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Author Topic: SAD NEWS  (Read 1090 times)


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« on: February 06, 2022, 04:29:34 PM »
Sad to announce the passing of one of the world's great plantsmen this morning at 06:15 GMT, Barry Starling of Drewsteignton, Devon.   He was a close and dear friend for more than 30 years, always generous, always enlightening.  We travelled in the wilds of Devon, the PNW, The Maritimes and Newfoundland, his knowledge never failed to astound. A world class alpinist he also quietly cultivated the trickiest Ericacaeous plants with ease; his inter-specific hybrids within Ericaceae were ground-breaking.  He spoke in Atlantic Canada three times, his lectures were widely acclaimed. We kept in close contact over the many years. I will miss this gentle soul; the world's great loss. Condolences to his wife Pam, sons Keith and Chip.
John Weagle
Pam Hayward of the RHS RCM Group and a very close friend of Barry wrote this fine tribute this morning.
Dear Members,
It is with a very heavy heart that I write to tell you of the passing of Barry Starling - a titan in the world of Alpine Gardening and a master of the Ericaceae, who has left his mark on so many related horticultural worlds, not least our own.
Barry will be remembered for his skills as a talented and inventive hybridiser and for his ability to cultivate the impossible to perfection.
Put simply, he was a genius in all matters rhododendron and was the best mentor one could ever have asked for, sharing his knowledge, experience and material with such kindness and generosity. Above all, he was a true and honest friend who will be much missed by all.
There is so much more to say about him and a full tribute will surely be paid in our yearbook in due course.
Do please ask for details if you wish to send a card to his wife and family.
With all good wishes
« Last Edit: February 07, 2022, 12:48:30 AM by johnw »
John in coastal Nova Scotia

Maggi Young

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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2022, 05:40:29 PM »
What very sad news indeed - our sincere condolences to his Family.
See here for more  info on the plant wonder that is Barry Starling:

Jim Jermyn posted this on Facebook and kindly allows me to repost here ......

"It is with much sadness that I report the death of Barry Starling this morning, 6th February 2022. Barry was a good friend and colleague and a great authority on dwarf Ericaceous plants. Two of his famous hybrids and introductions amongst many are: Gaultheria ‘Pearls’ and Rhododendron keiskei ‘Yaku Fairy’. I’m posting a few pictures, the first of Barry on our AGS trip to Japan and a view we shared in the Daisetsu Mountains, Hokkaido of the fiery autumn colour provided by Sorbus matsmurana. Finally a picture of his fine raising, Gaultheria ‘Pearls’. Our thoughts are very much with Barry’s widow, Pam. "




 Barry has been active in the field of plant selection and breeding for a long time, for instance :

The original  cross  of x kalmiothamnus "Sindelberg" was  made  in around 1978 by the master of the ericaceous shrub, Barry Starling.
Parents are Rhodothamnus chamaecistus,  from Europe and the NW American Kalmiopsis leachiana.

Just one of Barry's fine introductions is this x Phylliothamnus erectus 'Crinolines'   shown on the Forum by John Weagle.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2022, 05:43:50 PM by Maggi Young »
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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