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The Plant Seekers PDF Print E-mail

Wednesday, 09 May 2012 15:40

A new exhibition celebrating the adventures of plant hunters

The thrilling stories of some of history's most fanatical plant-hunting adventurers will be brought to life in a new exhibition by the RHS Lindley Library and The Garden Museum. The Plant Seekers will run from 17 July - 21 October 2012 at The Garden Museum, London.

The exhibition of material from the world-renowned RHS Lindley Library will tell the story of many of history's most important plant collectors, who travelled the globe and risked death, disease and bandits to transform our landscapes and grow our knowledge about plants and horticulture.

Featuring many previously unseen artefacts from the RHS Lindley Library collection, this unique exhibition will demonstrate how international plant hunting has influenced our modern British gardens.

Curated by The Garden Museum, the exhibition will also show the wider impact of plant collecting on our world, from its influence in medicine and science to the role it has played in biodiversity and other environmental issues.

For more information about the exhibition, including opening times and ticket prices, visit: www.gardenmuseum.org.uk/page/visiting-us

'Sculptural' with Peter Randall-Page previews at Devon Garden Festival in June PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 15:35

Sculptural previews at Devon Garden Festival

A major new element of the Arts & Crafts Garden Festival at Coombe Trenchard, Devon on the 1st and 2nd June, is announced today with news that renowned sculptor Peter Randall-Page will be leading a new, exclusive, preview of Sculptural, a ground breaking new sculptural art event to be held at the Estate, opening fully for seven weeks from 15th June.

Sculptural is a celebration of new British sculptural art forms and unique pieces of garden furniture and design. The event will feature pieces such as ‘Mother Tongue’ by Peter Randall-Page, whose work is represented across the world, including permanent collections at The British Museum and the Tate in London

The Sculptural preview will take place alongside the Garden Festivals very own ‘art in the Garden’ exhibition. The Festival’s exhibition will be welcoming renowned artists such as Philip Simmonds (Sculptural Ceramics) and acclaimed glass artist, Bianca Divito. Both artists will have recently displayed their work for national acclaim at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show the week before.

Curated by the William Benington Gallery, the Sculptural preview will enable Festival guests to experience an exciting and challenging mix of work, from up and coming artists such as Patrick Woof, through to more established sculptors and makers. These diverse outdoor installations will provide the perfect backdrop for the 2012 Arts & Crafts Garden Festival at Coombe Trenchard, situated at Lewdown near Okehampton. In addition to the Sculptural preview, the Festival will host expert garden speakers, including TV gardener and columnist Alys Fowler and an inspiring and eclectic range of British designers, makers and plant sellers.

Clouds, Rain and Silver Linings PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 13:07

Current weather is challenging for gardeners, says the UK's leading gardening charity

The recent rains, says the RHS, have helped gardeners but also have caused problems. The rain has meant that, despite the drought orders in some parts of the country, there is no need to water plants. Those with water butts should now also have enough water to help them through any dry summer. But the charity warns that this spring's variable weather has created challenges in other ways.

Rain and clouds have cut light levels which have led to slow growth. Low temperatures have not helped, either. Stinging frosts experienced early in April meant plants got off to a slow start. Another effect is that nutrients have been washed too deep into the soil for young plants to access.

But there is also some positive news, according to the RHS. Weeds have not grown as quickly as they normally would, and it has been too wet and cold for insect pests to be as active as they normally would be in spring.

"On the face of it, things at the start of the growing season were good in the garden," says Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticultural Advisor. "The dry and warm conditions in March were ideal for sowing, planting and maintaining lawns. But the wet April and now May has caused concern. What gardeners ideally need are conditions for good early root growth so that plants are able to seek out water throughout a dry summer. This hasn't been happening."

Despite recent rainfalls, water supplies in the longer term will remain tight and plants could still run short of water later this summer. The imposition of a drought order, although necessary, will potentially make things more difficult. The RHS Advisory Service is busy helping people find ways to boost plant growth so they can survive any summer heat waves.

The RHS advises gardeners to -

1. Keep lawns from getting too unkempt by mowing as soon as it is dry enough for your mower to cope with it, taking off no more than a third of the grass each time until it is back to the right height

2. Remember that when the sun shines newly plants trees, shrubs and climbers will dry out faster than the surrounding soil so be ready to water these even if the soil seems moist

3. Many plants will look yellow as nutrients are washed below the root level. This should be temporary, but applying foliar feeds to green up plants is useful in severe cases.

- Ends -

For more information please contact Eoin Redahan in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3044 or Erin O'Connor on 020 7821 3364 or email Eoin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Erin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Notes to the Editor:

About the RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK's foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262




Gardens in a Different Light: Museums at Night 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 April 2012 10:33


Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

See Gardens in a Different Light: Museums at Night 2012

Gardens may not be the first thing you think of when you think about Museums at Night, weekend (Friday 18th to Sunday 20th May) but this year's festival has a host of treats for garden lovers. From tranquil Elizabethan gardens, to hidden gardens in the middle of a thriving metropolis, there is a garden to excite everyone.

For Museums at Night 2012 Manchester Museum are inviting visitors to their tranquil secret gardens in the city. Play croquet on their allotment with a glass of Pimms, go into the secret gothic tower to see the treasures of the herbarium and discover how nature can make you feel happy.

The walled Victorian gardens at Scawby Hall, Lincolnshire, were originally laid out to supply the hall with its fruit and vegetable requirements. The garden still follows the original Victorian plan with some modern twists, but includes a number of rare fruit tree varieties, a lavender maze and naturally grown vegetables. On Friday 18th May the head gardeners will be hosting tours pointing out some of the more unusual features and exploring the history of how the garden has developed alongside the house - a Jacobean Manor House occupied by the Nelthorpe family since the mid-17th century.

