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RHS Chelsea Flower Show Recognises Sustainable Gardening Products with New Award

  • Shortlist for first RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year Award revealed
  • Plastic waste products, peat-free alternative and compost loo among the finalists
  • Winner to be announced online at the RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show (17 - 21 May)

The Royal Horticultural Society has revealed the shortlist for its first ever RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year Award as the world-famous show strives to promote and highlight the increasing importance of sustainability within the horticultural industry.
 
As part of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show sponsored by M&G, the Garden Product of the Year Competition will this year place prominence on entrants’ green credentials bringing sustainability to the forefront. The ten shortlisted products* will be judged against a criteria that takes into consideration their carbon footprint, environmental best practice, durability, biodegradability and recyclability as well as design innovation, functionality and quality.
 
The refreshed competition reflects the increasing awareness of gardeners and their preference to use more environmentally friendly products and practices in their gardens to help minimise their impact on the planet.
 
Many of the shortlisted products promote the use of alternative, more sustainable materials gardeners can use. Addressing the serious issues surrounding the use of peat in the horticultural industry and the drive to use peat-free alternatives, the Dalefoot Wool Compost with Comfrey champions an alternative peat-free media with a blend of comfrey, bracken and sheep’s wool sourced only from the UK to offer gardeners a sustainable option to their growing. 
 
Meanwhile other finalists look at creative ways to produce their products by re-using waste materials. Reflecting the increasing concern over plastic waste in our oceans, Ocean Plastic Pots and Distinctive Garden’s DuraOcean® Chair both highlight the plastic pollution crisis with products that make use of the plastic waste collected from oceans such as old fishing nets, ropes and debris.
 
Some products in the shortlist also consider ways to reduce water wastage. Last year’s winner Vegepod returns with a new Vegebag. Awarded RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year in 2020 to help gardeners grow their own edibles in small spaces, the new entry features a revised more sustainable design with a new wicking bed and water reservoir to reduce wastage as well as using more durable materials and packaged in fully recyclable cardboard.
 
Also offering an effective way to grow in small spaces, PlantBox provides a stackable and modular living wall system. Made from 100% recycled materials in Norfolk, it allows gardeners to grow vertically while water usage can be managed with the integrated reservoir and a trough to collect excess water. The stackable design allows it to be moved to new locations to encourage reusability.
 
Green Oak’s Composting Loo provides a basic yet fundamental function. The readily transportable frame is made from pine and offers a water kind alternative to public loos; following the increase in gardening over the last year, it offers an environmentally friendly option for allotments and community gardens.
 
Others selected in the shortlist include Sneeboer Maintenance Kit to care and increase the lifespan of your garden tools and reduce the need to replace items; Twool Naked, a naturally coloured and durable British wool garden twine; Gaze Burvill’s Woodland Low Oval Table crafted in the UK; and a robotic lawnmower from Platts Horticulture that produces zero emissions.
 
Chairman of the judging panel and sustainability expert Chris Harrop OBE says: “This year’s shortlist shows that manufacturers are bringing to market sustainable new products that address the challenges that are facing us all; climate change, plastics and pollution and the need to ensure that products are ethically sourced whilst still allowing consumers to enjoy their love of gardening in all its forms.”
 
Katherine Potsides, Head of RHS Shows Development, says: “After ten successful years of the ‘RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year’ competition we felt now was the time to turn the focus to sustainability with an aim to help promote eco-friendly and ethical consumerism within the gardening sector. We received some really fantastic and innovative entries into this year’s competition and the huge variety of products entered demonstrates the desire across the industry to become more environmentally friendly.”
 
The shortlist will be assessed by a team of experts including entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden. Despite the postponement of this year’s RHS Chelsea to September, the competition is continuing to take place within its usual time frames and the winning product will be announced during the RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show (17-21 May)**. Shortlisted products will also be on display in the Great Pavilion at the September show.

