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Flowering Lawn Research Goes Public PDF Print E-mail

Friday, 26 October 2012 01:56

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Flowering Lawn Research Goes Public

London Park to get new type of sward

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) is starting work on a new form of biodiverse floral lawn. The work will be carried out with Lionel Smith, a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) sponsored PhD student, and RBKC's gardening team. It is the first time that a public park has featured this new form of lawn.

This preparation work is part of Lionel's research that looks at covering an area with suitable plants but containing no grass. Planting a public space with specially selected and researched plants will give him a valuable insight into how the public will react to this non-traditional lawn. Previously all his research has been on experimental plots at Reading University. The concept has already generated discussions around what exactly makes a lawn a lawn.

"I am excited by this opportunity and delighted to be working with Kensington and Chelsea," says Lionel. "Lawns are normally associated with closely trimmed grass but mine are, I believe, entitled to be called that too. They are not only beautiful and easy to maintain but also environmentally friendly. It will be interesting to see how visitors to Avondale Park, where this public trial sward is to be being planted, will react. I hope to get some feedback as part of my research."

"We are really excited to be at the forefront of this new development," say Barrie Maclaurin: RBKC parks manager. "The Borough works to ensure we give our residents great spaces to live in and we believe that these flowering lawns, although experimental at the moment, have great potential and will be well received. Remember you saw it first in Kensington and Chelsea!"

John David, RHS Chief Scientist says, "This research will certainly be talked about and will encourage gardeners to think about what a lawn really means to them. It is rare to be able to demonstrate the practical application of research so early on and so we are delighted that the RBKC have given Lionel such a magnificent opportunity."

The plants for this new initiative are currently being propagated and grown at the Borough's nursery facilities and will be planted out in March 2013. It is expected that it will then take some weeks for them to establish themselves. The lawn should start flowering in late April and reach a peak in May but also carry through to June.

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