While controversy rages in my home island regarding the recent elections, I was reading an article in the gardening section of the Guardian newspaper online - The Friday Debate: Should we all be going native? -- about native gardening in Britain! I left a long comment, and there were only 9 commenters before me so it may not be such a popular debate in the U.K. - or not when there appears to be a hung parliament, a strange occurrence indeed.
I googled a bit but couldn't find much of a native plant movement in the U.K. like we have here, a couple nurseries only and no societies.
When I google "British native plant society" I get links to the California nps! "British native plants" leads to our own Jeffrey Caldwell. Of course I didn't log on to the UK Google site.
There is one marvellous resource, the Postcode Plants Database - by the British museum, somewhat like our own calflora. There I found the lovely image of Papaver rhoeas at the head this post, which to any Brit of my vintage brings back childhood memories of "Poppy Day," which commemorates the dead of World War I (a war that may have other names in other places).
On Blotanical I did come up with some nice posts from the fairly new Garden of Eaden blog, for example this one on native pond plants. But their focus is not on natives, though their website itself does talk about a Best British Wildlife website competition. So maybe things are starting to cook over there.
At a meeting of our local chapter of CNPS last year, a botanist talked about her involvement with the Save Gillies Hill movement. Gillies Hill is a historic spot near Stirling, in Scotland, and it is threatened by quarry development. Interestingly, if they can find indigenous plants there worth legal protection, it would help the cause to protect this historic site of a great battle. I found a local blogger, Fraoch Woodland, writing about it too.
There are many passionate gardeners in the U.K. to be sure, but I didn't find much passion about gardening with natives on the web. I wonder where native plant movements take root most? South Africa and California are two hotspots - both places where non-native people have come in with fresh eyes maybe? Or where the indigenous flora is just so stunning and so evidently garden worthy?