Plant Heritage Collections celebrated at Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Several exhibitors at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be specifically focussing on celebrating their Plant Heritage National Collections in their spectacular displays, on 23-27 May 2017.

One such exhibitor is Fibrex Nurseries, based at Pebworth near Evesham, who is celebrating the 30th anniversary of holding its Plant Heritage National Collection of Pelargonium. In light of this milestone, owner Heather Godard-Key is planning an extra special display this year. The family-run nursery will have a free-standing display featuring pelargoniums in a tiered arrangement, aptly resembling a celebration cake. Heather is famous for her delicious Pelargonium cake, although this particular cake will be off-limits for eating.

The nursery will launch four new varieties of Pelargonium at this year’s show, one of which is P. ‘Rushmoor Amazon’, a break-through variety with large yellow blooms, which falls into a new category of ‘Zonartic’ Pelargonium.

Bowden Hostas will tell a wonderful story about their National Plant Collection of Hosta ‘Halcyon’ & sports, including a tale of the extraordinary and eccentric breeder Eric Smith, who developed the ‘Tardiana’ group of hostas.

Continuing the ‘yellow theme’, Terry Baker, of the Botanic Nursery and Collection Holder of Digitalis, will be launching a yellow foxglove perfectly named D. ‘Limoncello’ as well as his monograph on the genus. Hot on the heels of Chelsea, is Foxglove Week, 1-4 June, when Terry will be giving daily tours and talks at the nursery.

Other new plants being launched at the show include: from Gold medal winning nursery Plantagogo, Heuchera 'Sweet Caroline’ TM (Fox Series). Very attractive to bees, ‘Sweet Caroline’ has tall, long lasting, salmon pink flowers in spring and summer, surrounded by striking lemon and lime foliage. Also being launched is Tiarella 'Raspberry Sundae' TM (Fox Series), which has star-like foliage and beautiful bee-friendly blooms on dark stems, deep raspberry-pink buds opening to pale white-pink stars. Both plants will be for sale in 1 litre pots from www.plantagogo.com for £7.50 each plus P&P.

Fibrex aren’t the only ones celebrating an anniversary this year, Plant Heritage is also gearing up to run the busy cloakroom for its tenth year, with its fantastic team of 100 volunteers from the charity’s membership groups based around the UK.

The cloakroom offers a safe haven not just for coats and heavy luggage, but items ranging in size and shape from metal sculptures, wedding outfits and golf clubs, to picnic baskets, even Brompton bikes. Donations from the cloakroom contribute to the charity’s plant conservation work. Plant Heritage works with its members to safeguard the rich diversity of cultivated plants across the UK, through different projects such as the Plant Guardian Scheme, National Plant Collection® scheme and Threatened Plants research.


Images (top to bottom): Heather Godard-Key of Fibrex Nurseries, P. 'Rushmoor Amazon', Tiarella 'Raspberry Sundae' 

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