News / Blogs Post New Entry

Volunteer at the Chelsea Flower Show with Groundwork London

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on May 21, 2014 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Every year Groundwork London coordinates the Chelsea REUSE scheme on behalf of The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).The scheme ensures that tonnes of garden materials, including 1000's of plants, will live on far beyond the week of the show, in community gardens across the capital. For the latest on the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show visit


From Sunday 25th May until Wednesday 28th May we need volunteers to help us gather plants and landscaping materials from the show gardens for redistribution. Not only will this directly benefit communities across the Capital but this year we expect the scheme to divert over 300 tonnes of waste from landfill. All this has to be accomplished over a four-day period and we can only achieve it with the help of a small army of willing volunteers. We'll be sharing the site with hundreds of contractors dismantling the award-winning garden exhibits and you'll be part of our team, racing against the clock to salvage as much as possible in the days after the show closes to the public.


This is a unique volunteering experience packed full of energy and excitement!


We need your help for a day (9:45 to 16:00) on any of the following dates:


Sunday 25 May


Monday 26 May


Wednesday 28 May


We are also welcoming a few volunteers to help us clean up the REUSE site and gather the last plants and materials on the following dates (times TBC) :


Thursday 29 May


Friday 30 May


To register your interest contact Fabiola at [email protected] indicating the dates you'd like to volunteer.


Please note, places are limited and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Post by Groundwork

Groundwork Re-Use Scheme- Recycling Chelsea Flower Show plants!

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on May 29, 2013 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Between broken down trucks and foul weather this delivery of plants from Chelsea has been the most stressful ever!

* Ensuring volunteers from Lewisham are equipped and supported to go up and volunteer to help 'take down' the splendid show gardens at the Chelsea Hospital site.

* Ensuring there are enough people at the Lewisham end to meet trucks and unload them.

And THEN the hard work starts!

Cataloguing plants, sending out plant lists and photos to 80+ community centres, schools, libraries, community gardens , places of worship, sheltered housing units...

Assigning each group with a pick up time to come and pick up the plants they requested!


Its a mad week!

Edible High Road- Fruity Day for Forest Hill!

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on May 20, 2013 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Saturday's launch of the Forest Hill and Honor Oak Edible High Road was a huge day!

Started early with 7am tree deliveries. It was the result of several months planning, hundreds of emails and calls and an awful lot of work.

 Photos from the day


My huge thanks to all of our volunteers through out the process

  • 'Landscape Man' Matthew Wilson, charming and friendly who kicked our event off/
  • The Forest Hill Society Project Team- stalwart Quetta and the deeply practical Alisa. Chair Richard and Deputy Chair Michael.
  • Our invaluable Honor Oak contact, Brett.

  • Karen Liebriech and Sarah Cruz of Abundance London for the idea and tireless support
  • Jenny Clutten, local Lewisham Councillor and a master poster designer in her spare time!
  • Rhys, our map designer
  • The Dig This Nursery from New Cross who gave away hundreds of tomatoes and even more tomato advice



  • The 50 local businesses who bought trees, photocopied and printed bits and bobs!
  • The volunteers who potted up trees and planted up herbs.
  • Volunteers who made scores of visits to shops all over SE23 to introduce the project to staff and managers, accept payments, deliver posters, Trail Maps and finally turn up at 7am to deliver trees!

Volunteering at Chelsea Flower Show:

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on May 17, 2013 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (1)

We are working with Groundwork again this year, helping them 'take down and re-use' some of the Show Gardens at RHS Flower Shows.


Plants and landscaping material from the show gardens are gathered to be redistributed to community gardens and landscaping projects across London.


We have ten Lewisham Community Garden volunteers going along to help out on site and there is room for you too! 


Dates for volunteering:

  • Sunday 26 May
  • Monday 27 May (Bank Holiday)
  • Tuesday 28 May
  • Wednesday 29 May


Volunteers will work at least one shift, either between 10:00am-3:00pm and 12:00pm-5:00pm.

