range of topics, always stimulating and interesting. We serve tea, coffee and biscuits and there is a chance to chat to other members of the group. We have a raffle, a plants sales table and a display table each month.

    In March we have a competitive plant show for the David Benton Rose Bowl and a photographic competition for the Margaret Hedges Trophy. April sees the Annual Plant Sale which we all look forward to with much excitement!  Several garden visits are organised in the spring and summer.

    We are joint hosts, with the Dorset Group, of the AGS Wimborne Show, locally known as the Rocky Flower Show. This takes place in mid-May at Queen Elizabeth School, Wimborne, Dorset. The event attracts exhibitors from across the UK and combined with the irresistible plants for sale from a range of nurseries and the tempting refreshments available, it is a superb day out.

    Membership of our group is open to all – you don’t have to be an AGS member, although always recommended to enjoy the wider benefits of the Society. Do come along as a visitor and see if you’d like to join us regularly. You would be most welcome.

  • Keeping in Touch during COVID-19 Lockdown

    Keeping in Touch

    During the current Coronavirus lockdown, we felt it is important to keep in touch with Group members so in addition to sending regular emails and updating Social Media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), we will post messages here.

    If  members would like to post an article on this page, perhaps what you are doing in the garden, please contact Paddy and Ben.

    Our 2020-21 season has started and from September 2020 will feature a series of Zoom lectures, details are posted below. It is also a great way of keeping in touch as we will be able to see and talk with each other through Zoom. It is highly likely that this will be the format of our entire season given the reintroduction of restrictions in September 2020 and our calendar of events is complete through to May 2021.

    We hope you will all stay well during these days of uncertainty and keep on top of your gardens.

    Best wishes and keep safe.

    Paddy and Ben

  • Contact Details and Subscription

    Contact Details

    Ben Parmee (Secretary): Tel: 02380 265672 or 07501 083504



    AGS members: £10. (Joint £14)

    Non-members: £11.00. (Joint £15)

    Visitors: £2.50 (per meeting)

    Students: Free

  • Events programme

    2020 – 2021 Programme of Meetings and Talks


    Thursday, September 24th

    Speaker – Jon Evans – official show photographer for the AGS Shows

    ‘Late September in Paxos’


    Thursday, October 22nd – The AGS Open Lecture 

    Speaker – David Hughes – member of Dorset and Hampshire AGS Groups

    ‘Hunting Alpines in Yunnan’


    Thursday, November 26th

    Speaker – Jenny Wainwright-Klein

    ‘Schachen Garden’


    Thursday, December 10th (second Thursday!)

    Short presentations by the three Chairmen and Quiz

    Usually cheese and wine supper would be provided, sadly this year it is self-catering!



    Thursday, January 28th

    Speaker – Michael Myers – Lecturer at Craven College

    ‘Snowdrops from October to April’


    Thursday, February 25th

    Speaker – Dr Celia Wright

    ‘Flowers of Lesotho.  Kingdom in the Sky’


    Thursday, March 25th – The 21st Lionel Bacon Memorial Lecture 

    Speaker – Kevin Hughes of Cally Gardens

    ‘Cally Gardens a Plant Extravaganza’


    Thursday, April 22nd

    Speaker – Graham Poynter of Dorset AGS Group

    ‘On the Trail of Farrer from Dales to Dolomites’


    Annual Plant Sale – it is hoped that we may be able to organise some outdoor plant sales if Government restrictions allow in the spring of 2021 at our outdoor open garden events.


    Thursday, May 13th

    Annual General Meeting

    Plant and Photographic Competition Results. The David Benton Rose Bowl is awarded to the winner of the Plant Competition and the Margaret Hedges Trophy for the photographic competition winner.


    Thursday, May 27th

    Speaker – David Charlton – AGS Judge and Tour Guide with Colletts Mountain Holidays

    ‘Alpine Plants of the Pyrenees’

  • Next Meeting

    Hampshire Alpine Garden Society

    Zoom at 7.30pm Thursday, May 27th

    Speaker – David Charlton – AGS Judge and Tour Guide with Colletts Mountain Holidays

    ‘Alpine Plants of the Pyrenees’

    If you would like to join us as a guest please contact Ben Parmee for the Zoom login details.

    For more info: Email / ring 07501 083504

    Directions / venue

  • Hampshire AGS - 2021 Annual General Meeting Papers

  • Open Garden Events

    Open Garden Events

    Next Open Garden Event

    Paddy and Ben Parmee hope to be opening their garden later in the spring 2021, dates to be confirmed. This will be entirely dependent on current COVID-19 restrictions at the time but we are hoping that with the success of the vaccination programme and easing of restrictions it may be closer to normal.

