LETTER FROM RHS


In our third issue of the Blooming Brilliant News, we'll continue to showcase some of the wonderful things going on in communities across the UK. The above picture was sent to us by a school in Greater London who have built a wonderful rainbow garden. More on them below!

Remember, you can continue to share your own stories with us by emailing us at communities@rhs.org.uk and we will continue to share as much of it as possible in our newsletters and over on our Community Gardening Facebook and Twitter pages.

And as always, you can send this email on to your fellow volunteers, colleagues and friends and they can sign up at the bottom to be added to the mailing list.

Message to Bloom & IYN Groups Our RHS Community Development Manager, Kay, has recorded a special message for those of you in our cherished community gardening groups during this strange and different time.

Click here to watch the message, and thank you again for all that you are doing to keep Britain blooming.

Grow and Tell Thank you to everyone who has helped us with creating our rainbow across social media.

We've shared amazing blooms and plants, from red and orange to yellow and green, including this ferntastic fern sent in via Facebook!

Do join us over the next few weeks as we share blues, pinks and purples. You can take part on Facebook, Twitter or you can email us too!

3 minutes with...Steve! Last week we chatted to Steve Catanach, Lead Coordinator of Amersham in Bloom.

Not wanting to lose any momentum during the lockdown, members of the group have been continuing to grow 1,200 bedding plants and working on "the largest bug hotel in the UK".

Find out more by reading the full interview here!

We're looking for volunteers to be a part of this feature. Email us if you'd like to take part.

From tyres to swans! Catherine, a budding young racing driver from Durham, and her family have been hand-making some very special planters by turning old race tyres into beautiful swans.

Planted up with mint and bedding plants, the swans are being donated to local care homes and elderly people who are self-isolating. They've also created some special planters for a local children's centre and the Air Ambulance. You can read more about their brilliant project here.

Keeping in touch Members of Norwich in Bloom have set up a WhatsApp group to help them all keep in touch by sharing photos of their own gardens and asking advice on things such as what is the best new hosepipe and when to cut back Kniphofia!

Group Coordinator, Sue Roe, has also been cycling to two of their prominent beds - outside Norwich City Hall and Norwich Railway Station - to take and share photos of the beautiful tulips the group planted before the pandemic.

How are you staying in touch with your groups? Let us know!

Swapping bedding for food Oldham Council staff, along with members of partner organisations and volunteers, have swapped growing the usual 130,000 bedding plants for Bloom and have instead been growing food.

Over the coming months, the team are planning to send as much as 60 veg boxes a week to local residents who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.

Read the story here.

A rainbow garden for the NHS Last year, a group of students from Pield Heath House, a school for children with special educational needs in Greater London, took part in an RHS project called Green Plan It. The project sees young people coming up with a garden design while being mentored by a horticulture industry expert.

The students' rainbow garden design, which won an award in the project, has now been brought to life and, as the school is situated opposite Hillingdon hospital, they have decided to dedicate it to the NHS.

The school remains open for the children that need it most and they are continuing to tend to the garden and look forward to sharing more photos as it grows.

Wales carries on Blooming! Heidi, Campaign Coordinator for Wales in Bloom, has been reaching out to groups and volunteers to find the amazing stories going on across the country. And 'Green Squirrel' is just one initiative that is helping to keep Wales blooming!

The Cardiff-based social enterprise, led by Director Rebecca, has teamed up with a local nursery to rescue plants that would otherwise have been wasted and is delivering them to people in the community. So far they have saved 1,800 violas, as well as over 600 other plants, with plans to start distributing veg!

See more from Green Squirrel here!

Spreading sunshine Elmbridge CAN is an inspiring small community charity in Surrey, currently supporting 20 refugee families, most of whom have had to flee the war in Syria.

Between these families there are 36 children and to bring a smile to their faces, Steve, the charity's Chair, has planted a sunflower seed for each child and individually labelled them with their names.

He is sharing the progress of the seeds with the families via WhatsApp and is hoping to give the plants to the children at a specially arranged gathering in the future if the current circumstances change or by hand delivering them.

Sharing with others Before the pandemic, pupils at Oakfield Junior School in Surrey were carefully growing 115 individual tomato plants ready to sell at the local church Flower Festival.

When the pandemic hit and the festival was postponed, teaching assistant and gardening club leader, Debbie, quickly rescued the plants and took them home.

Using the community app, Nextdoor, she was able to find new homes for all the plants and deliver them to members of the local community while out on her daily walks.

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