Getting the community gardening message across
More than 650,000 people will have seen the Urban Oasis gardens by the time the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park has finished
By the end of the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, more than 650,000 people will have enjoyed the series of Urban Oasis gardens designed by Chris Beardshaw for the charities Groundwork and the RHS.
Sponsored by Marks & Spencer, the gardens have now appeared at all RHS flowers shows, starting with the RHS Show Cardiff in April. Timed to coincide with Groundwork’s 30th anniversary, the project's aim has been to demonstrate and give visitors tangible examples of the difference community gardening can make.
From neglected alleyway...
The Tatton Park Urban Oasis focuses on the transformation of a back alleyway - part of urban housing often seen as an 'unsafe no-go' area or just somewhere to store rubbish bins. From an unloved wasteland, to a community haven separated by a horticultural alleyway, the show garden offers inspiration and is a catalyst for change to anyone living near dull, underused space.
‘Often residents are keen to change for the better a small part of where they live, but they don’t know how to make it happen,’ said Chris Beardshaw. ‘By talking to communities, Groundwork can find out if local groups would like to adopt a space and if so can help them transform it into a pocket park.'
...to city haven
He explains that Groundwork will act as a bridge between residents and other interested parties such as local authorities, landowners and funding providers. By meshing together the needs and desires of the residents, Groundwork can help to come up with a solution for the space that everyone is happy with and, importantly, one they want to take ownership of. The residents can do what they want with their spaces, whether they use them as a crèche, for example, or an area for growing flowers and vegetables.
‘It’s been an ambitious and exciting project and I am really pleased to have been responsible for designing and creating the schemes to reflect the work of these two valuable charities,’ said Chris Beardshaw.
After the show, elements of the garden will be reused in projects across the north-west, including the Atherton Road community garden in Ellesmere Port.