Continuing the centuries old tradition of plant collecting, staff from RBGE travelled to Japan in 2005 and collected seed. Returning to the Garden this was sown, nurtured and planted out in the garden.
On the Pyrus lawn is a mature specimen of Malus sieboldii from Ernest Wilson’s expedition to China in 1908, now a wide spreading loose canopied tree full of light pink blossom. Nearby is a young Malus sieboldii sapling, not ten years old, awash with flowers collected on the BBJMT trip to Japan in 2005. Seed of both was collected from trees growing in woodland; however, Wilson did not have a ski resort in the surrounding mountains as backdrop! Times change and the demands on our environment also change. The need to study, research and classify living plants remains a priority to RBGE especially as the pressures on the plant kingdom from an increasing population are impinging on all aspects of our lives.
There is a desperate need in gardens to manage a range of species that represent various age classes. Mature stands of trees, ornamental or otherwise, need a youthful and mid age class of tree within the canopy to ensure shelter and representation for study and appreciation.
Continuing this ethos within the garden at home, if you have space in your garden and are appreciating the diversity and colour of spring blossom; now is the time to invest in your garden and develop the age range of planting.
This has been an uncertain twelve months for plant sales in the nursery and garden centre trade due to the wet summer of 2012 and this season’s cold, late spring. Help to boost their sales, invest in a plant and appreciate its growth and form for years to come.