Four major new RHS Community Gardens will be created in each of the Home Nations, thanks to an RHS Community Grant, which is being launched today, Thursday 20th January 2022.
With the help of The BBC’s One Show (BBC One 7pm), The RHS is calling for communities and schools from across the UK to apply for the new RHS Community Gardens, where a leading Garden Designer will work with local communities to transform a space for the benefit of local people.
The four Gardens – one in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland, one in Wales and one in England – will be gifted to the community and will be worth up to £50,000 each. The cost of the Garden will depend on the size of the plot and landscaping needs.
A selection panel made up of Garden Designers, Horticulturists, Television Presenters, The One Show and the RHS will select which four communities will receive the RHS Community Gardens. Factors they will consider include how much a garden would transform the lives of the people living in the community, as well as the accessibility and suitability of the space.
The initiative forms part of the RHS’ Planet Friendly Gardening Campaign, which celebrates the importance of gardens for people and the planet and champions sustainable approaches to gardening.
As well as the creation of the gardens, funding will be made available to support green skills development of people to achieve an RHS Level 2 qualification and to support the maintainence of the gardens over the next three years.
Well known personalities who all believe in the power of community gardens and the difference access to nature can make to people’s lives, will each champion a garden and share their ideas with the communities and designers.
For Scotland, Garden Designers Susan Begg and Nicola Semple from Semple Begg will be working with the local community to create their garden of dreams and will be joined by Invictus Games medallist and television presenter JJ Chalmers during the journey.
Alex Jones said “At The One Show, we’ve loved working with the RHS over the last few years and I can’t wait to see what amazing designers can bring to communities across the UK.”
The new RHS Community Gardens will be celebrated on RHS Garden Day on Monday 2 May, with music and activities, including making flower crowns. RHS Garden Day will launch National Gardening Week (2 – 8 May 2022), which for 2022 will have the theme ‘Planet Friendly Gardening for People and the Planet’.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, says, “The RHS believes everyone needs space to grow, which is why we work with schools and community groups in towns, villages and neighbourhoods across the UK. This opportunity champions how vital local people are in creating beautiful spaces that benefit people and the environment.
“Community gardens can bring people together who most need support and friendship, offer opportunities to grow fresh fruit and vegetables for eating, cooking and donating to foodbanks, and provide habitats and sustenance for our precious pollinators and other wildlife. We hope communities that would most benefit from these Gardens will apply to help bring the community together through a beautiful space for people and nature.”
The RHS Community Grant Application will close at 6pm on 6th February 2022.