Three National Plant Collections to display for the first time for Plant Heritage at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

This year Plant Heritage will be showcasing ten of their specialist National Plant Collections at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, including for the first time, 3 new exhibitors with displays of Echium (from the Macronesian Islands), Hakonechloa cultivars and Fuchsia (bred by James Lye). The displays will be housed in a special Plant Heritage zone at the centre of the Floral Marquee from 5th to 10th July. 
 
Linda Heywood’s (Echium World) Echium spp., & cvs., from the Macaronesian Islands, will feature plants, pollinators and people, showcasing the ‘Hive 5 Project’ with the design and artwork provided from local school children of an authentic WBC beehive. Linda’s serious passion for Echium has allowed her to successfully grow 27 species in Nottinghamshire.  
 
The display from Kristopher Harper (Harper & Debbage) will highlight the Fuchsia cultivars bred by James Lye between 1869 and 1901. James Lye was described as the champion fuchsia grower of his day, so this display will showcase the legacy he had created. 
 
Philip Oostenbrink’s Collection of Hakonechloa macra & cvs. or Japanese Forest Grass, is a plant native to Japan, originating from the Hakone mountains. This Collection started off on a small balcony, and now has 17 cultivars displayed in a private office garden in the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral in Kent.
 
Further National Plant Collections exhibiting at this year’s show will include:
 
The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens - Cornus
Brookfield Plants - Hemerocallis with the RHS AGM
Jonathan Hogarth  - Hosta (small & miniature)
Anne Milner - Iris (Arthur J Bliss) and Sarah Cook – Iris (Sir Cedric Morris Introductions)
Dr Gary & Maria Firth - Myrtaceae (Tribe Myrteae)
Barry Clarke - Rubus spp.
 
As well as having the opportunity to meet with the National Plant Collection Holders, visitors to the Plant Heritage zone will be able to talk to the charity’s staff and members and visit the charity’s Seed Shop to purchase all sorts of seed varieties including some rare and unusual ones.  The charity will also be highlighting its Missing Genera campaign, with a selection of plants on display, such as Ginkgo biloba and Verbena which are currently not represented within National Plant Collections. The charity is calling on anyone with a passion for plants to learn more about the campaign and to encourage people to bring together a National Plant Collection of their own.
 
Sarah Quarterman, CEO at Plant Heritage said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming as many visitors as possible to Plant Heritage zone at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Our zone promises to be an educational and inspiring display to help visitors to learn more about the state of the nation’s plants, including our Missing Genera campaign, as well as about our National Plant Collections and their importance in conserving the diversity of cultivated plants in the UK. We’re delighted to be able to celebrate our Collection Holder’s hard work and efforts all under one roof this year though their wonderful displays”.
 
The Brickell Awards for Excellence in Cultivated Plant Conservation will also be presented on Monday 4th July on Press Day. The award is given in recognition of ‘excellence in cultivated plant conservation’ by a National Plant Collection Holder.

Images: Fuchsia 'Annie Earle' © K Harper; Hakonechloa 'Samurai' ©P Oostenbrink; Echium candicans © L Heywood.
 
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