The RHS’ annual horticultural lecture took place yesterday, Thursday 10th November. This event has grown in stature each year I have attended, since beginning my PhD back in 2013.
This year we were privileged to hear the views of Dr. Ross Cameron. His lecture involved what those attending consider to be ‘common sense’; maintaining green elements of our increasingly urban environment to encourage human health and wellbeing. However, despite clear correlations between our connectivity with nature, green spaces, and green elements of our cities they are commonly the elements of urban landscapes which are most easily forgotten about and cut in harsh economic periods.
Horticultural science has for a long time tried to prove what many of us are already well aware of: that nature is beneficial in our everyday lives as a great stress-reliever and promotes healthy living for humans as well as the fauna commonly found around us, and in improving the air quality, flood resistance, and temperature maintenance of urban landscapes. Monetary values are increasingly being attributed to each of these ‘ecosystem services’ such that, conversely to the arguments of numerous policy-makers, we can see clear economic benefits to the integration of urban gardens, street-trees, green walls, and green roofs into our urban lives (however, in almost all metrics, trees outperform other green infrastructure by far).
The already converted audience was highly respondent to these ideas and we continue to be disbelieving of the lack of uptake of these ideas into each and every urban environment. Through the work of academics, practitioners, and everyday gardeners we hope the future will involve increasing green environments in our increasingly urban lifestyles.
The event also saw the award of the annual Marsh Christian Trust Horticultural Science Award. Presented by Sara Oldifield OBE, this year it was won by Oliver Ellingham. Yes, that’s me. I won it! An award for the most promising early career horticultural science researcher. With this support I will be able to continue to contribute to the field and participate in related societies and events.
The support after the award was overwhelming with people queueing up at times for a conversation with the winner…!
After the lecture, presentation, and wine reception I went out for Korean food with my Mum and my friend Jens.