The RHS has teamed up with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food, to bring anEdible Spaces with Capital Growth feature to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The three small gardens and six balconies will include entertaining recycling elements and aim to get urbanites growing food, no matter how small their outside space is.
The RHS has helped half a million people to grow food through the RHS grow your own campaign and its community growing schemes have brightened up a thousand neighbourhoods across the UK. Capital Growth was launched in 2008 to boost grow your own in the capital by creating 2,012 community food growing spaces by 2012. It now has nearly 100 spaces already being cultivated across the capital in a diverse range of places including, canal banks, schools, roofs, private gardens open to the community and parks.
Inga Grimsey, Director General of the RHS, said: “Both the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and RHS are working towards the same goal to help people grow plants, regardless of how much space they have or whether they have a garden.
“We invited the Mayor and Rosie to showcase at Hampton as we support any initiative that gets people excited about gardening and brings communities together – things that are at the heart of the RHS values.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Hampton is a great family-friendly celebration of all things green-fingered. I am passionate about making our capital greener as it reaps a host of benefits for urban dwellers. I want people to be inspired by the Capital Growth garden to grow food in weird and wonderful places as well as the more conventional.”
Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food, said: “Community involvement is at the core of Capital Growth. The balconies in this garden have been inspired by a mixture of ideas by diverse growing groups across London, who have also been foraging for recycled materials to highlight the possibilities, and fun, you can have growing fruit and vegetables on a low budget.
“Two of the balconies use hydroponic technology for intensive food growing in small urban spaces without access to soil providing cutting edge ideas to further ignite people’s imagination to make the most of their outside space.”
Three designers, Adam Frost, who has created many awarded winning gardens at RHS shows, horticultural polymath and member of the BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time, Matthew Biggs and award winning designer, Chris Myers will create the three edible themed urban gardens. As well as vegetables and herbs, Chris’ garden includes edible flowers.
The content for the six balcony displays is being co-ordinated by London Food Link part of the charity Sustain; the alliance for better food and farming. Hadlow College has grown the plants and communities and schools across London have been involved with planting them in unusual and entertaining containers, including unwanted theatre props, market trays, disposable coffee cups and plastic food containers.
To find out more about the hottest event in the gardening calendar this summer visit www.rhs.org.uk and log onto the online press portal, at the bottom right hand of the page.