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The Hills are Alive

By Daniel Jones, Level 4 Diploma student, RHS Garden Wisley

As part of my level 4 horticultural diploma at RHS Garden Wisley, I have undertaken a research project looking at different plant communities found in the Alps and how they can be used in a garden setting. My project had three main components:

  • I began my project by looking at the different plants that should be considered an alpine in a garden setting and understanding how garden visitors to Wisley viewed alpine plants and alpine plant displays.
  • I also researched the current threats to plants in the Alps, which included the effects of climate change, atmospheric nutrient deposition and tourism.
  • I then explored the role that amateur and professional gardeners could have in providing innovative displays and interpretation of plants from the Alps in their own gardens, so that garden visitors better understand the importance of the flora of the Alps.

To ensure that the project was kept focussed, I researched several different plant communities from the valley bottoms to the high summits and the climatic, geographical, geological and soil conditions that these communities require to better inform cultivation in a garden setting. My overall conclusion was that by grouping particular plant communities, these could be used in a garden to better explain the diversity of plants from the Alps.

Click on the image below to read the dissertation.