RHS Britain in Bloom 60th Anniversary: The Friendship Garden

Feature Gardens

The Friendship Garden commemorates RHS Britain in Bloom’s 60th Anniversary and celebrates the relationships that form when people garden together in their communities. Over the last six decades, Bloom has positively affected the lives of millions of people, transforming villages, towns and cities, creating accessible communal green spaces and supporting local wildlife.
The garden creates a space where people can come together to appreciate the taste, scent, sounds and visual impact of the garden and make new connections at a ‘friendship bench’. The planting demonstrates the value of native and British-grown plants, with peat-free compost and minimal use of chemicals.
Wildflower plantings and beehives increase biodiversity and all the structures in the garden are sustainable, using readily accessible recycled materials. Art placed throughout the space celebrates a sense of place, heritage, and culture.

At a glance:

Who is this garden for?
This garden is for everyone. It is designed to be something accessible that volunteers can recreate in their own communities.
Where is the garden set?  
The garden is set in a community in the UK.
Who or what is the design inspiration?
The garden is designed to shine a spotlight on community gardening, to inspire more people to get active in their communities and get involved. 

Key sustainability points

  • The plants are British-grown, and most are grown by the design team.
  • In keeping with the RHS Britain in Bloom guidelines, all the plants will have been grown peat free and avoiding any pesticides.
  • The garden includes sustainable timber and most of the materials used have been recycled or repurposed.  The materials have been selected because they are readily accessible to people in their communities, following the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle and they can be replicated by community groups operating with very low budgets.  
  • The wildflower plantings and beekeeping have been introduced to increase biodiversity and support an eco-system. 

Relocation and repurpose

The trees and friendship benches will be going on to be reused in the Bloom 60th Anniversary Garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival. From there, the friendship benches will be gifted to communities across London and the South East. The other plants from RHS Chelsea will go to a range of local community groups.

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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.