Hi, I`m Barry Clarke, a professional horticulturalist/Botanist for one of the country`s leading Botanical Gardens, The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey. The Gardens has the largest collection of hardy trees and shrubs in the World, masses of herbaceous too and is a must for any plant lover. (www.hilliergardens.org.uk). I have been with the Gardens for 12 years, but my passion for plants started many years before that. Previously, I ran a small specialist nursery on the Isle of Wight. I specialized in Australasian flora, particularly Bottle Brushes, Passiflora species and exotic shrubs, particularly rare fruits.
I started collecting Rubus in the mid 90`s. The first plant I grew was a thornless bramble,Rubus fruticosus 'No Thorn'. I researched this plant and found that there were hundreds, possibly thousands of species Worldwide. The diversity of leaves, flowers and fruits amazed me and sparked an interest in collecting. By 2000 I had most species available from nurseries, so I was determined to find more species for myself in the wild. The opportunity came in 2005, for me to travel and collect in China and I have added many new species to the collection from this and other expeditions to China,Taiwan,Malaysia,Thailand,Mexico and the Philippines. Other plant enthusiasts, Botanic Gardens and horticultural organizations have also been very generous and my collection stands at around 200 species. Although not within the scope of my National Collection, I also grow many cultivars. I am a member of Plant Heritage (NCCPG) ( www.nccpg.com ) and Hold three National Collections, Rubus,Asclepias,(including related-Gomphocarpus) and Lobelia species
Talks and Lectures
I am available to give talks, demonstrations and workshops to interested groups, on subjects including: *Plant Collecting *Rubus *Asclepias *Lobelias *Plant propagation- Seed,Cuttings, Grafting and Budding *Plant Breeding *Basic Botany, Taxonomy and Nomenclature *The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens *Plant Heritage
Please feel free to email me for a quote.
Plants for Sale
I do produce a certain amount of plants for sale each year, this not only includes my National Collection plants, but also unusual varieties of other genera. (Full list available on request). However, mail order is not possible. Plants are only available at certain shows where I will be exhibiting. Plants will be available at the following shows this year.
Hampton Court Flower Show (Hertiage Marquee) 8th -13th July RHS London Shades of Autumn 21st- 22nd October
In a changing world, who knows what plants may be pushed to the brink of extinction. Plant conservation is very important to me and I see my collection as a living museum, protecting an amazing group of plants that is sadly often overlooked.
The collections are available to see, by appointment.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about Rubus, Asclepias, Lobelias and their cultivation.
I am always happy to exchange plants with Gardens and associations or provide material for scientific purposes.
If you have a Rubus you need identifying or a plant you think maybe one and you need it confirming, please contact me. Of course if you have a species that is not on my collection lists. I would love to hear from you and maybe exchange some plants!