There are more organisms living in a tsp of soil than people living on the planet!
In today’s video for #ChelseaFlowerShow with @britembdublin, Colm O’Driscoll from @AirfieldEstate talks about the importance of soil health in protecting biodiversity & the Planet
Throughout #ChelseaFlowerShow, @BritEmbDublin & @rhsirl collaborated to bring you videos on how gardeners can protect biodiversity & the planet.
Today, Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener at Kilmacurragh @opwireland speaks about wildflower meadows.
Inspired by the #COP26 garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, RHSI are partnering with the British Embassy in Dublin to show how we can make a positive difference to the envirionment through our gardens.
Ambassador Paul Johnston speaks about the initiative and the upcoming week of activity. #TogetherForOurPlanet
As announced in the News Bulletin of September 3rd, the RHSI has been invited to partner with the British Embassy in Ireland next week to raise awareness of the ever increasing importance of biodiversity and the problems of climate change. This move has been prompted by the fact that the UK is hosting the climate change conference, COP26 in November 2021.
Next week, Chelsea Flower Show will showcase a COP26 garden, demonstrating how gardeners everywhere can responsibly help protect vital biodiversity and the planet.
In partnership with the British Embassy we will stream 5 short videos on social media each day next week. These will feature highly respected Irish gardeners profiling different ways in which we can all play our part however small to help our global ecosystem.
Monday September 20th- Introductions by the British Ambassador to Ireland, Paul Johnston and by our RHSI Patron, Diarmuid Gavin.
Subsequent videos during the week will feature:
Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener, National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh.
Wildflowers meadows in public and private spaces.
Mary Keenan, Editor of the Irish Garden magazine and owner of Gash Gardens and Nursery, Co Laois.
Value and importance of trees in gardens and residential areas.
Colm O’Driscoll, Head Gardener, Airfield Estate, Dundrum.
Vital importance of soil health.
Fionnuala Fallon, Flower Farmer and Irish Times Gardening Correspondent.
Growing your own pollinator-friendly flowers.
View the videos on our website, Facebook and Twitter.
It is nearly 30 years since Maurice and his wife Joy commenced the development of Ballyrobert Gardens as a naturalistic garden and during that time the garden has developed as one of the best of its kind. It was chosen by Nationwide BBC TV as an exemplar naturalistic garden for a live Breakfast Time Programme feature in connection with the launch of Rita Reynold’s book, Dare to be Wild.
The garden is a lesson of best practice of what gardeners need to do to mitigate climate change.
I asked Maurice to let me know what were the key features that have enabled this to happen in the context of climate change.
“We fortunately, like many other gardeners, were very early believers in what was happening to our climate because the changes in our garden and the natural environment reflected unusual events and occurrences. It was self-evident that all was not well in the natural environment and we were very concerned.
Your question Peggy was really good and very applicable at such a key time for our climate and I hope the following summary is helpful:-
1. Everything in this garden is green i.e. lots of vegetation and a wide range of plants both native and introduced.
2. We have sought to create natural habitats with the absolute minimum of inorganic materials. All our pruning’s etc are allowed to naturally breakdown. e.g. the drains and ditches are filled with dead branches. Dead wood in all its forms is very valuable to us.
3. We have practiced no dig/cultivation in the garden from the beginning and we allow as much natural plant litter as possible to remain in borders. We tell our visitors we have the national collection of lichens!
4. The garden in 30 years has never been fertilised and this also applies to our 10 acres of Dexter grazed land/wilding area.
5. We only grow plants that survive and grow without insecticides and fungicides. Our focus is on high performance plants which grow without lots of assistance.
6. Native type hedges are key in this place and truly native thorn is the number one plant in the garden. With the exception of a small picket fence, there is not a wooden fence about the place but we do have open natural stone walls.
7. Borders are not drained, despite having very heavy soil, but rather we have chosen plants that like the conditions.
8. We never water the garden, including lawns.
9. The vast bulk of our plants are permanent and hardy.
10. Our pencil tree stumps summarise what we are about in a learning and practice sense. Hope you like them.
We are firm believers in the need to adopt natural solutions to climate change problems. As the Secretary General of the United Nations recently said, “It’s About Making Peace with Nature.”
Congratulations to Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener of the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh who has been made a fellow of The Explorers Club.
Founded in New York City in 1904, The Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. Fellowship is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves by directly contributing to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration or allied sciences. Such accomplishments usually are evidenced by scientific publications documenting fieldwork or explorations.
As a fellow, Seamus enters the top tier of The Explorers Club, alongside other Fellows and Honorary Fellows including Col. Buzz Aldrin, Sir Edmund Hillary, Edward O. Wilson, President Theodore Roosevelt, Sylvia A. Earle, Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D. and many more.
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