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Gardens in a Different Light: Museums at Night 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Monday, 30 April 2012 10:33


Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

See Gardens in a Different Light: Museums at Night 2012

Gardens may not be the first thing you think of when you think about Museums at Night, weekend (Friday 18th to Sunday 20th May) but this year's festival has a host of treats for garden lovers. From tranquil Elizabethan gardens, to hidden gardens in the middle of a thriving metropolis, there is a garden to excite everyone.

For Museums at Night 2012 Manchester Museum are inviting visitors to their tranquil secret gardens in the city. Play croquet on their allotment with a glass of Pimms, go into the secret gothic tower to see the treasures of the herbarium and discover how nature can make you feel happy.

The walled Victorian gardens at Scawby Hall, Lincolnshire, were originally laid out to supply the hall with its fruit and vegetable requirements. The garden still follows the original Victorian plan with some modern twists, but includes a number of rare fruit tree varieties, a lavender maze and naturally grown vegetables. On Friday 18th May the head gardeners will be hosting tours pointing out some of the more unusual features and exploring the history of how the garden has developed alongside the house - a Jacobean Manor House occupied by the Nelthorpe family since the mid-17th century.

Horticulture for healing - Horatio's Garden, in memory of Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple, is a space designed to benefit the patients of a spinal unit. PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 03:38

Horatio’s Garden is under way. The garden at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury is a tribute to Horatio Chapple, the 17-year-old Eton schoolboy who hoped to study medicine and had volunteered at the hospital, where his father David worked. Horatio was killed by a polar bear while on a British Schools Exploring Society trip in Norway last August.

The designer of the garden is Cleve West, who won best in show at the Chelsea Flower Show last year. Cleve gained a deep understanding of the problems associated with spinal injuries when a close friend was severely injured 14 years ago and admitted to the unit for a year.
TV Gardener to launch RHS Quest for Young Talent at RHS Show Cardiff PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 April 2012 16:03


David Domoney launches the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition to celebrate the first ever National Gardening Week on Get Kids Growing day.

Popular TV Gardener, David Domoney will be launching the first RHS Young School Gardener of the Year, at RHS Show Cardiff 2012 (20-22 April), on Friday 20 April, part of the first National Gardening Week.

Pupils from St John's College, Cardiff, will get the chance to meet David on Friday 20 April at 10.30PM, and go on a tour of the Show. As well as meeting David, the children will be given gardening books and the school will receive £50 of gardening vouchers.

David Domoney said: ‘My love for gardening began when I was at school and it's for this reason that I feel the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year is such an important initiative. I can't wait to meet the kids - gardening is a great way for them to learn whilst having fun - so I'm sure we'll have a laugh!'

David has recently been a gardening expert on shows such as Daybreak and The Tonight Show, and presented his own programme, called Garden ER. He is also currently working on an exciting new gardening project for ITV1.

Rachael Cooper, a Teacher at St John's College, said: ‘The children are all very excited about meeting David Domoney for the launch of the first RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition. I know they have a million questions to ask him, so he better be ready! We are also looking forward to finding out what he thinks about our Wheelbarrow - so much thought and effort has gone into creating it, we really hope he likes it.'

Jacky Chave, RHS Strategic Schools Manager, says: ‘We're delighted David will be launching the RHS Young School Gardener of the Year competition with us. His success in the gardening world is inspirational: he's a fantastic role-model for any young person who is interested in gardening so a very apt person to be launching the competition.'

Aimed at gardeners up to the age of 16, the annual competition is a key initiative in the first National Gardening Week (16-22 April). Each day is themed and the quest to find the nation's most skilled and enthusiastic young gardener, will be launched on Friday 20 April, ‘Get Kids Growing Day'.

Divided into four age groups and aimed at RHS Campaign for School Gardening schools, A winner of each age group will receive gardening tools and £500 in garden gift vouchers for their schools. The overall winner, crowned Young School Gardener of the Year 2012, will spend a day at an RHS Garden of their choice, working with an RHS gardener and receive family tickets to either RHS Tatton Park Flower Show or RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2013, some garden tools and £500 in garden gift vouchers for their school.

RHS Show Cardiff takes place at the end of National Gardening Week, and is the perfect venue to launch a competition celebrating the green-fingered champions of tomorrow. The show is already a big hit with the youngsters, through its Schools Wheelbarrow Competition, which exhibits the imaginative planting of pupils from some 70 schools in South Wales.

For more information on the RHS Young School Gardening of the Year go to www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening'

Get pumped for pumpkin growing! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 April 2012 16:18


The Royal Horticultural Society has launched the RHS Heaviest Pumpkin Competition. Professional and amateur growers alike are invited to enter by 24 September for the chance to win £1,000.

This new competition is part of the RHS London Harvest Festival Show (9-10 October 2012) at Lindley Hall, Westminster. Entrants will present their prized pumpkin to be weighed and judged on Tuesday 9 October.

