This is the time of year when new plants begin arriving at RHS Garden Hyde Hall. These have been ordered for new garden developments or for replacing old, tired or overgrown plants and it's my job to give them their passport.
I have to record all new plant material coming into the garden. Each group of plants is given a unique identifier known as an accession number, recorded onto the horticultural database (BG-BASE) and labelled; information has to be recorded onto the database before a label can be printed.
Firstly the accession details including the number of plants, the name of the nursery that supplied them, their condition and location are completed. Then I make a list of the labels that are required. The new temporary labels now show the accession number and family name in the left hand corner and also indicate if the plant has an AGM (Award of Garden Merit) such as Penstemon ‘Raven’ AGM.
The batch of labels are then taken down to the nursery (which serves as the quarantine area for new arrivals) and placed at the front of each row of plants. So far I am up to 297 accessions but this number will certainly rise throughout the year, especially in autumn when we receive the plant deliveries for the new Winter Garden.
Gradually the groups of plants will be planted out into the garden together with their new temporary label. My colleagues complete a plant movement form, to tell me where they've been planted, so that I can log them and order new labels. My next job will be to update the bed plans, BG-BASE and order new engraved labels; thus ensuring that our new arrivals are fully checked and documented.