Thursday, August 19, 2010 - 11:43

The iconic Biomes of the Eden Project will be the backdrop of a PlantNetwork conference on horticultural collections on September 7 and 8.

The event, entitled Contemporary Issues for Gardens and Plant Collections, will bring together people who work with gardens and plant collections in Britain and Ireland.

Talks and discussion will cover a range of topics from living collections, garden management and plant conservation, to sustainable glasshouses and communicating with visitors. It will also provide an opportunity to look at the approaches taken at the Eden Project.

Speakers include Sir Ghillean Prance, Trustee of the Eden Project, Dr David Rae, Director of Horticulture at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Matthew Biggs, writer, broadcaster and professional gardener.

Eden Project staff will host a number of behind-the-scenes tours on various aspects of horticulture at Eden. A tour around the Lost Gardens of Heligan with Mike Friend, Head Gardener, is offered on September 9.

Among the organisations taking part are the Royal Horticultural Society, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (RBGE), National Trust, English Heritage, Plant Heritage and many others.

Alistair Griffiths, Horticultural Science Curator at the Eden Project, said: “We’re really excited to be hosting this ‘who’s who’ of British and Irish gardens. Eden is all about positive change so we think we’re the perfect venue for conversations about solutions for issues facing gardens and plant collections now and in the future.”

Over the past few years, PlantNetwork has held conferences on climate change, plant conservation, growing fruit and vegetables and pests, diseases and invasive plants.

PlantNetwork is the national network of botanic and heritage gardens and arboreta in Britain and Ireland. It promotes garden and botanical collections as a national resource for horticulture, research, conservation and education and facilitates training and networking among staff who work with these plant collections.

A limited number of places are available for delegates from gardens or plant collections and a number of student places are available at a reduced rate. For more details or to book a place at the conference, see or contact Judith Cheney ( or 01223 763901).