Back to school and the end of the summer holidays for some but the main growing season in the summer has meant no let-up for many horticulturists. Those of us in the amenity world have battled with continual lawn maintenance, the August break from grass cutting hasn’t happened – and the struggle to maintain lawns continues with a definite mood change to how we assess and value lawns. The image of the verdant green striped box mown lawn will still have a place and playing surfaces for sport present a whole different range of challenges but beyond the great work prompted by ‘No Mow May’ – Plantlife are doing some great work on the importance of wild plants and fungi and their website has some great resources – and will encourage the way you think and manage.

Having the horticultural skills are vital and the Royal Parks Guild are organising a Discovery Day for horticultural apprentices at Hampton Court on the 2nd October – places are limited so please register your interest as soon as possible – this is an opportunity for networking, for encouragement and inspiration. This year the focus is on Historic Landscapes – past present and future, the rich heritage of landscape and gardening in the UK is perhaps unrivalled and the care of significant places is very much within the hands of skilled horticulturists.

The importance of gardens and cultivated landscapes is now also receiving attention and the RHS have convened a group to look at how we can grow Climate and Biodiversity Smart Landscape Systems – looking at the importance of both cultivated and native plants and their potential in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss. Plus looking at current data and the potential for research to help future decision making.

Collaboration and sharing of knowledge and expertise are at the heart of this work and the connections within the industry through CIH are key to making sure that the broadest range of skills and experience are used.

David Richardson CHort FCIHort