Two wonderful talks last month have made my year

First was Gwen Grelet at the last All About Gardening where she talked about soil and all the soil fungi that help our plants to grow. Science has moved on rapidly with smarter microscopes, photography and analysis of soil borne organisms. It was mind boggling to listen to someone so enthusiastic and interesting. She provided information that answered many questions about life in the soil and how it works with plants for great growth. This new information does not mean we stop putting lots of compost and mulch onto our  land.

Second was Dr Gary Houliston presenting last of our Winter Speaker Series talks and the M J Barnett Memorial Lecture. He spoke about plant genetics, particularly chromosome numbers and variance between groups of plants in the same species.

The implications of this research on our native flora, and most importantly, the underlying decisions made by those people undertaking native plant re-vegetation projects means a ‘back to the drawing board’ rethink about seed collection, provenance and planting.

Both of these speakers highlighted the real importance for us gardeners and horticulturists to keep up to date with the latest research and evaluate this for our own land.

The future of our thriving gardens may depend upon our collective understanding of new science and how it will best be applied to our gardens, parks and reserves.

Alan Jolliffe
CHS President