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September 2020 Conservation Feature

Conservation plants: tried and tested

Gardeners want plants that make a positive contribution to the overall effect, either by adding foliage or flowers over a long period or providing a focal point of interest even if for a brief time. With a staggering 3300 new introductions listed in the RHS Plant Finder 2020 it can be difficult to choose. 
The RHS Award of Garden Merit is given to plants after a period of assessment by experts and intended as a practical guide for the gardener. The HPS Conservation Scheme has several plants that hold AGM's such as Bergenia 'Pugsley's Pink' and Iris sibirica 'Peter Hewitt'. 

Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Loofahsa Wheaten Gold' was recommended for an AGM subject to availability in the UK in the RHS Trial of Perennial Yellow Daisies (1998-2002), but failed to find commercial backing, only finally gaining the award last year. It is flowering well this summer with chocolate-brown-centred single golden-yellow flowers that are excellent for attracting pollinating insects.


Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Loofahsa Wheaten Gold'

Other plants in the HPS Conservation Scheme are continually assessed by members who grow them in gardens in different parts of the country, looking for qualities similar to the AGM, of plants that are easy to grow, hardy and resistant to disease. Erigeron 'Sincerity' has been in flower since June this year, while still to come is Chrysanthemum 'E. H. Wilson' a light airy plant with dark stems and sprays of sweetly scented cream flowers which will be in flower in October and November.


Erigeron 'Sincerity'

Chrysanthemum 'E.H. Wilson' (© Norwell Nursery)

If you want to find out more about the Conservation Scheme plants or would like to suggest a plant that deserves to be more widely grown go to www.hardy-plant.org.uk/about-plants/conservation 

Jan Vaughan Posted by Jan Vaughan

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