RHS Press Release: Alan Titchmarsh: We must act now PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 17:16




18 April 2012

Alan Titchmarsh: We must act now

RHS Conference: ‘Horticulture, a Career to be Proud of’

Today, the gardening world gathered at the RHS Horticultural Halls, in London, to take the first steps to solve a serious problem; the current perception of gardening as a career. A recent RHS survey found 75 percent of under-18s think it’s a career for dropouts, and 70 percent say it was never recommended to them at school.*

As part of the first National Gardening Week, ‘Horticulture, a Career to be Proud of’, saw key figures in the gardening world**, from Kew’s top scientist to the Chelsea Show Manager, give talks to an audience made up of MPs, the media, representatives from the Horticultural and Educational Industries etc, in an effort to change the perceptions of horticulture being an unskilled, second-choice career.

Conference Chair, Alan Titchmarsh, gave a passionate and rousing speech (attached) calling on the horticultural industry to reach out to careers advisors in schools and highlight the enormous breadth and variety of careers within the industry. He also called on MPs to start acting now.

Alan said: “One in five young people are now out of work, and 100,000 more people are expected to be added to the current unemployment figures this summer. Our industry will need 11,000 new employees over the next decade, within this I include journalists, writers, broadcasters, garden centre workers, garden designers, arboriculturists, growers, marketing and PR executives, buyers, sellers, association workers, green-keepers, conservationists, florists, countryside workers, manufacturers, ground maintainers, charitable workers and local authority workers. All of them, in their own way, ‘gardeners’.”

The RHS survey showed that 75% of under-18s think that horticulture is a career for people who have failed academically. 50% of 25 year olds think it is an unskilled career, and 70% said horticulture was never recommended to them at school. There is an urgent need for this to change.

Communities Find Ways to Garden through the Drought PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 April 2012 16:41




17 April 2012

Communities Find Ways to Garden through the Drought

The RHS is working with communities throughout the UK to help them continue gardening through the drought, for the good of the environment, and offer tips on ways to respond to these conditions.

Stephanie Eynon, RHS Community Horticultural Manager, says: ‘We are not aware of any community gardening groups pulling out of Britain in Bloom as a result of the drought. Our volunteers are fantastically resourceful and never short on ideas of ways to overcome drought difficulties.

‘Environmental responsibility is a major part of Britain in Bloom. For years now, we have encouraged our groups to use sustainable planting, wherever possible, and this year, we have compiled additional information for all groups affected by the drought.'

Groups and schools are finding innovative ways of using less water to garden. For example, Julia Rackowe, from Bury in Bloom, said: ‘For our famous hanging baskets, we now use reservoir baskets which have a layer of water at the bottom, so they only have to be watered twice a week compared to once or twice a day as they used to be.'

Linda Cambourne-Paytner, a Stony Stratford in Bloom volunteer uses an aquarium pump for syphoning off her bath water into plastic bottles which she uses to water the local beds.

Jon Wheatley, Chairman of South West in Bloom, says that groups are not being put-off by the drought: ‘We encourage the use of sustainable plants that are drought-resistant and most, if not all groups, are using sustainable planting. Newquay and Truro, for example, mainly use drought-resistant plants in their bedding displays.

‘Methods we recommend to groups, include collecting water from roofs of houses, and sheds. We also suggest mulching as much as possible, which is a term that means putting chippings, or the like, on bedding in order to conserve water.

‘Dryer conditions enable more effective use of the hoe and this means that it's easier to get rid of weeds - keep everything weed-free, in order to reduce competition for water.

Alan Titchmarsh has attacked David Cameron’s dismissal of gardening, insisting it should be treated as a real career PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 April 2012 16:34
The Prime Minister, who grows vegetables at his Oxfordshire constituency home, was scathing about gardening in a speech two years ago.
Setting out the Coalition’s priorities in allocating work to the long-term unemployed, he regarded gardening as requiring as much skill as collecting litter.
This upset Titchmarsh, Britain’s best known television gardener and vice president of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
The Prime Minister’s comments were not “particularly useful”, Titchmarsh wrote in The Garden, the RHS magazine.
“That's the problem – many perceive gardening as 'tidying up'. The sort of thing that you do to your sock drawer once a year. But, as many of us know, it is so much more than that.
Gardeners advised: Make a mess to boost bugs and the ecosystem PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 April 2012 17:41


University of Leeds scientists suggest all gardeners should have a messy place in their gardens to make a significant contribution to ecosystem services

Research by scientists at the University of Leeds has shown that having a ‘messy’ area in your garden is the most effective way to give bugs a boost and improve pollination in gardens.  The University is to exhibit a garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show that actively demonstrates how, with clever yet minimal changes to their gardens, everyone can be an “ecosystem services champion”.

“If everyone were to make a few, key alterations to their garden, the cumulative difference we would make to the environment could be very significant,” said Dr Rebecca Slack, of the university’s Faculty of Environment.  “It doesn’t matter how small your garden is, it can still make a real difference – in fact our garden is deliberately based on the kind of garden you’d usually find in Yorkshire’s urban fringe in order to show just how easy it is to get involved.”

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