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It's time nerines got more recognition

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A NEW home is needed for Guernsey's nerines – and Plant Heritage is well on the way towards getting them recognised as a national collection. Juliet Pouteaux spoke to new chairman David Fermont and found out how newly-rediscovered gladioli and daffodil bulbs have been causing a stir

GUERNSEY Plant Heritage's nerines are close to being recognised as a collection of national importance, as the charity moves to ensure they get the recognition they deserve.

Nerines – bulbs originally from South Africa – are seen as the island's national flower.

The biggest local collection is held by Plant Heritage, who display them each year at Candie Gardens.

New chairman David Fermont said they were working to get the flowers more recognition.

The group, which already holds camellia and iris collections, has already passed the first of the three stages necessary to qualify as a national collection and is part-way through the second.

National collection status would generate publicity and more visitors, said David, and those with collections may offer 'new' bulbs.

If the nerines gain recognition, the group will also look at the possibility of achieving national collection status for its camellias.

David, 70, took over as chairman of Plant Heritage from long-time member Tattie Thompson at the start of this year.

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'It is a great honour and it's very difficult to follow someone as knowledgeable as Tattie,' he said.

He and his wife Linda moved to Guernsey from Hertfordshire seven years ago.

It is Linda who is the keen gardener and before leaving the UK she had been chairwoman of the local horticultural society. When they decided to move here they found a property with land, so they could continue their passion, but then also looked for people to share their interest.

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