The Horniman was one of 15 winners announced at a ceremony at Woburn Abbey yesterday (25 June 2019). The Horticulture Week Custodian Awards celebrate the best of parks, gardens and tree management.
The Grasslands Garden, opened in June 2018, celebrates globally threatened landscapes and highlights the beauty of grasses and their plant communities in a stunning display with year-round appeal. The garden was created in partnership with Olympic Park designer James Hitchmough and plantsman Neil Lucas, as not only a beautiful and sustainable space but also one which links to the Horniman’s World Gallery of anthropology by exploring indigenous people’s relationships to grassland landscapes.
Key features of the Grasslands Gardens’ success are:
- beauty – naturalistic planting of species with a long flowering period, contrasting with a formal border of grasses
- biodiversity – featuring plants that benefit pollinators
- sustainability – planting directly into deep gravel reduces the need for watering to almost nil
- multi-sensory appeal – planting is complemented with museum-style interpretation, a sound post and carved benches giving spaces for reflection.
Wesley Shaw, Head of Horticulture at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, says:
‘The Grasslands Garden has been a fantastic project for us – working with such a renowned designer as James, creating the garden from scratch, and seeing it flourish through the seasons has been a great experience. The Grasslands Garden is very popular with our visitors and has even hosted the live weather report for ITV’s Good Morning Britain. We’re delighted that it has now been recognised by the horticultural community, with this award.’
Horticulture Week editor Kate Lowe said:
‘A huge thank you to everyone who entered the 2019 Horticulture Week Custodian Awards and many congratulations to our winners, high commendations and finalists. The quality of our entries was outstanding this year and proves that our parks and gardens are simply brimming with talent and achievement.’
The Grasslands Garden is free to visit – the Horniman Gardens are open daily from 7.15am (8am on Sundays) until dusk.