Here's how to see Gresgarth Hall Gardens and support Plant Heritage North West's fundraiser
A North West group dedicated to saving endangered garden plants is asking the public to support its work by enjoying a garden day out with a difference.
The Plant Heritage north west group is delighted that celebrated garden designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd has agreed to open her garden at Gresgarth Hall, near Lancaster, in aid of the charity on Sunday June 5.
Gate money will go to Plant Heritage and there will be specialist nursery growers selling rare and unusual plants as well as a Plant Heritage plant stall.
Group spokeswoman Catherine Penny, a renowned rose grower, said there are numerous reasons why conserving plant heritage is so important.
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She said: “Plant Heritage is the only national charity trying to ensure that the cultivated plants we grow now will be available to future generations for cultural, medical, culinary and aesthetic use. This is done through the National Plant Collection Scheme, a Plant Guardians initiative and our local group network.”
The charity says there are numerous reasons why plants become unobtainable – including changing fashions so cultivars become unobtainable, changes to the plant sales trade and the decline of specialist plant nurseries, climate change, pests and pathogens and a lack of propagation and cultivation skills causing a loss in their availability.
Catherine, a former High Sheriff of Lancashire, said that while many are important for their genetics, for biodiversity or medicinal use, some are also of value simply because they are “historically interesting”.
She added individuals can help with plant conservation: “We have a Plant Guardian scheme where one person can just look after a plant and be willing to let someone have propagating material or propagate it themselves.”
The Plant Heritage North West group covers the region up to the Scottish borders and meets in Lancashire and Cumbria.
Admission to Gresgarth Hall gardens at Caton will cost £12. The extensive gardens, open from 11am -5pm, include terraces, lakes, a small bog garden, a wild garden, an extensive kitchen garden, a bluebell wood, a Millennium wood and herbaceous borders.
Gresgarth Hall garden includes a Plant Heritage National Collection of flowering trees in the Styracacea family.
It being Jubilee weekend, the refreshments stand will be stocking a special Jubilee cake.
Tickets can be bought on the gate on the day or be ordered in advance via the plantheritage.org.uk website