Category Archives: General


We have a collection of books on Australasian plants available for society members to access that is housed in Lullingstone Castle. If you wish to visit, please contact Tom, our president, in order to organise this on

A catalogue of the books in the collection can be accessed here:

APScatalogue v1.1


Conserving Australasian plants; how we can have a real impact.

During our special general meeting on 15th November 2014 it was decided that we, as a society, needed a clear guide as to what we wanted to achieve. A mission for the society was created which would drive everything the society does into the future. We became

The Australasian Plant Society
- for promoting the cultivation and conservation of Australasian plants and their closest relatives in the northern hemisphere

The cultivation aspect of this is comparatively easy to achieve as we all love growing amazing plants from Australia and New Zealand but the conservation aspect is a little trickier. We have decided to take a two-pronged approach

Clianthus puniceus (Kaka Beak) is endangered in the wild yet grown regularly in gardens.
Clianthus puniceus (Kaka Beak) is endangered in the wild yet grown regularly in gardens.

1 – Protecting Australasia’s cultivated plant varieties

Australasian plants form an important part of the world’s garden flora. They extend the season of interest in gardens right through the winter and provide much needed food for pollinators during difficult times. They are unique, they challenge us and they give us a taste of the exotic. Yet, this exact set of attributes puts these antipodean gems at risk in cultivation outside of their native lands.

Many have been grown in Europe for over 200 years yet are considered tender and difficult, a label which is often unwarranted.

To help us combat the loss of cultivated varieties of Australia and New Zealand’s plants we have joined forces with Plant Heritage (The world’s leading cultivated plant conservation charity) to help stop the loss of these cultivars and varieties from our gardens. Several members of the APS hold National plant collections and go a long way to keeping these plants in cultivation and we are also now able to go a step further through the Plant Heritage Plant Guardians scheme. If you grow an Australasian plant that you know to be rare in cultivation (a good guide is if it is listed by two or fewer nurseries in the RHS plant finder) you could register as a Plant Guardian. You don’t have to be a member of Plant Heritage to do so as you can do it directly through your membership of the APS.

By conserving plants this way we can help the world meet important international targets through the Aichi Biodiversity agreement (part of the Convention on Biological Diversity) Target 13 – By 2020, the genetic diversity of cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and of [their] wild relatives, including other socio-economically as well as culturally valuable species, is maintained, and strategies have been developed and implemented for minimizing genetic erosion and safeguarding their genetic diversity.

If you would like to know more about the Plant Guardians scheme or would like to conserve a threatened plant through it, contact our chairman by email at

2 –  Conserving Australasia’s Threatened Plant Species

Australia has over 20,000 species of vascular plants and New Zealand has a further 2,500 (most of which are endemic). It is an unfortunate fact that many of these species are severely threatened with extinction. In 2002 the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) was adopted by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It was a bold step for the conservation of the world’s plants

Part of the GSPC is concerned with the conservation of plants through cultivation and this goal was laid out in Target 8 of the strategy. – At least 75 per cent of threatened plant species in ex situ collections and at least 20 per cent available for recovery and restoration programmes.

Through an agreement with BGCI (Botanic Gardens Conservation International) we are now able to make the plants our members are growing in their gardens count toward this target. BGCI is the world’s largest plant conservation network and it is through its Plant Search database that the GSPC Target 8 is assessed.

We are now able to upload information to the database enabling us to make sure the plants conserved in members gardens really count for conservation internationally. If you have a collection of Australasian plants that you would like to count towards worldwide conservation targets, then please complete a copy of the Excel spreadsheet below, save this file in .CSV format (File>SaveAs>CSV (Comma delimited), and return it to If you have any questions or queries about this initiative, please drop our chairman a line at the same email address.

Access the spreadsheet and plant upload instructions by clicking on the picture below



N.B. BGCI is an independent organisation and is governed by the Data Protection Act. Any information passed to them will be anonymous and only the details of the species held by APS members will be shared.

With over 400,000 known plant species, and such vast diversity in Australasia, the challenge of conserving plant diversity is too big a job for just a few people. It is with your help that we, as a society, can really step up to this challenge and make a difference for the plants we all grow and love.

There were once over 200 cultivars of Epacris impressa in British cultivation but now its not available at all.
There were once over 200 cultivars of Epacris impressa in British cultivation but now its not available at all.




