Debut Daffodil Festival puts Scotland’s Backhouse Daffodils on the map

2017, the year of Scotland's History, Heritage and Archaeology, was the perfect time to launch Scotland’s first Daffodil Festival. It was held on 15-16 April at Backhouse Rossie Estate in Fife. It was a great success with visitors enjoying woodland walks, an egg hunt, artisan stalls, talks, planting demonstrations, nine-hole putting and, of course, the …

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Rare plant of the month: April 2017

Hepatica transsilvanica 'Blumenstadt Erfurt' Welcome to the second in our series of blogs about rare plants growing with Plant Guardians in gardens around the UK. Plants in the genus Hepatica are found across the northern hemisphere from Central Europe to Asia, Japan, North America and Canada. They belong in the Ranunculaceae family. Flowering early, from February …

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Love your rose Collections on Valentine’s Day

We have 11 National Plant Collections of Rosa, spanning the UK from Edinburgh to Hampshire.  From old English roses to Scottish and Japanese roses, rambling, shrub and ancient Gallica roses – there’s a Collection to woo all lovers of the nation’s favourite flower.  Wherever you live, why not plan some visits to see them this summer? …

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Plant Heritage at Borde Hill Gardens

The sun shone on our first national Plant Heritage event this year, held at Borde Hill Gardens, near Haywards Heath in Sussex, described as  ‘One of the country’s truly great gardens’ by Country Life magazine. Huge thanks to the generous Eleni Stephenson-Clarke of Borde Hill Gardens, our hostess, to our Sussex Group committee, and for the support from NFU …

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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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