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Tom Hoblyn

Tom Hoblyn Garden Designer

Trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Tom set up a successful garden design company in Suffolk. Last year he won his third consecutive RHS gold medal, this time at Chelsea Flower Show. Work takes him far and wide and he has just returned from India having begun work on a large landscape that forms part of the grounds for a Hindu temple.

  • Date Joined: 10 Mar 2009

Initial thoughts for Chelsea

Posted by Tom Hoblyn on 20 Mar 2009 at 01:00 PM

Back in 2000 I spent 8 weeks in SE USA knee deep in bogs studying the carnivorous plant's dependency in fire. The short and long of it is that we should be setting fire to these American woodlands on a regular basis. The tree species in that area have evolved to cope with fire, in fact Pinus serotina needs fire to open its cones and release the seed. If burnt regularly, debris would not build up and create a 'hot' devastating fire. Instead we would have 'cool' quick non-damaging fires. The bogs within these forests would be kept clear of competitive growth and the carnivorous plants would thrive. But no, the US Forestry Service don't see it like that: when I mentioned the perfect solution it was met with resistance and the threat of arrest. No they much prefer the costly non-eco approach of keeping the undergrowth down with the avid use of herbicides. As a result many populations of Venus fly-trap, Sarracenia sp. Drosera sp. are so small they are not genetically diverse enough to outbreed and survive. So this Chelsea Flower Show is dedicated to the plight of the carnivorous plant and will highlight its vulnerability as a direct result of US Forestry Service's complete ignorance to understand the serious threat they are causing to wildlife in the forests of SE USA.

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