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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.
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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 nearly 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 – Graham Poynter of Dorset AGS Group

    ‘On the Trail of Farrer from Dales to Dolomites’


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

    Speaker – Kevin Hughes of Cally Gardens

    ‘Cally Gardens a Plant Extravaganza’

    Competitive Plant Show for the David Benton Rose Bowl and Photographic competition for the Margaret Hedges Memorial award. We hope to be able to organise online competitions this year.


    Thursday, April 22nd

    Speaker – Dr Celia Wright

    ‘Flowers of Lesotho.  Kingdom in the Sky’

    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 – TBC


  • Next Meeting

    Hampshire Alpine Garden Society

    Zoom Meeting – Thursday 26 November 2020

    Speaker – Jenny Wainwright-Klein

    Schachen Garden


    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

  • Open Garden Events

    Open Garden Events

    Next Open Garden Event

    Paddy and Ben Parmee hope to be opening their garden across a series of dates later in the spring 2021, dates to be confirmed. This will be entirely dependent on current COVID-19 restrictions at the time and will likely involve social distancing and a booking arrangement to manage numbers.

    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.

    A decision on whether they will be able to offer refreshments will be made nearer the time.


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

    Entry: Free entry – it is intended that donations for refreshments will be donated to Wildside Garden to help Keith Wiley complete this fantastic garden project in memory of his late wife Ros who sadly died in 2019 and was his inspiration.

    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, it is unlikely that the 2021 Wimborne Show will take place.

    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  


  • Newsletters

  • Useful Links

Members' Articles

Val Le May Neville-Parry in Lockdown

Val lives in the New Forest and has a National Collection of Montana Clematis. She has sent through a few pictures (see below), firstly her magic mix, Mole hill soil leaf mould and compost ready to mix to repot some Montana seedlings, secondly Var. Wilsonii starts bottom left and extends to top right of the picture, about 60’ and finally, a new one – Brian Collingwood – he was the editor of the British Clematis Society Journal for ten years.  Another dwarf like a hanging basket.  Less than a metre in length. Flowers just opening – they double in size as they mature – and a light perfume.
Val does open her garden and well worth a visit though not sure what is happening this year?

Mike Powell Keeping Busy During Lockdown

“Thank God for gardens!” You can hear the cry reverberating from one end of the country to another as people dig, delve and cultivate to keep lockdown blues at bay. It also helps if you have a couple of greenhouses full of orchids to attend to, even if you can’t show them to anybody!
Among my collection of hardy orchids, I have a number of Calanthes. This is a large genus of 190 species widely spread throughout the far east from the Himalayas to Japan, where they are widely grown. Many species are not hardy, but a number are, and make excellent plants for a cold greenhouse. You can grow them outside in the open garden, but they can be martyrs to slugs and look better under cover. These plants flower in March and April, row through the summer and form next year’s shoots and flower buds in the autumn. They stop growing in the winter and resume growth in late winter or very early spring. They need bright shade, good drainage and excellent ventilation- an alpine house would do nicely! Calanthe striata is a good beginner’s plant with large yellow flowers. Calanthe tricarinata has striking flowers of yellow-green and brick red but smells rather pungent!
Some parts of my garden get thirteen hours of sun a day in summer; others get none! However, shade gives the chance to grow Trilliums, though I have had to create a suitable habitat. I did this when I dug over the bed to a depth of about 12” and removed any large stones and rubble. Later I had the sides raised to further deepen the soil. I dug out the original soil and mixed it with equal parts of JI Ericaceous, Ericaceous compost and some 5-6mm Cornish granite. Then I planted a range of Trillium species: T. albidum, T. grandiflorum, T. grandiflorum roseum, T. flexipes and T. erectum. The plants appreciate a neutral to slightly acid environment but are not too fussy. They cope happily with my chalky tap water! What they do not like is excessive root competition or to dry out excessively. Avoid planting them near trees with thirsty roots. It also pays to prepare thoroughly-“ a shilling on the plant- two bob on the hole!”

Photographic Contributions

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

More Info