The Landscape Guide

16.29 Public gardens

Contents list

One of the ancient reasons for imparking amenity land was to make protected space for plants. Flowers benefit from cultivation, shelter, irrigation, manure and defence against hostile animals and people. Also, plants need to be cared for by people with an abundance of love, skill and knowledge about gardens. Retired people are the greatest single repository of these qualities. To draw upon this resource, horticultural societies should become involved in park management. Salaried park managers, who would still be required, are too harassed by the time and motion consciousness of their employers. Britain's National Rose Society owns and manages a superb rose garden. Visitors come from all over the world to see the flowers. They have to pay to enter, but season tickets are available. If the management of a small public park was entrusted to a horticultural society, local residents could be issued with free tickets. Surveys show that few people are willing to travel more than 1 km to visit a small urban park. By this means, local residents could enjoy a better park at a lower cost.