SPEC­TAC­U­LARLY SIG­NIF­I­CANT OR­NA­MEN­TAL HORTICULTURE

Berkshire Life - - Gardening News -

A re­port from the Or­na­men­tal Horticulture Roundtable has re­vealed, for the first time, the eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tion and scale of horticulture. It shows that parks and gar­dens boost Bri­tain’s house prices by

£131 bil­lion, house­holds spend £7.5 bil­lion on gar­den goods and that the horticulture in­dus­try sup­ports around 568,700 jobs. How­ever, it re­mains un­der­val­ued as a ca­reer and gar­dens con­tinue to get smaller.

Alan Titch­marsh says: “We must ur­gently stop the demise of the UK’s gar­dens and land­scapes for the sake of the econ­omy and, equally im­por­tantly, for the sake of our health and well­be­ing and that of the en­vi­ron­ment and wildlife.

“If horticulture con­tin­ues to be un­der­val­ued and over­looked, and we carry on build­ing houses with­out gar­dens, it will have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact not only on our na­tional econ­omy but also on the en­vi­ron­ment and our liv­ing con­di­tions as a whole.”

Coun­cils across the UK face an av­er­age 40% cut to parks and greenspace bud­gets, yet the re­port re­veals that £2.9 bil­lion worth of tourism was at­trib­ut­able to parks and gar­dens in 2017. Plants and gar­dens are also crit­i­cal for de­liv­er­ing health ben­e­fits, with UK veg­e­ta­tion pro­vid­ing an es­ti­mated air qual­ity im­prove­ment value of £1.1 bil­lion and avert­ing 1,900 deaths from pol­lu­tion.

The Or­na­men­tal Horticulture Roundtable is call­ing on the govern­ment to sup­port the in­dus­try in nur­tur­ing in­no­va­tion and cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. In the mean­time, it is es­sen­tial for those of us who value gar­dens and planted en­vi­ron­ments to be aware, to sup­port where we can and to pre­serve and con­serve the land­scapes we love for the fu­ture. rhs.org.uk/ohr

HOW PLANTS WORK

This book on plant mor­phol­ogy is a cel­e­bra­tion of beauty and the rich di­ver­sity of life, and is a modern pub­li­ca­tion for a modern world. The tone is en­thu­si­as­tic and ex­tremely knowl­edge­able, shar­ing the in­spi­ra­tion that plants pro­vide and high­light­ing our ab­so­lute de­pen­dence on them, while rais­ing con­cerns about their vul­ner­a­bil­ity on an in­creas­ingly crowded planet.

With a dif­fer­ent con­trib­u­tor for each chap­ter, it’s a beau­ti­fully pre­sented cel­e­bra­tion of the plant king­dom and ex­am­ines botan­i­cal com­plex­i­ties in de­tail.

Yet it is highly ac­ces­si­ble. The writ­ing style is clear enough to ap­peal to a to­tal novice and it is backed up by rel­e­vant di­a­grams and in­ter­est­ing pho­to­graphs, but there is lots to en­ter­tain the ex­pe­ri­enced plantsper­son too.

From pho­to­syn­the­sis and evo­lu­tion to re­pro­duc­tion and seed dis­per­sal, with a nice sec­tion on peo­ple and plants, it strad­dles the sub­ject mat­ter ef­fort­lessly and is a good and in­for­ma­tive read.

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