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At an inspiring evening about Chinese and Tibetan Alpines this week my attention was drawn to Plant Heritage, The National Council for the Protection of Plants and Gardens. Yes I have heard of them before and probably you have too, but it began to dawn on me slowly what very important work they do. Plant Heritage’s (NCCPG’s) mission is to conserve, grow, propagate, document and make available the amazing resource of garden plants that exists in the UK. We know that a vast proportion of the plants we buy at the Garden Centre, including the veggies, have foreign roots and have been brought back to this country by explorers, travellers and botanists and then propagated here in the British Isles. Why here?

Well we do love plants as a nation, but actually this is a country where most plants grow really well in our climate. It is a great place for growing almost anything. Yes, the climate is massaged in places like Kew and the Eden Project and we all have a microclimate somewhere nearby, but the plants respond. So, as part of their work, members of the NCCPG are not only responsible for introducing and keeping dedicated national plant collections they also hold an AGM where members can offer, or bid for, rare plants. If you get a rare plant at the bidding you keep it for two years and then you put it back in the pot, for someone else to bid for and propagate from. Sounds like a good idea to me. For more information visit here.

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