Behind the scenes we are busy preparing and planning trials for the 2016 season. One that I am really looking forward to is a trial of rosemary (Rosmarinus) which will run for three years until 2018. It might seem a way off yet, but last week I headed to Kent to meet Dr Simon Charlesworth, of Downderry Nursery – a wonderful specialist grower of lavender and rosemary.
Simon holds a National Plant Collection of rosemary, and he is propagating some of the plants to be grown in our trial. The nursery is open for visits during 2015; Thursday-Sunday until 27 September.
More cuttings for the trial were sourced a few weeks ago from the collection of rosemary at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. These are being grown on for us by VHB Herbs, which is a leading supplier of pot-grown and fresh cut herbs for UK retail outlets and supermarkets, based just outside Chichester, West Sussex.
In August the young plants will arrive at RHS Garden Wisley for overwintering under the care of our propagation team before we plant them on the trials field next spring. We only have six AGM cultivars of rosemary at the moment, but we should see some exciting new garden-worthy plants during this trial.