Introduction to Trials
"The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM) helps gardeners make informed choices about plants. This award indicates that the plant is recommended by the RHS."
To be awarded an AGM a plant needs to meet the following criteria:
- It must be of outstanding excellence for ordinary garden decoration or use
- It must be available in the horticultural trade
- It must be of good constitution
- It must not require highly specialist growing conditions or care
- It must not be particularly susceptible to any pest or disease
- It must not be subject to an unreasonable degree of reversion in its vegetative or floral characteristics
AGMs are awarded to plants as a result of extensive trials, usually at Wisley, and are awarded by a Trials Assessment Panel in an appropriate area of expertise.
As a pilot study, in these pages, we will be attempting to widen the scope of the trials conducted by the Rock Garden Plant Trials Panel to a wider audience. Visitors to this web site will have the opportunity to add their input to a trial and let us know about their experiences in growing the plants involved elsewhere in the country, or overseas.
In order to do this, we have adapted the software used for running and judging our successful online show so that it can be applied to judging trials. Registered users of the website can add their contributions to the judging process by scoring plants of which they have experience as well as uploading pictures and adding comments with an adaptation of the members' discussion area software. In the long term, we hope that we can progress to a less 'Wisley Centred' view of plant quality in the garden.
Recently completed trials by this Panel were for Sempervivums and spring flowering Crocus. Ongoing trials are for Roscoea and Meconopsis. (The Meconopsis trial is actually centred at Harlow Carr, a rather more appropriate site than Wisley for growing this genus!)