Edible gardens to appear in public spaces
11 January 2013
Edible Gardens will appear in public spaces across the UK when RHS Britain in Bloom 2013 launches in April. Streets across the UK will be lined with herbs and vegetables for local people to harvest for years to come, thanks to the launch.
‘Edible Britain’ is the theme of Britain in Bloom 2013, which will see community gardening groups create 2,000 edible gardens in public spaces around the country between 7 and 14 April.
RHS community gardening groups, of which there are more than 5,000, can apply for free edible seeds, provided by the RHS. A total of 30,000 packets of seeds, such as chives, dill, parsley, carrots, coriander, spring onions, red frills mustard, edible flowers such as nasturtiums and marigolds, and much more, will be distributed to 2,000 gardening groups.
Stephanie Eynon, RHS Community Horticulture Manager, said: “Britain in Bloom isn’t just about pretty hanging baskets brightening up gloomy streets, it’s about improving the environment, enhancing lives and bringing communities together through gardening. ‘Edible Britain’ will see new public herb and vegetable gardens planted across the UK, bringing access to tasty produce to thousands.”
More than 200,000 people devote almost 4.4 million hours each year to enhancing their community through the Britain in Bloom campaign, saving the country thousands of pounds. On average, groups plant 115,000 trees, 352,000 shrubs and 21.6 million plants and bulbs across the nation each year.
The social impacts of participating in Britain in Bloom are as significant as the environmental and visual benefits. An RHS survey found that 90% of groups claim the biggest benefit of participating in the campaign is community development and more than 50% of groups have seen a clear decline in crime and anti-social behaviour.
Britain in Bloom aims to promote a healthy lifestyle across all generations. ‘Edible Britain’ will engage children in growing fresh produce, which is a well-established way to increase interest in healthy eating because it encourages a more knowledgeable relationship with their food. Community growing also allows older people to stay active, feel less isolated and gain a greater sense of purpose.
Britain in Bloom was set up in 1964 as a tourist initiative but since the RHS took over in 2002 it has grown into one of Europe’s largest community gardening and environmental campaigns involving villages, towns, cities, urban communities and neighbourhood groups across the country. It is also the UK’s biggest voluntary campaign.
Anybody can set up or join their nearest group by typing in their postcode into an online map.