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Plants should be grown, not ripped out of forrest's.

I notice the Australian garden features a large Xanthorrhoea (grass tree).

I'm very disappointed as these plants are not grown, but ripped out of forrests.  What makes this sadder is that this plant would be many hundreds of years old (definitely before white people arrived) and once they are removed from there natural landscape, die a very slow death.  

I think it's disgraceful that a garden exhibition can just rip the plants out of the native forrests - the RHS should have a critea that the plants on display should be grown.




  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    I agree wholeheartedly. Its perverse, rather obscene. 

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Exactly, if you or I were to go and commit such a crime, we would be in deep trouble - and rightly so - but just because it is Chelsea, they seem to be abe to do what they like.  Disgusting.  I wasn't going anyway, but this would be one of the many reasons why I wouldn't. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,162

    Judging from programmes and articles I've seen on preparing for Chelsea, trees and plants for the displays have to be sustainably sourced from nurseries or borrowed from gardens and then either sold or put back at huge expense.   If the Oz garden is indeed ripping stuff out of the wild it needs to be censured and the RHS needs to be made aware that there is a problem.

    Instead of having a go on here, why not send them a mail with your concerns.

    I have to say I've never liked the Oz gardens at Chelsea, purely because they are so far removed in style and content form anything that can happily be grown or usefully used in the usual British or north European climate. You'd spend 50 weeks of the year unable to use the expensive outside sitting rooms and dining rooms and cooking facilities and the swimming pool they're wrapped around.   They're not exactly filled with plantsmanship.

    That said, there is so much of of interest and excellence at Chelsea that can fill a whole day - looking at the other show gardens, big and small plus the chance to see great plants in the floral pavillion and talk to their growers without lingering in Oz.    I love it and will be there on Thursday with 6 Belgian scientists on their annual English immersion trip and my wheelchair cos my feet aren't quite ready for a whole day at Chelsea on their own.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,720

    Are you sure it's been ripped out?. I spent some time in Perth helping a friend plant her new garden with native plants. There are specialist nurseries growing lots of native australian plants for people to plant a sustainable garden in very dry sandy soil. The "English garden" with roses  and a lawn is no use because of the heat, and high water needs.  The grass trees are often lifted when an area is cleared for housing, but often they try and build around them. There are lots by wayside verges. When a bush fire goes through, they burn, but then sprout again from the top. They are are often known by the non pc name of "black boys". Every garden centre in Perth will have them for sale.

  • Pippin2Pippin2 Posts: 6

    Thanks all for your comments and agreements. 

    The Xanthorrhoea seed is readily available at many nursarys, however, they take approximately 1 year to germinate, and then grow at approximately 2cm per year. Any plants that are nursary grown, are therefore very small.

    The plants in the Australian exhibition are clearly very big, and very old (a few hundred years), I would guess they began life before any white people were in Australia, let alone any nursery's to propagate this beautiful plant.  The only way to obtain such large specimins, is to dig them up from there natural habitat.

    Many nursary's do sell these larger Xanthorrhoea's as potted plants, under the claim that they are 'rescued from imminent destruction' - ie private land owner's, digging them up, selling them on, for easy money. I personally consider this as disgraceful, as clearing sections of the amazon for farm land, and digging out the prize plants.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,720

    I  am always impressed by Australian conservation. Huge tracts are declared national parks. Even Kings Park in Perth has a good chunk of untouched bushland.

    They are however a rapidly expanding nation and there will always be pressure on land for building.  Better that the grass trees are dug up and transplanted to gardens than just burnt in a mass clearance.

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    Hmmmm! You may be right, Fidgetbones, though  I can see that argument being used by unscrupulous dealers digging up threatened plants all over the world - "These rare crocus bulbs come from Turkey - I know they are not supposed to be dug up but they were growing in a field that was being dug up to build a local hospital and my supplier rescued them so they might find a good home". I just don't think that a prestigious organisation like the RHS should allow it, as it sends out a bad message - it's ok so long as you can explain it - no need to show certification. 

  • Pippin2Pippin2 Posts: 6

    Thanks Gold1locks, I completely agree. It's often used as an excuse to simply harvest these plants from the wild, and I think the RHS and the Chelsea Flower Show, as the world leaders for gardening, could have a major impact in stopping this activity. They need to set an example, and prohibit exhibitors from using such plants. 

    Wikipedia has some information on the Xanthorrhoea, it's age and slow growth rate, and the activity of nursaries to aquire these plants from bushland.

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 498

    The link makes sobering reading. Very low survival rate of uprooted plants unless 1 cubic metre of rootball is extracted with it. Plants take 3 to 4 years to die.

    But they live long enough to put on a good show for Chelsea image

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,720

    have a look at the transport of the 750 yr old boab tree to kings park.

    If you look up Kings Park Perth wa websit and the "the Boab journey"

    The boab was in the way of a road so it was transplanted to Kings Park.

    It's quite a remarkable sight. There are other boabs in the park but none as old or as big.

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