Members Nurseries


Stephen Mules

phone  01736  762 959

Rosudgeon, Penzance, Cornwall TR20 9AR

We grow a wide range of plants that thrive in the mild, wet, windy conditions typical of seaside areas. From hedging and shelter plants to the exotic and unusual we offer plants that are tough enough to make the amateurs’ garden to unusual enough to add something special for those that really know their plants. Among the  many  Australasian plants that we grow we stock a particularly wide range of Grevillea.



Billy Carruthers

phone  01506  858  931

Binny Estate, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, EH52 6NL

We specialise in new and unusual perennials, ferns, trees and grasses that will provide your home and garden with a welcoming all-natural appearance. Whether you’re looking for traditional British plants or something a little more exotic, our grass and tree nursery will provide the perfect plants every time. When our produce makes our customers happy, this makes us very happy.



Philip Ball

phone 07810 547 629

Marsh Road, Hesketh Bank, near Preston, Lancs, PR4 6XT

Established in 2005, The Lost World Nursery  specialises in exotic plants for the adventurous gardener and provides an eclectic assortment of rare and exotic plants for the betterment of both garden and greenhouse. We are located between Preston and Southport in West Lancashire and sell from the nursery, at plant fairs, and via mail order throughout the European Union.



Martin Batchelor

phone 07810 660 109

We are a small family run nursery in the heart of Sussex, growing quality plants. We aim to grow the usual and the  unusual, with an emphasis on Australian and New Zealand shrubs. We sell by mail order and exhibit at RHS events, Garden shows and County shows around the country, where plants can be pre-ordered for collection. Take a look at our webpage for our events diary.



James and Katie Treseder

phone 01208 832 234

Wallcottage Nursery, Lockengate, St. Austell, Cornwall, PL26 8RU

We stock a wide range of trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials, many unusual and exotic, and including lots of Australasian species. Our speciality is mint bushes (Prostanthera). We grow all our plants ourselves, using peat free compost, bio friendly insecticides, no growth regulators and locally sourced material where possible.



Mary Thomas

phone 01509 672 056/ 07950 757 444

Whatton House Gardens, Long Whatton, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5BG

Since the nursery opened, the range of hardy herbaceous perennials on offer has increased dramatically, and continues to do so. Check our database; it lists most of them and we aim to update it at regular intervals. Many of our perennials are unusual, although we also offer traditional cottage garden plants, and most are not difficult to grow. In addition, a small selection of half-hardy and tender plants is normally available as well as various flowering bulbs and, occasionally, a few annuals. Visitors are welcome to browse without commitment to buy, and to ask for care and planting advice.



Hilary and Stephen Collins

phone  07515 261 511

Worcester Road, Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire WR7 4PW

We are a small family run nursery, growing ferns and hedging box and specialising in eucalypts under the name Kangaroots Trees. All our seed is sourced in cold high altitude locations in south east Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand. We probably grow the largest selection of Eucalyptus in the UK.



Paul Boosey

phone 07925 906 866

County Park Nursery was started by Graham and Margaret Hutchins in 1955, and specialised  New Zealand, Australian and Tasmanian plants, retaining some of the more unusual plants from other areas of the world. After Graham died Paul took over his grandfather’s nursery and is in the process of moving it to Hampshire. Check the website for news of his progress; it will be updated in 2016.



Graham Blunt

phone 01892 785 599

Sleepers Stile Road, Cousley Wood, Wadhurst, East Sussex TN5 6QX

Our nursery is situated in 3 acres of beautiful Sussex countryside where we grow tropical plants, southern hemisphere plants and hardy plants, including lots of rare and exotic species. We grow every single plant on site and the goal is to have as many species as possible growing outside all year round. We are always adding new species and trying to breed hardiness and robustness into any borderline plants. We try to make our plants tough first and pretty second. We are self taught and take the view that plants don’t read books, so we try not to.



Nick Macer

phone 01452 741641/ 07801 275138

The Walled Garden, Frampton Court, Frampton-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, GL2 7EX

Pan-Global’ is a true plantsman’s nursery, providing an inspiring selection of the finest, most desirable and often rarest plants capable of growing on these isles. Trees, shrubs, climbers, bamboo, herbaceous, grasses, hardy exotics, many wild sourced, all personally chosen, and with an emphasis on correct naming, Pan Global’ has an enviable reputation. Many nurseries use the words ‘rare’ and ‘unusual’, but here we mean it in its true sense.



