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Endangered orchids

If we hear that an item is rare – be it a jewel, or an item of clothing, or a plant – the very idea that there is limited stock of whatever it is available can send our minds into overdrive, just knowing that there is a restricted quantity of the product in question in existence, can fervently increase our desire to own the item – we don’t want to miss out after all! 

Plant Heritage are a plant conservation charity, based in Guildford, that encourage horticulturists, botanists, and gardeners to grow, propagate, share, and conserve a wide range of plants to protect and safeguard the variety of plants we have available to grow and enjoy.  This year, Plant Heritage are celebrating their 40th anniversary, so to mark the occasion they asked garden designer Jackie Currie to create an exhibit for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018, to publicise the value of Plant Heritage’s work.

I love to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for me this is the most prestigious and exciting event of the horticultural calendar!  I enjoy seeing Chelsea’s show gardens of every size and style, I am always interested to discover the latest gardening products, and I really look forward to finding new favourite plants, whilst being reminded of old favourites.  I so enjoy visiting Chelsea’s Grand Pavilion, which is filled with over one hundred exhibits created by expert growers, from nurseries that seem to specialise in growing almost every kind of plant.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The highlight of the horticultural calendar, The Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show is the world’s most prestigious flower show!  Over the past three weeks, award winning garden designers from all over the world, together with their teams, made up of some of the best landscape architects, project managers, builders, technicians, horticulturalists, artists and crafts people, have been working solidly to transform the Royal Hospital’s grounds at Chelsea into an oasis of gardening ideas and inspiration!

I love to visit the Grand Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!  This vast arena, which extends to almost three acres in size, is filled with super exhibits created by around one hundred specialist nurseries during the week of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  It’s such a joy to visit!  If you’re looking for some new plants, and you don’t have a particular variety or species in mind, visiting specialist nurseries, or enjoying a day out at a specialist plant fair, or a flower show, such as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show or the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, can help to connect you with your new favourite plant or plants!

It may surprise you to know that in the garden, as well as on the catwalk, fashions change and evolve, often quicker than we expect.  A plant that’s regarded as a ‘must have’ plant one minute, can soon be taken for granted and neglected, before being cast aside to make way for the latest modern plant introductions, when the superseded ‘must have’ plant is then at risk of being forgotten, often within a shorter time period than you might anticipate. 

When I was a child, it was my aim that by the time I became an adult I would have saved up sufficient funds to purchase, and forever after protect a beautiful woodland or forest, and at least one meadow!  I haven’t succeeded in my aim – I sadly have been unable to protect any of our woodlands, forests, or meadows, but I still feel just as passionately about plant conservation. 

I love our planet, I love plants and nature.  I want to protect our environment.  I want to live more sustainably.  Sustainability is not a new desire for me, it is something that I have always aspired to.  Firstly though I must tell you that I am far from perfect, I make mistakes and I am always learning.  I want to improve, I want to make changes to live more sustainably and to live ethically. 

Mothering Sunday, also known as Mother’s Day, will be held on Sunday 11th March 2018, in the UK.  If you’re looking for a special family day out, you might be interested in discovering more about the following gardens and attractions, which are offering free entry to Mothers, or other special offers on Mother’s Day 2018.  Some of these Mother’s Day offers differ, so I’ve listed the details of each event for Mother’s Day 2018 offer separately for every venue. 

Daffodils are such cheerful flowers, heralding the start of springtime, they are a joy to behold.  There are many different varieties of daffodils, so consequently you can find daffodils flowering from as early as December until late May, and beyond in cooler areas of the country.  Which is wonderful, as it provides us with plenty of time to enjoy and appreciate the daffodil’s beauty!

Happy new year!  Happy new plants – what a great idea!  Here are the details of many local plant sales, fetes, festivals, sales, swaps, and other super opportunities to buy wonderful, locally grown plants at fantastic prices, or even to swap plants or seeds for free!  Great quality, rare, hard to find, special, and unusual plants can be found at the specialist plant fairs and other events that I have listed for you below, in this my 2018 Calendar of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales, and Swaps.

Inside the Floral Marquee at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, I met Jackie Currie, a passionate Allium expert and Garden Designer from Surrey.  The RHS judges presented Jackie with a Silver-Gilt Medal, for her first ever exhibit at Hampton Court, which featured a selection of Alliums, from Jackie Currie’s National Collection of Alliums.

Beth: Congratulations on your beautiful Allium exhibit and your success here at Hampton Court Jackie!

Jonathan Hogarth of Hogarth Hostas holds a National Collection of Small and Miniature Hostas.  In 2016 Jonathan exhibited his Hosta collection at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where the RHS judges presented him with a Silver-Gilt Medal, and at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, where Jonathan was presented with a Gold Medal and the Best Plant Heritage Exhibit by the RHS judges.

Specialist Plant Nurseries

The RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show features an array of award winning specialist nurseries, this is a fabulous place to buy plants!  Whether you’re looking for South African plants, hardy plants, drought tolerant plants, indoor plants, air plants, orchids, ferns, ivy, clematis, herbaceous perennials,  bulbous plants, or succulents, you’re sure to find your favourite at this special show!

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, supported by Viking Cruises, is the world’s largest annual flower show!  This family orientated Show covers 34 acres of ground, occupying both sides of the Long Water, in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

This year Garden Designer Juliet Sargeant has designed the RHS Kitchen Garden, which has been created to showcase a number of innovative methods used to grow edible plants.  

To head straight to my 2018 Calendar of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales and Swaps, please click here.

There are many local plant sales, fetes, and opportunities to buy wonderful, locally grown plants at fantastic prices, or even to swap for free!  Great quality, rare, hard to find, special, and unusual plants can be found at the specialist plant fairs and other events that I have listed below.

On the 23rd May 1916, the Rhododendron Society held their first AGM at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Since their first AGM, a hundred years have passed, during which time the Rhododendron Society has evolved, and its horticultural interests widened.  It is now known as the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group (RCMG).  To celebrate the Centenary, David Millais, the current Chairman of the RCMG, and owner of Millais Nurseries in Churt near Farnham (who is also the great nephew of J G Millais – one of the founder members of the Rhododendron Society), created a special exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 to mark the occasion.  

I so enjoyed catching up with Jonathan Hogarth, from Hogarth Hostas, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, where the RHS judges awarded the Hogarth Hostas exhibit a Silver-Gilt Medal.   

PB: Hello Jonathan, your stand looks absolutely lovely, congratulations!  I wondered if you have any tips that I could share with my readers for growing miniature Hostas?

HH: …You see, the more heat you put into a plant, it’ll look rubbish this year, but next year it’ll be twice the size.  

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, supported by Viking Cruises, is the world’s largest annual flower show!  The Show covers 34 acres of ground, occupying both sides of the Long Water, in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

The Floral Marquee is 6,750 square metres in size – big enough to house an FA football pitch!  Here you’ll find an array of award-winning specialist nurseries, selling a diverse range of interesting and exciting plants.  

Award winning nurseries

Every year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, you’ll find a wealth of plant knowledge and expertise inside the Great Pavilion, where specialist nurseries, expert growers, and plants people, come together from all over the world, to showcase some of the special plants they grow and love.

Here’s a look at some of the nurseries and exhibits that were inside The Great Pavilion, at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016…….