Where do all the plants go after the RHS Chelsea Flower Show? The lucky ones find themselves on the Farmopolis jetty…
Words Serena Scalzo
For four days every May, the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are filled with lavish plant displays and the best in cutting-edge garden design, all courtesy of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. But after all the visitors have left and the competitions are over, what happens to all those beautiful plants? Cue The Great Plant Rescue at Farmopolis, part of Greenwich Peninsula’s exciting new urban farming project in conjunction with Wayward and Secret Productions.
As the Official Reuse Partner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, The Great Plant Rescue has salvaged tens of thousands of Chelsea’s plants to create a truly unique floating garden surrounded by the iconic vistas of the Thames. The space is a much-needed green oasis for the capital, which is constantly under urban development.
Jo Vidler, director of acclaimed event company Secret Productions, said of the project, “we want[ed] to connect the dots between the community, events and culture, and create a movement where they all feed off each other in a really unique environment”.
The garden, which will open to the public on Saturday 30th July, will also host a series of creative events throughout August. Included in the line-up are the Arcola Theatre Children’s Workshops, a handful of sessions aimed at developing different theatrical skills with an environmental message. Suitable for ages 5 to 12, the workshops will explore the use of eco-friendly materials to make costumes and puppets as well as learning about the animals that might live in the gardens. Other events include still life drawing workshops, group singing classes and flower press printing.
The garden is free to enter, though a donation of £3 is suggested on arrival. This keeps Farmopolis accessible to all and the donations contribute to the upkeep of the gardens as well as helping local educational enterprises.
But this is only the beginning, The Great Plant Rescue is merely the first phase of the overall plans for The Jetty at Greenwich Peninsula. Further plans have been put in place for a makers-space, food incubator, hydroponic farming, year-round event programming and much more. As London’s largest regeneration project, Farmopolis is setting the bar high in the world of environmental development. Watch this space…