association with the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), the International Trials Conference 2011 (July 4-7) will be a global consultation on the assessment of ornamental plants. With many regional, climatic, and cultural variations, most trials are carried out at a national and a regional level. It is hoped that sharing information on an international scale will help inform best practise amongst plant growers, breeders, nurserymen, and commercial suppliers.
“We are very excited by the opportunities that the conference will bring,” says Jim Gardiner, Director of Horticulture RHS. “We are proud that RHS Garden Wisley will be the venue for this first conference. We have been managing plant trials since the RHS was founded over two hundred years ago and our trials programme along with the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) is very much an integral part of our charitable mission.”
Representatives from the UK, the USA, The Netherlands, and New Zealand will sit on the scientific committee. The aim of the conference will be to advance the understanding of the way trials are run globally and across different sectors, and inform and promote the effectiveness of plant trials internationally.
“Our trials programme is world renowned and we have visitors from a wide variety of countries coming to see what we are doing, this international conference is a great opportunity for us to learn and share” says Kylie Balmain, Head of Horticultural Trials and Relations at the RHS. “We are focused on continually improving and developing our programme and partnering with interested parties so that our trials better reflect what gardeners want to learn about.”
The RHS is actively promoting the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) and encouraging gardeners to look out for the ‘winning cup’ symbol when buying plants.