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Successful AGS Young Person’s Weekend

June 29, 2022
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The first AGS Young Person’s Weekend proves a successful venture

Alpine plants enthusiasts at the start of a botanising hike on Cwm Idwal

Alpine plants enthusiasts at the start of a botanising hike on Cwm Idwal

The first AGS Young Person’s Weekend took place between 24-26 June 2022 in North Wales. Amateur alpine growers, horticultural students and young professionals gathered together to discuss, study and look for alpine plants in the wild.

The weekend started with an evening of short talks. AGS Director Tony Bryan gave an introduction followed by a talk on the Alpine Garden Society – the past, present and future by Razvan Chisu. AGS member Henry Fletcher shared his love and passion for the genus Daphne. Matthew Jeffery and Connor Smith both talked about the alpine gardens they work in at RBG Kew and Utrecht Botanical Garden respectively. Bertie Swainston enthused about what he’s learned so far in the AGS Trainee Scheme. Aaron Marubi, a Welsh garden designer described how the native plants and landscapes of the Ogwen valley inspired him to create a border display at a flower show. AGS Trustee Tom Freeth ended the evening with a crash course in field botany.

Bertie Swainston at AGS Young Person's Weekend

Bertie Swainston at AGS Young Person's Weekend

Saturday was dedicated to seeing plants in the wild: alpines on Cwm Idwal in the morning and orchids on the sand dunes at Aberffraw in the evening. Despite inclement weather all participants enjoyed the trek in the Welsh mountains and discovering native alpines in their natural habitat. Though windy, the beautiful evening allowed us to discover a range of wild orchids in dune-slacks and sandy slopes on the Anglesey coast.

Huge thanks to the AGS for an exciting, informative, jam-packed, slightly damp weekend of botanical bliss! I learned so much on our trek in Snowdonia National Park; saw three of the five naturally occuring Saxifraga species in the UK and almost wiped out several times in search of the ultimate crack where a nice plant might hide. - Eloise

Had a great weekend on the AGS Conference. We climbed Cwm Idwal in Snowdonia and got to listen to some presentations from experts and visited Aberconwy Nursery to learn how they propagate alpines. Met some lovely people too! - Joe

While in North Wales, a visit to Aberconwy Nurseries is a must. Tim Lever and his mum, Rachel welcomed everyone taking part on the AGS Young Person’s Weekend. Participants were able to learn how alpines are grown at the nursery, from propagation techniques, to pest control and specific soil mixtures. The nursery is home to thousands of species and cultivars of alpine plants and many were still in flower.
The morning visit proved a great end to the weekend.

The event would not have been possible without the financial support offered by the Hendry Fund.

It has been a fantastic experience to join the AGS Young Person's Conference. We have enjoyed a trip to Wales in an action packed weekend. A fine array of lovely plants and great chat. The weather, well, can't have everything! - Connor