Our meetings take place on the second Saturday of each month September to May inclusive.
We are a friendly group and you are welcome no matter what level of expertise you have. There are members who have a keen interest and a good knowledge about growing plants such as saxifrages, crocuses, cyclamen, gentians, hepaticas, snowdrops, narcissi, fritillaries, primulas, dianthus, trilliums, hellebores, campanulas, androsaces, sedums, dwarf pines and many others.
There is usually a guest speaker at the meetings who gives a talk for about an hour on a topic of interest to growers of alpine plants.
Before the main part of the meeting, normally the talk, there is a chance to chat, ask questions of the appropriate experts and to swap, buy and sell plants. Afterwards we have tea or coffee with biscuits. There is also a raffle.
We have a display table at each meeting (non-competitive) on which members display any plants for our interest.
At each meeting there are plant sales tables where volunteers sell spare plants on behalf of members with a contribution going to Group funds. Some of the plants sold are unusual and hard to obtain elsewhere. We also have sales tables for second hand gardening books and greeting cards produced by a talented artist member.
There are Local Group Shows in September/October and May. There is also the AGS Harlow Carr Show in mid-October, organised by one of our members with the help of many other members.
Meetings are held at St Chad’s Parish Centre, Otley Road, Far Headingley, Leeds LS16 5JT (see map below). The Hall opens from 1.45 pm for a 2.30 pm start to the Meeting. There is ample parking and good disabled access. This is easily reached, lying just 1 mile south of the Leeds Outer Ring Road (A6120) at the junction with the A660. Beware speed cameras! The Fisherman’s Wife (Bryan’s as was) Fish and Chip shop nearby provides both take-away and restaurant facilities.
Click here for a Google map showing St. Chad’s Parish Centre (opens in a new tab): https://goo.gl/maps/85bNDDj5HyN2
Our Membership Secretaries, Bob and Di Dark, welcome everyone just inside the Main Hall.
Bob and Di can also be contacted by phone: 01430 626482 or email: email@example.com.
Subscription: £15.00. Vistors £2.00. Annual membership runs from September.
Saxifraga oppositifolia ‘Theoden’
9th February 2019 Frank Hoyle
A taste of Colorado
Frank’s talk is about a visit to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and some of the plants he found there.
9th March 2019 Eric Rainford
Buried treasures in Latvia
Eric, from our local Group, will talk about the visit that he and a few other members made to Janis Ruksans’s specialist bulb nursery in Latvia. Janis Ruksans is the author of books such as ‘The World of Crocuses’.
13th April 2019 Derek Spicer
Conifers – new, unusual, colourful, dwarf
Derek is a respected grower of conifers and co-author of ‘The Encyclopaedia of Conifers’ from the RHS. He has a large conifer nursery in Leicestershire and has been an AGS member for several decades. Derek will tell us about new and unusual conifers, including dwarf ones.
11th May 2019
Local Group AGM, Group Show & short talk by a Group member.
8th June 2019, Saturday
York Gate Garden visit, 2pm
15th June 2019, Saturday
An all-day field trip visiting three nature reserves (Ledston Luck, Townclose Hills and Ledsham Bank). Coordinated by local group member Charlie Philpotts.
14th September 2019 Drs Ian & Carole Bainbridge
Modern rock gardening
Ian and Carole are very involved in the Scottish Rock Garden Club for which they have run the seed exchange, been Show Secretaries and Presidents. They live in Galloway where they have an alpine garden open to the public by arrangement. They have travelled extensively studying alpines and alpine gardening.
12th October 2019, Saturday AGS Harlow Carr Show (national show)
13th October 2019, Sunday AGS West Yorkshire Group Local Show (at Harlow Carr)
19th October 2019 Jo Walker
(Note this meeting is one week later than usual.)
New Zealand South Island Top to Bottom with the AGS
Jo and Brian Walker, from the West Midlands, have a very large alpine garden with a huge number of alpine troughs. They hold open garden days for the West Midlands group and are are AGS judges. They have travelled extensively around the world and have a wealth of knowledge on alpines.
9th November 2019 Neil Huntley
Neil runs Hartside Nursery in Cumbria with his wife, Sue. The nursery attends many alpine shows. Neil has specialist knowledge of alpines including primulas, gentians, dwarf rhododendrons, roscoeas and hardy ferns.
14th December 2019 Mincepies and members’ photographs
11th January 2020 Robert Rolfe
Some favourite genera – from Androsace to Viola
Robert has a tremendous knowledge about growing alpines and about which he has written books and many articles. He has had great success showing plants at alpine shows and has travelled widely to see plants in the wild. He is an excellent photographer.
8th February 2020 Tony Willis
Tony returns from Lancashire to give us a talk on a visit he made to Macedonia.
