• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Ian Tocher

Horticulturist in the Trials Department at RHS Garden Wisley

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be awarded an RHS bursary to go on a study tour of four amazing American gardens

I’m a Horticulturist in the Trials Team at Wisley, where I look after a number of plant trials and I’m also responsible for growing a wide range of unusual pumpkins and squashes for RHS autumn events. I love working in trials because the work is so varied. As well as the everyday gardening tasks, my work involves pest and disease monitoring, tractor driving, keeping records of my work for the Trials Office and writing articles and blogs promoting the Trials Field.

I’ve had an interesting career in horticulture so far. I’ve gained the RHS Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture and worked in a number of high-profile gardens, including the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Waddesdon Manor and the beautiful public parks of Cambridge.

I have an interest in garden history, particularly North American parks and gardens. A few years ago I was lucky enough to be awarded an RHS bursary to go on a study tour of four amazing American gardens – New York Botanical Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Wave Hill and, the most amazing American garden of them all, Longwood. Outside of horticulture, my passion is modern architecture and I often spend my weekends visiting modern buildings, but this usually involves looking at the landscaping too!

Ian's posts and conversations

  • Maintaining our roots

    Wisley has a long history of trialling vegetables and this year is no exception, with an abunda

    Read more
  • Beautiful science

    RHS Garden Wisley is renowned as a world-class garden, but the Laboratory building could be as

    Read more
  • Autumn Harvest Weekend

    Get lost finding the amazing pile of pumpkins and squashes stacked at the centre of our s

    Read more
  • Kale – from cattle fodder to good-looking superfood

    There are now many new varieties of this fashionable crop – but which are best for home g

    Read more
  • Flowering currants and fossil trees

    The flowering currant trial at RHS Garden Wisley is looking wonderful right now

    Read more
  • The finest sweet peas – it’s all in the preparation

    Behind every RHS plant trial lays an often-hidden world of planning and preparation. So how doe

    Read more
  • Carrots for Christmas

    Move aside snowmen and reindeer: growing carrots at RHS Garden Wisley is a serious business...

    Read more
  • Good enough to eat

    Edible exhibits: RHS Garden Wisley’s pumpkin and squash display at the RHS London Harvest

    Read more
  • Passionate about Penstemons

    ‘Blueberry Fudge’, ‘Vanilla Plum’ and ‘Sweet Cherry’ may so

    Read more
  • Picking the sweetest sweet peas

    The sweet peas are looking fantastic right now on the Trials Field at RHS Wisley - their scent

    Read more
  • Picking the sweetest sweet peas

    The sweet peas are looking fantastic right now on the Trials Field at RHS Wisley - their scent

    Read more

Get involved

We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.