Gardens Illustrated, January 2020

Chelsea Flower Show 2020

The RHS has announced that there will be a new Garden for Friendship at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, a collaboration between the RHS and the NHS, designer Jo Thompson and radio and TV presenter Zoe Ball.

A recent survey commissioned by the RHS showed that 52 per cent of respondees in Britain had experienced feeling alone. Sixty eight per cent of 18 to 24 year olds have felt lonely compared to 41 per cent of over 55s.

Many people said that they garden or grow plants in order to combat this feeling. The RHS Garden for Friendship is a celebration of the friends and connections you can make through gardening.

After appearing at Chelsea Flower Show 2020, the garden will redesigned and moved to an NHS Mental Health Trust.

Sue Biggs, director general of the RHS said: “Loneliness is a key issue that can impact mental health and that’s why personal wellbeing is a key theme of the RHS Garden for Friendship.

“We passionately believe gardening is good for mental health and want to encourage people to join local social gardening groups, garden with neighbours or volunteer in gardens in order to boost their wellbeing and confidence.”

The garden will reflect an urban street and encourage greening gardens, balconies, window boxes and community spaces. Plants features will include poppies, roses, edible herbs and vegetables. Trees included will be multi-stemmed Gleditsia triacanthos f. inermis ‘Sunburst’ (honey locust) and the lime Tilia × euchlora.

Read the full article on Gardens Illustrated.