The stories that have caught our eye :
A 2 year study by Cornell University has shown that kids at schools with gardens are moderately more active than those without .. and the benefits continue at home, where they are less sedentary. “If schools embraced gardens further .. there might be an even greater effect” on reducing childhood obesity, said Prof Nancy Wells
A study published this week by Plymouth University ecologists has shown that the most common species of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) is not fussy about a plant’s origins, ie, it doesn’t have to be a native plant. Gardeners have a vital role in providing flowering plants for pollinators. Dr Mick Hanley suggests that they also provide an area of native plants too, as well as an area of nettles, clover etc. to aid other pollinators. He highlights the continued importance of promoting diversity.
In a 4 year study at the RHS Wisley garden, 36 beds were monitored – 12 with native plants, 12 with near-native and 12 with non-native plants. Their findings were :
- Native beds were best for hoverflies and bugs
- Near-native best for bumblebees
- Non-natives for wasps, spiders and springtails.
Elizabethan style gardening
Well it’s goodbye to lawnmowers at Derbyshire’s Haddon Hall. In order to give visitors a “fuller experience”, it has been decided to go back to the 16th century, when lawnmowers weren’t invented and sheep grazed the lawns, and restore the Elizabethan terraces surrounding the house, allowing the grass to grow more meadow-like. Well-known designer Arne Maynard will be advising; special emphasis will be put on growing medicinal herbs such as hyssop. Haddon Hall.
White House climate change app launched.
Climate Data Initiative is the new website-based app launched by the White House to help explain the science behind climate change. White House officials point out that extreme weather events are becoming more common – in 2012, they claimed more than 300 lives and cost $110 billion in damages.
The sweet smell of Spring.
Scientists at Rockefeller University have concluded that the average person can distinguish between 1.7 trillion different smells. Unbelievable!
I’ll be putting this to the test this weekend in the garden – hyacinths, narcissi, wallflowers….
Enjoy the Spring!