What happens after the show? In 2014 we again worked with the RHS to make sure plants and materials from across the whole show were not wasted. Many tonnes of plants and other landscaping materials were re-homed in community gardening projects across London.
Our innovative REUSE scheme prevented tonnes of plants and landscaping materials that are no longer needed by exhibitors after the show from going to waste.
Thanks to this work, the legacy of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will live on long beyond the week of the show. After the show closed its doors to the public Groundwork’s REUSE team moved in, collecting thousands of flowers and plants and tonnes of landscaping materials that were distributed to community projects across London in a truly mammoth logistical operation.
In 2013 at Chelsea, Groundwork collected and re-distributed over 150 tonnes of materials and over 10,000 plants, which are now thriving in community gardening projects in neighbourhoods across the capital. With an even greater number of exhibitors at the 2014 show, the volume of materials donated to the REUSE scheme is likely to have exceeded this.
We would especially like to thank 2014's Chelsea REUSE sponsor, Interserve, who are provided the transport and other valuable logistical support needed to make it happen. The breakdown, transportation and delivery of the plants and materials was carried out by Groundwork’s team of over 100 volunteers, who this year include corporate volunteers from Interserve, the BBC and News UK.
Lewisham Gardens, one of our partners and recipients from 2013 again be acted as a distribution hub to a whole host of projects in south east London. Anne Marie Parker of Lewisham Gardens told us, “Gardening schemes have a grand tradition of supporting vulnerable people in Lewisham, and so hostels and day centres will once again be added to the long list of schools, parks, civic groups and community gardens who will receive plants from this year’s Chelsea REUSE scheme”.
Elsewhere in London, the projects Groundwork were identified to receive materials 2014 are the memorial garden on Broadwater Farm Estate, the new Ghandi & Chaplin Garden in Newham and a huge number of community and resident led gardens in Haringey, Islington, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea.