SPECTACULARLY SIGNIFICANT ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURE
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.