Chelsea Flower Show: Working Harder to be Green

The Chelsea Flower Show, now in its 85th year, is a showcase for all the best garden designers and newest trends. This year is no different, and happily, amongst the excesses, the ecological theme is getting stronger and stronger. Patio heaters, a controversial staple of British life, have been banned from the garden displays and shops. Many stores will use biodegradable corn starch bags. Several gardens will have living "green walls" which are often seen now on huge buildings but are being adapted to smaller urban spaces. There is a contest for the best eco-friendly gardening tips with advice from some of the top designers being offered.

All exhibitors had to fill in a green questionnaire about their project--almost 95 per cent propagated their own plants but 77% still used peat compost. As before, all timber must be sustainable. Apparently, "the waste from every stand will be photographed to create a baseline for measuring the environmental impact of future shows"... There is no getting around the huge carbon footprint of a garden show; with plants trucked in from all over England and flown in from all over. However, many of the components of the gardens will be recycled after the show; with some being donated to charities and a school, relocated, sold (one on ebay, others privately) or returned to nature (sand from one will be returned to Frinton beach). The lecture series will feature talks on use of fruit and vegetables in design (should be good) and wildlife gardening. Stay tuned for more exclusive on-the-spot reports from Treehugger. :: RHS Chelsea Flower Show :: Via :: thisislondon

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