Flowering Lawn Research Goes Public

Thursday 25 October 2012

London Park to get new type of sward

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) is starting work on a new form of biodiverse floral lawn. The work will be carried out with Lionel Smith, a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) sponsored PhD student, and RBKC’s gardening team. It is the first time that a public park has featured this new form of lawn.

This preparation work is part of Lionel’s research that looks at covering an area with suitable plants but containing no grass. Planting a public space with specially selected and researched plants will give him a valuable insight into how the public will react to this non-traditional lawn. Previously all his research has been on experimental plots at Reading University. The concept has already generated discussions around what exactly makes a lawn a lawn.

“I am excited by this opportunity and delighted to be working with Kensington and Chelsea,” says Lionel. “Lawns are normally associated with closely trimmed grass but mine are, I believe, entitled to be called that too. They are not only beautiful and easy to maintain but also environmentally friendly. It will be interesting to see how visitors to Avondale Park, where this public trial sward is to be being planted, will react. I hope to get some feedback as part of my research.”

“We are really excited to be at the forefront of this new development,” say Barrie Maclaurin: RBKC parks manager. “The Borough works to ensure we give our residents great spaces to live in and we believe that these flowering lawns, although experimental at the moment, have great potential and will be well received. Remember you saw it first in Kensington and Chelsea!”

John David, RHS Chief Scientist says, “This research will certainly be talked about and will encourage gardeners to think about what a lawn really means to them. It is rare to be able to demonstrate the practical application of research so early on and so we are delighted that the RBKC have given Lionel such a magnificent opportunity.”

The plants for this new initiative are currently being propagated and grown at the Borough’s nursery facilities and will be planted out in March 2013. It is expected that it will then take some weeks for them to establish themselves. The lawn should start flowering in late April and reach a peak in May but also carry through to June.


 

-Ends-

Notes to editors

For more information and please contact Eoin Redahan (RHS) on 020 7821 3044 or eoinredahan@rhs.org.uk or Bernard Brady (RBKC) on 020 7361 2999 or Bernard.Brady@rbkc.gov.uk  

The flowering lawn will be planted in the Royal Borough’s Avondale Park in March 2013.

Photograph available on Picselect – www.picselect.com  


About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

 

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262