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Environmental horticulture for domestic and community gardens – an integrated and applied research approach

Gush, M. B., Blanuša, T., Chalmin-Pui, L. S., Griffiths, A., Larsen, E. K., Prasad, R., Redmile-Gordon, M. and Sutcliffe, C. (2023) Environmental horticulture for domestic and community gardens – an integrated and applied research approach. Plants, People, Planet. ISSN 2572-2611

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ppp3.10444


This article presents an integrated and applied research approach to the unique and multi-disciplinary area of science referred to here as Environmental Horticulture. It does this by: a) providing an institutional perspective (The Royal Horticultural Society) on a research approach for this particular area, emphasising why domestic and community gardens are important in the context of global environmental threats; b) presenting four primary research focus areas and project examples, and; c) highlighting interdisciplinary linkages, future research needs, public engagement / knowledge sharing opportunities, and “Green Skills” development in the area of environmental horticulture. Research focus areas discussed are: 1) responding to the changing climate (adaptation, mitigation and resilience solutions in gardens); 2) “plants for purpose” (harnessing the potential of horticultural plant diversity, and gardening, to help regulate environmental conditions); 3) sustainability and climate risk reduction through effective and efficient resource management (reduction, re-use, recycling and repurposing); and 4) gardening and cultivated plant choice for human health and wellbeing. We argue that a key research priority is improving our understanding of the linkages and interactions between soil, water, plants, weather and people. These crucial linkages affect above and below ground processes, for both outdoor and indoor plants. They impact the effectiveness with which water and nutrient cycling takes place, the extent to which ecosystem services may be delivered, and the resultant capacity of gardens and gardening to provide environmental and human health benefits.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:113685
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ecosystem services, human wellbeing, Royal Horticultural Society, soil health, sustainability.


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