Finding [urban] Nature

Young Designer Gardens

Did you know...

  • A re-imagining of how a particular urban site in Nottingham is being reclaimed by people and nature – wildflowers and weeds spread across rubble, industrial materials such as scaffold boards and scaffold poles are pressed into service as walkways and a pergola
  • The recycling theme continues with an outdoor rug made from recycled plastic and bunting from fabric offcuts, its patterning echoing the wild plants growing in the rubble below
  • Painted wooden pallets are used as tool stores at the end of the raised vegetable beds. These beds contain a colourful mix of vegetables, herbs and flowers – promising a bounty for the eyes and the food table 

About the garden

Finding [urban] Nature (F[u]N) celebrates the hidden charm of wasteland sites, daring visitors to see them as important urban spaces for wildlife and recognise them as valuable assets that can help improve mental health and wellbeing and build a sense of community.

Inspired by a childhood spent building dens in overgrown spaces, and by a brownfield site, once a delight of flowers in summer, now an asphalt-covered car park, this garden shows how a little joy can be brought to unloved but valuable derelict spaces. The garden makes use of reclaimed materials including brownfield substrate, consisting of crushed brick, concrete and the occasional toilet.

F[u]N focuses on a central scaffold pavilion, the social heart of the scheme and a playful space. The planting features brownfield flowers – an important food source for many urban pollinators – intermingled with domestic garden plants.

Thanks also to NTU Landscape Services (Nottingham Trent University) and Scaffold Direct.

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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.