Safeguarding plant histories and plant futures with Gill Groombridge of Plant Heritage

This week Plant Heritage business manager at Plant Heritage Gill Groombridge joins the Horticulture Week Podcast

She reports on her highlights from the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (July 2023) which included displays focusing on the history of Plant Heritage's collections over 5 decades as part of its 45th anniversary celebrations.

They announced the winner of the Brickell award - awarded to a collection-holder who has excelled in cultivated plant conservation, which this year went to the Saxifraga national collection holder, Adrian Young.

Gill explains the way the people qualify to have their plant collection included under the Plant Heritage umbrella and how overlapping collections in different parts of the country may collaborate to best preserve individual specimens and collections. And where collection holders may, for a variety of reasons, be unable to continue preserving the collection, the importance of succession planning comes to the fore:

"Our conservation team do some amazing work ensuring succession plans, working with collection holders to get what succession plans they can in place to keep plants safe for the future."

In 2016 Plant Heritage launched the Missing Genera campaign which highlights a list of plant groups that are missing and hopefully encourage would-be plant collection holders to consider developing one. This year the focus is pollinating plants and includes, among others Cactus, Collocasia, Elaeagnus and Osmanthus.

Gill talks about some standout plant collections from recent additions and the benefits of Plant Heritage's recent move to the grounds of RHS Garden Wisley.

Presenter: HortWeek senior reporter Rachael Forsyth
Producer: HortWeek digital content manager Christina Taylor

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