The Alpine Garden Society is an international organisation dedicated to the conservation of and education about alpine plants. 2008/2009 was the Society's eightieth anniversary year.

Although membership of the Alpine Garden Society is not required to join the Bedfordshire Group, it is encouraged as the benefits are huge! Membership comes with a newsletter and bulletin which are sent out four times a year, information about and free entry to over twenty national shows a year, discounts on books, an annual seed exchange, the chance to take part in workshops, access to the 'members only' sections of the AGS website, the chance to attend national and international conferences about alpines and their habitats, opportunites to take part in events such as the RHS Chelsea Show and much more!

The Alpine Garden Society is based in Pershore, adjacent to the horticultural college. The centre is home to an extensive library, the Society's book shop and an ever-evolving and developing garden, which demonstrates how alpines can be incorporated into any garden.

Some people believe that the Alpine Garden Society is an elite organisation for those who only grow alpines. This is an absolute myth! The majority of members are simply gardeners who grow alpines and not pure 'alpinists'; the Society warmly welcomes anyone who wishes to learn more about this huge family of plants.

Alpines are not impossible plants for all but the most dedicated and experienced grower. Whilst some, such as Dionysias, require a little bit more care, there are some that can be left in the garden and will grow and spread happily. Plants such as Cyclamen coum, Cyclamen hederifolium and a large number of bulbs (Crocus, Iris, Galanthus, Narcissus to name a few) can be grown by almost anyone! It's not even necessary to have a garden; a pot of Sempervivum adds a bit of colour and personality to a patio or doorstep.

To find out more about the Alpine Garden Society visit their website, www.alpinegardensociety.net

The Eighth International Rock Garden Conference:

In April 2011 the Alpine Garden Society, together with the Scottish Rock Garden Club, hosted the Eighth International Rock Garden Conference. This was a highly successful event. The Group sponsored two members to attend through the Wilscher Legacy. Robert Amos has produced the following report:

http://www.bedfordshirealpines.com/Report.doc

Photo taken by David Livermore