Magic of Plants 2019

THE MAGIC OF PLANTS  – biennial conference 2019
Britannia Leeds-Bradford Airport Hotel, Bramhope, Leeds LS16 9JJ


Jimi Blake                   Hunting Brook through the Seasons

Situated on the sunny, south-facing flanks of the Lamb Hill in the foothills of the lofty Wicklow mountains, Hunting Brook garden is the boldly idiosyncratic creation of Jimi Blake, the noted Irish horticulturist, teacher and plantsman who first came to prominence during the 1990s as the head gardener of the historic Airfield Gardens in Dundrum, Co Dublin.

Hunting Brook is one of Ireland’s largest private collections of plants and surrounding his home are many examples of the fiercely colourful and theatrically beautiful, large-scale planting combinations for which Jimi has become so well known. These fill Hunting Brook’s sunny beds and steep banks and tumble down along the edges of its curling pathways.

Hidden at the bottom of a secret, shady gorge that lies just west of the house is the chattering mountain stream that gives Hunting Brook its name and which runs through it like an artery, tumbling its way over granite boulders and through a tranquil woodland that Jimi has begun to clothe with an understorey of choice shade-loving plants. From here, a zigzag of rough-hewn forest paths and a simple wooden bridge lead visitors across the stream, before winding steeply upwards into a sunny hillside and a wild meadow where a solitary Bronze Age standing stone keeps watch over the watery west Wicklow landscape.


John Grimshaw       Paying Rent : plants that earn their keep

John Grimshaw has been the director of the Yorkshire Arboretum since 2012. He is a respected gardener, botanist and author, who has written and edited several books, including New Trees, Recent Introductions to Cultivation, with Ross Bayton. His gardening interests are very broad, but specialities include bulbs, ferns and African plants.


Rosy Hardy                The Plants are the Stars of the Show

Now recognised as one of the UKs leading plantsmens nurseries, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants was founded by Rosy Hardy in 1988. The nursery is  based in the beautiful Hampshire village of Freefolk near Whitchurch, and stocks over 1,200 plant varieties, including many rare and exciting species.

Rosy breeds and introduces interesting new perennial varieties and exhibits at major Flower Shows throughout the year.

Rosy writes a regular blog.


John Massey             The Magic of the Changing Seasons – Spring into Summer

Plant Sales:

Green End Farm Nursery

Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants

Morton Plant Nursery

Ridgefield Cottage Nursery – Jo & Tony Pickering, Ridgefield Cottage Nursery HG5 8JP. Open on the first weekend of the month. Garden to open under NGS in 2019.

HPS West Yorkshire group members’ stall.