Conservation Scheme


Why do this?

Wild plants receive some protection and conservation from international organisations and some governments, but those which people have selected or bred and which we grow in our gardens don’t. If we want to keep the huge range of plants that we can grow in the UK we need to try to do something about this.

Does this matter?

Retail horticulture focuses on a limited selection of cultivars to ensure supply and sales, but this restricts what is available to gardeners. By conserving older, less available ones the scheme provides growers more choice and variety.

Plants come in and out of fashion as new cultivars come to market. If they are not in demand at the moment, plants may have a role to play in future breeding programs.

So yes, it does matter.

So what’s the Hardy Plant Society doing?

We have a national Conservation Scheme which aims to identify and preserve at least some of the plants in danger of being lost. Volunteer members of the scheme grow the plants in a variety of places across the country and report back on how well the plants have grown for them. They also propagate the plants and pass them around, so it’s a good way of getting your hands on a rare plant!

Our successes

 Several plants have become more available, as shown by their entries in the RHS’ ‘Plant Finder’, and so we have removed them from the scheme. See more about those still on the list, or in the featured articles on our blog.

How can I get involved?

The Conservation Scheme is open to any member as an individual or as part of a local group. If you are interested and want to find out more, get in touch with your local group co-ordinator or with the National Co-ordinator.

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