TV Gardener to launch RHS Quest for Young Talent at RHS Show Cardiff PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 April 2012 16:03


David Domoney launches the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition to celebrate the first ever National Gardening Week on Get Kids Growing day.

Popular TV Gardener, David Domoney will be launching the first RHS Young School Gardener of the Year, at RHS Show Cardiff 2012 (20-22 April), on Friday 20 April, part of the first National Gardening Week.

Pupils from St John's College, Cardiff, will get the chance to meet David on Friday 20 April at 10.30PM, and go on a tour of the Show. As well as meeting David, the children will be given gardening books and the school will receive £50 of gardening vouchers.

David Domoney said: ‘My love for gardening began when I was at school and it's for this reason that I feel the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year is such an important initiative. I can't wait to meet the kids - gardening is a great way for them to learn whilst having fun - so I'm sure we'll have a laugh!'

David has recently been a gardening expert on shows such as Daybreak and The Tonight Show, and presented his own programme, called Garden ER. He is also currently working on an exciting new gardening project for ITV1.

Rachael Cooper, a Teacher at St John's College, said: ‘The children are all very excited about meeting David Domoney for the launch of the first RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition. I know they have a million questions to ask him, so he better be ready! We are also looking forward to finding out what he thinks about our Wheelbarrow - so much thought and effort has gone into creating it, we really hope he likes it.'

Jacky Chave, RHS Strategic Schools Manager, says: ‘We're delighted David will be launching the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition with us. His success in the gardening world is inspirational: he's a fantastic role-model for any young person who is interested in gardening so a very apt person to be launching the competition.'

Aimed at gardeners up to the age of 16, the annual competition is a key initiative in the first National Gardening Week (16-22 April). Each day is themed and the quest to find the nation's most skilled and enthusiastic young gardener, will be launched on Friday 20 April, ‘Get Kids Growing Day'.

Divided into four age groups and aimed at RHS Campaign for School Gardening schools, A winner of each age group will receive gardening tools and £500 in garden gift vouchers for their schools. The overall winner, crowned Young School Gardener of the Year 2012, will spend a day at an RHS Garden of their choice, working with an RHS gardener and receive family tickets to either RHS Tatton Park Flower Show or RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013, some garden tools and £500 in garden gift vouchers for their school.

RHS Show Cardiff takes place at the end of National Gardening Week, and is the perfect venue to launch a competition celebrating the green-fingered champions of tomorrow. The show is already a big hit with the youngsters, through its Schools Wheelbarrow Competition, which exhibits the imaginative planting of pupils from some 70 schools in South Wales.

For more information on the RHS Young School Gardening of the Year go to www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening'

Get pumped for pumpkin growing! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 April 2012 16:18


The Royal Horticultural Society has launched the RHS Heaviest Pumpkin Competition. Professional and amateur growers alike are invited to enter by 24 September for the chance to win £1,000.

This new competition is part of the RHS London Harvest Festival Show (9-10 October 2012) at Lindley Hall, Westminster. Entrants will present their prized pumpkin to be weighed and judged on Tuesday 9 October.

Communities Find Ways to Garden through the Drought PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 April 2012 16:41




17 April 2012

Communities Find Ways to Garden through the Drought

The RHS is working with communities throughout the UK to help them continue gardening through the drought, for the good of the environment, and offer tips on ways to respond to these conditions.

Stephanie Eynon, RHS Community Horticultural Manager, says: ‘We are not aware of any community gardening groups pulling out of Britain in Bloom as a result of the drought. Our volunteers are fantastically resourceful and never short on ideas of ways to overcome drought difficulties.

‘Environmental responsibility is a major part of Britain in Bloom. For years now, we have encouraged our groups to use sustainable planting, wherever possible, and this year, we have compiled additional information for all groups affected by the drought.'

Groups and schools are finding innovative ways of using less water to garden. For example, Julia Rackowe, from Bury in Bloom, said: ‘For our famous hanging baskets, we now use reservoir baskets which have a layer of water at the bottom, so they only have to be watered twice a week compared to once or twice a day as they used to be.'

Linda Cambourne-Paytner, a Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteer uses an aquarium pump for syphoning off her bath water into plastic bottles which she uses to water the local beds.

Jon Wheatley, Chairman of South West in Bloom, says that groups are not being put-off by the drought: ‘We encourage the use of sustainable plants that are drought-resistant and most, if not all groups, are using sustainable planting. Newquay and Truro, for example, mainly use drought-resistant plants in their bedding displays.

‘Methods we recommend to groups, include collecting water from roofs of houses, and sheds. We also suggest mulching as much as possible, which is a term that means putting chippings, or the like, on bedding in order to conserve water.

‘Dryer conditions enable more effective use of the hoe and this means that it's easier to get rid of weeds - keep everything weed-free, in order to reduce competition for water.

Alan Titchmarsh has attacked David Cameron’s dismissal of gardening, insisting it should be treated as a real career PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 April 2012 16:34
The Prime Minister, who grows vegetables at his Oxfordshire constituency home, was scathing about gardening in a speech two years ago.
Setting out the Coalition’s priorities in allocating work to the long-term unemployed, he regarded gardening as requiring as much skill as collecting litter.
This upset Titchmarsh, Britain’s best known television gardener and vice president of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
The Prime Minister’s comments were not “particularly useful”, Titchmarsh wrote in The Garden, the RHS magazine.
“That's the problem – many perceive gardening as 'tidying up'. The sort of thing that you do to your sock drawer once a year. But, as many of us know, it is so much more than that.
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