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UK: Medal sweep for Collection Holders at Hampton Court Flower Show

National Collection Holder exhibitors scoop 14 Gold, 7 Silver-Gilt, 10 Silver and 1 Bronze Medals in total. This includes 1 Gold, 3 Silver-Gilt and 7 Silver medals in the Plant Heritage Zone of the Floral Marquee.

Jim Marshall, who holds two National Plant Collections of Dianthus, was awarded Gold and ‘Best Plant Heritage Exhibit’ by the RHS for his display of malmaisons and his new Collection of perpetual flowering carnations, which had been thought lost until Jim discovered them growing on an East Anglian estate. His stunning and highly scented circular display included carnations that had not been shown for many years, such as plants from the 1920s to 1950s, for example, ‘Robert Allwood’ pre-1931, ‘Helena Allwood’ pre-1950 and ‘Monty's Pink’ 1953. Jim even included older Malmaison carnations from 1857 onwards in his display.
First time exhibitor, Jackie Currie, was delighted to be awarded a Silver-Gilt for her stunning and highly educational display of her National Plant Collection of Allium species, cultivars and hybrids (excluding cepa, porrum and sativum). Jackie displayed her plants in all their various stages from dried seed heads to bulbs and of course flowers, in a variety of size, shape and colour. As well as well-known varieties, Jackie also included unusual and uncommon (but garden-worthy) alliums that work well in the border, such as A. nutans, A. senescens and A. wallichii. The latter is becoming rare in the wild as it has medicinal as well as culinary value. It was worth all the mishaps Jackie had trying to ensure her plants were at the right stage for the show – including a rather enthusiastic refrigerator which froze some plants in their pots and a paraffin heater, which resulted in an entirely black greenhouse one morning!

Another first time exhibitor to the show is Julian Reed, who also deservingly won Silver-Gilt for his extremely healthy and fresh display of Polypodium. Julian’s Silver-Gilt will stand him in good stead in his mission to raise awareness of this highly undervalued genus of ferns. The genus can often be found thriving in tough-to-grow places, such as crevices in old walls. One of their most garden-worthy features is that they are wintergreen, with lush fronds displayed through the coldest and darkest months. They also have a phenomenal history - the species records date back to at least 1491 and the cultivar 'Richard Kayse' dates back to 1688, this could make it one of the oldest herbaceous plants.

Amanda Whittaker, also a first time exhibitor at the show, won a Silver award for her extremely educational display putting her Crassula Collection under the microscope. Amanda’s magnified photographs and interactive iPad presentation show off the amazing anatomy of this diverse and extensive genus of tiny South African succulents. The display is framed either side by cuttings in a “tableau”, based on the style of the work used by specialist nursery, Arée Succulentes, in France. The “tableau” are tight-knit planting of cuttings in a container, using their form, shape and colour to decide their position, and they can make a stunning table centrepiece.
Sarah Quarterman, CEO at plant conservation charity Plant Heritage said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the success of our National Plant Collection Holders and their fantastic displays at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. National Plant Collection Holders play a vital role in conserving the diversity of cultivated plants in the UK through their National Collections, and we’re thrilled that their enthusiasm and hard work in putting together their wonderful displays has been recognised.”

As well as having the opportunity to meet the National Plant Collection Holders, visitors to the Plant Heritage zone at this year’s Show are able to visit the charity’s Seed Shop where all sorts of seed varieties including some rare and unusual ones are available, in return for a small donation. The charity is also highlighting its Missing Genera campaign, with a selection of plants on display, such as Verbena and Arisaema 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 support its work as well as encouraging people to bring together a National Plant Collection of their own.

All of the displays are housed in the special Plant Heritage zone at the centre of the Floral Marquee from 5th to 10th July.

For more information:
Plant Heritage
12 Home Farm,
Loseley Park,
01483 447540
[email protected]
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