Firstly, I would like to wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and good Auricula growing year for 2016


What a warm and wet Winter we are having, although it has been forecast that by the end of the week we will be getting a cold spell, which will please the Auricula’s we get great pleasure from.  Hopefully a cold spell will boost them up for the Club show on the 1st May 2016 at the Sutton Valence hall.


Our October meeting was our AGM, where members who managed to attend were given a brilliant talk from one of the ‘Premier’ growers and hybridists in the Auricula world, namely Neil Tyers.  Neil and Jo travelled down from Leicester to give us two talks, one on Edges and the other on growing Primula (Allionii and Marginata).  Everyone gained a little more knowledge into growing these beautiful plants and benefitted from Neil’s vast experience in hybridising and showing plants, plus we were able to buy from a selection of fantastic plants from the 200 Neil managed to pack into his car.  We are indebted to Neil and Jo for travelling down to us again, but at least they enjoyed a break from decorating their new house!


At our November meeting we were delighted to welcome Tim and Gillian Ingram from ‘Copton Ash’ Nursery in Sittingbourne, who have recently been featured in the RHS magazine.  Tim grows Primulas in the ground as opposed to pot culture (as we do).  He has experimented with different compost mixes to incorporate into his garden beds, which enables them to grow Marginata and soft leaf Primulas.  He illustrated the talk with a good selection of images of different plants and will be hoping for visitors from our group in the Spring to view his big collection of Snowdrops when they flower, maybe February.


December saw our Christmas Get Together and Secret Santa.  It was a lovely meeting with plenty of food, supplied by one and all, a lot of chat, with Christmas music playing in the background and rounded off by our Secret Santa present raffle.  A lovely time was had by all and our wishes were sent to those who were unable to attend.



The Society website is and is a great site to explore. If anyone asks you about Auricula or Primula please direct them to our site. 


  • WELCOME page contains an explanation of how the Kent Group was formed in 2004.  As well as the PLANT of the MONTH. 
  • EVENTS  This page contains details  of our programme for the year, which is complete up to December 2015 (watch this space for 2016 speakers), Club meeting place details and times  are also on this page.
  • HISTORY contains a brief but interesting explanation on how the plants were found and cultivated and how far back the interest in them goes.
  • GALLERY page not only shows some beautiful plants but also helps in identifying what type of Auricula you have, Green Edged, Border, etc.  There are also photographs of our members at some of our Club shows, shows around the country and one of our Theatre Days.
  • MEMBER’S page has a section for the Newsletter, Latest News, Show results, etc.  and finally,
  • LINKS page has links to click on for other NAPS Society sections and growers. 


The website is well worth a look, browse through and recommended to friends who also show an interest.



In the last Newsletter I asked if members could let me have details of their local paper’s Club Page so that we could spread our net a little wider, I would still like to receive this information and try to get a write-up in as many as possible.  If you could let me have the e-mail address or phone number of your local ‘rag’ I can contact them and hopefully we can reach a wider audience.



The speaker for our next meeting on the 13h February 2016,  Mike Copeland, who was going to  speak about Predator control,  has had to be moved to our  5th March meeting.  Our Chairman, Colin, has stepped in and will be speaking about preparing our plants for showing.  Colin’s knowledge is vast and this is an opportunity to ask questions and make sure that your plants are in the best condition that they can be for the Show.


 How do you get that perfect spacing of the flowers?

The head is heavy what is the best method to support it?

Can the compost show or does it have to have a covering of grit?


Whatever your query I am sure Colin, or another club officianado, will be able to help.



So far we have had no queries about problem plants, if you do have any worries please send me your problem or query and I will ask one of our in-house experts for their opinion.  Want to obtain certain named Auricula’s or Primula and don’t know where to start, let us help you.  If we can be of any help at all please contact me with a picture if possible.  Any queries you have about plants or the group please let us know.


If you would like more plants please remember that we have a plant sale each month and members of the Society do grow a number of varieties so please ask if there is a certain one you are trying to source.


Les Allen is a grower of Auricula plants  and holds 2 National Collections, Alpines and Doubles. Les  has a wide  selection of Auriculas for sale and is also the person who compiles the Auricula Bible the ‘Classified List of Auricula Cultivars’.  It is quite an expensive publication with postage but, if you are interested, it’s well worth the cost.  Usually, only older versions of it are seen as it is only updated occasionally.  If you are interested in sourcing plants or buying a copy of the publication Les’ e-mail address is


Our own compiler of Auricula lists, Geoff, has done a feat again and compiled a list of the Top Auricula Cultivars for 2015, a copy of which is attached.  Thank you Geoff for once again taking the time to compile this information.



It has been suggested that a Club outing be organised for next Spring and Colin is looking into this.  The Alpine House at Kew was a favourite.  Please let us know at the February meeting f you would be interested, or e-mail me on and register your interest.  Further information will be sent out as and when we get it.



The Kent Alpine Society Spring Show is to be held at Sutton Valence School, North Street, ME17 3HL on the 26th March 2016.  I have been informed that this is a worthwhile show to visit.



It is with sadness that I have to inform members that Bill Lockyer, a former member of the Society, passed away in early January.  Bill won 4 consecutive Gold medals at Chelsea for his plants.  Colin, Sue, Geoff and Edie attended his funeral on the 28th January to say farewell.



If you have any suggestions for the Newsletter, anything you would like to share like special celebrations, information on plants or just want to say Hi! because you have been unable to attend meetings send me an e-mail or call on 07729-255839.


Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see covered in the Newsletter and if there is anything you feel that would make the format better.  The next Newsletter will be out in June.


Hopefully we will see you at the next meeting on the 6th February, but in the meantime enjoy the milder weather we are having.


                                                       Sue Forrester

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