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.
I was honoured and excited to attend the launch party of the Chalk Valley 100% grass-fed burger bar in the centre of Southampton this week. William Buckley and his wife Sarah Jane Fairey and their team, welcomed suppliers, supporters, local dignitaries, friends and family to their new 40-cover restaurant on London Road.read more
I’ve just listened to Quentin Letts in his fascinating BBC Radio 4 series ‘What’s the Point of…’
This week he was digging deep to find out why the British are obsessed with lawns.
I took an unexpected visit to RHS Wisley in Surrey this week – my first time to this garden. I was blown away by the beauty and variety of settings and plants, and in three hours only just scratched the surface of what there is to see.
A new Welsh Government funded (of almost £600,000) project is looking to isolate and extract sugars and other components from ryegrass, and convert them into products that have a lower carbon footprint than oil. These will include pulp-moulded packaging products for retail applications such as food packaging.read more
Grazing guru and biologist Allan Savoury recently gave an inspirational TED talk (riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world at www.ted.com). It has already had over 600,000 views – so it’s certainly hitting a chord.
His key messages are: Two thirds of the world (yes two thirds) is turning to desert – rainfall that falls onto bare earth quickly evaporates, carbon is also released into the air and the soils below are dead. Nothing will grow.