Gardening Cuttings: Blossoms for the plant collector

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The Independent Online
THE NEW directory of National Plant Collections contains details of 550 examples from all over the country, some in the gardens of amateurs, others in public parks, in great national institutions such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, and in commercial nurseries. All the collections are open to visitors, though to see some held in private gardens you need to make a written appointment. Last spring I went to Cambridge Botanic Garden to admire the stunning collection of fritillaries (77 different varieties). The county itself boasts 24 collections, including all sorts of aquilegias, campanulas, honeysuckles and saxifrages.

The book is available in some National Trust shops, or direct from the National Council for the Preservation of Plants and Gardens, The Pines, Wisley Garden, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB (0483 211465). Price: pounds 2.50, including p & p.

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