Notes to editors

About RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year was launched in 2011 to recognise the best new garden products at the show. In line with the ever increasing importance to ensure products offer sustainable solutions, the 2021 competition will award the RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year for the first time, where an expert judging panel will assess the shortlisted products placing prominence on environmental sustainability as well as taking into account innovation, visual appeal, functionality and quality.
 
*RHS Chelsea Sustainable Garden Product of the Year Shortlist 2021:
  1. Wool Compost with Comfrey by Dalefoot Composts, RRP £10.99 – Dalefoot Composts’ peat-free range now has a hat-trick of performance-packed natural ingredients – comfrey, bracken and sheep’s wool to give gardeners a truly sustainable option to their growing. www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk  
  2. DuraOcean® Chair by Distinctive Garden, RRP from £179 - DuraOcean® is the UK’s first commercially available chair made exclusively from 3.5kgs of recycled ocean plastic waste including fishing nets and ropes. www.distinctivegarden.co.uk
  3. Woodland Low Oval Table by Gaze Burvill, RRP £5,250 – Inspired by the Sweet Chestnut tree, the Woodland Low Oval Table takes its template from nature making each piece as unique as the tree that it came from. www.gazeburvill.com
  4. Compost Loo by Green Oak, RRP £4,900 – A pretty and transportable compost loo. www.greenoakfurniture.co.uk
  5. Ocean Plastic Pots, RRP £15.00 – Plant pots made from discarded rope and fishing net. Manufactured in the UK, they’ve developed a circular economy product that raises awareness of the ocean plastic problem. www.oceanplasticpots.com
  6. PlantBox, RRP £60 – designed to bring walls to life and life to walls! This cleverly simple, modular and stackable vertical garden system is manufactured in the UK from 100% recycled materials. www.biotecture.uk.com/bioextra/plantbox/
  7. Husqvarna Automower 405X by Platts Horticulture, RRP £1,699 – high performance, yet easy to use robotic lawnmower suited for smaller lawns, handling both narrow passages and slopes up to 40% with perfect result. www.plattshorticulture.co.uk
  8. Maintenance Kit by Sneeboer Trading BV, RRP £ 63.60 - The Sneeboer Maintenance kit keeps all quality hand-forged stainless-steel tools in perfect condition no matter the garden soil types and conditions. www.sneeboer.co.uk
  9. Twool Naked by Twool, RRP £6.50 - Twool naked is a naturally coloured British wool garden twine giving the strength and durability required of an all-round garden twine together with the aesthetics of blending naturally and harmoniously with planting. www.twool.co.uk
  10. New Vegebag by Vegepod UK, RRP £49.00 – the new Vegebag by Vegepod has been improved to incorporate wicking bed and water reservoir technologies into a compact sized fully contained grow bag. www.vegepod.co.uk 
 
 
**RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show (17 – 21 May)
As the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been moved to September for the first time in its 108-year history, the RHS will host another RHS Virtual Chelsea Flower Show on the RHS website to help fill the gap left by its postponement and keep the nation gardening and growing during the important gardening month of May. For the latest updates and information please visit www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/virtual-chelsea
 
RHS Chelsea Flower Show (21-26 September 2021)
20 September               Press Day
21 – 22 September        RHS members only, 8am – 8pm
23 – 25 September        RHS members and non-members, 8am – 8pm
24 September               Chelsea Flower Show Late, RHS members and non-members, 5.30pm – 10pm
26 September               RHS members and non-members, 8am – 5.30pm
 
Venue: Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3 4SL
 
To book tickets 0344 338 7501 or www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea
 
To apply for media accreditation please visit https://www.rhs.org.uk/press/shows/accreditation
 
About the RHS:
The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that we do, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to our education and community programmes such as Campaign for School Gardening and Britain in Bloom. We produce key publications, hold a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art, and sell the very best plants and gardening gifts.
 
The RHS is fundraising £40m to transform our gardens, outreach and education facilities, which includes redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley and opening a new garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater, in 2021. We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk.
 

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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.