Today I joined the Hardy Plant Society’s South Pennine Group.
The HPS has a number of regional groups, but the inaccessibility of the “Bucks and Oxon” Group for anyone living in West Oxfordshire and not keen on driving all over the place had always put me off. It’s a marvellous contrast to be able to attend a group meeting within the same city (although closer public transport would be nice!)
The talk was by John Page, a tour of the flora and landscapes of the Dolomites. The photos of plants, and the way he drew them all together, was spellbinding. We had the shining Potentilla nitida, the calcium-loving, scaly Rhododendron hirsutum, and along with your usual-ish Myosotis the gorgeous, myosotis-like Eritrichium nanum. And we all cooed over the Soldanella species, looking like hats for tiny fairies or—more outlandishly—almost like fungi at times. I hope at a later date to link to a longer blogpost about this very talk: watch this space!
Afterwards we had Christmas nibbles and soft drinks, and a chance to chat to other members. Although I had to leave early, I felt very welcomed and really enjoyed the event. I’ll definitely be going back!