    Members of AGS Groups and friends are invited to join Paddy and Ben at their garden in Chandlers Ford to enjoy Alpines at there best.

    It was good to see so many of you during April, albeit subject to a maximum of groups of four, when you came to collect your plants at the plant sale. Thank you to Paddy for baking cake nearly every other day!


    Venue: 179 Hursley Road, Chandlers Ford, Hampshire, SO53 1JH

    Entry: Free entry – donations for refreshments will be donated to Group funds.

    Time: to be confirmed.

    Parking: Please park in Cuckoo Bushes Lane 50 metres to the North or other nearby street parking.

    We look forward to seeing many of you on the xxxx.

    Best wishes Paddy and Ben

    Please contact the Secretary on 07501 083504 or 02380 265672; Email


  • AGS Wimborne Show

    The AGS Wimborne Show 

    Locally known as ‘ROCKY FLOWER SHOW‘ the Wimborne Show is jointly run by the Hampshire and Dorset Local Groups.

    Location: QEII School, Pamphill, Wimborne, BH21 4DT

    Next Show – Sadly due to COVID-19 restrictions, all Spring 2021 shows have been cancelled, let’s look forward too 2022,

    10.00 – 3.30 pm

    All enquiries to the Show Secretary, Ben Parmee on 07501 083504 or by email at

    This is the best opportunity in the South of England to see a wonderful selection of exceptionally well grown alpine plants and a display of expertly produced photographs. Also enjoy a range of nurseries and superb refreshments.

    If you need to know more about the plants, it is a rare occasion to meet growers and learn their secrets!

    The presence of the show in our area has encouraged exhibitors from our own membership who now regularly win trophies and awards at this and other shows.

    The reputation of our superb catering is second to none, cakes and delicious lunches are all homemade by members of our Groups, taste it and you will believe it!

    It is a fantastic collaboration between the two Groups and we are grateful to the Dorset Group for all their work in support of the show.

    The fine venue, sumptuous food, wonderful plants and friendly atmosphere have made it a must see event for many far flung Alpine enthusiasts.

    The photographic competition is a local extra and showcases plant photography at home and abroad by local members. For further details please contact David Hughes on

    We very much look forward to meeting you!

    Nurseries Attending  


  • 2021 Plant and Photographic Competitions - The Results

    Online Plant and Photographic Competitions

    The Results!

    The annual competitive Plant Show for the David Benton Rose Bowl and Photographic competition for the Margaret Hedges Memorial Award this year has taken place online and we are most grateful to Steve and Angela Lobley who took on the task of organising the competitions this year. We were also lucky to secure the services of professional judges, Martin Sheader, AGS Shows judge who judged the Plant Competition and Jon Evans, one of the AGS official show photographers judged the Photographic Competition, thank you.

    We are also delighted to announce that we had more entries than we usually get, 51 for the photographic competition and 46 for the plant competition; thank you to all the members who took the time and effort to enter they made for a wonderful evening’s viewing.

    The pictures mentioned below are shown in the Competition Galleries below.

    Hampshire AGS 2021 Photographic Competition for the Margaret Hedges Memorial Award


    Martin Sheader               Gladiolus uysiae


    Paddy Parmee                 Galanthus nivalis ‘Poculi Perfect’


    Steve Lobley                   Narcissus rupicola ssp waterii


    Janice Bennetts               Trillium kurabayashii

    Jo Whitfield                    Erythronium ‘Joanna’

    Anne Wanstall                Corydalis solida

    Elizabeth Wells               Tulipa ‘Little Beauty’

    Steve Lobley                   Pleone tongariro

    Paddy Parmee                 Tulipa bakeri

    Hampshire AGS 2021 Plant Competition for the David Benton Rose Bowl

    SECTION A – A plant in flower or bud

    FIRST and overall ROSE BOWL WINNER

    Dot Sample                     Daphne modesta


    Dorothy Searle               Physoplexis comosa


    Steve Lobley                   Primula ‘Wharfedale Ballerina’

    Steve Lobley                   Saxifraga cotyledon ‘Arleta’

    Mike Powell                   Gennaria diphylla ‘Jean’

    SECTION B – A plant grown for foliage effect


    David Hughes                 Shuttlecock fern


    Janice Bennetts               Hosta ‘Wolverine’

    SECTION C – A miniature garden


    David Hughes                 Minature Garden


    Paddy Parmee                 Minature Garden


  • Hampshire Group 2021 - Virtual Plant Sale - The Result

    Our plant sale has been a huge success and we would like to thank all those members who donated plants for sale or made donations following the sale of their plants. The provision of large numbers of plants by Robin White and Stefan Rau made for an impressive display which was enjoyed by all who visited and bought plants.

