A fascinating talk from James Hitchmough - Professor of Horticultural Environment in the Department Landscape Architecture at Sheffield University which has 400 students and celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year.
James travels 80 days of the year to far-flung places including Argentina South Africa, Japan, USA and China where he was sowed their first perennial meadow.
Recognising that the world is going through climate warming James research involves killing plants!! That is - he challenges them to the utmost degree in the conditions under which they are grown. It's all about survival of the fittest!! We were urged to be bold and experiment with plants that traditionally have not been grown here because we think it is too cold. Try something different. It may do better than you imagine. The past is not the future. Vegetation is core; no vegetation - no life.
The £4m Drainage Swale he designed for Sheffield city centre involved keeping and studying health records of everyone in the city. Results conclude that having a garden reduces visits to the Dr and enriches the lives of urban dwellers.
James advocates 3-4 layers of planting from early flowering lower level through to later flowering canopy to give continuous colour over a longer period. There was so much to listen to and learn - way too much to repeat here but - you may be interested in a book of his : Sowing Beauty. You don't have to sow a huge flower meadow - a beautiful effect can be achieved in your own back yard, as he showed in pictures of his own urban Sheffield garden in which are planted over 600 species. If you want to see pictures look up Gardens Illustrated June 2017 no.248.
Does anyone have a copy I could borrow please? :-)