Plant Heritage Collection Holders are Connoisseurs at Chatsworth

Plant Heritage will be starring in the Connoisseur zone, an area dedicated to plants which are a little bit out of the ordinary, at the first ever RHS Chatsworth show on 7-11 June. No less than 13 Collection Holders will display plants from their 26 National Plant Collections to inspire curiosity in visitors to this specialist area of the show.

Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to meet the Collection Holders and also find out about the conservation work of Plant Heritage at the charity’s own stand. Visitors to the Plant Heritage area will be given the chance to offer a name for a new Dahlia bred by Mark Twyning of the National Dahlia Collection in Cornwall. The dainty pink and white single has dark foliage and is best described as a patio type Dahlia, approximately 2’6’’ tall.

A particularly dramatic exhibit can be expected from Linda and Ray Heywood (Echium World) who hold the National Plant Collection of Echium species and cultivars from the Macaronesian Islands. Echium grow wild in the volcanic soils of the Canary Islands, so Linda and Ray are planning an innovative display based on a volcanic cauldera or crater, from which the dramatic flower stems of the plants will emerge.

Hoyland Plant Centre, which holds a National Plant Collection of Agapanthus, has been crowned Master Grower for the RHS Chatsworth Show. This new RHS initiative celebrates the growing methods of specialist nurseries and acknowledges sound, skilful production among the teams who produce picture-perfect plants and amazing displays at the flower shows. They will tell the story of Hoyland Plant Centre and their journey to the show, through the highs and lows of breeding and producing plants. Visitors will get a behind-the-scenes view of the nursery and be introduced to the dedicated people who make the business possible.

Plant Heritage will feature a display of ten missing plant groups which currently are not represented within National Plant Collections and asking visitors to consider what their plant passions are and whether they can help conserve them by starting a Collection of one of these plants.

CEO Sarah Quarterman said: “Through our Missing Genera campaign, we hope to raise awareness of the need for cultivated plant conservation. We’re looking forward to reaching out to more people at the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show and will have several examples of the missing plant groups on display. We hope this will inspire show visitors to come and say hello and learn more about our work.”

Images (top to bottom): Unnamed pink & white single Dahlia, Echium pininana 'Blue Steeple' copyright L. Heywood, Steve Hickman of Hoyland Plant Centre at RHS Chelsea 2017, Eryngium x zabelii 'Big Blue'
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