Paeonia lactiflora 'Karen Gray'
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Karen Gray’

Our members’ gardening experience ranges from novice gardeners to expert plantspeople; some have a small patch of garden while others have an acre to fill. Our plant table at meetings is very popular, whatever the size of the garden.

Our indoor meetings programme runs from September to May with talks on a variety of gardening subjects.

During the summer months we have visits to members’ gardens and a bus trip to gardens further afield. A regular newsletter keeps us up-to-date with what is happening in the group.

Interested in joining?

You can read more about membership of both the national HPS and the local North East Group on our Membership page.

Meetings are held at Stannington Village Hall, Near Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 6EL

Stannington Village Hall

Our History

The North East Group was formed in 1991 when Joan Thirlaway, an enterprising local member of the national Hardy Plant Society (HPS), sent letters to members in the area asking if there was any interest in forming a North East group.

Members were invited to a meeting at Gateshead Civic Centre and suffice to say there was an interest and a committee was formed and meetings arranged at a school building in Washington. Joan became Chairman and the roles of Membership Secretary and Treasurer were taken on by Maggie Duguid and Norman Armstrong. Both Maggie and Norman are still members today and Maggie has recently returned to the role of Membership Secretary (with many jokes about her lack of ‘career’ progression!).

After a couple of years, Joan moved on to other things and the post of Chair was taken on by the late Margaret Dunn, an excellent and generous plantswoman. Anne Wood, also sadly passed away, took on the post of Group Secretary, brilliantly improving the standing of the North East Group within the national society.

Both Margaret Dunn and Anne Wood became charitable trustees of the national HPS,  encouraging other members to also volunteer as trustees.

A spot of rain doesn't deter hardy planters
A spot of rain doesn’t deter hardy planters

The status of The North East was now well and truly established. As membership grew a new, larger venue was required and we were pleased to find a new home at Stannington Village Hall, a well maintained and equipped village hall conveniently located by the A1.

We now have a healthy sized membership of around 180 and new members are very welcome to join us.

We celebrated our Silver Jubilee in 2016, what have we achieved over all these years?

We have increased our knowledge about plants, but more importantly we have made friends, which we will keep for life, special friends, who share such a passion for gardening.