Blaenavon community hub

A vibrant community space, an outdoor classroom and plenty of growing areas all feature in Blaenavon’s new RHS Community Garden

Not many who live in Forgeside, an old mining town in Blaenavon, Wales, have access to their own garden. With green space in such short supply, Forgeside Rugby Club applied to the RHS Community Grant Scheme asking for a once rubbish-strewn site next to their pitch to be transformed into a blossoming garden. With their application successful, Forgeside was announced as the fourth, and final, location of a new RHS Community Garden by Alex Jones on the BBC’s The One Show.

The new community kitchen garden in Blaenavon, Wales was unveiled on RHS Garden Day (Monday, 2 May 2022), kick-starting National Gardening Week celebrations. Find out how the space was transformed, hear the story behind the design and see the community come together to celebrate their brilliant new green space.


The heart of the community

Designed by Swansea-based landscape architect, Victoria Wade, the new garden is a welcoming space with a pizza oven and dining area where the community can socialise and learn, with space for youth groups and school children to develop horticultural skills too. A greenhouse and fruit and vegetables beds aim to help the community to grow fresh food for the local foodbank.


“Nothing ever happens in our village so we’re absolutely buzzing - it’s just surreal. We’ve felt so cut off over the last few years, from the outside world as well as each other, and this garden is the beating heart of the community.”

Geraint Reynolds, Chair of Forgeside Rugby Club

Industrial inspiration

The garden has been inspired by the heritage of Blaenavon: the centre of the industrial revolution and declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. Rusty steel planters brimming with fiery red, yellow and orange flowers such as dahlias, helenium and sunflowers are reminiscent of the blazing furnaces of nearby iron works. A focus on pollinator-friendly planting also helps to boost local wildlife, while being carefully chosen to withstand the extreme weather that can be typical of the area.

The new garden was unveiled on RHS Garden Day (Monday, 2 May 2022), kick-starting National Gardening Week celebrations. The locations of the other new community gardens receiving RHS Community Grant Scheme funding are: Huntingdon (England), Randalstown (Northern Ireland), and Paisley (Scotland). All four projects receive an additional £15,000 over the course of three years to support the groups’ work within their communities.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.