Legendary plant breeder Peter Moore reflects 40 years and 45 plants

Peter Moore and Matthew Appleby

Plant breeder Peter Moore, who has been creating new plants for 40 years, tells HortWeek about his new breeding and his vast experience in the production of new plants.

He started work at Hillier in 1960 with some legendary Hillier propagators.

In 1997 he left Hillier’s to become propagator at Longstock Park Nursery in Hampshire. He is still responsible for the National Collection of Buddleja held at the nursery and is also a member of the RHS hardy plant trial committee.

Plant collectors like Sir Harold Hillier and Roy Lancaster were early inspirations, but it was Peter Dummer, the great Hillier propagator and plant breeder who was his biggest influence. He showed and monitored Moore in the skill of plant breeding so he made my first hybrid Pete Dummer came up with the name Aztec Pearl, possibly his greatest success. The first hybrid of the genus launched at Chelsea in 1989.

He talks about how he has spent hundreds of hours plant breeding. All the stamens are carefully removed before pollinating and the flowers are covered with a pollinating bag. Nothing is left to chance.

The most rewarding of the plants he has raised is Choisya White Dazzler, is available at most garden centres in the UK, listed in the RHS Plant Finder and sold in the EU.

He has complied www.Buddlejacollection.com and has a hardy hebe Lilac Quartz after other hebes were killed by frost in the Wisley trial in 2022.

Moore discusses the state of British plant breeding, Brexit, peat, what Chelsea winners are still around, how he markets plants and the help John Hedger, Neil Alcock, Charles Carr, Plantipp and Genesis have given for the 45 plants he has raised over the years.

Presenter: HortWeek editor Matthew Appleby
Producer: HortWeek digital content manager Christina Taylor

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