Gardening & Environment

The family of grasses, the Poaceae, is the fifth largest, with 12,000 species. Their physical stature varies enormously, from low growing bents on golf greens, to pretty ornamental grasses grown in gardens, to the bamboos and elephant grasses used to feed pandas and burn for energy.

Grasses are also crucial for life. They act as a larger carbon sink than the Amazon rainforest and are used to manage floodwaters, improve soil health and provide erosion control on slopes and roadside verges.

The blogs I write here demonstrate how gardeners and researchers are increasingly using grasses to create amazing gardens, as well as helping to save our planet.

Grasses offer much at Woburn Garden Show

I was kindly invited to the Woburn Abbey Garden Show and was enchanted. There was such a mixture of gardening styles to wander around, from rolling parkland with grazing deer, close cut lawns, formal parterres, frothy borders, truly magnificent trees, patches of...

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Meadow talk

Every day I walk our dogs through the water meadows alongside the River Cam. Every day I see how the grasses and wildflowers are growing in fields that have been returned to pasture for the past 20 years.   They are a wild-life haven and home to cattle in the summer...

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In search of garden grasses

Last week I went on a truly amazing High Summer Garden Tour to West Sussex, designed and delivered by garden lover and specialist Sarah Raven and her colleague Melanie…

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Wildflowers welcome!

I just happened to be in Herefordshire the weekend garden writer Dr Noel Kingsbury and Jo Elliot opened their garden and grass meadows for the National Garden Scheme, and what an unexpected delight it was!

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Walking the High Line!

The New York City High Line is a long and winding park – a place for walking and a place for reflection and contemplation – away from the urban madness of the city streets below. It runs for 1.45 miles from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

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My own celebration of National Meadows Day

It was National Meadows Day on 2 July this year – the second time this celebration of meadows at the peak of their gloriousness has taken place. More than 100 events took place across the country, on nature reserves, country parks and other sites, with guided walks, family activities, photography courses and even scything workshops!

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