About us and where we meet



Shakespeare’s Herbs


7th February – St Bonaventures Church Hall

Workshop: Blending your own medicinal herbal teas


Led by Frances Watkins

We are delighted to welcome back Medical Herbalist Frances to show us how to use a combination of several herbal teas to help reduce stress, enhance mood and improve sleep. We will taste a number of individual herbal teas so that you will be able to mix and create your own herbal delight.

Entry: Members £5.00; non-members £6.00Light refreshments included.

Guests welcome.

March Meeting 7th March

Members £2.00, Non-members £4.00

Previous Meeting

8pm on Wednesday 1st November

Traditional Festive Fare

By Linda Dobbs
We were delighted to welcome Linda to talk to us about traditional Christmas
foods such as mincemeat, breads, and the uses of herbs and spices in festive
Linda is the Museums Manager for the Welwyn Hatfield Museum Service and runs
their modern and historic Food Courses at Mill Green Museum.

Entry:  HHG Members £4.00, non-members £5.00 Light refreshments included.
Guests welcome.

Venue: St. Bonaventure’s Church Hall, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6JF.

Previous meeting


Aromatherapy Botany of Floral Essential Oils
By Louise Lotz and Frances Prestidge. Why do plants have lovely floral scents? Louise answered this question and explained the difference between fixed oils and essential oils, with examples to smell. Frances was there to talk about how plants can help the course of human love. We all carry out a practical dissection of a flower.  People brought along
magnifying glasses, a craft knife a chopping boardcoloured pencils. We had 10 people dissecting flowers and it was a very successful and informative evening. As well as the standard lily, we dissected some lovely evening primrose from Christine’s garden, as well as fuchsia from and various other flowers that were in season.Entry:
HHG Members £3.00, non-members £4.00
Light refreshments included.
Guests welcome.

September Meeting

Wednesday 6th September 

7.30 for 8 pm St Bonaventures

Culpeper and His Herbal
By Julie Wakefield
Culpeper’s Herbal is the best known of all the herbals but most people do
not realise how unusual it was compared to other herbals of the day. This
talk looked at how he intended herbalism to be used which included astrology and
even a form of magic. Julie began specialising in herbalism at the Museum of
the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. As a staff member at the Old Operating
Theatre she delivers talks on past uses of plants both in the Herb Garret
and Southwark Cathedral’s herb garden. She is an active member of the
Historic Herbalism Research Network and a university guest lecturer.

Wednesday June 7th 7.30 for 8 pm St Bonaventures Church Hall Parkway WGC
Tussie mussies and the language of herbs and flowersWorkshop led by Frances PrestigeCome and learn about the ‘language’ of herbs and flowers and make a tussie
mussie, or posy, using fresh herbs.
At home your tussie mussie can be placed in a vase of water, as you would
any fresh flowers, or preserved by allowing it to dry.Members £3.
Guests welcome £4.


Wednesday 5th July 7.30 for 8 pm St Bonaventures

Workshop: Dr Frances Watkins – Making Herb Infused Oils and Vinegars

For the July meeting, everyone will be able to take away an infused oil and an infused vinegar, Frances brought along plant material; perhaps, St. John’s wort and/or nettles for the oil and lemon balm, roses and chives for the vinegars. We used rosemary specific, for example, which makes a good oil for winter rubs and also an excellent vinegars.

Please can people bring two standard size jam/ marmalade jars with screw lids to the July meeting. We will have some spares available.


Wednesday 5th April

Wild Flowers of the Chilterns

By Dr Brenda Harold

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Brenda showed us the varying flora of these beautiful hills with
their beech woods and chalk downs. There are many special plants growing on the Chilterns including orchids.

Brenda, has a PhD in plant cytogenetics, is a Chartered Biologist and a retired university lecturer. She has tutored numerous adult courses for the Wildlife Trust, Open University and other organisations. She also volunteers as a Wildlife Site Surveyor for Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust.

Members £2.00; non-members £4.00
Light refreshments included.
Visitors always welcome.

Our previous meeting was on

The first Wednesday in March and before that on

Wednesday 1st February

Hot Stuff!
We discussed Ginger, Turmeric and Galangal.

so that people could find out about these exotic spices; their history and folklore,
medicinal properties and culinary uses. The perfect way to warm up on a
winter evening!

Bring and Buy table and Raffle.

Our December Meeting was a buzz of activity with everyone making Christmas wreaths. Everyone helped, bringing foliage pine cones, and and a great number of suitable objects, and accessories but the biggest thanks must go to the creativity of Frances who made frames for the wreaths and brought a stunning collection of foliage, ribbons and bows that kept us busy all evening.

Wed 5th October The Four Species  – Plants of Valour and Value by Anne Luder.

Doors open from 7.30 and the talk begins at 8 pm


Anne will look at Willow, Citron, Myrtle and Palm. She will explain why these plants were so important to the people of those times as well as their garden usage.

At the beginning of her horticultural career, Anne spent four years in charge of propagation at a nursery in Essex where many of the staff had learning disabilities.

She recently retired after 18 years as a lecturer at Capel Manor College where she specialised in therapeutic horticulture for severe physical disabilities.

Anne has also worked as a garden designer for twenty years, designing both public and private gardens and specialising in allergy-free and challenging gardens.

We meet on the first Wednesday of the month at St Bonaventures Church Hall, Parkway WGC.

Guests Welcome. – Light refreshments provided.

Entry – members £2.00, non-members £4.00.

There will be a bring and buy table and raffle.

Meeting 2nd November

Julie Wakefield will be talking about

Herbs and Witchcraft ~ the Facts behind the Fiction

Men and women in the 1600s held commonly acknowledged beliefs about the plants that witches used and how they used them. This talk will begin by looking at these. However set against myths around witchcraft,  people were using plants in reality to protect themselves from witchcraft or treat sickness caused by a bewitching. It are these fascinating practices that will be the focus of this talk.

Julie Wakefield is a medical historian specialising in historic herbalism and folk medicine. She gives talks, demonstrations and walks on these subjects, including weekly events at the Old Operating Theatre & Herb Garret where she works.  


A warm welcome to the Hertfordshire Herb Group website.

Who we are

The group was formed in 1996 by Medical Herbalist, Mary Barton. We are a friendly and informal group that welcomes everyone with an interest in herbs. Our membership includes qualified medical herbalists but the majority are enthusiastic amateurs.

What we do

We meet on the first Wednesday of each month (except January). Topics covered in our meetings include the propagation of herbs, herbs in cooking, aromatherapy, herbs in cosmetics, herbs for use around the house, pot pourri making, planning a herb garden, companion planting and the medicinal properties of herbs.

We have guest speakers covering all manner of subjects including the history and folklore of herbs; corn dollies and many more.

In addition to these talks, we arrange visits to places of herbal interest and have social events in summer and winter where everyone brings something herbal to eat or drink.

The meetings also feature a plant stall where members’ spare plants are sold at a reasonable price. This enables us to broaden our collection of the more unusual herbs while the money goes towards group expenses.

Where we meet

The group normally meets at 8pm on the first Wednesday of each month at St Bonaventure’s Church Hall, 83 Parkway AL8 6JF in Welwyn Garden City, Herts.