Jeremy Irons contributes to the RHS Tree of Knowledge

Jeremy Irons contributes to the RHS Tree of Knowledge – original article at the Royal Horticultural Society’s website

Celebs sign up to the Tree of Knowledge

Jeremy Irons, Greg Wise, Julian Fellowes and Nicki Chapman have been the first to share ideas on the RHS Tree of Knowledge.

We are calling on the nation to share ideas to support biodiversity in the garden and the 50 best ideas will feature on the Tree of Knowledge at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Great ideas for our Tree of Knowledge

Actors Jeremy Irons, Greg Wise and Julian Fellowes were first to support the initiative and TV presenter Nicki Chapman has created a list of tips for people with limited spare time.

Jeremy Irons advised; “Every time you see a plant or tree you haven’t seen before, ask permission, take a cutting and put it in your garden and don’t keep your garden too tidy”.

Greg Wise wrote a poem to feature on the tree:

“Be less Tidy!
Have a corner of your life that isn’t neat…
Let things rot.
Embrace decay…
We’ll all be doing it one day.”

Greg’s own garden is a great example of supporting biodiversity. The actor says it is a relatively small space, but includes; a pond, rotting pile of logs, dead tree, compost heap, leaf-mould bin, wormery, tubes full of mason bees, water butt, nest boxes for birds, insect boxers, feeders and a hedgehog house!

Nicki Chapman said: “It’s so important we all try and make a difference regarding Biodiversity,” and provided the following tips:

  • Grow trees that complement each other (helping to cross pollinate)
  • Grow plants that would thrive in your local soil ( to attract the insects that would naturally be there)
  • Encourage Birds – by providing the right feed for ‘city birds’
  • Hedgehogs – providing meal worms rather than milk and bread
  • Sedum roofs (attracting wildlife, plus great insulation for your property)
  • Not using pesticides on the beds or strong detergents to clean the tiled and hard landscaping parts of the garden that might harm the bio-sphere

Julian Fellowes is also a keen supporter of garden biodiversity and stated: “An odd anomaly of the modern, fast-changing world, is that private gardens have become vital protection zones for a good deal of our natural wildlife… the shelter of our animals, plants and insects has really become a duty, and will hopefully soon be a tradition if it isn’t already, for British gardeners…”

Tree of Knowledge at Chelsea

The RHS Tree of Knowledge complements the Continuous Learning RHS Biodiversity Display, which will highlight the role gardens can play in slowing down the global decline of biodiversity. The RHS gardening advice team will also be nearby to help visitors with gardening, and especially wildlife gardening.

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