There is lots of camaraderie and fun.


To register and secure a place

Complete this Volunteer Richmond form online. Please quote 'Chelsea Flower Show Reuse Scheme' as the volunteer role you are interested in. (Volunteering Richmond are just providing office space for the scheme. )

Lewisham Borough & the Chelsea Fringe Festival - outdoor events Sat 18 May- Sun 9 June

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on May 3, 2013 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)



Groups have been inspired to put on a wide range of  Chelsea FRinge activities this summer.

I'll post about them  as I hear more.  :  

Forest Hill: The Edible High Road.

Date:Big Launch-  Sat 18 May at 2pm   Follow the Trail Map unitl Sunday 9 June.  See Trail Map

Venue: Forest Hill Train Station and through out Forest Hill.

We have 70 fruit trees being hsoted by shops and businesses in Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park- orchard walks and a brilliant Trail Map.

GQT panellist Matthew Wilson is happily cutting our ribbon. More details on our very new Facebook Page

Forest Hill: The Horniman Family Day and Plant Sale

Date:  Sunday 19 May, 12-5pm

Venue: 100 London Road , London , SE23 3PQ,

Join us for a day of planting activities, storytelling, garden craft workshops and lots more, and pick up a wonderful herb or house plant at the Horniman Friends plant sale.

Tree Stories- Guitarist and storyteller Paul Rubinstein

Time: 12.00-12.45pm & 1.00-1.45pm

Gin Garden- Learn how to make tinctures, syrup and natural gin cocktails and enjoy free presentations from the Gin Garden herbalists.

Time: 12.00-4.30pm

Planting Activities- Plant flowers to take home and watch them bloom, or hang your wishes at the Horniman wish tree.

Time: 12.00-4.30pm

Seeds for the Desert- The official opening of a bee friendly installation in the gardens.

Time: All day

Bee workshop - Learn more about bees around the Seeds for the Desert car installation and go for a bug hunt in the Horniman Gardens

Time: 12.00-4.30pm

Art Makers for adults - Vegetable Cult- Contemporary artists Juneau brothers will show you how to use vegetables to construct your own electronic musical instruments. Free, drop in.

Time: 12.30-3.30pm

Art Makers for children - Pop-up Root Veggies- Create your own vegetable characters to take home.

Time: 12.30-1.15pm, 1.30-2.15pm & 2.30-3.15pm – buy tickets from the Information Desk (accompanying adults free)

Concert: London Consort of Winds- Music medley offrom this popular ensemble on the bandstand.

Time: 2.00-4.00pm

Compost Cookery- Learn all you need to know about compost

Time: 3.00-3.30pm & 4.00-4.30pm – buy tickets from the Information Desk

Horniman Friends Plant Sale (Conservatory)- Find the perfect plant for your home or garden.

Time: 12.00-4.00pm

 (Image from Seeds for the Desert art installation at The Horniman )

Forest Hill: Free lawn care course at the Horniman

Time & Date: May 26, 12noon 

Venue: 100 London Road , London , SE23 3PQ,

Learn tips from the Horniman gardeners by attending our free lawn care Q&A session. Discover the best techniques to lay lawn, use fertilisers, keep the weeds out and have the best-looking lawn for summer!

The course will be followed by live music on the bandstand and a guerrilla gardening talk in the Pavilion. Visit for more info

Hither Green & Lee: Pick Your Own Salad Walks

Theresa Webb local nutritionist and vegan chef doing a series of through Hither Green and Lee. With a vegan lunch afterwards.

Saturday 25th May-  Click for Details

Sunday 2nd June  Click for Details

New Cross: 1000 sunflowers for New Cross Project

Grow Wild Team at Telegraph Hill/ New Cross are doing their best to turn New Cross Road into a Yellow Meadow!

