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Evolution Plants – a new nursery model?



October 20, 2013

Parnassus grandifolia, Evolution Plants

Tom Mitchell has opened a new mail-order nursery, Evolution Plants, based in Wiltshire, UK. “Why is that news?”, you say. But how about when you hear it’s going to have THOUSANDS of DIFFERENT rare and endangered plants for sale??

Mitchell is definitely a man on a mission. A passionate plant hunter, he has roamed the temperate climates of the world searching for rare plants, often hopelessly endangered and unprotected in their natural habitats, and brought seed back to the UK to propagate. He believes that by doing this and selling the plants through his nursery Evolution Plants he can preserve that genetic diversity for future generations.

Now this very much bucks the world-wide nursery trend, where we’re seeing progressively shorter species lists, and specialist nurseries closing, rather than opening. But rather than me saying more, Tom Mitchell explains it all much more eloquently, so listen and he’ll tell you about it himself, in “full messianic mode” as he says.

He has an interesting blog too, called A Tangled Bank, based in this quote from Charles Darwin:

“It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.”

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