Chelsea Flower Show garden up for grabs in community competition

Tom Powell
Communities could win this garden in the RHS competition: PA

Communities have been given the chance to win a garden from the Chelsea Flower Show by creating their own showpiece green space.

Schools, hospitals, community centres and hospices can enter the competition which will see the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Greening Grey Britain garden from the flower show relocated to the winning community.

The winners of the contest, launched on BBC One's The One Show, will receive plants and other elements of the garden after it has been on display at the world famous gardening event.

The Greening Grey Britain garden forms part of the RHS's campaign to transform grey and unloved corners into planted-up places for people and wildlife.

Community groups can enter for the chance to transform a plot of up to 250 square metres that can be accessed by the public.

The contest will be judged by the garden's designer, Chelsea gold medal winner Prof Nigel Dunnett, from the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, One Show Presenter Christine Walkden and RHS chief horticulturist Guy Barter.

They said they would be looking for a scheme that showed imagination and drive to make a difference with the garden, with benefits for residents, the environment and wildlife.

Prof Dunnett said: "Gardens, nature, plants and horticulture have never been needed more in our towns and cities to meet the overwhelming challenges of climate-change and increasing urbanisation.

"Indeed, garden spaces are no longer a decorative 'nice-to-have' but are a core and essential element in the toolkit to create healthy cities and liveable places.

"The RHS Greening Grey Britain garden demonstrates and celebrates the multiple benefits of plants and gardens in even the smallest of areas.

"It's fantastic the garden will live on after RHS Chelsea to benefit a community."

Mr Barter said the judges wanted to see how the garden would bring people together and called for submissions that showed how they would involve as many people as possible.

"If you live in an urban neighbourhood, a community group might want to turn an area of closely mown grass into a garden that will provide more resources for wildlife," he said.

"Or parents may come together to make an area of a school's grounds into a garden - there are numerous opportunities."

A contractor will prepare the winning site for the garden after the end of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, in early June.

The designer and RHS experts will help residents to create the new community garden.

To enter, groups can visit: www.rhs.org.uk/GGBcompetition

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