Keep an eye on their What’s On page for a variety of fun and inspirational sunflower events coming soon!

BBC Radio 4 Gardeners' Question Time - CHELSEA FRINGE

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on May 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (2)

Sunday 19th May 2013. 15.00

Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6SH

On Sunday 19th May 2013, BBC Radio 4ʼs Gardenersʼ Question Time records a programme with The Chelsea Fringe at Hoxton Hall, London.

The celebrated panel of gardening experts will be tackling questions put to them by local gardening enthusiasts.

Gardenersʼ Question Time is a Radio 4 institution, attracting over 2 million listeners a week. Recorded in a different location each week, this long-standing radio programme has answered well over 30,000 questions since its inception in 1947.

The panel members have been guests of a diverse range of gardening clubs and other organisations; including a telecommunications call centre and the London Transport Museum.

The panel NEVER see the questions before the recording. Their encyclopaedic, seemingly effortless answers are completely spontaneous and reveal their hugeexperience and depth of gardening knowledge. Being on the GQT panel is not for the faint hearted!

On the panel will be: Bunny Guinness, Bob Flowerdew and Matthew Wilson with Eric Robson in the chair.


Please email [email protected] with CHELSEA FRINGE in the subject line.

In the main message please include:

  • your full name
  • a contact telephone number
  • whether you would like 1 or 2 tickets

If you are successful you will receive a confirmation email within a few days. This will include further details about the recording.

If you have any questions please email: [email protected] or visit and go to the Gardeners' Question Time pages

The Edible High Road Forest Hill & Honor Oak Park- Chelsea Fringe 2013

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on April 26, 2013 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

You may have noticed us tweeting about Chelsea fronge over the past month!

Together with The Forest Hill Society, Lewisham Gardens is putting on a fantastica and fun event for the second Chelsea Fringe festival. 

For the 3 weeks of The Fringe Festival -May 18-9 June- Forest Hill and Honor Oak Park are being transformed into urban orchards hence the 'Edible High Road!'

Shops and businesses throughout SE23 are hosting a massive 70 fruit trees which visitors and shopprs can explore over the three weeks using our beautiful Trail Map!

The event  will be launched by Matthew Wilson 'The Landscape Man': garden designer & writer and Gardeners' Question Time panellist. Time/ Date: 2pm on Saturday 18 May at Forest Hill Station forecourt.

There will be free seeds and seedlings and free tours of Albion Millennium Green the local community orchard.

50 businesses including Sainsburys, Canvas and Cream, Stag and Bow and The Horniman  will be hosting 70  treees. 

The Edibible HIgh Road has been kindly sponsored by Shannon's Garden Centre and Winkworths Estate Agents.

Can you help RHS Chelsea find it's 'Plant of the Centenary?'

Posted by Lewisham Gardens on March 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

The Chelsea Flower Show celebrates its Centenary this year and in celebration they wiill crown a 'Plant of the Centenary'. 

They have a shortlist of ten plants with strong connections to Chelsea, and they are currently looking for lively folk to 'champion' them on camera. Members of the public will then vote for their favourite- the winner becomes Plant of the Centenary. If you're interested  please read on! 

 Would you like to come to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the prestigious press day? .

A top secret shortlist of ten plants, each representing one decade of the past 100 years of the show, has been chosen by a panel of renowned horticulturalists including Bob Sweet, Roy Lancaster and Rachel de Thame. Once the shortlist is announced, members of the public and visitors to the Show (where the plants will be displayed) will be invited to vote for their favourite and choose one to be crowned Plant of the Centenary.   This is where you come in.