14th March 2020 Tommy Tonsberg
Growing alpines and woodland plants in Norway
Tommy, from Norway, is an gardening magazine editor, photographer and radio broadcaster. He has written four gardening books and runs a small nursery and open garden near Oslo.
18 April 2020 Ben Preston
(Note, due to Easter, this meeting is one week later than usual.)
York Gate through the seasons
Ben, Head Gardener at York Gate Garden, will talk about the garden and how it changes through the year.
9th May 2020
AGM, Group Show & short talk by a Group member
12 September 2020 Brian Burrow
Growing and propagating alpines in the North of England
Brian, former nursery owner, author, plant breeder and lecturer returns to us to pass on some of his wealth of experience with alpines.
Androsace sempervivoides ‘Susan Joan’
To help us keep in touch amid the coronavirus outbreak, Charlie Philpotts is aiming to produce occasional Garden Diaries and Interim Newsletters. These will be emailed or posted to members. He would be pleased to receive photographs of your own garden or plants (with a caption) or short written piece about something to do with your gardening. Some contributions will only appear in this part of the website, including a sort of Spring Show alternative (see below).
Ian Instone gave an excellent online AGS talk on Favratia zoysii (was Campanula zoysii) in early July. This talk is still available for AGS members to view on Facebook on the Alpine Garden Society Members Facebook Group. This is a recent photograph of one of Ian’s tremendous ‘zoysii’ plants.
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 1: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Garden-diary-number-one.pdf
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 2: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Garden-diary-number-two.pdf
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 3: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Garden-diary-number-three.pdf
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 4: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Garden-diary-number-four.pdf
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 5: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Garden-diary-number-five.pdf
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 6: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Garden-diary-number-six.pdf
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 7: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Garden-diary-number-seven.pdf
Click here to open a copy of Garden Diary Number 8: https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Garden-diary-number-eight.pdf
From Bob & Di Dark (23rd March 2020)
Here are a couple from us, first one taken last month, the other a couple of days ago.
A corner of the front garden. I shall shortly be dividing spreading the snowdrop (and giving some to a friend who has only doubles in her garden).
Haven’t taken a pic from here before, looking across the front garden.
We heard the sad news that Derek Spicer has died. He gave us his talk on conifers almost exactly a year ago, in April 2019. It sounds like he had had a recent serious operation and his death wasn’t coronavirus related. Below is the Picea glauca Di got from him last year.
Please try to send Charlie photographs of plants that you might have brought along to our local Spring Show on May 9th. These photographs will go below. Don’t take the show date too literally – plants a month or so either side of the date would be good. Photographs to show plants in a pot and taken this year..
Primula ‘Lindum ‘Celebration’
Primula ‘Clarence Elliott’
Lewisia tweedyi ‘Rosea’
Primula ‘Fred Salter’
Lewisia ‘Carousel Yellow’
Pan with Erigeron scopulinus
Daphne x susannae ‘Cheriton’
Cyclamen persicum, sown 2011
Saxifraga pentadactylis. From wild seed collected from Sierra Cantabrica (at 1900m) in Spain in 2014.
Narcissus bulbocodium white petticoat
Gypsophila aretioidea Caucasica
Fritillaria uva vulpis
Draba ‘John Saxton’
Cyclamen coum, silver-leaved form
Corydalis solida ‘George Baker’
Androsace sempervivoides ‘Susan Joan’
Androsace carnea x pyrenaica
Soldanella ‘Spring Symphony’
Sebaea thomasii ‘Bychan’
Saxifraga ‘Karel Capek’
Primula ‘Netta Dennis’
Primula ‘Ingwersen’s A’
Primula ‘Broadwell Milkmaid’
Polygala chamaebuxus grandiflora
Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’
Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Flora Plena’
Salix myrtilloides ‘Red Tassels’
Ranunculus montanus ‘Molten Gold’
Pulsatilla vulgaris Alba
Pieris japonica ‘Debutante’
Primula siebaldii, dark pink form
Rhododendron ‘Night Sky’
Lewisia ‘George Henley’
Rhododendron ‘Arctic Tern’
Saxifraga ‘Anneke Hope’
Date: Saturday May 9th 2020. CANCELLED
The West Yorkshire Group Spring Show will take place at St Chad’s. Entries are very welcome from any member. The AGM will also take place on this Saturday and there will be a short talk by (tbc).
Spring show schedule 2019 (2020 schedule still to be published): https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/spring-show-schedule-2019.pdf
Spring Show, 2018 (photo Di Dark)
The 2020 Harlow Carr Show is CANCELLED.
RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, HG3 1QB
Show bench AGS Harlow Carr Show, 2018 (photo Di Dark)
Date: Sunday October 13th 2019
RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate, HG3 1QB
Judging the Autumn Show, 2018 with Georgina, Ian, Eric & Trevor (photo Di Dark)
The local West Yorkshire group of the AGS are holding their Autumn Show and members plant sales from 12 to 4 pm at Harlow Carr Gardens, Harrogate. Staging is open from 11 am and must be completed by [tba]. Exhibitors must be members of the AGS West Yorshire local group for some sections but members of any AGS local group can enter other sections.
Entry is free to the show (normal entry fees to Harlow Carr Gardens apply). AGS West Yorkshire Group members have free entry to Harlow Carr Gardens, on this day only, upon presenting their AGS West Yorkshire Group membership card.
Crocus thirkeanus (syn. C. herbertii) – Eric Rainford (photo Matthew Childs)
Petrocosmea cryptica – Ian Instone (photo Matthew Childs)
Alan Newton, Norma Pagdin, Lawrence Peet & Bob Dark, 2017 (photo Di Dark)
Gentian, 2017 (photo Di Dark)
Best Plant in Show Gaultheria procumbens – Ian Instone, 2018 (photo Di Dark)
Plant stall with Fred Bundy, David Woolveridge & Michael Wilson, 2018 (photo Di Dark)
Primula sieboldii, 2017
Erigeron aureus ‘Canary Bird’ – Matthew Childs, 2017
The AGS exhibit of alpines from different continents made by the West Yorkshire Group and Cleveland Groups (photo Ian Instone)
The Newsletter is published twice a year, in February and August. Copies can be downloaded in pdf format using the links below.
Newsletter 60. Feb 2015 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Newsletter-60.-Feb-2015.pdf
Newsletter 61. Aug 2015 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-61.-Aug-2015.pdf
Newsletter 62. Feb 2016 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-62.-Feb-2016.pdf
Newsletter 63. Aug 2016 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-63.-Aug-2016.pdf
Newsletter 64. Feb 2017 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-64-Feb-2017.pdf
Newsletter 65. Aug 2017 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-65.-Aug-2017.pdf
Newsletter 66. Feb 2018 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-66.-Feb2018.pdf
Newsletter 67. Aug 2018 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-67.-Aug-18.pdf
Newsletter 68. Feb 2019 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Newsletter-68.-Feb-2019.pdf
Newsletter 69. Aug 2019 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Newsletter-69.-Aug2019.pdf
Newsletter 70. Feb 2020 https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Newsletter-70.-Feb2020.pdf
Saxifraga ‘Pseudo-borisii’ in flower on 1st December 2020 (click this link to view):
Several of our members found that the ‘Horticultural Sharp Sand’ from Deco-Pak (Chelsea Garden Range) was excellent. It was markedly grittier than most sharp sands/grit sands and was a good mixed colour. It looks like this sharp sand/grit sand has changed and is now just a typical (and not very cheap) sharp sand. Possibly some of the old stock can still be purchased.
Keith Singleton’s John Innes
This is a top quality John Innes that isn’t widely available. Stocked by Swincar Nurseries, Guisley, LS20 9DL. Tel. 01943 874614. http://swincarnurseries.co.uk. JI2 is normally only available Jan-May. It’s worth a phone call to this very helpful nursery owner to check for special ordering. Price £4.95/33 litre bag (as at Jan 2016).
Download this pdf for an article by Paul Cumbleton about choosing John Innes composts and some comments about Keith Singleton’s John Innes: Choosing a Potting Compost by Paul Cumbleton (2016) https://www.alpinegardensociety.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Choosing-a-Potting-Compost-Paul-Cumbleton-2016.pdf
Dryad Nursery (Anne Wright’s site): http://www.dryad-home.co.uk/
Slack Top: http://www.slacktopnurseries.co.uk/
The Alpine Plant Centre: http://www.alpineplantcentre.co.uk
Mendle Nursery: http://mendlenursery.co.uk/
Aberconwy Nursery: (with latest Plant List available as a pdf): http://www.aberconwynursery.co.uk
Hartside Nursery Garden:http://www.plantswithaltitude.co.uk/
York Gate Garden: https://perennial.org.uk/garden/york-gate-garden/
Lawrence Peet Alpines: https://lawrencepeetalpines.com/
Parcevall Hall Gardens: http://www.parcevallhallgardens.co.uk/
Wakefield & North of England Tulip Society (holds an annual show in May at Horbury, Wakefield): http://www.tulipsociety.co.uk/
|Membership Secretaries||Bob & Di Dark|
|Programme Secretary||Matthew Childs|
|AGS Harlow Carr Show||Ian & Georgina Instone|
Contact Anne Wright for more information: