The RHS Bulb committee met for the first time on February 19 2013. This replaces the former Daffodil and Tulip committee 1884 – 2012.
At a lunch attended by Mrs Elizabeth Banks, President of the RHS, and past and present committee members, tribute was paid to the work of the Daffodil and Tulip Committee during it’s 128 years. Sally Kington, former Daffodil Registrar and Committee member gave an illustrated presentation of the Committee’s highlights and achievements.
These included, the first trials at Kew in 1887 to consider the distinctiveness of white trumpet daffodils, the first trials of New Zealand daffodils in 1912, the establishment if the show schedule committee in 1926 and the first awards outside London to the Midland Daffodil Society (the forerunner of the Daffodil Society) in 1901.
Those present were also reminded of the many great hybridisers and exhibitors who had served on the Daffodil and Tulip committee including John Blanchard, E. A. Bowles, Brian Duncan, Rev. G. H. Engleheart, Alec Gray, and John Pearson. Pictures of the library displays, Narcissus leaflet and exhibitions such as the Copeland cultivars and the pioneering work of Guy Wilson demonstrated the Committee’s education and outreach work.
The Bulb Committee reports to the RHS horticultural board and is a source of expertise and advice on bulbs and similar subterranean storage organs. It contributes to programmes of activity to share the knowledge of its members with a wider audience, and its members contribute to the judging of plant exhibits at RHS shows and of plant trials.
The Committee is also responsible for selecting plants for the Award of Garden Merit.
Jim Gardiner, RHS Director of Horticulture, said that he is looking forward to working with Committee members and values their expertise, seeing this as enabling the Bulb Committee to develop. He also said that the RHS is very keen to continue the Daffodil shows at London and Wisley.
Malcolm Bradbury is the Chairman of the Committee. The four Vice-Chairs are Brian Duncan, Jan Pennings, Jackie Petherbridge and Christine Skelmersdale.