In 2020 White House Farm was granted charitable status as a plant collection of significant public value – simultaneously seed bank, living specimen resource, and horticultural showcase.
In the 1980s China opened up to botanical exploration for the first time since the early twentieth-century, spurring a second ‘Golden Age’ of new plant discovery. Modern plant hunters have been able to bring back seed of many interesting and beautiful plants. White House Farm’s collections reflect the relationships made during our and our colleagues’ many botanical expeditions from the 1980s to the 2010s. The WHF garden and arboretum have benefitted from generous donations from Kew, Ness, Crug, Wespelaar, Tregrehan, Lord Howick, Keith Rushforth, and many other plantspeople too numerous to name. These gifts comprise a large part of our collections. Our current curation of some 6000 specimens, including species, cultivars and hybrids, expresses the reciprocal exchange of plant material that characterises plant discovery, identification and conservation worldwide. As the old adage puts it, ‘If you want to keep a plant, give it away’.
WHFAF trustees Christopher Sanders, Christopher Lane and Jack Aldridge advise throughout the year on identification, management, and horticultural or botanical value.
To learn more about our collections, and to request a visit, email the Foundation here.