RHS clears its Deadwood

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has unveiled plans to overhaul Award of Garden Merit (AGM) system, which was devised in 1922. The AGM is the RHS performance index as to how well plants actually grow in our gardens.

The RHS previously used round the table discussion of amateur and professional gardeners to create this index, and decide which plants were in or out. The overhaul will see extra input come from specialist gardening societies, RHS plant committees, plant collectors and heritage group.

Around 80,000 plants are available for consideration, with the overhaul seeing 1900 plants lose their AGM with a further 1400 gaining AGM status. Dr John Grimshaw, director of Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard explains;

“The 2012 AGM review was conducted by hundreds of people bringing a huge weight of experience to the table, meaning that these plants really have been thoroughly scrutinised. I think it’s significant that a core of more than 5000 plants have retained the AGM, demonstrating its essential strength.”

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