The Plasticine Garden Returns to the Countryside

james may

Image from National Trust

Purists sneered at this garden made out of plasticine when it was first exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show. Designed by the star of Top Gear, James May, it offended the sensibilities of the traditionalists who believe only real flowers and gardens belong in the show.

But the last laugh is for car-loving May: not only did the "garden" win a gold (plasticine) medal at Chelsea, but it is now on display at a stately home in the English countryside, as part of the National Trust's "Food Glorious Food" campaign. What is going on here?

plasticine garden photo

Image from the National Trust

It turns out that the conception and design of the garden was a lot more interesting and involved than previously explained. In fact, it was created not only by the gardening professionals but also by the participation of war veterans and school children and the odd celebrity (this is Britain).

Located at Sudbury Hall where there is a Museum of Childhood, they are planning on linking up programmes. Teachers will be working with children and their parents to get them to make new items for the garden, including vegetables. It's a novel way of catching their attention and then teaching some important lessons about food and growing. Says one teacher: "We’ll be giving away free seeds as well so perhaps for every Plasticine pumpkin we could get a real one too."


Image from the Independent

Another aspect of the Food Glorious Food campaign is this delightful trailer which is a portable vegetable patch full of leeks, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes. Devised to highlight coastal erosion in the Cornwall area, it is a travelling road show to encourage people to plant vegetables to prevent erosion and cut down on food miles. As explained "it is raising awareness of the state of the beaches and the coastline. And growing your own veg cuts down on food miles, which helps to slow down the effects of climate change and protect our coasts. It's all connected."

More on Plasticine Gardens and Food Glorious Food
Chelsea Flower Show Goes From Ridiculous to Sublime
Window Boxes are the New Allotment Gardens

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