We are looking for a keen gardener to act as a champion for each plant, someone who is happy to be filmed talking about why the plant they are representing deserves to win. In exchange we will give you a money-can’t-buy opportunity to come to press day at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to help launch the display and enjoy the delights of the show. To make sure we are representing the last 100 years of gardeners as well as the last 100 years of plants we are looking for champions who were born in the same decade their plant represents e.g. someone who was born between 1943 and 1953 to champion the plant chosen for that decade so we’re after gardeners of all ages from 0-100, (although you must be able to talk about your plant so anyone under the age of four or so probably need not apply)


The shortlist of ten plants is being kept top secret until we open the voting so unfortunately we can’t tell you which plants we are looking for ambassadors for. So if you are interested in coming along to Chelsea and championing a plant, it’s very important that you tell us what sort of plants you generally enjoy growing to help us chose champions who will be genuinely passionate about their plant.


Who we are looking for as champions… 

  • Anyone who is a keen gardener (beginner, middling or expert) and would be able to talk enthusiastically on camera about why they feel their plant deserves to win Plant of the Centenary

  • You will need to be able to come to RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey for half a day on Wednesday 10th of April so we can film you and be happy for us to use the footage to promote the competition (we can cover your travel expenses for this but not accommodation so please bear this in mind if you would have a long way to travel)

  • You will need to be able to come to press day at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London which is Monday 20th May to help open the display. The BBC may also be interested in filming some of our champions as part of their coverage of the Show so if this is something you wouldn’t be happy doing let us know

  • And most importantly we need someone who can keep the shortlist secret until we announce it to the public

How to enter  If you think the above sounds like you then send an email to [email protected] enclosing a photo if you have one and telling her a little bit about yourself, why you love gardening and what sort of plants you like growing. (Don’t be too specific please: shrubs, roses, ornamental trees etc. is fine)

The email MUST include your name, address, date of birth and a phone number on which you can be reached during the day. You will also need to agree to keep any details of the shortlist that we tell you a secret, even if you do not end up being chosen as a champion

The closing date for entries is Sunday 31st March at midnight but we might start approaching people before that so get your entries in soon to stand the best chance of being chosen.

If we think you might be a good champion for one of our plants, I will get in touch with to have a quick chat and to let you know which plant you are being considered for and confirm filming details. If at this point you decide you don’t want to represent the plant we are considering you for and want to take yourself out of consideration you must still keep the names of any plants from the shortlist which you have been told a secret.


Stephanie Shepherd, Senior Press Officer, Art and Gardens

Chelsea Preview: Diarmuid Gavin's Hanging Gardens!

Posted by Alan on April 30, 2012 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (10)

After last year's levitating  'pink eye in the sky' which the public couldnt ride up,  Diarmuid Garvin has come up with another showy but ultimately daft and inaccessible garden. Its a pyramid of scaffolding poles 7storeys high with a garden on every level.

Gavin says the 80ft-high garden was inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Im trying not to pre-judge! :D

Sorry, I cant resist! :P

Why do the RHS  indulge him?! These Celsea gardens are meant to be inspirational rather than aspirational- after all they each cost the price of a house in London. But surely some link to what can be produced in a home garden setting has to be maintained?
There is a quote from a professional gardener in the accompanying article, and there aren't many who would disagree with it!. 

Matt Appleby of Horticulture Week – said: ‘It’s a towering garden for a man with a towering ego.’


Read more:

This Fiat 500 will top out the Garden Tower.

Perhaps if he saws the Fiat in half, Gavin will also get a show at the Tate! Its's such a statement garden, anything less than Best In Show will be seen as a humiliation. Plus he is  such a sulky character, he''d probably slope off for another 7 years like he did last time he didnt win Gold !

What Im REALLY looking forward to is Andy Sturgeon lastest opus. Now he really is a design and planting genius ! 

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012, May 22-26

Posted by Chrissie on March 22, 2012 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (2)

Chelsea's almost here!

The Crown Jewel of gardening events takes place  on May 22-26.  I cant wait!

Ive loved Diarmuid Gavin for a long time now and was delighted that he won last year's  best in show. 

I love the show gardens and the Great Paviliion, but my favourites are the smaller Coutyard Gardens.

Does everyone love it as much as me?