We are interested in the growing, propagation and conservation of alpine, rock garden and woodland plants, small hardy herbaceous plants, hardy and half-hardy bulbs, hardy ferns and small shrubs. Anyone can grow these diminutive beauties and with the trend towards smaller plots they are ideal for the modern garden - they can even be grown in a window box.
Next Saturday, the 5th April, is the Ulster Group's 75th Anniversary AGS Show, in Greenmount Campus, 22 Greenmount Road, Antrim. The Show opens at 12 noon. You can find directions on the Ulster Group's website here.
And a reminder of the next event in Dublin: Thursday, 10 April, 8.00 pm. NBG, Glasnevin. Hester Forde will be talking to us on ‘Creative gardening with containers’. Hester has a renowned garden in Cork - Cosheen. You can look at it online here.
In the not too distant future of course we have our own Show - Saturday 26th April. Preparations for our Postcard Garden at Bloom at the end of May are proceeding well. We should hear soon if our entry has been accepted - watch this space!
The full Programme for 2014 is here.
We've recently acquired some new books - in particular, Chris Grey-Wilson's long awaited Pulsatilla monograph. Take a look at our Library page for details.
Diane Clement's talk on 'A year in the life of an alpine gardener' was wonderful and overwhelming - we were all asking where she finds enough hours in the day. Diane runs the AGS seed exchange and brought along a great selection for members. I'm proud to say that mine are already sown - but seeing how much effort went into the exchange, I would have felt guilty doing anything less.
The Local Show on March 8th had a large display of plants, with several new exhibitors. Maybe the Workshop in February helped, but if you missed that I'll be putting the guidance notes on the website soon. We were surprised how few photographs there were, given the number of digital cameras around these days, so are planning a workshop on preparing photos for exhibition.
Our AGS Ireland Facebook page continues to get visitors from all parts of the world - recently from Belgorod in Russia. Notification about our upcoming meetings is posted there, and also other information on a variety of topics and events of interest to members. So if you haven't already, do take a look at the page - use the link at the bottom of the menu on the left. If you want to set up a Facebook account, you can download instructions for doing that here. Most of us have worries about security when posting information on the internet, so you might find this security handout useful.
The 2014 Programme for the Cork Branch is available here.
Hepatica sp. In the wild, Hepaticas grow on woodland slopes: they like spring sunlight followed by summer shade and a growing medium rich in leaf mould. This Hepatica is growing in my garden, but not in the best of conditions - it gets too much summer light. I'll be transplanting it to a spot under some Birch trees at the end of March, when it has finished flowering. (Photo by Bernard van Giessen, www.catchlight.ie)