Towards building a National Collection Of Corokias

About six years ago I discovered “County Park Nursery” in Hornchurch Essex. My internet search revealed that they grew a great variety of Australasian plants including Corokias. So I decided to pay them a visit. Behind a 30s bungalow within a dilapidated and overgrown site I discovered a veritable treasure trove of rare and extraordinary plants, many of which I had never seen before.

As soon as I met the owner Graham Hutchins I realised that getting him to part with his precious plants, and prize them away from him would be like drawing teeth! Every time my eye fell on a desirable specimen he would firmly state: “This is for trade”! Two of us can play this game, I thought, so after a long battle of wills I managed to extract some wonderful shrubs from him, a “Pittosporum pittiodes”, a lovely “Malaleuca” and quite a few Corokias, including one he had bred which still had no official name.

I returned a year later and managed to come away with a few more plants. Sadly Graham who was in his eighties passed away over four years ago. Thankfully his grandson Paul Boosey has taken over the nursery and is keeping his grandfather’s legacy going. With his help I added considerably to my Corokia collection as well as to my other Australasian plants. The idea of a National Collection started germinating…

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Corokia hedge

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