UK: Plant Collections rescued during 2020s spring lockdown saved by new collection holders

Horticultural conservation charity Plant Heritage has accredited 13 new National Plant Collections, including two collections that overcame significant obstacles posed by 2020’s spring lockdown and were relocated to new homes despite the challenges of Covid-19. Now, both thrive in their new locations and the newly accredited 13 collections brings the charity’s total to an impressive 666.

Nerine 'Smokey Special'  

The first is a collection of Nerine sarniensis (known also as Guernsey or Jersey lily) and a hardy Nerine collection formerly held by a Collection Holder in Devon. Both had to be relocated from their previous home in Devon when unforeseen circumstances meant a quick move. Now, the Nerine sarniensis (692 different varieties) lives on at Cotswold Garden Flowers in Worcestershire, while the hardy Nerine collection (over 100 different varieties) settles into life at nearby RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon. Together the Nerine collections numbered over 2,000 plants – an incredible feat to prepare and relocate during 2020’s spring lockdown.

Ruscus Aculeatus 

The second is a Ruscus collection, which was also rehomed during last year’s spring lockdown. Prior to the first lockdown, its former owner had started re-establishing the collection to its new location. Like the Nerine collections, the move was finally completed during 2020’s spring lockdown, despite the challenges posed. This somewhat underappreciated genus now also calls RHS Garden Rosemoor home and grows throughout the gardens, but primarily can be found in the Bicentenary Arboretum.

Vicki Cooke, Conservation Manager at Plant Heritage says: “We are delighted that after the challenges of 2020 people across the country still found the energy and enthusiasm to look out for our garden heritage. While it is of course sad that two of our Collection Holders have had to give up their collections (one unexpectedly), we are heartened that despite the obstacles posed by Covid-19, those collections already have new homes where they can thrive once again.”

Vicki continues: “These ‘living libraries’ of plants help to conserve our nation’s rich horticultural history, and with the help and enthusiasm of our Collection Holders, Plant Guardians, local groups and members, we can continue working to ensure that cultivated garden plants are looked after for future generations to enjoy as much as we currently do.”

For more information: 
Plant Heritage


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