RHS Britain in Bloom 60th Anniversary: Gardening for People and Planet

Feature Garden

Marking the 60th anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom, this garden designed by father and son duo, Jon and James Wheatley, celebrates the positive impacts of community gardening.     

The garden encapsulates the last 60 years of Bloom, from its inception in the 1960s, to the current day. The theme for Bloom’s 60th anniversary is friendship and the garden is designed to create a space where people in the community can come together, appreciate the taste, scent, sounds and visual impact of the garden, or make new connections at a ‘friendship bench’.

The design includes a variety of planting conditions. A grass path, flanked with vibrant beds of yellow and orange, passes floral features and art in the landscape as it sweeps up to the central platform seating area. On one side is a wild meadow suppling nectar-rich flowers for a cluster of beehives, which border wetland margins and shade planting and gives way to woodland and ferns.

This year, to celebrate Bloom, the RHS will be giving more than 2million friendship flower seeds out to groups for them grow, cut and give away as bouquets in their communities, and these British cut flowers are incorporated into the Hampton Court garden design.

A wild vegetable garden gives a fresh take on grow your own in a garden which both celebrates the traditions of the past and looks forward to a blooming future.

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 within 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 bee keeping have been introduced to increase biodiversity and support an eco-system. 

Relocation and repurpose

The friendship benches and plants will be distributed to Bloom and other community gardening groups based near to Hampton Court Palace.

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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.