The assessment meetings for my trials started steadily in January and February with the Hamamelis (witch hazels) in Kent. Then there was a slight lull for a few weeks before the Ribes (flowering currants) assessments started, followed by the viburnum ones, both trials being held at RHS Garden Wisley. However since the week of the Chelsea Flower Show, when I helped to man the Chelsea Plant of the Year stand for two days, my weeks are becoming noticeably busier.
As well as the usual recording work on the Trials Field at Wisley, which obviously increases as the season progresses, in June I attended two assessment meetings of the Thalictrum trial at Aberglasney Garden in west Wales.
Then we headed south to an assessment of the evergreen agapanthus in containers, again an off-site trial, at Fairweather’s Nursery in Beaulieu down in Hampshire.
The main trial of both deciduous and evergreen types planted in the ground is here at Wisley. The week finished with All About Plants, a new event at Wisley which brought together more than twenty different plant societies in one marquee.
Spreading the word
This week, I’m spending two days at the Horticultural Trade Association’s National Plant Show at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry, where the RHS has a display which promotes the Award of Garden Merit (AGM), Perfect for Pollinators plants and the Chelsea Plant of the Year 2015. Next week is the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and again I will be a secretary to one of the judging panels in the Floral Marquee.
Then the following week, I’m off to Wales and Aberglasney Gardens again. The next Thalictrum assessment event on Tuesday 7 July will be followed in the afternoon by talks from garden writer Val Bourne and Rosy Hardy of Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants.
Subsequently in July, we’ll be assessing the evergreen agapanthus again and then I’ll be heading north to the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park before returning to Wales. In between, I also have assessments of the agapanthus and clematis trials here at Wisley. At the moment the second half of August looks quieter but perhaps I shouldn’t say that too loudly...