Collection holders

David Fenwick
Tue, 13 Sep 2011 00:55:05 PDT
There's already a well established National Collections Scheme in France 
called the CCVS, they have been going quite some time. .

Mike, the problem in setting up any collection scheme is with who sets the 
rules, and what the rules will be, in setting standards and maintaining 
them; e.g. in the UK we don't have what is called 'Display Collections' yet 
to my knowledge, a grower may be incredibly experienced in growing a genus, 
have one of the best collections of any genus, but may not satisfy the 
criterior set by the scheme. Schemes are also largely run by volunteers, and 
plant knowledge and interpretation of scheme rules is quite a problem; and 
this would be especially difficult in larger countries. For the US you'd 
probably have to look another similarly large country, and say at the 
Australian model, GPCAA

There's also the fact that many people will go for collection status for 
shear cudos, and collect for collectings sake, or as in a few cases in the 
UK use collection status just for marketing purposes, for their nursery 
etc.; this latter point could be a huge problem in an economic climate such 
as this. The question then is how do you separate the nurseries; from those 
out for making money from their ''collections'', from those totally 
dedicated nurserymen who have been growing and researching for years and who 
are more interested in the plants and have many years experience. The UK is 
regarded as having one of the best national collection schemes, however it 
is still far from perfect in my opinion, and getting collection status is 
probably far too easy ! It's a minefield !!!

Sometimes it is just best to record and report those who share an interest 
who want to share that interest with others and I can see the PBS doing this 
very well indeed.

Although the other point that should run alongside this tread is that 
there's a lot of experience within and outside the PBS, and experienced 
people who don't have collections, don't want or cannot have collections. 
Shouldn't we also be talking about the value of a referee scheme as well !

>>>>>Status, for one thing.  But also, we all ought to also
make sure that a collection holder gets first crack at a rare species when
seed of it becomes available, on the assumption that they'll have the best
chance of propagating it successfully and sharing it with others.

Very well put !!! This should happen, and as you say should be a priority. 
However in my experience, very rarely are collection holders offered 
anything, despite how experienced and how well known they are; and most 
collection holders dedicate a lot of time to adding acquisitions themselves; 
which mostly involves some form of exchange in material. To be honest you're 
probably better off making friends with very generous people, than expect 
this to happen. LOL.

Best Wishes,
Dave (Penzance, Cornwall, UK)

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