The National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens has been extraordinarily successful in encouraging national collections of garden plants. There are enormous benefits in having such collections. Selfishly, of course, we think first of the pleasure of being able to go and look at them. But collection owners also do a great deal of work in unravelling wrong names and in saving some of the old cultivars from disappearing altogether from cultivation.

Now three of them have published booklets about their collections. Denis Bradshaw has been building up his honeysuckle collection for 100 years and now has about 100 different kinds. His 24-page booklet (pounds 3.95) includes information on looking after and pruning honeysuckles. Sylvia Norton has written about her collection of lathyrus, cousins of the sweet-pea (pounds 3.95 for a 30-page booklet). John and Jean Ainsworth's 54-page booklet (pounds 4.95) is about the family of sarracenias, North American pitcher plants.

The booklets are all available by post from the NCCPG at The Pines, RHS Garden, Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QP. Add 50p for postage and packing.

Denis Bradshaw's honeysuckle collection is held at J Bradshaw & Son, Busheyfields Nursery, Herne, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 7LJ (01227 375415) and is open Tues-Sat, 10am-5pm, admission pounds 1. Sylvia Norton's collection of lathyrus is at Weavers Cottage, 35 Streetly End, West Wickham, Cambridge CB1 6RP (01223 892399) and is open by appointment only during the sweet pea season. The Ainsworth's collection of more than 120 pitcher plants is at Bank Farm, Bank Head Lane, Bamber Bridge, Preston, PR5 6YR (01772 321557) and is open by appointment only, admission pounds 1.

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