This is an update from my last report on the AGS in September 2009. After 7 years of happy membership I am letting it lapse and saving the money to spend in the garden. The local branch society never lived up to my aspirations as a club despite some great speakers, I never felt part of the in crowd. The national society provided an excellent magazine and a seed distribution service which I will miss until I decide to rejoin.
For my birthday I received membership to the Alpine Garden Society ‘The Big Society for Small Plants’. The package supplied with my membership is very impressive, in addition to my national membership card I received a membership voucher for 1 years local group membership and a list of 53 regional venues. As a special offer my first years membership will run from August to the end of next year and at £25 for 16 months, it seems great value.
Competitions and shows are a large part of the society’s activities . A full programme (72 pages) for 2009 with rules and specifications was sent with my pack. This years remaining events include, 26th September 2009 Gillingham Autumn show, October 3rd Loughborough show and October 10th Newcastle. A 2010 programme is promised shortly. Whilst I am not likely to enter competitions it was interesting to see what plant varieties were consistant winners.
The Alpine Gardener Bulletin volume 77 no.2 is a superbly produced 140+ page book with stunning pictures. Whilst this is the 80th anniversary edition I hope the other quarterly books are to the same standard. ‘Alpine news’ lists books and holidays for sale and it is a good idea keeping these adverts on a separate leaflet, away from the main publication.
Seed distribution is also one of the services the society offer and you get more seeds if you collect and donate your own seeds.
So far so good the Society seems to be a great advocate for Alpine gardening and have a good membership package. As with all societies I guess the more you put in the more you get out so it looks like I will have to polish my Alpine gardening skills.
Membership details available here.
The Scottish Rock Garden Club links with The RHS and Alpine Garden Society on the joiny Rock Garden Plant Committee.