Grueber's 'garden of the future'

Plant development expert predicts water shortages and an ageing population among influences.

Grueber: will speak on the topic at this month’s HTA Contact event - image: HW
Grueber: will speak on the topic at this month’s HTA Contact event - image: HW

Water shortages, new types of gardening and an ageing population are among the factors likely to shape gardening, according to plant development expert Gary Grueber of Cultivaris.

Grueber, who will speak about gardens of the future at the HTA's upcoming Contact conference, said there was a lot of potential for breeders.

"Water shortages will be a factor and gardens are getting smaller - urban gardening is a big issue" he said. "There are also new types of gardening, such as vertical gardens."

He said grow your own would continue to be a big topic and that an ageing population would influence gardening across Europe: "Gardening habits will change. There won't be a decline in interest but an increase; we need to ensure the right products are available."

He added: "There is so much potential in conventional breeding - we haven't even started. In my talk for the HTA, I want to discuss what the future of gardening will look like. What will the gardens of the future and the markets of the future be like and what can be expected of consumer demographics? What kind of products do breeders have to create?"

Grueber also told Horticulture Week that genetic engineering was unlikely to become a major part of ornamental plant breeding because the investment required was too great.

He added that this situation may change in the future as the technology becomes more widespread and people look for ways to create plants that are drought-tolerant or disease-resistant.

Contact 2013 - Speakers prepare for Bromsgrove

The HTA-organised biennial Contact conference will take place on 16-17 January at Holiday Inn Bromsgrove.

Speakers at the event include Bransford Webbs Plant Company chair Will Tooby, IT Genetics managing director Paul Hogden, Kernock Park Plants marketing co-ordinator Kirsten Pett, garden journalist Adam Pasco and Garden Centre Group head of horticulture Tim Clapp, among others. Also, Hillier Nurseries managing director Andy McIndoe will deliver an after-dinner speech on the Wednesday evening (16 January).

Further information about the event can be found at www.contact2013.co.uk.


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