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Student Eats – bringing the Good Life to university campuses

by Alice Wright

Vegetable patches and herb gardens are springing up on university campuses across the UK as students get involved with a food project aimed at sparking a passion for growing and eating sustainable, local produce.

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The Yeo Valley Organic Garden

by Abigail Willis

As the UK’s only Soil Association accredited ornamental garden, the Yeo Valley Garden is a standard bearer for organic gardening. But if the adjective ‘organic’ attached to the word ‘garden’ conjures worthy images of over-abundant weeds, undernourished plants and lacklustre design think again. Set in the Mendip Hills, overlooking the valley that gave its name to the eponymous organic dairy brand, this 6.5 acre garden is proof that organic cultivation need not preclude ambitious design, a diverse and thriving plantscape, or a sense of humour.

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Guerrilla Gardening: Cultivating Concrete

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J G Ballard wrote that the “suburbs dream of violence”, describing town and city dwellers counting down the days until the “nightmares that will wake them into a more passionate world”. While poets, artists and storytellers have long been fascinated by this dynamic of stultifying yet addictive city life, guerrilla gardeners, Lucy Purdy discovers, are turning to the soil to grapple with ecological and social disintegration.

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Avondale Nursery:Plants for city gardens

by Drucilla James

Avondale Nursery specialises in unusual perennials and grasses together with ferns and bamboos, and features The Library Garden alongside its plant sales area. As you would expect with a library, the garden’s collection is meticulously labelled and catalogued, but beyond that, the colours of these living leaves are mixed and graduated with a painter’s eye – unsurprising when you find that, before they created this nursery, Brian Ellis and his wife Steph worked in art and printed textiles.

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Community growers get Big Lottery award

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A project led by the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens has won £800,000 of Big Lottery funding to help community growers become successful and proactive money-raisers to compensate for falling grants and declining local authority financial support.

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Chelsea gardens relocated

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Two medal-winning Chelsea gardens, now relocated, had their official openings on 26th September. The ‘RBC Waterscape Garden’ by Hugo Bugg and the ‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden by Matthew Keightley will now serve the purposes originally intended by their designers.

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The Tree Council invites us to gather ye tree seeds

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At a time when our trees are being hit by pests and diseases, The Tree Council is encouraging local communities to collect and plant the ripening seed crop from our parks, hedgerows and streets to grow new trees to replace them.

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London Wildlife Trust to open new nature reserve

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Offering an opportunity to enjoy nature in the heart of north-east London, a reservoir closed to the public for nearly 200 years will open as a new nature reserve next year.

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Regency garden restoration gets go ahead

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The National Botanic Garden of Wales has been given the green light to proceed with ambitious plans for the restoration of the historic Regency landscape in which it is situated.

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Pocket wetlands installed on Regent’s Canal

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If you go down to the woods today in Camley Street Natural Park, in the rather unexpected setting of King’s Cross, then you will be able to see the floating islands newly installed on the Regent’s Canal, creating pockets of urban wetland habitat for London’s wildlife.

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Inspiring Kew

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An exhibition showing how Kew Gardens has inspired creative artists from its ‘physic’ garden beginnings in 1759 to the present day will open later this month.

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Young and old join plant charity’s community initiatives

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Plant Heritage is leading the way in involving communities both young and old in gardening through its National Plant Collection and Plant Guardian schemes designed to protect rare and threatened garden plants from disappearing.

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Young gardeners’ conference to take place

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YoungHort, set up by young horticulturalists to promote the industry to their peers, is to host a second event – The YoungHort Autumn Conference at The LANDSCAPE Show in September.

PICTURE BY JIM HOLDEN 07590 683036For Kew at Wakehurst

Gardening events this week

by Drucilla James

Hallowe’en and half term come together this week, so it’s time to encourage all our junior gardeners with some activities designed to fuel their curiosity about plants as well as excite them with some scary adventures.

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Piet Oudolf: Hauser & Wirth Somerset

by Abigail Willis

London, New York, Paris and, er, Bruton – it may not quite trip off the tongue yet but the art world’s latest destination, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, has been creating quite a stir since it opened in July.And while there’s plenty to keep art lovers happy here, the gallery’s latest acquisition, a pair of specially commissioned gardens by prairie-planting maestro Piet Oudolf, will be a major draw for those who also have an interest in cutting-edge garden design.

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Make a hypertufa or clay sculpture for the garden

by Drucilla James

Sculptures can add extra points of interest to the garden. With simple ingredients, you can easily make your own hypertufa to produce features which are lighter in weight than concrete and easily swapped around to create a change of scene.

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RHS Flower Show: Malvern.

by Drucilla James

At Malvern, we begin our valedictions to the year’s gardening events. But the array of pinks, oranges, bronzes, deep purples and reds that the nurseries have on offer, means we can all go out in a blaze of autumn colour at this fag-end of the season.

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Flowers@Oxford

by Drucilla James

For the last weekend in August Flowers@Oxford has taken over Lady Margaret Hall to promote cut flowers and everything you need to know about floral design. And to this end, everywhere in this Oxford college including the Deneke Common Room seems to have been decked out with flowers. Fantastic confections can be found both indoors and out, ranging from floral ladies languishing in punts on the river to temple huts in the Fellows’ Garden and gerbera pyramids right way up and upside down in the Front Quad.