The Pink House, Gt. Green, Burgate, Diss IP22 1QL

01379 783452

My tiny nursery, within my quarter-acre garden,  is full of small numbers of unusual plants that I sell at local plant fairs. Apart from the odd borderline subject they all have to fend for themselves in an exposed Suffolk setting; everything in the nursery lives in the garden too. I always have a range of New Zealand plants, especially examples from my Plant Heritage National Collection of Muehlenbeckia. Visitors are welcome but do contact me first.



Graham Sykes

phone 01736 763880 (Graham Jeffery)

Trevena Cross, Breage, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 9PY

Trevena Cross has been established for over 40 years and is still family owned and run. We are  largest garden centre in the area and we grow 90% of the plants we sell on site. We specialise in southern hemisphere plants especially plants from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Our other large area of interest is providing plants for coastal and windy gardens.

Join Us

Join Us

By joining us you will not only gain access to the vast knowledge of our members but also a fantastic seed list, bi-annual journal and great days out visiting interesting collections of Australasian plants where we also hold plant swaps.

Details on how to join us can be found here.


Where To Go

Ever wondered where to go to see collections of Australian and New Zealand plants in the British Isles? Check out the ones below. There are no doubt many other places with interesting plants, and we would be pleased to hear of them. If you click on the Garden name it will take you to the web site of the garden.

National Botanic Garden Of Wales

Plas Newydd

Ventnor Botanic Gardens.

Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens.

Logan Botanic Gardens.

Lullingstone World Garden.

The Savill Garden.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Rowallane Garden, County Down.

Mount Stewart Garden, County Down.

Ness Botanic Gardens.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Wakehurst Place.

Glenveagh Castle Gardens County Donegal.

Glasnevin, Dublin.

Mount Usher, County Wicklow.

Anigozanthos Flavidus

What’s On?

To find out what’s on, see the events below. If you have any questions then please contact our meetings organiser at


Saturday 9th June 2018: Cookscroft

Start Time: 11am

Cookscroft, APS members John and Jill Williams’ five acre garden, is located to the south west of Chichester, West Sussex. Being about one mile from the sea it has a relatively maritime climate. Started in 1988, it features cottage, woodland and Japanese style gardens, water features and borders of perennials with a particular emphasis on southern hemisphere plants. Of particular note to APS members will be the 40 eucalyptus species  together with collections of CorokiaCorreaCallistemonGrevillea and Hakea as well as a well grown Boronia heterophylla which has survived many years grown permanently outdoors. There will be an admission charge of £5.

For refreshments there are a number of pubs and restaurants local to the area although you  may need to prebook if wishing to attend the nearest.

Please contact Gary Firth at if you expect to attend.

Directions: Cookscroft is located in  Bookers Lane, Earnley, Chichester, PO20 7JG. Travelling from Chichester, after a long straight road in Birdham go left at the roundabout. One mile further on, on a sharp right hand bend, Bookers Lane goes off to the left from the apex of the bend. There may well be ”Diversion” signs but take no notice. Once you have entered the lane, Cookscroft is the second property on the left. Drive past the house and barns and you will see a double entrance on the left. Go through the first single gate and up the drive, turn right into the field and there is ample parking space.

A satnav should take you straight to Bookers Lane but beware of going too far down.

Thursday 19th July:  The Ecology of Banksia, Dryandra and Other Australian Proteaceae; a talk by Kevin and Kathy Collins of Banksia Farm

Location: Cambridge University Botanic Garden

10.30am: Meet at garden entrance

11am: Talk by Kevin and Kathy Collins in the garden’s classroom

12:30pm: Buffet Lunch at the gardens

13:30pm: Garden Tour with horticultural team.

Kevin and Kathy Collins of Banksia Farm are the holders of the only complete collection of Banksia in the world and are world authorities on the subject of Banksias and Dryandras, two of Australia’s most iconic genera.
See the following link for more information
An entrance fee to the garden of £6 will be charged to members attending the lecture.


12th September: Geoffrey Cooper’s Garden, Succulent collection and Southern Hemisphere Arboretum, Bampton, Oxfordshire

Start Time: 11am

Point of Contact:

This APS meeting on the 12th September is not to be missed! This will be the FIRST TIME EVER that Geoffrey has shown a group around his stunning cactus/succulent collection and, more relevantly, his wonderfully diverse Southern Hemisphere arboretum. Get ready to be amazed at what can be grown in ‘tropical’ Oxfordshire!

We will start the morning at 11am with a cup of tea before heading out to see his wonderful collection of cacti and succulents and then visit the arboretum which is approx 15 mins drive from his house. The visit will finish with a late pub lunch.


18th November: AGM at Lullingstone World Garden.

