Work has begun on the second phase of the horticultural renovation project at Cassino War Cemetery, one of our most iconic cemeteries in Italy of the Second World War.
Nine Italian colleagues from different cemeteries are now working in Cassino coordinated by Senior Head Gardener South, Adriano Bisogno.
Plants in the current borders are removed along with persistent weeds and wild garlic varieties, the borders are narrowed, sandy loam soil and organic soil conditioner are added followed by new planting in five regularly repeating patterns.
The renovation project was necessary to ensure resilience to climate change by improving the soil structure and renew the plants with drought resistant varieties. The work started in autumn 2022, the first operational phase lasting 2 weeks in March 2023 and the second phase is now being carried out.
A lot of useful information is being learnt from this work allowing the CWGC to plan similar projects in Italy. Furthermore, large-scale propagation projects have already begun to use local plant varieties more resilient to adverse climatic conditions by creating small plant nurseries in our cemeteries.
An example of this is all the gazanias for this project have been supplied in pots from Minturno War Cemetery, where gardeners Carlo and Mario grew 240 plants in July for the second phase of the project:
This represents an important example of green circular economy among different cemetery sites, which contributes to the long-term sustainability goals of the CWGC.