Himalayan Garden wins National Plant Collection status

A Ripon tourist attraction has been awarded a top accolade for its conservation work.

By Janet Harrison
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 9:18 am

The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park at Grewelthorpe has been awarded National Plant Collection status by Plant Heritage for its Rhodendron subsect, Fortunea.

Jago Wallace, Head of the National Collection of Rhododendrons at the garden said: “We have worked hard to achieve this award, undertaking specific recordings, research, care, and maintenance of these plants to keep them in good condition.”

The award has been given specifically for the Himalayan Garden’s collection of Rhododendron subsect Fortunea, of which there are 29 different types across the garden.

There are over 1,200 different Rhododendron species which are broken down in to ‘subgenus’ and even further into ‘subsections’. The subgenus of the garden’s Fortunea subsection is the Hymenanthes.

“We have created a new National Collection bed to help visitors see the Fortunea more closely,” added Jago.

“With the propagation of our plants being a major aim, all of the garden team have attended master classes on Rhododendron propagation, which gives us the skills to improve the care of our National Collection.”

Plant Heritage is a national horticultural charity which aims to conserve the diversity of garden plants in the UK and prevent the extinction of particular species.

They aim to save plants is to successfully cultivate and propagate them and share with others.

The Himalayan Garden aims to run its own master classes, educating visitors, volunteers and future staff in the art of Rhododendron propagation.

This will ensure that the Rhododendron subsect, Fortunea is conserved and thrives for future generations to admire and enjoy.

The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park is home to over 80 striking contemporary sculptures, situated within 45 acres of stunning woodland and gardens.

The microclimate of the valley makes it fertile ground for the rare Meconopsis blue poppy, alongside the North’s largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias.

The Sculpture Park features works by internationally renowned artists, all inspired by nature and is open to the public from April–October 30 in 2022.