This time last year our daffodil trial was only just beginning to flower, but the mild winter this year meant that back in February you could be welcomed to the field by the bright, sunny faces of ‘Winter Waltz’, ‘Lemon Silk’ and ‘Snipe’. This is the final year of the daffodil trial and the Assessment Forum look at plants every week to catch each entry in bloom and score them. In May they will decide which entries deserve the AGM.
The assessment meetings for the Ribes sanguineum trial had to be brought forward by three weeks as flowering was so much earlier than expected.Ribes sanguineum WHITE ICICLE = ‘Ubric’ and Ribes sanguineum ‘Albescens’ were flowering away before the likes of R. sanguineum ‘Flore Pleno’ had even got going with leaves! This trial is in its second year and the Woody Trials Asessment Forum are busy working with the RHS botany team on identifying some of the entries as there appear to be some imposters!
Now in April we’re looking forward to a good show by the Viburnum plicatum trial. Unfortunately over the winter some rabbits developed a taste for the buds of the first few entries of this trial, so we may not get any flowers this year. Although we fence all our trials with chicken wire to try and stop this, the rabbits were clearly quite determined not to be grouped in with chickens and we had to use electric fencing for a time. The Viburnum had an establishment year last year and will face tough scrutiny by the Woody Forum this year as they assess plants not only for flowering performance, but habit, foliage quality, ability to fruit regularly, autumn colour and overall performance in an open situation.