Tips to help Gordon Brown win over horticulturalists

There are numerous ways in which Gordon Brown could win over gardeners across the UK, sector commentator Jane Owen suggests.

Writing in the online pages of the Times, she suggests that the government could get rid of 17.5 per cent VAT on all plants and seeds and instead reduce it to five per cent, placing them in line with other ecologically-aware goods identified by the prime minister.

She adds that children could be involved in horticultural pastimes by allocating funds for schools that have signed up to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)s Campaign For School Gardens scheme to allow them to create their own green spaces.

Ms Owen concludes by suggesting that planning laws could be altered to prevent "garden grabbing" by turning gardens into housing.

Speaking at the recent RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Inga Grimsey, president of the society, stated that there is "little government incentive" to encourage people to improve their green credentials by incorporating more plants into their homes.