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Knowledgeable gardeners needed for trials

29 September 2012
Knowledgeable gardeners needed for trials

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s leading gardening charity, is looking for keen gardeners, members of the trade and gardening professionals to get involved with its plant trials.

RHS plant trials were set up in 1922 with the aim of identifying outstanding plants ‘for ordinary garden or greenhouse use’. Those plants, chosen by the voluntary forums, are given an ‘Award of Garden Merit (AGM) which gardeners can look out for and be comfortable knowing that all AGM plants are good for overall general use.

The charity is forming several new trial assessment forums for 2013 and is looking for participants to join the following;

• Digitalis at RHS Garden Wisley
• Allium (small) at RHS Garden Wisley
• Allium (large) at RHS Garden Wisley
• Lachenalia at RHS Garden Wisley
• Solenostemon (Coleus) at RHS Garden Wisley
• Sarrecenia at Hampshire Carnivorous, Southampton
• Streptocarpus at Dibleys Nursery, Ruthin

“The forums will probably meet four to six times each year and will comprise of a maximum of 10 members,” says Colin Crosbie, Curator RHS Garden Wisley. “By working with these forums we hope to ensure we are assessing plants that interest UK gardeners. The RHS Award of Garden Merit is an excellent vehicle, which is supported strongly by the trade, to help educate and inform gardeners. We are very grateful to our assessment volunteers who share with us their valuable knowledge and expertise and this underpins the selection of suitable plants.”

Expenses will be paid to support anyone giving up their time to help. Also, in recognition of their work, current forum volunteers receive a pass to RHS Chelsea Flower Show. All forum members have to be members of the RHS and the charity hopes to draw from a wide range of interested parties including commercial producers, breeders, botanists and keen growers.

A full list of RHS Plant Trials planned for 2013 can be found at www.rhs.org.uk/trials. Anyone interested in being considered for these forums should email the RHS at trials@rhs.org.uk.