Christopher North , who has died aged 87, was head of plant breeding at the Scottish Horticultural Research Institute, at Mylnefield, Dundee, where he and his team developed vegetable and fruit varieties, as well as lilies, that are suitable for Scottish conditions.
Notable successes include the Celtic cabbage, the first F1 hybrid brassica produced in Britain; a uniform variety of the January King cabbage; the French bean variety Gamis; improved Brussels sprout varieties; and the Glen series of raspberries and Ben series of blackcurrants, now grown by commercial fruit growers and gardeners all over Britain. Chris North's work pandora charms on lilies began in 1966 when, increasingly bogged down with administration (he became deputy director of the SHRI), he was looking for an outlet for his plant breeding skills. The institute's then director, Colin Cadman, knew that North had made some lily crosses in his garden at home, and suggested a small improvement programme. As food production dominated horticultural research funding, only a very low key effort was possible; yet North's work was so successful that the Mylnefield lilies he developed were to be hailed as a remarkable achievement. Characteristics required from the new cultivars where can you get pandora charms included adaptation to northern British conditions and freedom from virus disease, as well as vigour, elegance of form, unusual colours and an ability to stand without staking in short, garden qualities rather than suitability for the florist. By crossing different varieties and species from the Asiatic group of lilies, North produced the varieties Orestes, Odysseus, Minos and Phoebus in 1974, followed by Achilles and Pandora. In the next stage, the true pink Lilium lankongense was used as a parent. Where others had failed, he obtained interspecific hybrids from it by using the pandora s charms new technique of embryo culture. Among the resulting cultivars were Ariadne and Adonis, the latter being awarded the Reginald Cory Memorial Cup. A second series of 300 hybrids was obtained by backcrossing the first hybrids to Asiatic pandora bracelets for women ones. When the SHRI lily programme came to an end in 1978, 10 of the best numbered lines were sold to the RHS Lily Group and became known as the "North Ladies". North named one "Marie North" after his wife, and the others after female relatives. These varieties and the other Mylnefield lilies are now maintained as a National Collection, housed at the National Trust for Scotland's Branklyn Garden in Perth. was born at Bromley, Kent, on September 12 1917. His father, the Rev Dr , was a prominent Methodist minister and Hebrew scholar. After school, North read Horticulture at Reading University; his way there lay through acres of January King cabbages a crop that, at the time, struck him as the dullest imaginable. He spent the Second World War in the RAF, where he met his wife Marie, who was also serving. On demobilisation, North joined the National Institute of Agricultural Botany at Cambridge. There he came to realise that the cabbage was probably the most important vegetable crop grown in Britain, and that January King lacked uniformity and produced many unmarketable heads. His appointment, in 1953, to the SHRI, now the Scottish Crop Research Institute, gave him the chance to produce his impressively uniform variety of January King; and, making use of the new thinking at the time, he bred the Celtic cabbage by crossing two in bred parent lines. In retirement, Chris North, accompanied by his wife, travelled extensively in Mediterranean countries, studying the local flora. He published A Botanical Tour Round the Mediterranean and, at the age of 85, produced a CD with 1,000 digitalised images of Mediterranean plants. He also published Plant Breeding and Genetics in Horticulture, which has proved to be an invaluable resource for both students and practitioners.
North's own one acre garden was in a narrow valley, through which flowed a stream that had formerly powered a mill alongside his house. North used the stream to power a homemade turbine to provide him with electricity. He planted the garden, all on a slope, with interesting and unusual plants, many with foliage of good form and colour.
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