Gavin urges garden industry to boost green credentials

Look after the planet too, says garden designer

By Matthew Appleby Diarmuid Gavin has called on the garden industry to become greener in a talk at the RHS Malvern Spring Gardening Show. Irish garden designer Gavin returned to Malvern Spring Gardening Show for the first time since 1999. He told a packed design theatre, hosted by James Alexander Sinclair, that gardeners should “look after not only our gardens but the planet also”. He added: “We don’t expect great-tasting fruit and veg filled with different feeds, fungicides and pesticides — that’s not the natural world. It’s an idea of perfection from garden centres and nurseries that doesn’t really exist. We’re not all perfect specimens, are we?” Gavin also called on gardeners to buy plants locally. HTA PR manager Erica Harper said: “Everyone changes in the face of more and more infor- mation. That’s the way most people are going. Ultimately, retailers will supply customers with what they want.” HTA Garden Industry Monitor figures show fungicide sales rose by 13 per cent in 2006, while insecticide sales rose by one per cent. The association is researching green retailing, including looking at customer attitudes and spending habits to see if they match. Gavin revealed that he is moving to County Wicklow in Ireland to concentrate on designing and TV work in his homeland. He would not comment on his plagiarism case with fellow designer Andy Sturgeon, in which Gavin accuses Sturgeon of copying a previous design of his at Chelsea 2006. But it is understood the pair have settled out of court. Gavin said: “Malvern is the first real gardening show in the calendar. It’s a wonderful place.” He added that his 2007 garden at the Chelsea flower show would be “relatively sedate” after years of courting controversy. “I’m not allowed near the garden during the build. They just send me pictures on my mobile when I’m over in Ireland.”

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