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P lant Heritage honours sweet pea expert Chichester based sweet pea expert Roger Parsons has been awarded a major prize for his cultivation and research into the plant in over 30 years. Roger is the holder of the national collection of Lathyrus and the Brickell award recognises the plant conservation work undertaken by collection holders to secure plants in cultivation, through rediscovery and propagation. Roger began growing sweet peas in 1985 and started collecting Lathyrus species in 1991. Recognised as a National Plant Collection in 1993, it was initially based at Hotham Park, Bognor Regis, when Roger was Head of Parks and Landscapes at Arun District Council. He started adding Lathyrus odoratus cultivars to the collection in 1998. Following retirement from Arun District Council in 2005 Roger and his collection moved to Bracklesham Bay. The collection, which originally numbered in the hundreds, now covers approximately 69 species and 1400 cultivars.

This has been achieved by sourcing material from across the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Europe (particularly Latvia) and the UK. different cultivars over several growing seasons. Roger believes that the Roger Parsons best way to conserve a cultivar is for people to grow it. He therefore offers the largest selection of cultivars in the world and promotes types of sweet pea not available elsewhere. Lathyrus ‘Prince of Orange’, a variety introduced in 1928, was thought lost to cultivation. The name had been used for an earlier cultivar grown by the Hemus family at Holdfast Hall, Worcester, a century ago. Roger managed to obtain seed thought to be this variety from a source in Canada and has subsequently been able to confirm its identity.

Art in the Garden at Harold Hillier Gardens The Sir Harold Hillier Garden, set over 180 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside continues to host a fascinating ‘Art in the Garden’ exhibition through to October 13th. The exhibition opens daily from 10am to 5pm and is free but garden admission prices apply. It features award winning local, new and established British sculptors and artists from overseas. It is a selling exhibition and a great opportunity to buy a unique piece of sculpture for your garden. Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyn’s Lane, Ampfield, Romsey SO51 0QA.

Chawton House hosts Plant Fairs Roadshow Chawton House is hosting a second Plant Fairs Roadshow on Sunday, 21st July opening at 11am and running through to 4pm.It is a return event at the Hampshire ‘Great House’ referred to in Jane Austen’s letters, which has now been sensitively restored. Thirteen specialist nurseries will be on hand to sell high quality plants, perennials, herbs, trees and shrubs-all backed up with expert planting and growing advice. Entry is ÂŁ5 and includes garden admission. Refreshments will be available for purchase in the tearoom. There will be an additional ÂŁ5 charge for visitors wishing to explore the house. Chawton House, Chawton, Alton GU34 1SJ.


Profile for Country Gardener

Hampshire Country Gardener August 2019  

The August 2019 issue of Hampshire Country Gardener Magazine

Hampshire Country Gardener August 2019  

The August 2019 issue of Hampshire Country Gardener Magazine