16 New National Collections accredited in spring and summer of 2021

2nd August, 2021

A phenomenal amount of work has been put in over the spring lockdowns to put together these 16 new National Plant Collections, held across the British Isles and Ireland.

Collections include those of houseplants, annual flowers, trees, shrubs and more, and all will provide protection, opportunities to visit and add to our understanding of our rich garden flora. Read more about the new collections below.

Alstroemeria (hybrids bred by Parigo 1969-2004 & Little Miss series), Historical, Alec White,  Bedfordshire

The Collection is held in a commercial nursery, planted in outside beds and in pots.

Arecaceae (hardy & half hardy), Horticultural, Ventnor Botanic Garden, Isle of Wight

The hardy/half hardy collection of Arecaceae at Ventnor Botanic Garden has developed over a long period and there has been a dramatic increase since the 1970s in half hardy taxa being successful. The focus is to test the limits of hardiness for the collections and new accessions. 

Bellevalia spp., 
Horticultural, Debbie Amor, Suffolk

Debbie Amor has an obsession with spring bulbs which led to this collection of the Bellevalia species. While they have a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern heritage, many Bellevalia species can be happily grown in the UK. 

Catalpa, Horticultural, Beale Arboretum, Hertfordshire.

The Beale Arboretum is adding Catalpa to its Carpinus and Taxodium Collections that thrive in its heavy clay soil. The arboretum is within the 35-acre grounds of West Lodge Park hotel and has regular arboretum tours and NGS open days.

Cosmos bipinnatus cvs., Horticultural, Jonathan Sheppard, Lincolnshire

Having grown Cosmos for several years this new collection established by Jonathan Sheppard is one of the few collections of annuals. It currently comprises container-grown plants, along with a more informal planting of 80 square metres.

and Dahlia spp. & subspp., Horticultural, Louise Danks, Cornwall
The large and very popular Dahlia collection is a huge part of Cornwall’s horticultural history and it is great to see that it has a new home at the Kehelland Trust, near Camborne. The collection is made up of 1,700 cultivars and 22 species dahlias. 

Horticultural, Penny Jones, Devon

Penny Jones has used Epimedium as companion plants in conjunction with her National Collection of Primula sieboldii displays.  With growing interest and requests for epimediums, they have built an eclectic but commercially available collection, with bold coloured flowers and striking foliage. 

Heuchera (bred & intro by Terra Nova Nurseries, Oregon),
 Horticultural, Gary Cleeve, Wiltshire

Gary fell in love with these colourful bushy, mostly evergreen wonders at a gardening show and want his passion for this group of plants to inspire other people to conserve their favourites. 

Horticultural, Biserka Stringer-Horne, Newcastle

A Hoya carnosa brought over to the UK from Australia in the Fifties started what is now a comprehensive collection of plants, all with beautiful foliage and fragrant flowers. Very few Hoya are available in the UK, so this collection aims to spread the knowledge and love of this genus. 

Irish Heritage Plants, 
Horticultural, Dispersed, Irish Garden Plants Society, Ireland 

This collection is held across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, by members of the Irish Garden Plant Society. It is largely based on Dr Charles Nelson’s years of research at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Glasnevin, and the subsequent publication of the book A Heritage of Beauty – The Garden Plants of Ireland. 

 Horticultural, David Warden, North East

David’s new collection of Miscanthus complements his other collections of Veronicastrum and Helenium. They are planted as large drifts or as specimens to frame and complement other perennials

Reference, The Mathers Foundation, Sussex

The collection was founded to conserve Oncidium species and hybrids, particularly the cool-growing plants formerly classified as Odontoglossum and the related genera. Although once widely grown and hybridised in England during the late Victorian age, they are now much rarer in cultivation.

Horticultural, Eric & Teri Turner, Herefordshire

There has been a proliferation of new Persicaria cultivars, especially from the Continent. The collection aims to improve our understanding of the academic work done recently on the taxonomy of Persicaria/ Koenigia/Aconogonon/Polygonum etc.

Horticultural, Dispersed, North East group, Northumberland

Members of the NE Group of Plant Heritage are growing one or more Physocarpus, dispersed up to 75 miles apart. Thanks to generous support from RHS Wisley they have obtained cuttings from a recent Eurotrial, giving access to some cultivars not listed in the RHS Plant Finder. The intention is to develop a display collection in one location to aid comparison between taxa. 

Rowden Nursery Collection,
Horticultural, Emma Robertson, Devon

The plants that John and Galen Carter bred during the 30 plus years they ran Rowden Gardens (now Tor Garden Plants) serve any garden well. High up on the edge of Dartmoor, it is a special place and the collection keeps the history tied to the nursery. 

eg: plant genus, common name, county, collection holder name.