The National Collections of Pelargoniums & Hedera

The National Collections of Pelargoniums & Hedera

It is with mixed feelings that the family has decided to move the National Collections of Pelargoniums and Hedera on to new home. 

As you might be aware, the Pelargonium collection was started in 1958 by Hazel Key followed shortly after by the Hedera Collection and they have both been integral to our way of life ever since, gaining full National Collection status many many years ago.

However, as Ursula, Richard & Angela have approached and in some cases surpassed retirement age and the nursery infrastructure reaches a time when it is no longer about maintenance and more about replacement, we have to think ahead and the future of our two National Collections have been at the forefront of our concern. 

Over the past year we have been in discussion with The RHS and thankfully, they have agreed to take on both collections, the Hedera & the Pelargoniums. They will continue to showcase these beautiful plants directly to the public and I for one, am excited to see how the collections will be integrated into the 5 RHS Gardens.

Although we are sad to see the collections move on we are also relieved that they have a future, somewhere where there is the willingness, the expertise and the resources to carry on the good work that has been our privilege and joy for so many years. 

The Collections are already in the process of moving to the RHS but we have grown one last full Pelargonium Collection for you to view free of charge here at the nursery this year. This will be the last time this extraordinary collection of plants, the largest of its kind in the world, will be viewed together under one roof. 

The National Collection of Pelargoniums opens in May, though we suggest to take full advantage of the Collection you should come any time from the end of May to early August to see it at its best.

Nursery open hours are currently Wednesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays 10am to 4pm. We will be open over the second May Bank Holiday weekend. Weekend dates for June will be published soon. 

Heather & Richard Godard-Key, Ursula Key-Davis & Angela Tandy

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I would love to trace some of these beautiful “Little Angels” which were propagated by my late Grandfather: Mr Arthur Langley Smith, who was a School Headmaster in Catford, South London and always smoked a pipe ins large greenhouse’ built after his house suffered a direct bomb hit during the war(and was rebuilt!). He had an enormous ledger (or two) with all the records of his cross pollinations over many years, resulting I believe in 8 new miniature varieties , one of which was called “Catford Belle” which was his nickname for my Mother when she was courting my Father (one of his 6 sons).
Another was called “Mrs G H Smith” after his second wife. I believe a specialist nursery near Brighton had agreed to support the future of these beautiful, scented leaves varieties! Any information would be much appreciated. I tried also to contact Janet who lived in Perth where my Cousin lived. after moving from there home ‘around the corner’ to Grandfather and was more knowledgeable on his enormous number of years spent ‘Breeding’ these “Little Angels”

Philip Smith

Hello. I have been recommended to you by a young lady who was lucky enough to have a pelargonium named after. I saw it and it’s stunning and thought I must have one. Now you retiring how could I get hold of pelargonium Samantha?


It must be a huge relief knowing that the effort that you have put into creating and maintaining the collections will continue. I for one will be over this summer, to be inspired as I always am by a wonderful array of extremely happy plants.


Reaching a certain age or ability is a time for some practical soul searching. It is much better to adapt and accept that change is necessary than to struggle on. Thank you for inspiring me to have lots of pellies, many home propagated. but at 80 years old and with over 70 pellies in the conservatory some in poor condition it is also time for me to rationalise the number of plants.
Lets hope the RHS can keep up the standards.

Margaret New

Thank you so very much for all you have done for our beautiful Pelargoniums. I came from Perth Western Australia and I spent many happy hours walking around the collection. I really appreciate all you did that day to make me feel welcome.


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