Horticulture and conservation, case studies, School of horticulture, RHS Garden, Wisley Horticulture is a practical science and gardening is the practice of horticulture. Gardeners are practical scientists: they recognize plants, investigate how they behave and apply their findings. The RHS works to encourage and propagate the science of gardening, and it emphasises relevance to the gardening community in its scientific work. It responds to legislative changes in the horticultural industry and changes in the surrounding environment. Report of the RHS Science Departments, 2002 Bulbs conservation issue, by Helena Jurgielewicz, April 1998 From introduction Bulbous plants have long been exploited for food, medicine and their ornamental value. To meet a demand, there has been collecting from the wild such that some species, for example Cyclamen, are now endangered and protected by legalislation. Focusing on Cyclamen Cyclamen attract with their patterned leaves, flowers with reflected petals and fruits held on coiled stalks. They burst into life in the autumn and flower in the depths of winter. The genus Cyclamen contains 20 species, primarily in the Mediterranean region. In the wild they thrive in shade of trees and shrubs, in leaf litter. From the conclusion Plants are a global resource on which we depend worldwide for huge variety of practical and commercial uses. It is therefore important that they are exploited wisely and in a sustainable way. The CITES listing of Cyclamen and Galanthus species under threat is a reminder of our greedy desire to ornament our gardens at the expense of nature. What we do however, is artificialy propagate already available species and so help to minimize need for wild collected material. Management of apple collection at RHS Garden Wisley, 2002/2003, by Sarah Ridout, October 2003 Purpose and a brief history of apple collection The collection at Wisley is now the second largest apple collection in the UK. It is considered to be a gene bank. It is an accessible collection and used as a reference by many people. It is also used for propagation material and for pruning demonstrations and so on. The RHS has been involved in Fruit growing since its beginning in 1804. It contains the most accessible collection of all types of hardy fruit in the British Isles. It covers 6.5 hectares. The Collection has 600 apple cultivars, 120 of pear and over 100 varieties of dessert plums and gages. Quinces, medlars and nuts are also grown. Apple History The sweet or domestic apple (Malus pumila Mill.) arose some 8 12 million years ago as the precursor(s) of the modern day Malus baccata (Siberian crab) in refuge fruit forests adjacent to, or on, major fault lines of the Tien Shan regionIt appears that, through various types of selection over millions of years, Malus sieversii (the new apple of the Tien Shan) became transformed from a small, bird-distributed, edible-seeded, cherry-seized non-fragrant fruit into the large soft, sweet, poisonous-seeded fruit on todays supermarket shelves. The Mysterious Origin of the English Apple, Dr Barrie Juniper - Reader Emeritus, Dept of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford Travellers on the silk route which traverses some of these forests may have picked the biggest fruits and transported them throughout the world. However: True domestication had to await the invention of grafting by the Chinese, sometime in the second millennium B.CThis technique is what eventually allowed the Greeks and Romans to select and propagate the choicest specimensAccording to Pliny, the Romans cultivated twenty-three different varieties of apples, some of which they took with them to Britain. The Botany of Desire 2001, Michael Pollan The first School of Horticulture at Wisley has opened its doors to young trainee gardeners as early as 1907, when the first Laboratory was established. Ever since then various horticultural courses are offered to people, who want to learn about growing and maintaining plants, the botany and nature of them. Education is one of the foundations of plant conservation. Presented case studies are product of students of School of Horticulture at RHS garden, Wisley. By Meta epic, School of Horticulture, RHS Garden Wisley, April 2004 The heather garden, by Erina Nyamhanga, October 2003 From introduction This is one of the largest national Collections of plants of genera Andromeda, Calluna, Daboecia and Erica in the British Isles. It covers 3,6ha of the Howards Field with the plants grown in informal beds in drifts of various sizes. Background information to the heather collection at Wisley The collection was first established in 1920 and in 1987 it received the status of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens (NCCPG) in the British Isles. That is when the idea of a larger collection was conceived. It was promoted by formation of the Heather Society in 1963. In the autumn 1988 the heather garden was established at its present site, at far north end of the garden, beyond the Pinetum. Observations The benefit of the heather garden serving as a National Collection is that having all the plants grown in the same area for easy use. This helps one to compare and observe all the different cultivars together side by side. By virtue of being a group of evergreen plants that can provide colour throughout the year, generally problem free, long lived, with many uses, low maintenance, easy to propagate and a large selection of cultivars, heathers are a group of many promises in cultivation.