Dr Gracie Barrett joined Tristram Plants as Technical Manager (Trials & Lab) in April 2017. Gracie had spent the previous 5 years working at the RHS, where she ran the joint AHDB/RHS project CP095, “Sustainable Resource in Horticulture”. Among other things, this project saw her investigate the impact of different potting substrates on fertiliser retention. Prior to this, Gracie oversaw the management of a commercial soil testing laboratory. Both of these experiences, coupled with Gracie’s PhD, Master of Research and BSc, stand her in very good stead to take on her new role at Tristram Plants.
The Technical Manager (Trials & Lab) position is new to Tristram Plants, and covers two main areas: managing trials across both Walberton and Binsted Nurseries and managing Walberton Nursery’s unique micro-propagation laboratory. The trials programme is extensive and includes not just new plants and product formats, but also growing media, fertilisers and crop protection products. The laboratory is a crucial link in ensuring that our own stock plants for production are regularly replaced with elite, virus-free material. It also provides a means of supplying in vitro starter stock of Walberton’s ® trademarked varieties to other laboratories around the world.
Gracie has enjoyed her time so far at Tristram Plants, saying, “I’ve really relished the challenge of applying science to problem solve across the nurseries. No two days are ever the same – it has been wonderfully refreshing to work in such a dynamic environment”.