    Members collected their plants from Hursley Road and whilst here enjoyed tours of the garden and tea and cake. Thank you to Paddy for baking fresh cake every other day throughout April!

    The final result was a profit for the Group of nearly £700, a great achievement thank you to all.

  • Newsletters

  • Useful Links

Photographic Competition winning entries (1st, 2nd and 3rd) followed by 6 Highly Commended

Plant Competition winning entries (1st and 2nd in sections A, B and C) followed by 3 Highly Commended from Sect A

Members' Articles

My Covid Year – by David Dickenson

For me, 2020 brought more than just Covid-19 as a surprise. In lockdown in Southern France at Florac, restricted to walks of 1 km, I stumbled across many new species, but none more so than a Mediterranean sage never reported our side of the Atlantic/Mediterranean divide. There it was, a large colony of Salvia verbenaca subsp. verbenaca, just 500 m along the main road, clearly well-established. How could I have missed it in earlier years, I thought with embarrassment?  The answer came a week later. The colony passed from first flower to nothing but ripe seed in just 7 days. Three days later, the verges were all strimmed bare by the highways department. Global warming and human activities are set to extend the range of this species by 50-100 kilometres. This is a hare that is set to beat the tortoise.

A more spectacular appearance was on the steppe-like pastures at the edge of Nîmes-le-Vieux. Just before the feather-grass (Stipa gallica) opened to reveal waves of angel-hair, a bright ribbon of blue and yellow appeared in mid-May, only a few metres wide, but about a full kilometre long. Investigation of this floral river uncovered groups of blue Echium vulgare, not unknown here, but mixed with a huge number of yellow Cerinthe minor subsp. auriculata, unknown outside Provence and the Pre-Alps. This was clearly the result of some pipe-laying work, but how did several thousand Cerinthe seeds get into the mix? These plants have now set seed. My estimate is over 50,000 seeds ready to romp across the region and change the ecology of the Causse Méjean for a lifetime. I hope the sheep have a good appetite.

Another surprise was more personal. Gardening beside a tributary of the Tarn, subject to the infamous spring and autumn storms of the Cévennes, can be a challenge. But the area has never seen a flash flood in mid-June, and of such amplitude. In full leaf, trees were stripped from the banks, and then the rocks themselves. The riverine landscape was transformed into a disaster zone. My garden took the full force, and was instantly denuded. What leaves remained were so macerated that they died over the next fortnight. Four hard weeks to relieve the garden of several lorry-loads of sand and rocks, and gaze dismally at the bare sticks of vegetation. Then the buds began to swell, and slowly life came back; by September, few would notice that there had ever been such a catastrophe. My respect for nature, the power to destroy, the power to heal, has never been so great.

Arcs de St Pierre, Causse Méjean – by David Dickenson

Nîmes-le-Vieux is the jewel in the crown of the karstic landscape of the Causse Méjean in Southern France. The flora and spectacular architecture of the Arcs de St Pierre are less known, but make for a serious rival. Higher rainfall and lack of grazing ensure a very different flora, and it is unrivalled for its range of summer orchids. We pass from the endemic Ophrys aymoninii to the helleborines such as our trio of Cephalantheras (Cephalanthera longifolia, C. damasonium and C. rubra) and their relatives (Epipactis atrorubens, E. distans, E. helleborine, E. microphylla and E. muelleri). Not wanting to be accused of name dropping, I shall spare you the list of countless other orchid species.

The undisturbed natural pine forests host a scattering of wintergreens, such as Orthilia secunda, Pyrola chlorantha and my favourite, Moneses uniflora, with their diminutive heads drooping from modesty or deep depression; they have not confided which. The open arenas of dolomitic sands host the endemic thrift, Armeria girardii. These tough little plants make a superb rug for picnicking whilst gazing with awe upon the phallus of La Grande Place.

Photographic Contributions

2021 brought snow to most of us and here are some of Paddy’s creative pictures from the garden at Hursley Road in January and February 2021.


The snow has been replaced by rain but still the winter bulbs present a fine display, adorned by raindrops rather than snow.


Even Ben tries to get creative following a Photoshop lesson from Paddy!

A few images from Paddy and Ben’s garden during 2020.


Paddy’s flower arrangements entered into AGS shows

Group Facebook Page

Topical debate, photographs and information

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