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29 Feb 2012
gardens will be designed by landscape
designer and broadcaster Chris Beardshaw
The Royal Horticultural Society
(RHS) has partnered with national charity Groundwork to celebrate
both charities’ work to get local communities gardening and involve
more people in transforming neighbourhoods.
In a unique effort to mobilise people from all walks of life to get
involved in making their streets, parks and neighbourhoods greener
places to live, the RHS and Groundwork have devised a series of
show gardens, designed by landscape designer and broadcaster Chris
The gardens, sponsored by Marks & Spencer, are themed under the
title Urban Oasis and will showcase some of the most challenging
urban environments where gardening, community work and good quality
landscape design have brought people together and yielded
The Urban Oasis gardens mark the first time the RHS has
worked with a partner to bring an exhibit to every RHS
show this season, starting with Cardiff,* a fitting tribute
celebrate Groundwork’s 30th birthday.
The Urban Oasis message is to challenge people to think
about how they can get involved in either preserving their
cherished green space or get stuck in and create their own
Urban Oasis for the wider community benefit wherever they
Chris Beardshaw said: “The green space around us -
where we live and work - has a fundamental effect on our emotions
and behaviour. It is well documented that in areas where
these spaces are neglected and poorly designed we see strong
evidence of social unrest and it is easy to see why when you stand
these spaces yourself.
“Whatever the green need there is a solution and contrary to
popular belief it doesn’t have to mean high cost - The Urban Oasis
Gardens showcase design solutions which can make such a difference
in people's lives.”
Director General at the RHS, added: “We are delighted to be
teaming-up with Groundwork to champion the benefits of gardening in
urban communities. A recent RHS report shows how important
community gardening is to society and how the regeneration of urban
areas is transforming lives and livelihoods all over the country.
We need to shout about this, and what better platform to do it
from, than our magnificent flower shows.”
Groundwork chief executive, Sir Tony Hawkhead, said: “We’re
very excited to be working in partnership with the RHS on the Urban
Oasis show gardens during our 30th anniversary
“The benefits of urban green spaces go far beyond those that you
can actually see. They become a powerful catalyst for change
- bringing people together to roll up their sleeves, get involved
and take action to create clean and green places that act as
community hubs and training centres, help to moderate the local
climate and boost the local economy.”
Gillies, Director of Plan A at Marks & Spencer, said: “This is
an exciting partnership and a fitting way to mark Groundwork’s
30th year. We’ve worked with the charity for four years
now and its employees and volunteers are often the unsung heroes of
local communities. The work they do really does transform urban
green spaces. We’ll be encouraging as many of our customers and
employees as possible to get down to the RHS shows and see the
The RHS organises Britain’s biggest community horticulture movement
through its Britain in Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood campaigns,
which bring together 200,000 volunteers to make places greener and
transform every aspect of community life for the better.
Groundwork has three decades of experience of working directly with
disadvantaged communities to clean up and green up where they
live. The charity works with community groups, housing
associations and local authorities to improve green spaces for
people to use.
Notes to Editors
*About the gardensFor the first time
ever, the RHS will be working in partnership to bring an exhibit to
every RHS show this season, starting with Cardiff:
About the RHSThe Royal Horticultural
Society is the UK’s foremost gardening charity, helping and
inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our
gardens and shows and through our scientific research,
publications, libraries and our education and community
programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors
RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in
gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for
gardening. For more information call 0845 130 4646, or visit
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262