Unusual specimen plants will be auctioned at Welshampton Passion for Plants event on Monday, May 7.

It will include a rarity donated from Lord Kenyon’s National Collection of Viburnum at Gredington Park, Hanmer.

The new charity event, which replaces the traditional plant fair is a must for garden lovers as it will feature a talk by John Rippin, head gardener at Bodnant Garden, the National Trust’s flagship property near Colwyn Bay.

A dedicated and passionate plantsman, Mr Rippin will speak about ‘Bodnant’s Renaissance’, highlighting a selection of his favourites from the property’s five National Collections of plants. Following his talk, he will share his expertise by answering gardening questions.

Locals have raised £67,000 for various charities by holding successful plant fairs for the past 12 years, and are hoping the new format is just as successful. The event is being held in Welshampton Parish Hall from 2pm to 4.40pm, with doors opening from 1pm.

Retaining links to plant fairs of the past, there will be a selection of quality plants and delicious home-made refreshments on sale. In addition, there will be a silent auction of a limited number of unusual specimen plants, for which this annual event is famous.

These specimen plants include Viburnum tinus subsp.subcordatum, a shrub grown by Lord Kenyon in his private nursery from seed wild-collected in the Azores. Leaves are much denser than ordinary Viburnum tinus and flowers are deep red in bud but opening white.

“A relatively low and slow growing hardy evergreen, probably never exceeding two metres, it’s a great garden plant but not listed as available in the RHS Plantfinder,” said Gill Eleftheriou, Welshampton Passion for Plants co-ordinator. “We are very privileged indeed to receive this Viburnum from Lord Kenyon’s private nursery where he is currently propagating several of these special plants from seed.”

She and her husband, Nick, have donated a Primula veris Hose-in-Hose, a very rare twist on the popular native cowslip, in which one flower grows out from the centre of the original.

“We’ve not seen mature Primula veris Hose-in-Hose offered for sale anywhere else,” said Gill. “This plant was grown from seed and is a real plantsman’s treasure.

“We really appreciate all the support we’ve received throughout the years and do hope that visitors will continue to support our new initiative. Tickets are selling fast, so we advise people interested in attending to book theirs without delay.”

Kate Thomas, Macmillan Cancer Support Shropshire fundraising manager, thanked Welshampton Passion for Plants Committee and Mr Rippin for their support and said it promised to be a fabulous event to raise money to help people affected by cancer.

Entry is by ticket only. Tickets cost £7.50 and may be either ordered by email at welshampton.tickets@outlook.com or by telephone from the church warden on 01691 622653. Proceeds will be divided between Macmillan Cancer Support in Shropshire and Saint Michael and All Angels Church, Welshampton.