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Graham Rice on Trials

Updates on trials and awards from the Royal Horticultural Society by Graham Rice

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  • Daffodils on trial at Wisley

    Graham Rice on 18 Apr 2010 at 10:30 AM

    In my last post I looked at the display of daffodils which already have the Award of Garden Merit. But there are also some superb plants in the Wisley trial itself. Planted last autumn, this is their first year in flower. The first one I noticed was ‘Rip van Winkle’. This a very old double flowered daffodil... Read More...

  • AGM Narcissus at Wisley

    Graham Rice on 13 Apr 2010 at 03:54 PM

    All over the country the daffodils are at their peak – and Wisley is no exception. You’ll see the displays almost as soon as you get there. But make your way to the trials field and you’ll find a rather special display. Every one of the daffodils which have been given an Award of Garden Merit after being... Read More...

  • AGM for 'Scrumptious' apple

    Graham Rice on 31 Mar 2010 at 01:28 PM

    For the first time in over ten years an apple has been given the Award of Garden Merit. Not since 1998 has an apple received the award, and it’s gone to the very aptly named ‘Scrumptious’. ‘Scrumptious’ is an early apple, for eating straight from the tree in mid August and September. Introduced back... Read More...

  • Award winning raspberries

    Graham Rice on 27 Mar 2010 at 02:12 PM

    The number of gardeners growing fruit has rocketed in recent years and soft fruit, in particular, has become very popular. So the completion of a three year raspberry trial comes at a very timely moment. Coupled with the fact that raspberries are no longer only sold as bar root canes by mail order in... Read More...

  • AGMs for endive

    Graham Rice on 10 Mar 2010 at 12:15 PM

    With sowing season approaching, it’s time to take a look at last year’s Wisley trial of endive. This trial was also grown at the RHS gardens at Hyde Hall in Essex and Rosemoor in Devon. Endives may not be top of the list of salad crops or stir fry crops, but their texture and flavour make them invaluable... Read More...

  • Smaller melons score well in a cloudy summer

    Graham Rice on 20 Feb 2010 at 12:20 PM

    Some gardeners are wary of growing melons. But last year’s trial of small-fruited varieties, grown outside, proved that they are not difficult – even in a relatively sunless summer. And these “single portion” melons are great for most households as each fruit is eaten fairly quickly so never gets the... Read More...

  • AGMs for hardy chrysanths

    Graham Rice on 10 Feb 2010 at 01:59 PM

    In recent years, the Chrysanthemum trial at Wisley has been updated. And the way in which it’s been updated may seem surprising: more older varieties are being included. The reason for this is that the trial tended to focus on the latest varieties, but many older varieties of hardy garden chrysanths... Read More...

  • Sweet pea AGMs

    Graham Rice on 05 Feb 2010 at 09:27 AM

    The sweet pea trial at Wisley is always a big attraction to visitors – and the fragrance is often as powerful as the colour is enticing. But it’s not just an attractive display, it’s a serious trial with the expert sweet pea judges assessing the entries for both use in the garden and for exhibition.... Read More...

  • Award winning parsnips

    Graham Rice on 23 Dec 2009 at 12:02 PM

    As a staple of Christmas Dinner, this seemed a good moment to take a look at the awards that came out of this year's parsnip trial at Wisley. Twenty one different varieties were grown, from old and familiar names like ‘Tender and True' to the very latest F1 hybrids. Ten were given Awards of Garden... Read More...

  • Awards for irises

    Graham Rice on 06 Nov 2009 at 12:09 PM

    Tall Bearded Irises are amongst the most dramatic and colourful of perennials so the very best of them must be really impressive. And they are. The RHS Iris Sub Committee - yes, there's a sub committee just for irises - has recently had its latest awards ratified and three Tall Bearded Irises performed... Read More...

  • Late cauliflowers

    Graham Rice on 22 Mar 2009 at 02:17 PM

    Cauliflowers are not the easiest vegetable to grow but they are amongst the relatively few vegetables that can be grown to cut in late autumn and winter. And fresh food from the garden at that time of year is always a treat so this cauliflower trial, recently ended, was especially useful. Twenty eight... Read More...

  • Carnation and garden chrysanths awarded AGM

    Graham Rice on 06 Mar 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Trials of outdoor carnations and chrysanthemums take place every year at Wisley. It's a long standing tradition and even after so many years fine new varieties are still being recognised and receiving the Award of Garden Merit . The latest awards have just been confirmed. Although attracting a fervent... Read More...

  • Top dahlias

    Graham Rice on 29 Jan 2009 at 03:08 PM

    Last year the Wisley dahlia trial was one of the most colourful - and interesting - of the season. It usually is. It's always worth seeing just to admire the dazzling display. But of course there's a purpose to it: finding the best. Out of a grand total of one hundred and forty nine different... Read More...

  • New trials blog

    admin on 27 Jan 2009 at 12:07 PM

    The current RHS Plant Finder lists over 70,000 different plants and there are vegetables and many more that never find their way into the book. But how do you know which are the best? Well, the RHS tests many of them at its garden at Wisley and gives the prestigious Award of Garden Merit to those few... Read More...