Breeder slates quality of new plants

Many of the new plants introduced these days don't warrant introduction, said breeder Steve Yandall from Rainbows End Nursery in Cornwall.

"For example, many of the recently introduced lavenders are actually annuals, and when they don't survive over the winter consumers get put off buying lavenders altogether."

Plants need to be tested in our climate properly, said Yandall. He cites a variety he bred, Lophomyrtus 'Black Pearl', as a plant that shows an improvement on earlier varieties.

"It can survive down to minus 10 degrees C and is much more compact and bulks up quicker than earlier varieties, colours up and has a reflective leaf."

Last July a debate on the subject "Are There Too Many New Plants?" was held at Bressingham Gardens. The event was chaired by Adrian Bloom, with a panel including Nigel Colborn, Adam Pasco and Patrick Fairweather.

Issues raised included the DNA profiling of new plants, preventing piracy and the allocating of RHS Awards of Garden Merit.


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