The Walled Gardens of Cannington Awarded Santolina National Plant Collection Status

Students, staff and volunteers at Bridgwater College’s The Walled Gardens of Cannington has received another accolade to add to their achievements after receiving confirmation from the plant conservation charity, Plant Heritage, that the Gardens’ collection of Santolina meets the robust standards required to be a National Collection®. 

The Walled Gardens of Cannington already has an existing National Collection of Deschampsia, which means the Gardens now hold two Plant Heritage recognised collections, which are displayed in a modern informal style planting. The collections have proved to be a hit with students and visitors alike.

The National Collection Garden displays 18 different species and cultivars of Santolina, a low-maintenance sub-shrub, which is native to the Mediterranean region. It is in the daisy family and is therefore attractive to bees and other pollinators. It is a low maintenance plant that was once used medicinally with a variety of uses, including to cleanse the body of intestinal worms and parasites! 

Jayne Alcock, Grounds and Gardens Supervisor said, “We have been waiting several months to hear whether our collection meets the rigorous standards set and I was delighted to hear that the hard work that everyone has put in has paid off. This is the culmination of three years of work and like with everything in the Gardens, it is an excellent example of partnership working with the local community, providing an excellent resource and experience for students. I would like to thank in particular the work of our long-standing volunteer, Alan Hold, who has rigorously catalogued, researched and been an essential sounding board throughout the process.”

Alan Hold, Gardens’ Volunteer said, “By granting National Collection status to the Santolina collection, Plant Heritage has recognised not just our work undertaken to gather and present this group of plants to the public, but also our on-going research that includes establishing the optimum conditions for successful propagation of cuttings of each cultivar and sub-species of Santolina in our collection.”