Plants for the future workshop with the RHS

A great account of the “Plants for the future” workshop which was held last week at RHS Wisley Garden. Many Collection Holders were present (Roger Parsons Sweet Peas, Claire Austin Hardy Plants, Hoyland Agapanthus and Tulbaghia, Plantagogo heucheras..) and the essential role of National Collections as source of genetic material for plant breeding was discussed.

Michael Perry - Mr Plant Geek

I was really excited to be invited to a special workshop at RHS Wisley, entitled ‘Plants for the Future’, which brought together plant breeders, product developers, growers, national collection holders, plant licensing companies and other enthusiasts, all with the common interest of NEW PLANTS! The knowledge and skills in that room were quite phenomenal. I was asked to be on the panel too!

We had ‘cream of the crop’ speakers too, first up was Simon Crawford, who I admire for his horticultural networking, knowledge and eye for new plants.

His talk covered ‘breeding for the garden’, and interestingly explored the fact that plant breeding should give the home gardener a basket of options, not necessarily telling the gardener how to use a plant specifically.

He felt that the main important attributes were: visual impact, fragrance, sound (which is broader than you first imagine, such as the noise of bees…

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One thought on “Plants for the future workshop with the RHS

  1. Sophie, I have been saying this for years and the need for true described species to produce new cultivars and garden worthy plants. Joan and I have been working to produce pest and disease resistant fuchsias. In 1993 we saw the damage of fuchsia gall mite in California. There was one fuchsia species not touched. Breeding with this produced only near identical plants but we are getting there, but it will be a while before plants meet all critereas. People expect you to be able to do it in an instant and are soon to complain. I gave a cutting away and the Feedback came with no reference what good qualities the plant has but what it has not.

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