Start time 10am

As in previous years, we would like to welcome you to Lullingstone for what always proves to be a fun day.  The ‘business’ aspect of the AGM will be kept to the morning session and then after a break for a buffet lunch there will be the opportunity to visit the world famous ‘World Garden’, catch up with other members of the society, purchase plants from specialist nurseries and swap plants with other members.

30th September: Hastings, private garden and Alexandra Park

Start time: 10.30 am

Judy Clark’s small suburban garden will be open from 10.30. It is packed with around 300 southern hemisphere plants, the majority Australian, including a Plant Heritage national collection of correas, also know as Australian fuchsias. Correas bloom from August to March and, fingers crossed, many of them will have started flowering; see ‘What’s Growing’ for some pictures. This part of the event is joint with Plant Heritage Sussex.

Owen Johnson, author of the Collins Tree Guide, will show us round Alexandra Park, starting at 2pm. The tour will focus on southern hemisphere species but will not neglect other interesting trees. Alexandra Park is regarded as the best public park in England to see rare and well-grown trees, including 16 Champion trees.

For lunch bring a picnic or there is a reasonable cafe with a sea view about 5 minutes walk away on the West Hill.

Alexandra Park is a 20 to 25 minute walk from Judy’s house or a 5 minute drive plus a walk the length of which depends on where there’s a parking space.

Bring plants to swap or sell during the morning.

Contact Judy at for further details including directions.

 9th September (Provisional): Ness Botanic Gardens - Unfortunately this event is no longer going ahead. We hope to visit Ness in 2018.

5th August: Marks Hall Garden and Arboretum in Essex

Start Time: 10.30am

The Marks Hall collection is planted on a geographical theme with plants from the temperate regions of the world grouped together. There are areas representing Europe, Asia, North America and the Southern Hemisphere, set in more than 200 acres of historic landscape providing interest and enjoyment throughout the year.

Highlights include the Millennium Walk, designed for structure, colour and scent. The largest planting of Wollemi Pine in Europe and the inspired combination of traditional and contemporary planting in the 18th century walled garden.

Afterwards there will also be an opportunity to visit RHS Hyde Hall Gardens which is holding its annual show that weekend.

The gardens are situated between Coggeshall & Earls Colne, with access from the M11 & A12. There are brown and white signs on the A120 north of Coggeshall.

For further details please contact Gary Firth at


4th-9th July: RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

This year, the society will be displaying plants from Australia and New Zealand in conjunction with Plant Heritage, including representatives from National Collections and Plant Guardians, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. There will be members manning the stand, so come along and say hello! This will also be a great opportunity to find some plants for sale from nurseries specialising in plants from Australia and New Zealand.


27th January: Linnean Society Tour

Start Time 10.30am (meet outside Burlington House on Piccadilly, London at 10.15am) 

Cost: A donation to the Linnean Society with a suggested minimum donation of £5 per person

Join us for a unusual opportunity to tour the collections of the longest standing society for the study of natural history. The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active biological society. Founded in 1788, the Society takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778) whose botanical, zoological and library collections have been in its keeping since 1829. As it moves into its third century the Society continues to play a central role in the documentation of the world’s flora and fauna – as Linnaeus himself did – recognising the continuing importance of such work to biodiversity conservation.Boasting such famous names as Charles Darwin and Sir Joseph Banks among its fellows the societies collections hold treasures that are sure to be of interest to anyone interested in Australasian plants. Not least of all among these collections are two volumes of Celia Rosser’s ‘The Banksias’  which we have made a special request to see during our visit.

If you wish to attend please let Robbie Blackhall-Miles know by email at by 20th January 2017

Please direct all enquiries to


12th November: AGM at Lullingstone World Garden.

Start time 10am

After a record attendance to our AGM in 2015 we would like to welcome you back to Lullingstone for what always proves to be a fun day.  The ‘business’ aspect of the AGM will be kept to the morning session and then after a break for a buffet lunch there will be the opportunity to visit the world famous ‘World Garden’, catch up with other members of the society and purchase plants from other members and specialist nurseries.

21st August: Chelsea Physic Garden and Mona Abboud’s Garden, London. Meeting at 11am at the Main entrance to Chelsea Physic on Swan Walk, just off Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea.

The Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful  Society of Apothecaries for its apprentices to study the medicinal qualities of plants. The focus of the garden remains plants of medicinal and ethnobotanical interest. They also grow rare and endangered species and plants named or introduced by people associated with the Garden’s history. Not to mention botanical order beds, collections of island endemic species and a large glasshouse for plants too tender to thrive outside. Medicinal plants on show include ones  associated with Aboriginal, Maori and South African tribal medicine. We anticipate that Head Gardener Nick Bailey will be able to show us round. An entrance fee for the Chelsea Physic garden applies.

APS member Mona Abboud is the holder of a National Collection of corokia. Her long narrow garden in Highgate is chock full of interesting plants, including many from Australia and New Zealand; more information can be found at

4th – 10th July: Maria and Gary Firth shall be showing Australian myrtles in the Plant Heritage area at the Hampton Court Flower Show.

22nd June: Judy Clark and Gary Firth will be among 5 Sussex Collection Holders talking on Plant Heritage Collections (Correas and Myrtles) at the Chichester Garden Fest (on from 20th – 22nd)

18th – 19th June: The Australasian Plant Society will have a stand at the ‘All About Plants’ event, held at RHS Wisley (in Wilsons Wood). This is a major Plant Society show featuring displays from many plant societies, large colour-filled central displays, information about showing and judging a range of plants, planting displays and master classes.
10am – 5pm Saturday and 10am – 4pm Sunday

Saturday 14th May: Open Garden Day at Maria and Gary Firth’s Garden in Haywards Heath at 10.30am and then on to Tim and Gill Burr’s Garden for 1.30pm.

15th February, 5.45pm to 7.15pm: Seed banking, the forest & mountain flora of New ZealandKew Mutual Improvement Society lecture by Gareth Porteous (Kew Diploma student). Venue: Jodrell lecture theatre, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Price: £2 entry

11th January, 5.45pm to 7.15pm: Growing against the odds in AustraliaKew Mutual Improvement Society lecture by Rupert Harbinson (Kew Diploma student and APS member). Venue: Jodrell lecture theatre, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Price: £2 entry


14th November: AGM at Lullingstone World Garden.

22nd August:

West Sussex, 22 August

Please note important changes to the advertised programme

The programme for this meeting has had to be changed due to the sudden serious illness of Gary Firth, at whose garden we were going to start our meeting. I’m sure everyone will join me in wishing Gary a very speedy recovery.

So, the day will start at  Borde Hill Garden ( where we will meet in the car park (parking is free) at 11 am. Borde Hill is 1½ miles north of Haywards Heath, 20 minutes north of Brighton, and 20 minutes south of Gatwick on the A23 (exit 10a via Balcombe). For satnav users the postcode is RH16 1XP. The garden is free to RHS members during August and National Trust members paying the full entry price get two for the price of one.

We will eat lunch at Borde Hill. There is an excellent cafe (I have been there), or bring your own. I anticipate that we will leave about 1.30 for our next venue.

In the afternoon we will visit Nymans (, approximately 15 minutes drive from Borde Hill. Since first  planning this meeting I have learned more about Australasian plants there and Gary has arranged for a member of staff to show us round. They are creating a new gully garden which will be almost solely devoted to Australasian plants. It won’t be fully open until next spring and it will be interesting to see it at this early stage and to find out about what plants they’ve chosen and why. There is also a Chilean walled garden and a South African bed, so plenty more of interest.

Entry to Nymans is free to National Trust members and, during August, to RHS members (as far as I can understand from  the RHS Members’ Handbook). The address is Nymans, Staplefield Road, Handcross, Haywards Heath, West  Sussex, RH17 6EB.

For anyone who wants to make a weekend of it on Sunday 23rd we will visit Wakehurst Place ( and a nursery or two if I can manage to organise something. Final arrangements will be made when we meet on the Saturday.

Do bring plants to swap and we will make some time for this during the day.

If you would like to attend please let Judy know in advance at


4th July: Sheffield Botanic Gardens and APS member Sue Kohler’s garden.


Saturday 7th June: Edinburgh Botanic Gardens + AGM

July 12th: Wakehurst Place

September 20th: Plas Newydd, Crug Farm & Fossil Garden

November 15th: Lullingstone World Garden


For Our National Meeting for 2013 we are going to The National Botanic Garden of Wales in South West Wales

We had a meeting there when it first opened, and it will be interesting to see how it has developed over the years.

We are planning to have a guided tour of the Great Glasshouse as part of the day, and whilst some time will be taken up by our AGM there will be plenty of time to look round.

And as an inducement as it is our AGM we will pay for entry for paid up members.

Our events have always been very enjoyable – a mix of sociable and learning about plants, so please put the date in your diary now.