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Since October 1962
Monthly meetings consist of a lecture / presentation, refreshments, raffle, plant sale and display table. In March/May look out for our plant and photographic competitions and in April we hold our annual plant sale. Garden visits are arranged throughout the year. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be hosting a series of meetings at Chilworth Hall plus some Zoom lectures for those who prefer not to attend in person.
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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 70+ 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 in May 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.

    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.

  • 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

    2021 – 2022 Programme of Meetings and Talks


    23 September 2021 – At Chilworth Hall

    Martin Sheader – Group member and AGS Judge and Tour Guide

    ‘A remarkable flower-rich Patagonian mountain – Meseta del Lago Buenos Aires.’

    28 October 2021 – Zoom

    Jim Almond – AGS official photographer

    ‘Alpines for Everyone’

    This will be via zoom as Jim prefers not to travel long distances.

    25 November 2021 – At Chilworth Hall

    Tim Lever – of Aberconwy Nursery

    ‘Jewels in the Rain’: Walking the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh

    We expect Tim to bring plants for sale!

    9 December 2021 – At Chilworth Hall – note this is the second Thursday

    Seasonal meeting including quiz and short presentations by members and refreshments.

    The spring programme will be posted shortly.

    27 January 2022 – via Zoom

    Chris Gardner of ViraNATURA Tours

    Flora of the Silk Road

    24 February 2022 – via Zoom

    Jim Jermyn of Branklyn Gardens – Scotland

    European alpines in nature – a new look

    24 March 2022

    David Dickenson – Group Member and Tour Guide in the Cevennes – France

    Isolated in Time – How the Cévennes uniquely survived the Ice Age

    Plant Competition: The David Benton Rose Bowl is awarded to the winner of the Plant Competition

    28 April 2022

    Annual General Meeting and …

    Tim Ingram of Copton Ash Nursery

    Gardens of the Czech Republic

    April – Annual Plant Sale – Date and venue to be announced.

    26 Thursday May 2022

    Colin Everett – Member of The Fritillaria Group

    ‘Growing Fritillaria What I Do and Why’

    Photographic Competition Results. The Margaret Hedges Trophy for the photographic competition winner.



  • Next Meeting

    Hampshire Alpine Garden Society

    Meeting at Chilworth Hall

    7.30pm Thursday, 26th May 2022

    Speaker – Colin Everett

    ‘Growing Fritillaria What I Do and Why’

    Colin is a member of The Fritillaria Group and AGS Somerset Group. He grows the most wonderful ‘frits’ which he also exhibits at AGS shows.

    At this meeting we will also see all the entries to our Photographic Competition and learn the Results. The Margaret Hedges Trophy will be awarded to the winner.

    For more info: Email / ring 07501 083504

    Directions / venue

  • Open Garden Event and Plant Sale

    Next Open Garden Event and Plant Sale

    Paddy and Ben Parmee are opening their garden for spring alpines and the Group’s plant sale.

    Plant sale and open garden with refreshments TBA – May / June 2022

    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.


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

    Entry: Free entry – donations for refreshments to Hampshire AGS.

    Time: 1pm – 4pm

    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 xxxxx.

    Best wishes Paddy and Ben

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


  • 2022 Plant and Photographic Competitions

    2022 Online Plant and Photographic Competitions

    Online Photographic Competition
    Entries for the annual competitive Photographic competition for the Margaret Hedges Memorial award will this year be submitted online and judged by an independent judge from outside of the AGS. We are most grateful to Steve and Angela Lobley who have again taken on the task of organising the competition this year.
    The intention is that whilst submission of entries and judging will be online, all entries will be shown and results announced on 26th May at our meeting at Chilworth Hall.

    Hampshire AGS DIGITAL Photographic Competition Guidance and Rules
    1. Entrants must be a member of Hampshire AGS.
    2. Ideally images should have been taken since our last competition closed i.e. any time since April 2021. Previous entries not allowed.
    3. Images can be of any Alpine flower, in macro, or normal mode, in the ground or in a pot. The pot does not have to be shown.
    4. If necessary the organisers will divide images into appropriate categories (macro, close up, grouped plant etc.). If so there will be class winners and an overall winner who will receive the award.
    5. Entries will be judged on the quality of the image, not the rarity or quality of the plant.
    6. Digital Images ideally to be in jpeg or jpg format.
    7. Maximum 3 images per person.
    8. If possible can you name the image and send to Steve Lobley as follows:
    a. Your name – Plant name. (i.e. Steve Lobley – Pelargonium Ardens)
    b. If you are not able to name the image, then please add this information in the text of your email
    c. Email images to:-
    9. The competition opens on 1st February 2022.
    10. The Closing date is 30th April 2022
    Images taken on a camera phone are acceptable. However, these need to be of a minimum file size of 1mb (approx. 1200 x 1200 pixels). Sending by share or message text will not typically give this size. Images should ideally be downloaded from a phone and sent as an email.

    Annual Plant Competition
    The annual competitive Plant Show for the David Benton Rose Bowl we hope can take place on 24th March at our meeting at Chilworth Hall. Steve and Angela Lobley will again organise the competition at the meeting. We have also been lucky to secure the services of Martin Sheader AGS Shows judge and Group member, to judge the Plant Competition, with the results
    announced on the night.

    Hampshire AGS Open Plant Competition Guidance and Rules
    Plants for entry into the competition should be brought to the hall, ideally before say 7.15 for registration to take place before the meeting. For guidance on acceptable plants please click on this link to the AGS shows directory below:
    1. Entrants must be a member of Hampshire AGS
    2. Any Alpine Plant, either in flower or for foliage is acceptable.
    3. Entries will be judged on the rarity and/or quality of the plant.
    4. Three categories are available
    a. An alpine plant in flower/bud
    b. Grown for foliage
    c. A miniature Alpine Garden i.e. in a pan no bigger than 36cms.
    There will be class winners and an overall winner who will receive the award
    5. Maximum 5 plants per person, but no more than 3 in any one class. Plants should be labelled with the plant name only.

  • Annual General Meeting Papers

  • Newsletters

  • Useful Links

Dorset Group Annual show at the Allendale Centre 19th March

David Dickenson went up to Aubrac, France before returning to the UK for the winter, where the Crocus nudiflorus was putting on an extraordinary show on the South-facing pastures.

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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