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Recycling plants from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 at Barking Riverside London

This spring, the landscape, architecture and art collective Wayward is collaborating with Barking Riverside London and DF Clark to produce an innovative recycling scheme: to rehome thousands of plants and materials from the world’s most prestigious flower show.

Where do the plants go after the RHS Chelsea Flower Show?

As part of an ambitious community exchange in its third year, with the support of a volunteer team, thousands of recycled plants and materials will be redistributed to local schools and community gardens, creating a lasting legacy for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018.

Plants and gardening materials will be distributed to eligible community groups across East London and beyond from Barking Riverside London, one of Europe’s largest new housing developments and London’s only Health New Town. Helping strengthen a healthy community, plants from last year were distributed to 25 different groups, including seven groups at Barking Riverside, where gardens are now flourishing.

The initiative is part of the House of Wayward Plants, a long-term project run by Wayward that facilitates large-scale community plant exchanges and adoption events for unwanted plants. This will be the third year that Wayward is the Official Reuse Partner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Heather Ring, creative director of Wayward, comments: “Wayward has facilitated plant exchanges for over a decade. In our third year as the official recycling partner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, we’re working with Barking Riverside London to create a vehicle for the sustainable re-use of plants and materials in the capital.”

Katherine Potsides, RHS Chelsea show manager said: “An important part of any RHS Chelsea garden is that it lives on after the show for the benefit of people and communities. We look forward to working with Wayward, Barking Riverside London and DF Clark, to rehome as many of the plants and materials from the Show as possible, and have invited RHS Britain in Bloom and RHS Campaign for School Gardening Groups to get involved and benefit from these amazing recycled elements.”

David Watkinson, director for planning & urban design for Barking Riverside London, comments: “We are delighted to once again partner with RHS Chelsea Flower Show in recycling thousands of plants in East London. We are developing London’s only Healthy New Town along 2km of the River Thames and recognise the health benefits that access to nature will bring to residents’ wellbeing.

“We will be working collectively with local schools, clubs and community groups to rehome the plants. A number of resident-led gardening initiatives are already springing up across the Barking Riverside, demonstrating an appetite for horticulture amongst our growing community. This project will help get even more people involved – providing the community with access to a huge selection of plants from the show.”

Laeti Kemp & Dave Clark of DF Clark Contractors comments: “Our team are particularly pleased to be a part of this exciting and rewarding project due to the many levels of interest that relate to the company’s philosophy and services, first and foremost by helping to enhance landscapes and gardens for school and community groups. Landscape is a powerful tool for regeneration, community building, healing and place making. This project is geared up to use that tool for those exact reasons, therefore this was an opportunity to offer our support that we could not refuse.”

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