APHA at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has commissioned a novel garden at the RHS Chelsea flower show. The ?Beyond our Borders? garden shows one way in which the UK government is working with overseas botanic gardens to protect our environment against alien pest and diseases.

In regions throughout the world, iconic British tree species are being used as ?early warning? sentinels (soldier or guard) to monitor and identify potential new plant pest and diseases that could threaten our natural environment.

In the Chelsea Flower Show?s Fresh Garden section, the eye-catching and innovative display features three different climatic zones (Australasia, Tropical and Arid) divided by water features representing oceans. Each zone contains a single iconic UK native tree sentinel standing among plants native to each climate.

Set within the plants of each zone are coloured springs representing plant pest and diseases. These appear to emerge and disappear and some are stretched to create a wave motion over the top of each ocean. This represents the movement of plant pests and diseases within and between each zone, reflecting the threat to plant health.

APHA is working with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), as part of the International Plant Sentinel Network project. This work will help to:

  • identify potential threats to native UK plants and trees before they are introduced
  • improve the chances of eradication or control programmes
  • stop their introduction in the first place

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