12 December 2015

RHS Plant Ratings and Plant Preservation Efforts

The Royal Horticultural Society revised its plant ratings a few years ago to add hundreds of new plants and to reflect the changes in climate. Here's the entry from their May 1, 2014 release of the new book, "RHS Plant Finder 2014, the 28th edition of the gardener’s guide to UK cultivated plants, is now available. 
RHS Hardiness Ratings


Compiled and published annually by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the world’s foremost gardening charity, RHS Plant Finder 2014 lists more than 70,000 plants, together with details for more than 570 suppliers, making it the most comprehensive directory of plants available to buy from UK and Irish nurseries.


RHS Plant Finder 2014 contains over 3,800 new plant entries, including Clematis ‘Prince George’ named to celebrate the birth of the royal baby."

At the 5th Annual Botanic Gardens Conference in 2012, The Queen's Botanist, Professor Stephen Blackmore, addressed the group. This YouTube of his talk is well worth 30-minutes to hear. Red Lists were new to me.

The RHS 10.30.15 press release addresses their new eco-conscious approach to renewing an interest in gardening. 

"RHS to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change and Help Gardeners be More Eco-Friendly"

The five-year plan of action focuses on ensuring that the UK’s 27 million gardeners have the tools they will need to address the new horticultural and societal challenges they will face in the future.
Key areas will include:
• Improving the detection, identification and management of garden pests and diseases by using a three-pronged approach involving surveillance, field research and laboratory techniques
• Promoting environmentally sound gardening practices and exploring how plants and gardens can support health and wellbeing
• Working with UK gardeners to share the latest intelligence on garden plants and harness their on-the-ground knowledge to guide and support RHS research
And, in this post, the Queen's Gardener addresses "Humanity's Future"
Speaking ahead of the lecture, Professor Blackmore said: “It’s often said that nature can take care of itself, but that’s no longer true if we want to live in a world that can support us.
“We can’t simply ask the government to fix the global environment, they couldn’t do it. The planet can be safeguarded only by each of us changing our behaviour in positive ways that will make a difference to the quality of life in the future.”
The changes Professor Blackmore is proposing are just as applicable to large gardens as to urban windowboxes, for they involve gardeners seeing themselves as part of a bigger picture in which the choice of plants they grow has an effect multiplied millions of times across the world.
In practical terms, this would mean gardeners:
• actively choosing plants that will support the widest diversity of other species, including pollinators and other garden wildlife;
• making urban landscapes much greener by planting garden and street trees to absorb pollutants, reduce excess temperatures and improve the quality of the built environment;
• not paving over front gardens, instead ensuring that there is an area of green as well as a parking space;
• gaining health benefits for themselves and their families through gardening;
• joining forces with and support their local parks, gardens and gardening societies, if they don’t have a garden of their own.
Professor Blackmore added: “The more you can grow in your individual patch, garden or windowbox, the more you can help planet Earth. For me the key insight is that it was the cumulative actions of 7 billion people that created the environmental challenges we face today, and it will be the individual actions of those same people that will get us out of the position we’re currently in.”
The urgency is clear, if we, collectively, want to help reverse the trends of environmental destruction.



  

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